I wake up, confused and groggy from a night of jet lag and the subsequent viewing of the entire last season of Weeds. At least I woke up this morning, which is not what happened yesterday. Yesterday I slept until 10 a.m. and probably could have slept until some undetermined hour, lost in some head space that isn’t New York City.
I dress and leave the hotel, tall and conspicuous.
Outside, the Saturday streets are mine. Me and my boots and my trench coat and a cashmere sweater doing its best to keep the brisk out. These mornings are like glass, the city reflecting off of some clean and sharp surface, white and crisp.
I order a coffee at Starbucks like always, expertly butchering the words “Grande Cafe Latte Glace Soja”, affecting an accent only when I am feeling confident in my French — which isn’t often. I know I have failed when the barista responds to my piss-poor ordering skills with an English “Thank You.” Thanks for playing, please try again. They are not serving the Bananoffee Cake they had last time – some delightfully named concoction involving, well, bananas and coffee cake. Pancakes, pre-made and held hostage in a glass case where pancakes should never belong, are served to Japanese customers with their choice of chocolate, caramel, and syrup; the latter, and more American of the choices, sounding far less appealing, causing me to wonder if we’ve been wrong about pancakes all along.
By the time I walk back to my hotel room, the adjacent dining hall is filled with the clinking of guests eating overpriced continental breakfasts and the air infused with the heavy perfume of melted butter and warming chocolate croissants.