I liked her instantly, even though I didn't know her. I didn't know then that I would be working with her.
What I really, really didn't know - probably not until quite some time into working with her - was how much of our time would be spent laughing. I tend to say that I am not a laugher. I'm going to have to stop saying that, because when I am with Kafka Woman (Loredana), I am quite the laugher. And it's a wonderful thing. Proper, uncontrollable laughter. The stuff that kids enjoy. The sound of their laugh is making you worse. Just don't look at them - not even in your peripheral vision - and you might just get this fit of laughter under control.
We talk about a lot of life stuff. We're like friends. Something on your mind? Want to talk about it? Or we just talk about what we got up to on the weekend or the night before. We talk about music and writing and great books we've read. The conversation is pretty well rounded. Whimsy features frequently.
We get interrupted a lot... A LOT... by customers. Kafka Woman suggested that we might need a sign to tell customers that they cannot enter because we are talking. The above sign came to me and I wrote it up intending to just show her for a laugh. We laughed. Then I put it up on the door. The reactions from the customers was a source of laughter for the rest of the day. That day (yesterday), I have never spent so much time on any job laughing.
She has a joyous, infectious laugh, does Kafka Woman. And that's the thing with laughter - it really is infectious. At one point both of us were useless with laughter. I was struggling to make one of the regulars their coffee. I kept trying to compose myself, but I'd hear Kafka Woman sqeak with repressed laughter, and I was fucked all over again.
I wiped a tear from my eye as I turned to give the customer her coffee and told her, "Man that was hard work." When I looked at her, she was chuckling. She had no idea what we were laughing about, but she was laughing. She thanked me and turned to leave, and she was still giggling to herself as she left the cafe.
I am still feeling residual happiness today. I've always known that laughter is good. It's why I like to write funny stuff. To actually indulge in it a lot though... man, it's better than drugs.