Last Saturday at the Moonbean Cafe (zero poker content)

"Do you want a stamp?"

She was about 4 or 5, with honey brown hair done in two french braids that looked like they had been slept in. The flyaway strands framed a serious face, and she gave me a slight frown as she asked me again.

"Do you want a stamp?"

- - - - - - - - -

We'd gone to the Moonbean Cafe to meet Hunny Bunny's friend Ollie, who had his photographs hanging in the cafe. It was one of those coffee places that I could spend an afternoon in just people watching - filled with artists, students, young families, people both gearing up for and relaxing after a foray into Kensington Market. There may have been music playing, it was hard to tell over the hum of many conversations. The aroma of freshly roasted coffee permeated the place, competing with the enticing smells of fresh baked goods.

I'd noticed the little girl while we waiting at the counter for our coffees. She was wandering around the tables, periodically going back to the table where her dad sat drinking his coffee to tell him something or other. In one hand she held a plastic case with 5 small rubber stamps and in the other hand she held a small red stamp pad. At every table she stopped and softly asked the same question:

"Do you want a stamp?"

No one turned her down. And everyone smiled for a moment. It was interesting to see the faces change; even the solitary big biker dude's stern features melted into gentleness as she picked a stamp, thumped it on the red inkpad a few times and then pushed it hard on the back of his scarred hand.

Eventually she got to me, and I could see that she had been at her work for a while as all her fingers were stained with red to the first knuckle. And work it was; it was as if it was her mission to make sure everyone had a red stamp by the time they left. A smile rarely crossed her solemn face, but don't get me wrong, she wasn't grumpy or whiney or irritable ... she was just doing what she had apparently decided she had to do.

My reply to her repeated question was "Of course. A stamp would be perfect." With great care she put down the ink pad and box of Valentine rubber stamps on the counter. She looked in my eyes for a moment and pronounced that she would stamp a rose, because "you look like you need a flower."

She picked the rose stamp out of the case and repeated the same movements; thump, thump, thump, press. She lifted the stamp and peered at the red blob on my hand and pronounced it "very nice". I agreed and thanked her. "You're very welcome." With that, she picked up the two boxes and moved off to another table.

And that is how, even after a bubble bath and a few showers, I still have a small red blob on the back of my right hand, about the size of a dime. I wish I could keep it there for a while as a reminder that it doesn't have to be as complicated as I make it ("it" being any one of a number of things). All it really takes is a small and simple gesture. I also wish I had more skill with words, so I could capture that moment better and explain how lovely it was.

So. Do you want a stamp?

4 Responses to “Last Saturday at the Moonbean Cafe (zero poker content)”

  1. # Blogger Michael Albert

    Awww ... unbearable cuteness.

    I made a resolution to transfer you my cash winnings from the bloggerPod tourney, as a start on your Dunedin trip fund but uhh ... well, I didn't even get the $0.62.

    (The iPod I was planning to keep!)  

  2. # Blogger Pokerwolf

    Awesome story.

    Although, now I want you to find a rubber stamp of a Hammer and have you bring it and a small inkpad to a WPBT event. ;)  

  3. # Blogger Schaubs

    Great post Kat. It really makes you stop and think, and not sweat the small stuff so much.  

  4. # Blogger CarmenSinCity

    I love this post! Your the best!  

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    Katitude



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