Coffee Date

Almost no one knows that Jonah Lehrer and I had coffee together last week. He was passing through Rochester attending to certain details of his father’s estate and wondered if I could break free from the massage clinic at around 3:00 for a latte. I did.

What’s new at the massage clinic?

Very little. I got some new Peruvian woodwind recordings.

Cool. You always use woodwinds?

Yeah. Brass doesn’t work too well. I tried.

Jonah laughed at this.

How are things in New York? I asked.

Pretty good. They’re doing a lot of construction where I live in Prospect Heights. Kinda sucks.

Do they have a dog park in Prospect Park?

Off-leash areas, I think.

That’s nice.

Yeah, my friends with dogs love it.

So did you drive here?


That a rental car?

Dad’s car. He’s not using it anymore.

I was relieved we could joke this way.

Jonah and I made several seconds of eye contact and the milk in my latte developed a skin. I broke it with my spoon and raised my eyebrows, looking up at Jonah.

I guess if you leave it sitting there long enough, he said.

Yeah, I said, smiling.

Jonah went to the airport at around 5pm and the sun set behind him as he flew back to New York, watching, as he did, patches of snow-covered farmland give way to cul-de-sacs, ribbons of concrete, and tall buildings underneath the airplane.

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