ArchivedLogs:Loud and Expressive
|Loud and Expressive|
"Promise not to forget us little people when you're famous okay?"
<NYC> Evolve Cafe - Lower East Side
Spacious and open, this coffeeshop has a somewhat industrial feel to it, grey resin floors below and exposed-beam ceilings that have been painted up in a dancing swirl of abstract whorls and starbursts, a riot of colour splashed against a white background. The walls alternate between brick and cheerfully lime-green painted wood that extends to the paneling beneath the brushed-steel countertops. There's an abundance of light, though rather than windows (which are scarce) it comes from plentiful hanging steel lamps. The walls here are home to artwork available for sale; though the roster of prints and paintings and drawings and photographs changes on a regular basis it has one thing in common -- all the artists displayed are mutants.
The seating spaced around the room is spread out enough to keep the room from feeling cluttered. Black chairs, square black tables that mostly seat two or four though they're frequently pushed around and rearranged to make space for larger parties. In the back corner of the room is more comfortable seating, a few large black-corduroy sofas and armchairs with wide tables between them. There's a shelf of card and board games back here available for customers to sit and play.
The chalkboard menus hanging behind the counter change frequently, always home to a wide variety of drinks (with an impressive roster of fair-trade coffees and teas largely featured) though their sandwiches and wraps and soups and snacks of the day change often. An often-changing variety of baked goods sit behind the display case at the counter halfway back in the room, and the opposite side of the counter holds a small selection of homemade ice creams. A pair of single-user bathrooms flanks the stairway in back of the cafe; at night, the thump of music can be heard from above, coming from the adjoining nightclub of the same name that sits up the stairs above the coffeehouse.
And here stands Eve, waiting in line. She's not of nightclub age, but sometimes she hangs out here before nightclub hours sipping coffee and chattering, talking fashion, flirting, and looking at youtube videos of cats when all else fails. Right now though, Eve is doing something much simpler. Getting coffee. Iced coffee, but coffee nonetheless. She's actually even dressed up just the tiniest bit. A purple, flowy skirt, an equally flowy red shirt over that, tons of little bangles, and a purple choker with a little bras bell... She's mixing it up! She even has some pretty smokey evening makeup in tones of dark purples that match her nails.
She is still looking at cat videos though, on her phone, while she waits, because this place is packed and she hasn't seen anyone she knows right this second. It's okay, though. The current cat video has an otter in it! Otters and cats can be friends, who knew? "Aaaawe, they're buddies!" The life of a teenager is serious business.
Alice sweeps in just as a peel of thunder rolls down from the darkening sky. She wears a bright red cropped top with little cap sleeves, tight black capris, and gold platform sandals to match her gold bangles. Her wavy black locks are bound up into a feathered updo by two long, thin braids originating from her temple. She has on lipstick to match her top and brilliant gold eyeliner made all the more striking by the lack of accompanying shadow. She queues up behind Eve and cranes her neck to see the video, "awwww"ing along with the other girl. Then does a double take. "Hey, I know you from somewhere?"
The girl turns her head as someone 'aaawe's along side her, and then fully turns around to look at Alice. Even smiles as she lets her eyes gaze over Alice's method of dress. Eve is impressed alright. Maybe a little envious, too. A flicker of something else that's gone, pretty quickly,"Yeah. You're Alice, I'm Eve. You were wearing a 'Remember' shirt, and told me to remember your name. Sold you some campesina chips. Here to get coffee, or you here to hit the nightclub?" She turns her phone around so Alice can look at the rest of the video without craning or anything,"I'm a little envious. I can't do gold as well as you. But my love of purple knows no bounds, so it almost evens out."
"Eve!" Alice snaps her fingers. "I remember now. Apologies, I was kinda baked when we met. Those chips were the /bomb/, though, and the're much harder to find in East Village." Her smile is broad and unguarded as she watches the rest of the video. "But yeah, I'm here for the club -- my roommate's supposed to meet me here. You, too? Thursday night's the best for dancing, not too crowded."
"I'm sixteen. I don't think I'm allowed in, right? But I like to hang out here when I know people are getting ready to go in. I enjoy seeing all the people all dressed up and everything." The girl moves up a space in the line, then Eve goes back to talking,"Baked?" She lowers her voice, and murmurs,"Like, high? Do you have any... uh..." How DOES one politely ask to buy weed from a not-quite-stranger. "Um... I'm glad you liked the chips, anyway. They're killer with some salsa. And you haven't had salsa until you've had MY salsa. I'm kind of the best." She even strikes a confident pose before she breaks down giggling.
"Oh, yeah, lo siento, it's eighteen-and-up." Alice tips her head forward apologetically. "Didn't mean to assume about your age. But true, it's lively here on club nights even if you're not clubbing /yourself./" Here she also lowers her voice, though not by all that much. "I know a guy. Gimme your number and I'll introduce you." She gives an exaggeratedly conspiratorial wink. "Well, I gotta try some of your salsa, then. I lived in Miami for years, I've had some /mad/ excellent salsa."
"It's cool. So! That's where you get the Cuban accent! Aaaaah. Yeah. My mom and dad, they're from Havana. I picked up a little of their accent, but... Shit, no pressure, right? Now I have to compete with years of Miami salsa." They move finally to the front of the line, and the girl looks at Alice with pursed lips for a moment, before saying,"Let me buy you a drink?" Her smile is wide. Bright. Even as she's digging in her purse for her phone, murmuring a number through her lips,"I um... Wow, you're like ten Christmases rolled into one. So... Uh... You said something in passing, last time I talked to you that I... uh... I'd like to pick your brain about. Sorry, where are my manners... How have you been?"
"I figured, from the name of the bodega." Alice grins even brighter, tapping her forehead. "I managed to remember /that/, at least. And I'm sure your salsa has a fighting chance -- seems to me like you've been raised up with good cooking." She raises her eyebrows now. "Gracias! I would love a mocha with an extra shot. Of espresso." She digs her phone out from a hip pocket -- no mean feat, considering her capris look just about painted on -- and taps in the number one-handed, flashing to Even for confirmation before saving it under 'Eve'. "You can pick my brain all you like, but I'm alright. Getting toward crunch time on projects and exams, but classes are done, so there's that. How 'bout you?"
Eve slides over some bills for her and Alice's order and then steps aside, nodding,"De nada." She leans against the counter to wait for her order while leaning there, eyes gliding over Alice's jeans again. Eve heave's a sigh,"I could never rock jeans like that. It's kind of like... why I wear skirts all the time. Uh... is it about to be coming down out there?" The girl is now fiddling on her phone as she confirms that her information is in fact correct,"Feeling a little... closed in. I've been... ever since we talked, you said that thing about parents signing up for a lot... And now I can't stop, like... scoping every pretty PERSON in sight. I noticed-noticed one of my friends the other day on her birthday, and I don't even know what to do with that. Especially since my parents have already kind of endured one GIANT bomb with me." Right. Well. She is now hunting more cat videos while she waits,"Try abuela's ropa vieja sometime if you drop by the store again, ever."
Alice also leans against the counter, though more sidelong, slouching a little. She turns to gaze out at the darkening sky. "Yep, it's gonna pour." Looking back at Eve, she tilts her head. Scans the girl's figure appraisingly. "You couldn't rock these exact pants, no, but you /can/ look good in some tight jeans. Seriously, I seen white girls with /flat/ asses pull off skinny jeans. You just gotta find the right cut. Now, whether you feel /comfortable/ in them is a whole different story."
She crosses her arms, tips her head to one side like a confused dog. "I hope I didn't make trouble between you and your parents -- I just cuz they /should/ accept their children for who they are don't mean they /do./ Plenty of parents don't wanna do even a fraction what they signed up for, and I don't know jack about yours. But..." She uncrosses her arms, spreads her hands. "If they've already endured one giant bomb, maybe they'll be more ready to accept a smaller one? I'm not sure if an uncertain orientation is a bigger or smaller bomb. And you don't /have/ to tell them, either, if you just want time to sort it out yourself, though I warn you, it may take time."
The girl sighs,"I am totally gonna have to get a cab, or I am gonna be SOAKED." Which begs the question of how she got here in the first place, but... Either way, she does blush a little. "It's... Um... I dunno... I'm just worried I'd look... wrong somehow in them? I dunno. I'm probably being silly."
Still, Eve is soon waving her hand in negation at Alice,"You didn't make trouble for me. At least, not in any way you're culpable for." She chews her lower lip, then shrugs. Not like it's really a secret! "It's... I dunno... I just get this feeling... if I tell them I like girls too, it'll undo a lot of work. Like... when I told them I was a girl, they didn't understand the difference between trans and gay I'm kind of worried... They kind of don't get the whole thing, don't really know the difference between gender and orientation, if you get what I'm saying?" She sort of windmills her hands expressively,"I'm... I know they love me, and all that, and that's awesome. And they're not going to stop, but... I kind of feel like they're maybe just sort of starting to get used to ME."
The girl reaches for her iced coffee as it arrives and sips it for a quiet moment,"I dunno... does that sound stupid?"
Alice shakes her head emphatically. "That's not silly -- like I said, whether you feel comfort wearing whatever is a whole 'nother thing. Anxiety is a /thing/. Whether or not it seems to make any sense, you still gotta deal with it. My way of dealing is just charging at it head-on, but that doesn't work for everyone, right?" She does not look particularly surprised about Eve's disclosure, and her brows gather very slightly as she listens, nodding faintly. "It doesn't sound stupid," she replies at last, picking up her coffee from the counter with a quick smile and a 'Gracias'. "C'mon, there's some stools by the window, we can watch the sky open up."
Alice ushers Eve over, perches herself on a stool. "I hadn't really thought of that, honestly. Haven't had to deal with anything like that, but now that you say it, yeah, I can see how they might turn around and be like, 'but if you like girls why wouldn't you just stay a --'" She breaks off, mouth pulling to one side, and is quite for a moment. Outside, the rain starts coming down in torrents, sending pedestrians scrambling for shelter. "You wanna hear something stupid, though? My parents don't buy that I'm queer, either. I came out when I was like, fourteen, but I've dated boys since, and they took that to mean I was just 'going through a phase', you know? Cuz WTF is bisxuality anyway?" She shrugs. "So, I dunno...maybe put it off until you find someone you wanna bring home to meet them?"
The girl follows Alice over to the stools, an expression of relief on her face. Even if Eve is quite open most of the time, there's always that fear of a negative reaction. Her shoulders lose some of their tension, though, as she slips onto a stool, though,"I'm kind of already rushing ahead in so many other respects... Transitioning, bringing home mutant friends, trying to get my grades up... I feel like, maybe... I'm a little full-up? Like my plate was full."
Eve crosses one leg under her in an odd sort of stool-based half-lotus. Then she looks down into her drink. "So you see the problem, then. They think it's about sex, and I haven't even... I don't know. I'm aware that it's a thing, peripherally, how could I not be? But I'm still kind of in the 'will I ever find someone I'm comfortable enough to kiss and hold hands with' stage right now. I've never even done that, let alone DATED." She shakes her head, as the rain comes down, another sigh escaping her,"It sucks to have your parents sideline your identity like that. I'm sorry you got shit on." She does smile a little bit,"You're, like, the only person I know who isn't like 'BE LOUD AND EXPRESSIVE'. Uuuugh. You actually think these things through. Thanks. So... It's okay to put this stuff off? Doesn't make me a bad person?"
Alice sips at her drink and nods sympathetically. "That does sound like keeping a lot of balls in the air! I have some trans friends, but I think being at college and not living in their parents house -- it's like a different vibe, you know? It's good to take a step back and consider what you want to have to handle." She chuckles, looks out at the rain. "Man, I've been dating since I was like...twelve? It's not always all it's cracked up to be. Some are intense, some are chill, but the best relationships I've been in though? They all seemed just like, really close friendships were we happened to kiss and hold hands and --" She makes a rolling 'etcetera' sort of gesture with her free hand. "That's my experience, anyway. But no, it doesn't make you a bad person. I mean some people just...don't? Date, or whatever. Nothing wrong with that, either, and nothing wrong with waiting until you don't feel so overwhelmed. The funny thing is, I'm /all/ about being LOUD AND EXPRESSIVE." She even puts down her coffee to accent the end of that sentence with /Jazz hands./ "But what works for me don't necessarily work for everyone, right? Seriously, though -- take your time and do /you./ Make friends, have fun, and if love comes knocking? You'll probably know."
The girl stairs out into the rain,"It's beautiful isn't it?" Eve swirls her straw around her coffee, gaze distant. "Since you were twelve? I've always wanted to date, but people my age are either... really uncomfortable, or really creepy about it, mostly. So you're kind of a pro, though? That's cool. Seeing anyone now?" A pause,"Huh. It's 2017. I should probably be asking any 'someones', plural. That's a thing now, isn't it? The poly-whatsits? Are people getting more diverse, you think? Or are people who've always been there just coming out of the woodwork now? There was a time when noone had ever heard of trans people or mutants or anything." She does stifle a giggle as she sees the jazz hands. "I'd love to date, personally, but it's... I suspect I'll end up waiting until college. I'm less worried about having to wait than I am having to tell my parents I met someone, honestly." She smiles in an oddly shy manner,"You make it all sound so wonderful and gentle and romantic and stuff. Aaaah, I'm glad I met you. I'm, like, ten times less tense than I was five minutes ago. You've totally earned your drink. So what're you going to college for? I mean, besides to learn. What are you trying to learn?"
"I love the rain." Alice's voice is earnest and soft. "Not so into what it does to my /hair/, but I still love it. I wouldn't call myself a /pro/, and I wouldn't know what makes someone a pro at relationships anyway. I mean there's so many /kinds/. A couple happily married for fifty years has clearly got some things worked out right, but it's probably a /different/ set of /some things/ than having a series of short, stark, and beautiful romances that end amicably. And different from managing a giant polyamorous family, too. I think...people have always been queer and poly, just, more closeted about it. Not so sure about mutants, but it's no better or worse whether they've been around for a hundred years or a million. It just is what it is." She smiles at Eve, less shy, more beaming. "Well, I'm glad I've put you at ease, but dating isn't all gentle romance. Sometimes it just /sucks./ Like anything in life, I guess. You get the good and the bad, and only you can say whether the one is worth the other." The question earns a snicker. "I'm studying /drama/. And singing. Gonna be a /star./ Or...you know, probably a barista."
The girl sits up a little straighter at that,"I dunno. I... don't like... having to shell out the cash for a taxi getting around town, but when I was younger, I used to get on some shorts and a t-shirt and go running around in it." She smiles a little,"There's not enough conditioner in the world to stop the friz, of course, but I get what you mean. There's something awesome about curling up under your blanket when it's cold and wet outside, too. Knowing it's cold outside and warm inside." Eve sips her coffee in a low, somewhat easy manner as she listens, and offers,"So what you're saying is... your mileage may vary. I can dig it." She plops her chin in a hand, though, looking rather rapt,"Oh. My. God. Drama. You are so BRAVE. Like, even putting the barista thing aside, to be up in front of people for the PURPOSE of them seeing you... Holy crap. What is that even like? Promise not to forget us little people when you're famous okay?"
"I don't think it's gonna keep up for long," Alice says, gesturing at the sky with her coffee mug. "Already looking a bit lit dreary." She smiles suddenly. "'Your mileage may vary' definitely applies to dating in general, yeah. That's why I've been on a break, I guess. I broke up with my last high school boyfriend after Prom -- no hard feelings, we were going our own ways." She shrugs philosophically. "I guess I'm kinda where you're at, in a way. Got too much on my plate to fuss about romance." Taking a long drink of coffee, she seems to consider. "What's it like? Being on stage /is/ terrifying, but it's a /rush/, too. Like a roller coaster, sort of. It's addictive. And it never stops being scary." Lifting the mug to salute Eve, she adds with a crooked smile, "I solemnly swear. The world is big, but little people turn it around."
Eve smiles and whips out her phone then, dragging up a Lyft app to order a cab. Then she's nodding to Alice,"Then that's my cue to head home before my parents worry. Thanks for talking me off the ledge, Alice. Metaphorically speaking. You have to let me know next time you perform something so I can come watch it and pretend I've got a little bit of culture. And maybe brag 'hey I know that girl' a little bit." Eve grins and wriggles her little finger in Alice's direction,"Seriously though, don't be a stranger, and... what's the song... Call Me, Maybe? You got my number, use it." She slides her stool back with her hip, and dips her head to Alice, and practically begins to skip away. Like that, her mood has turned around.