before he went to culinary school
he had lived in Prague for two years teaching basic conversational English
he tells you about the city
and how he would sit and drink his harsh Turkish coffee
every day at 2pm under the statue of Sarka
about the people
and about the woman he followed back to California
He vaguely reminds you of James Dean.
It is now three a.m. and you don’t know how long you have been in this kitchen sitting at this bar talking to this chef.
You are drinking tall glasses of cold orange juice and looking at an atlas with Andrew.
He shows you the North Sea and tells you how when he was 19 and in Sweden he lost the sensation of feeling in his legs.
He was at a party on the island of Marstrand
and the dumb Americans thought it would be fun to go swimming
despite the cold night air.
The signs were posted about the hypothermia.
The signs were in Swedish.
He laughs and tells you the doctor assured him feeling would eventually return.
It has been 10 years.
He can kneel in snow you think.
He can walk through fire.