Thursday, July 4, 2013

In the heat, contemplation, entertainment and a knowing look from Gloria

What Reggie Doland had also revealed along with the highly suppositional weather resport was that the Cove had a tradition on the first warm, windless night of showing an outdoor movie in the old style of projecting the image onto the side of a building, an unused sail or bed sheet and it looked like tonight would be the predictable debut program, North by Northwest.  If the spell lasted longer than the first night, other movies would be scheduled, as might other whimsical nocturnal summer frolics.  "We get silly if we get too much, you know, summer," Reggie said, without a bit of embarrassment.

The Reading Man, afoot, arrived back at his rented cottage, his mind still filled with all the morning had brought.  He had come nowhere near processing the time at Gloria's as the heat, and his failure to anticipate its arrival, caught him mentally absent, as when he used to toss paper airplanes out the classroom window.   First, he wanted to revisit what he knew and could remember about Teas of the World.

When Mr. Guscott completed his presentation, those at the table sat in a digesting sort of silence though no food had yet been served.  There was much in his narrative to prompt contemplation.  After some moments and Mr. Apotienne asking if he might look more closely the packets, study their papers and folds, finding the general esoterica difficult resist and Mr. Guscott nodding his assent, Gloria rose and returned from the kitchen with an array of sweets and savories and the makings for sampling Mr. Guscott's offerings.
Cornish pasty canapes found here.
As each happily and in good appetite chose from among the individual - Gloria had prepared the entire tea server with 2-bite sized portions - tarts, tiny pies, cake squares, Cornish pasties (especially for the traveler) the size of a quarter orange - The Reading Man put his toe in the water of probing a bit further into the exotic world of tea.  He suggested that Jack, as he invited Robert to call him, must be fluent in remote dialects, many remote dialects, to do business in what the world would consider out-of-the-way places such as these, indicating the hand-written, red-bordered labels on the packets. 

Jack Guscott oversaw the sampling of teas, made certain there was nothing hurried or indifferent in the preparation or tasting.  With that satisfactorily under way, he considered The Reading Man's comment and in quiet tones agreed that he visited many of, as he called them, "the far corners," always on his own, and stated simply that he and the growers had come to know and trust each other, "friendships built over time, and I never carry a camera.  I don't go there to pry or invade.  You might be surprised what a difference that can make."

Mr. Apotienne then wondered which offered the most excitement, the going out or the coming back, having seen so clearly the pleasure experienced from bringing forth his finds.  He was told that there were equal measures, that he imagined it to be a bit like surfing, getting one's self to the wave crest, then expertly navigating back to shore.  "I relish every part," he said.

In a moment of silence following this exchange, each seemed to notice that the shop begun to fill, that they were no longer hovering around the edge of the only inhabited island.  Gloria excused herself to see to the customers.  Fiona was attending to everyone admirably and another pair of hands wouldn't be too many.  She assured Mr. Guscott they would meet soon to discuss her order and for him to try some newer menu items, thanked him so much for making her feel such a part of his adventures and nodded to Mr. Apotienne indicating she was glad he'd been able to be there.  "It seemed this would be a good fit," she said.  He agreed the fit was just fine, he wouldn't have missed it and hoped he and Mr. Guscott might have more time together before he was off for his next destination.  "Next time, Robert," he told him, "you'll do the talking."  Gloria's right eyebrow lifted less than a third of an inch at that while her eyes took on the alertness of a detective catching scent of his elusive quarry.


Lisa H said...

"Gloria's right eyebrow lifted less than a third of an inch at that while her eyes took on the alertness of a detective catching scent of his elusive quarry."

The perfect ending to this installation. You nailed the crap out of it. Sorry. NOT poetic of me. *wink*

Marylinn Kelly said...

Lisa - Poetic is in the eye of the beholder. Crap works fine for me. Thank you. xo

beth coyote said...

North by Northwest on a bed sheet-yes. Vivid. I might have to have high tea someplace-and it's your fault.


Marylinn Kelly said...

Beth - Not my fault, these people showed up unbidden and just took over. Besides, you'll enjoy your high tea. Makes me hanker. xo