Two men are sitting diagonally from each other debating the economy. One is getting more wound up than the other. He has a slight French accent and is wearing shorts with white socks pulled up tight. He is giving analogies about “the old days.” He is picking up the newspaper that lies on the table and tears off a corner in support of one such analogy. The other man has a British accent. He tries to make a point but is continually interrupted by his companion. I would use the word “friend” but I am not sure they are actually, or anymore, friends. They speak almost as if they are being interviewed on a talk show. The man with the French accent is talking about Amsterdam and the Euro. He keeps saying things like, “Who cares? Who cares?” He tells a story, then leans back and looks pointedly at the other man, letting his point sink in. He says, “That’s what currencies do.”
They talk so heatedly that I tense up, expecting to see them jump from their chairs and lunge at each other, overturning the table. Then the French man does stand up, but he laughs, and the other man laughs, and they make plans for later that week. I am relieved, and fascinated at this type of friendship. They belong in a Canadian high-schooler’s dream of Paris, arguing about the latest experimental film or novel.