The four of us pose for a snapshot, sunflowers turned to the camera light box, and out of the corner of my eye, I’m pretty sure I catch Mauro cop a feel on Marek, his hand sliding ever so gently over Marek’s thigh.
The photo ends, and for an awkward second, we are in the land of do-we-say-something? or that-was-weird, but Sara breaks our vow of silence and goes for the kill, asking Mauro what the heck he was thinking, to which he hangs his head and burst into laughter, all of us following suit, and I swear, it hurt so bad to laugh so hard.
Turns out Mauro was nothing more than on auto pilot, convinced it was Sara on his left, not Marek, so the hand-on-thigh movement felt so natural, so right, that is, until he discovered man leg beneath his touch and decides to just play cool, honey bunny, right on through the snap.
We laugh and laugh and laugh for an eternity, tears pouring from my face, a total outburst of intense comic relief.
Luckily, it’s the end of the meal, our boeuf bourguignon downed and appreciated in this touristy of tourist places, Marathon on Rue St. Severin, for this beef stew is the type of thing one likes on any given cold day, so long as it’s made from scratch and accompanied by a good rouge, which, of course, it totally was, and thankfully, nothing is left to try to eat, not even the totally made-from-a-box chocolate mousse desert we share, because, truth be told, my smile is so massive, I can’t even think of reconnecting my upper and lower jaw to complete my meal.
Oh, Mauro, thanks for this movement, and Mekong Junkies, thanks for the memories.