Saturday, August 25, 2012

Love and Magic

I had heard about a free play in Central Park and my friend L. and I decided to venture into the city for the day to see it. By the time we found the outdoor theater there was no one around. The chatty employees in matching shirts did not notice us staring into their booth, clearing our throats. Waiting. We noticed a sign hanging above us that leveled our lukewarm hopes:

Tonight’s Show SOLD OUT

A man came around to the front of the booth to put up a poster.

“Excuse me,” I said, “But the sold out sign – is that for the play at seven?”

“Oh, yeah, we ran out of tickets hours ago. People start lining up at six in the morning and wait there until two when we begin passing them out. Then it’s crazy for a half hour and it’s all sold out by two-thirty.”
I sighed. It was about three now.

“If you want, though, you can get in line over there and I can just about guarantee that I can get you a seat when the show starts.”

He indicated a line of people on the distant sidewalk, kept far from the ticket booth. Neither of us felt like waiting in line for four hours and enduring the lethargy that was sure to madden our fragile minds, so we declined and moved on. There was an enormous park before us, several hours of daylight, and a half-eaten bag of truffles in L’s bag for us to feed our sugar highs.

I smelled a delicious smell wafting through the air.

“Food,” I said lovingly.

L. and I followed the path and passed the turtle pond and a little league baseball game. We came to a stand and knew immediately the source of the orgasmic odor.



We inched closer to the waffle stand and read the menu carefully. I wanted to know everything.

“What are you girls doing, standing all the way over there?” a black haired fellow with glasses and a white apron said from inside of the stand. He had an accent that sounded Scottish to me, but I rationalized that he must be a waffle expert from Belgium. “Come closer. Come on.”

We took a few little steps towards the stand.

“Where are you girls from?”

“New York,” I answered, gazing down at the varieties of waffles described below his face.

“Brittany, we’re in New York,” L. said. “Saratoga.”

L. and I did not want anyone selling us anything. We quietly discussed waffles. We wondered what dinges were and how to even say it.

“I think it’s pronounced ‘dingus,’” L. whispered.

“That’s what Dave calls people when their being idiots,” I said. “Spekaloos - what is that? Is that a Belgian thing?”

The fellow behind the counter overheard us.

“Do you want to try it?” he said.

I nodded eagerly. He dipped both sides of a plastic knife with a tan, buttery substance, much like a goopy peanut butter. I took it, licked the knife end, and handed L. the handle. It was warm, spicy, and smooth. She tasted the handle end.

 “This tastes so familiar. What is this made of?” I asked.

“Love and magic,” the man behind the stand said. “What do you think it tastes like?”

“Love and magic seems about right, actually,” I said.

“There’s some cinnamon,” said L, thinking aloud.

“It’s gingerbread,” the fellow in the stand said before either of us could produce the answer.


“Oh! Gingerbread!” I cried. “That’s exactly what it is!”

That’s what we were smelling before; it wasn’t merely the waffles.

L. and I whispered about the possibility of buying some fragrant waffles. We had already planned to go to Alice’s Tea Cup and fill our happy stomachs with scones and tea after dinner, and with bellies already gushing with truffles, the thought of waffles seemed over the top.

“Should we go then?” I asked her.

“Let’s go.”

“Bye,” I said to the guy at the stand, “Thanks for all the magic!”

He looked sad. We walked away very quickly.


  1. Yum, all that talk about waffles and ginerbread is making me hungy!