I look around trying to find a table close to the window. There are tables to my left and to my right. There is a counter at the end of the room, more or less in front of the door, with a window displaying some cakes, and a couple of waiters, one man and one woman, in a standby position, dressed in a very traditional way. Suddenly a memory comes back, and I know I was a waiter once. But I don’t remember where. The place is almost empty, there is only one man sitting on a table to the left. Therefore I take one of the tables to the right. Before I sit, one of the waiters, the girl, comes to me and perform what it looks like a quick check on the quality of my chair, the cleanliness of the tablecloth and the amount of flowers in the small vase. When she’s done, I’m asked about my choice. Her eyes don’t focus me also, like Karen, she’s also somewhere else.
– Coffee, please.
She doesn’t take note of my order, only nods and fly away. I look for the menu. There is no menu. Maybe it’s on the internet. I ask my DA, and the cake menu is displayed floating at a few centimeters from the flowers on the center of the table. But I’m not please by it, so I stand up and go to the window on the counter. The girl that took my order, alarmed, intercepts me before I reach it.
– Is everything OK, sir? – Her eyes do have focus, this time.
– I’m sorry mam. I just wanted to check the cakes on display. – She looks surprised for a second, then her smile is back.
– Don’t you have network? – Then she realizes I have, probably by asking my DA for an ID. I feel the ping. For a moment, it looks like I’m going to be kicked out for not following the social protocol. Then she adds – I’m sorry sir. If you want, we have paper menus available. Would you like to get one?
– No, it’s OK. I’m not really hungry. – I use the opportunity to check if the cakes are real. They are not, probably they are a part of the decoration. Like the old mirrors, the spider lamp or the name of the local. – It will be just coffee this time, thanks.
– Coffee is coming. – She says. Immediately after saying it, her eyes become foggy again. And back to the virtuality.