You and your friend are spread out on the carpet with a pile of textbooks and half empty mugs of tea that are getting cold. Your phones are in your hands and Cold War Kids is playing from your Spotify playlist titled “Afternoon.” You promised each other that you would study all day, but you’re getting hungry and are far more interested in comparing Tinder matches than writing another paper. You send a quick text, and within minutes you and two others are on your way to Laughing Planet Café on Monroe St.
You order the PB&J smoothie and a grilled veggie quesadilla with Daiya cheese, cilantro-pesto, and a side of medium salsa. Friend 1 & 2 will order the Bollywood Bowl with extra veggies instead of rice. You each order cookies; you go for the Oregon Trail today because you’ve already tried all the others. Thank the friendly cashier after getting your frequent customer cards stamped and take your table number to a table with plastic toy dinosaurs on it.
Listen to Friend 1 talk about the boy she is talking to this week and tell her how to respond to his text message while Friend 2 takes a Snapchat of you two and the toy dinosaur. Smile at the cute babies at the table across from you and talk about baby names with Friend 1 and Friend 2. Joke about the names you can’t use because of all the people you know that have ruined them for you. Someone brings your food to the table and each of your eyes light up. After shamelessly taking pictures of your food from every angle until achieving the perfect shot, dig in. Appreciate the crunch of the veggies as you bite into the quesadilla. Let the cilantro-pesto envelop your taste buds while the salsa drips off the crisped brown tortilla. Be thankful for the creamy deliciousness of the Daiya cheese. For this short time, you aren’t even phased by your bodies inability to digest dairy products. Sip your smoothie, close your eyes, and let your mouth believe it is eating a real PB&J sandwich.
Meanwhile, Friend 1 and Friend 2 are distracted by each bite of spice in their Bollywood Bowls. They love the coconut flavor, the texture of the broccoli, and the way they can eat the whole thing without feeling guilty. When you are all finished you move onto the cookies. The delicious,-soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside-Oregon Trail cookies from heaven. When all of you are full and your dishes are empty, you bring them to the front. You appreciate the way everything is laid out with the compost, trash, recycling, and foil all divided into different bins. Each of you get into the car feeling satisfied, still munching on the last few bites of your cookies, planning your next trip to Laughing Planet.