Meeting L after school for coffee. I've never been to Blue Line, but she says that next to Caffeine Dreams, it is her favorite. I've heard of this place. My oncologist told me that it was his favorite coffee place, too. So, I am interested.
I arrive and it so packed that I worry that we'll have to wait for a seat but then I spot one near the back. The tables are tiny, but sturdy. Chairs are wooden. I'm a little discouraged that the tables are so close together that we're practically in each other's laps, but it will be so easy to eavesdrop on conversations.
This is a very hipster-y place. Lots of college guys in long, black trench coats. Signs everywhere, very liberally political...my perfect cup of tea. The women all seem to have deliciously long, wavy hair, wear black tights, ankle boots, black turtlenecks and black skirts. Laptops galore. I actually almost fit in for once in my black turtleneck, jeans and blue flats.
Two women next to me are talking about homeopathic medicine. Specifically, Native American herbs.
"I can't live without Evening Primrose oil," a lovely young woman says very fervently. "This Nebraska winter air kills my skin! Feel how soft it is, though!"
Her companion tentatively reaches across to stroke her cheek and then confirms that her face is, indeed, very soft. She then shares that she always uses sage in her cooking because it is a known appetite stimulant and she has trouble remembering to eat.
This gets my attention. I seldom have trouble remembering to eat and I am jealous. This woman is tiny, like a small elfin woman. I sort of snort and then look down into my book.
The other woman says that she is more interested in body products, for example she puts chamomile and devil's claw poultices on her face whenever she feels a pimple coming on. "I like white pine, too," she advises. "But, only use the inner bark of a young twig. Otherwise, you can get sick."
They both agree that black cohosh is excellent for menstrual cramps.
"My little brother has ADHD," says the tiny elf woman. "I told my parents to get him off that Ritalin and try some ginkgo biloba, oat straw or St. John's wort. Also, lavender tea works."
They soon move on to what helps them when life is stressful. Apparently, kava kava, lemon balm, and wild lettuce are helpful.
I studiously write all of this down, even though I've never had acne or even a bad pimple and am way past being bothered by menstrual cramps. ADHD is not a problem for me, in fact, it's more like the opposite....I seem to have lost my giddy up. And stress? Well, I do have stress, so I am not adverse to trying some lemon balm tea.
The couple in front of me are arguing in hiss whispers. I don't want to disturb their privacy, so I take a long pull of my chai. I look up and see L and suddenly I have no interest in any other conversation except ours. She's smiling hugely. A good day, then. Her good day is mine, too. I return her smile and hold my arms out for a hug.