Tuesday, June 13, 2006

futur simple

How can the Future endure us? It sits, waiting patiently, in a small café outside of time, outside of mind. But the Future is never bored. No. In fact, the Future, right now, flirts unabashedly with a barista while sipping from a cup of strong Turkish coffee.

"Explain the weird taste in drinks," she says.

"It's simple, really," the Future replies. "Unlike your common, vastly inferior percolated coffee, this coffee takes time and effort to make. Listen to me now: the freshest of roasted beans ground so fine so as to be almost powder; an easily dissolvable, but equally tasty sugar - my personal favourite being blanco directo; filtered water; fresh cardamom. All of this is mashed together and boiled three times with time to cool in between." The Future closes its eyes for a moment, taking a sip, savouring the taste. "See, this relatively lengthy process cultivates not only the best tasting coffee, an unparalleled gustatory enjoyment, but a sense of satisfaction as well. And you will certainly appreciate the effort spent - you will have no choice."

The barista rolls her eyes. "You should write commercials," she suggests.

"Perhaps something for the future."

"That reminds me - you know what else Turkish coffee is good for?" the barista asks.


"Tasseography; a form of fortune telling. The Turks read their futures in the grounds left at the bottom of their coffee cups."

At this, the Future just smirks and stares at the waitress for a moment. "Come on..." it says, "who do you think you're talking to here?"

Smiling sheepishly, the barista blushes and mutters an apology.


"How can the Future endure us?" I ask, taking a brief sip from my Turkish coffee. "It knows not what or who it is waiting for, but it waits for us all the same. Twiddling its thumbs. Lying on the sofa with a television remote in one hand and a domestic beer in the other."

"I'm really curious," the barista starts. "Why do you suppose it is that you're so stuck on this idea of the Future as such a passive entity?"

"What other life is there for it?" I ask.

"I suppose one could go another route, she says, "and suppose that the Future is an obsessed collector. Cataloguing. Creating databases. Constantly researching. You know, taking an active part in its own neurosis."

"I don't know if I'm sold."

"Or maybe," she says, "it's a narcissist. A misogynist. A megalomaniac. Perhaps all of the above."

"Perhaps," I say, "but for now, it waits - I've no reason to believe otherwise."

"Vous changerez," she tells me. "You, too, will change."

And I've no reason to disbelieve her.

"Tell me," she says, "have you heard of tasseography?"

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