Or should we blame the images on TV?

They’re fifteen, sixteen at best. The pudgy girl wears a pink flippy skirt. The guy wears a tight red T and has smudges of facial hair. Both of them have fancy cigarette cases. The guy stubs out the cigarette in a coffee cup and mumbles to the girl. The girl shrugs and takes a drag.

The jukebox in the corner of the coffee shop randomly starts. Slash lays down the opening riff to “Sweet Child of Mine.”

To my right, the college girls munch sandwiches and sip large cartons of chocolate milk through soda straws. Sisters? Friends? My French is too uncertain to be certain.

Expecting traffic, I left the hotel this morning an hour early. There was no rush hour. Here in Montreal, there are also coffee shops everywhere, but there isn’t the type-B slow caffeine panic that pervades the urine-smelling streets of San Francisco.

The college girls light up, grinning and conspiring. Smoking and speaking French seem to go hand-in-hand here. If I did either, this might be a nice place to live.

I get a whiff of cigarette smoke. Should I rewrite the problematic clause in this contract or rewrite the problematic scene in my play? Another cup of decaf and then I’ll decide.

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