June 23, 2003:
Emigre women, Lebanese you think, talking to each other behind the counter. Middle-aged, turning dowdy, but eyes bright and sparkling, with ink-black hair at their shoulders and a mischievous humor you can only partly share. Speaking their native language, rapid-fire syllables, through which a cadence runs like a wave, carrying with it a long, slow melody that rises and falls.
"Bid-da-bid-bid-da-ba-did-ba-did-bid-ba-da-bip. Did-ba-da-bib-da-da-ba-dip-bip-ba-da-bid. Dip-ba-pa-did-a-bid-pa-ba-bip. Holy water. What-a bunch-a bullshit."
They fall apart laughing. So do you, although first you turn trotting out the door to do your falling apart outside, at the duck pond, with only the surprised-looking birds to share it with. That seems more polite.