Been too long since I’d had the perfect chocolate, so I met up with my daughter today at Timothy Adams for a mug’s worth and a truffle or two and for some catch-up time with her.
We saw Timothy starting to stir a pot of something after we arrived, and turns out it was a dairy-free praline mixture so my allergic kid could eat it. He poured it onto some toasted nuts and put a big piece in front of her as we sat. Just because he could.
The mug felt like enough for me right then but I’d had the kid at the counter put two–eh, make it four truffles–into a take-out bag. You can’t have Richard totally missing out, now, can you?
Michelle had parked right nearby but I’d had to circle around and settle for a spot near the far end of a long narrow alley that stretched to the block the shop is on. There was a tall, blind-looking building right up against the asphalt on one side and a series of smaller buildings on the other, including one that looks like the house straight out of the movie UP; in front of it, the alley opened up a bit as if to try to leave it a tiny paved front yard.
And so. On my way back, there was a large FedEx truck halfway down the alley and five or six men beyond, standing near where my car was just out of sight. The truck started backing up at about that point, so at least I wasn’t going to have to dodge it squeezing by. Not a whole lot of room.
There are times when one can become acutely aware of how it looks to be gray haired and walking with a cane. I fought the sudden feeling of vulnerability with the only thing I had: I offered up a silent prayer for everybody in that alleyway whoever they might be.
There were more of them than I knew: two more men were tucked up against the back of the building next to the UP house–and (take a few more steps) one had a mail cart. Okay.
And near them was a woman. She was standing holding a cart holding, one might easily guess, all her worldly belongings, with them as disheveled as she was. Her face had been exposed to the sun for a very long time and her eyes didn’t see things quite the way I would.
I found myself pulling that bright pink and white striped cheery paper bag out of my purse and asking her, Would you like one? It’s from the Timothy Adams shop around the corner there, as I handed her the dark plain truffle, thinking, Keep it simple. Just chocolate.
She let me give it to her; the men behind her were watching, smiling.
A few more steps, and the FedEx driver was a young man calling out to me. His window was rolled down, his elbow resting on the truck door, and he asked me in delight, Was that chocolate?
Yes it was, I grinned.
Can I have some? he teased, with zero expectation.
Sure! Ginger okay?
His surprised oh wow reaction meant that I’d made the right choice on that one–that he was the kind of person who would turn around and do something for someone else in response and pass it along.
Meanie that I am, I saved the date caramel marzipan for me. It lasted about three hours. I was going to wait till my sweetie got home but, y’know, chocolate-covered date caramel marzipan! Sorry, Richard–I’d have handed the guy the hazelnut praline if that’s the one that had come to hand but it wasn’t.
Not that Richard minded.
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