2009-12-20: A Tree Grows In Harlem



Date: December 20, 2009


Church is a bit rusty, but at least he still tries.

"A Tree Grows In Harlem"


It's been a busy day at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles restaurant, and it will probably remain as such for quite a while yet. It's a popular food place in the area and people flock here from all about just to eat there. As it so happens, though, Georgia just got off one of her first shifts at the restaurant. It's fun and all, and she does love both chicken and waffles, but there's only so much of each that a person can actually take in a day, so she's relieved to be done. She gives a smile to one of the serves, "See ya tomorrow, Tanya, love. Don't go too crazy 'thout me gone, 'kay?" She laughs along with Tanya as they say their goodbyes. She steps into the cold night air, all bundled up. "Brrrrr. Dang, this city gets cold at night. Gimme a New Orleans winter over this any day." She says with a shake of the head as she starts off toward her home.

It's been a while since Church was trolling around the streets, much less trying to reacclimate himself to public life. There are things to be handled soon, and he certainly can't be doing them if he is still nervous about being found out. By who? Well, there are some that could argue that; he used to be one of them. As dinner hour rolled in, he found himself in Harlem. Though some people in his life may scoff at his eating habits, Lawrence knows better than to listen. Not only does he have that ravenous appetite, restaurants leave him with a sizable bill, no fail. A good chunk of what Georgia just got off of shift for cooking went to his table, much to the amazement of his waitress. Church is just paying as she starts to depart, saying those quick farewells and bundling up in the side of his vision.

When your life revolves around bagging and tagging, you don't often forget faces you must memorize. Georgia is familiar, though he is not entirely certain of her background. Though it was a catch in New Orleans, one cell shares with another- and when Georgia finally leaves the building, there is an ex-agent, ex-runaway, complete with roguish layer of facial stubble, tailing her down the sidewalk. He looks a bit worn than he usually does, but perhaps that could add to his charm. Of course, he also always has a plan for doing these sorts of things. The whole lovable stray bit.

"Hey! Were you the one cooking that deliciousness?"

Georgia isn't far from the restaurant when she hears a voice calling out about cooking. She turns and sees Church. She's a little shocked to see the white person in a predominantly African American neighbourhood, but then again…he's got a bit of scruffiness to him, perhaps he is one of the white people that live here. She gives him a warm smile. "That's right, hon. Or…I was one of them, anyway. You enjoyed the food, did ya?" She says, obviously happy that he did.

Put Church anywhere, and just like now, he'll strut around as if he had been there the entire time. As he approaches Georgia, he gives her a smile in return. He seems nice enough. "Sure did. Some of my friends say it's silly to eat platefuls of artery-clogging food, but at this point I'm more concerned with my appetite. I was at table six." Table six, the one that came back with multiple orders- and the one that most of the people cooking assumed was about four different people or so. Nope. Just one. Where did he put it? It doesn't look like he shoveled it all down. "Thought I'd take the chance and pay someone that'd been cooking a compliment."

There's a look of surprise on Georgia's face. "Boy, are you telling me that you ate all of that food that we made for table six?" She lets out a laugh. "Booooy, that sure is some kinda crazy. You're worse than my son!" She chuckles a little more. "There ain't nothing wrong with artery-clogging food so long as it's in moderation. That's what my momma used ta say. Always in moderation!" She says cheerfully. "But still, even with moderation I got no clue where ya stored all of that food we sent down to your table."

Her laughing gets him laughing too, though it may be more commiserating than it is an actual laugh at himself. "Moderation, yeah-" Church glances down the sidewalk before returning his eyes to Georgia, a faux-bashful smirk on his face. "-I've been fed nothing but bits and pieces for months, I was due for it." At this, he also opens his coat a fraction, showing off the fact that yes- he is apparently a bottomless pit; belt, shirt still tucked in- he's got that middle aged look, but despite it he seems to be in good shape. And absent of one somehow distended stomach- in fact Lawrence looks like he just ate a big lunch. "I've been told that I may have six stomachs. The jury's still out on that."

Georgia shakes her head. "Well, you ain't been eatin' properly if you've only been eating bits and pieces. Really. You're as skinny as a twig!" She shakes her head once more and tsks. "There's a saying I know: Who wants a twig when you can have the whole tree? You need more meet on them bones of yours!" It doesn't matter how fit he may be, there's still such a thing as being too skinny! And to her, it's usually not as skinny as most people would normally associate with. "Six stomachs? So…like a cow?"

"I've kept myself from getting too meaty, actually- for a while I was stuck behind a desk, you know the drill." Desk paunch! Thank goodness it is either gone or now intermittent. Church lets his smile wane into faint flirtatiousness for a moment, and thankfully his eyes do not try to wander very far. "I like taking walks in the woods now and again." Though cow he sees fit to correct, in a similar sort of manner. "Bull, sweetheart."

Georgia shakes her head. "A desk job. Somthin' I could never get used to, I don't think. It ain't something to my liking. Too much paper work. I'm sure ya know the drill." She says with a firm nod. "Bull, yeah. Ain't much need for the proper names when you're round here, but…to each their own and all that jingle-jangle." She smiles. "Takin' walks through woods can be nice I'd imagine, but there ain't all too many woods 'round here. Unless you count the cement jungle we livin' in."

Nosedived on that one? He can't tell, just yet. Only having about a dozen women to practice his charms on in the last few months- and at that, most are like family- it seems to have had an averse effect on his hamming it up. Lawrence just tilts his head a bit and lifts a hand to the back of his neck. "Ah, a tree grows in Harlem and all that, right?" Wasn't it Brooklyn? Okay, maybe he's just trying it again. Thankfully for Georgia, she doesn't seem all too receptive. He does entertain the possibility she is still paying attention out of simple pity.

Georgia is receptive, and she's noticing the signs, but past experiences have left her much to guarded to just succumb to someone's charm. It's meant as no offence to Church, really. It's just…how it is. "Perhaps you're thinking of 'a rose in Spanish Harlem'?" She asks of the man. Of course, it's a song, and if there's one thing she knows more than food, it's music.

At this, he finally just laughs- but it is wary and mostly at himself. "Okay, yeah, I can tell, you're just putting up with me. But a rose is just as fine." One last smile now, as Church tilts his head in an almost pooch-like way. "The first reason I got your attention was the food, I swear." Oh look, he even puts up his right hand.

Georgia grins, chuckling. Shaking her head she says, "Hon, I don't see this as 'putting up with' you. You're just fine and nice and pleasant. And ya ain't tried to show me your 'bling' yet. Which in and of itself is quite something. But then, you're not exactly a teenager. Some of those kids are showing off flashy clocks and chains and the like like it's nobody's business." She says casually. "Don't ya worry none, though, hon. I believe ya full and right as rain, I do. Don't got a reason not to."

"I'll be honest about that too, I don't have any bling. Unless you count these-" Church puts some fingers into the front pocket of his coat, flashing her a pair of rimless reading glasses- he's not going to pretend he's not that matured. "But that's pushing it. Hope you won't think less of me if I keep coming back here? That was just too much, I might have to dump a few of my girlfriends so I can come eat here instead." Hahaha. Yeah.

Georgia laughs. "I don't put no stock in anything flashy. It's either straight forward or nothing." She states simply. "Come back to the restaurant as much as you want. I can't always promise that I'll be there to feed you and…you're soon to be ex-girlfriend." She says with an amused smirk. "But if you do eat as much as you did tonight, you'll soon be the one who pays my paycheques, so you'd better be careful."

"I wouldn't worry about me, sweetheart. I manage." Lawrence seems less strung out when he isn't trying to be witty and charming and generally a nuisance. He tries too hard at all the wrong times. "I'll catch you around, hm? Gotta furnish those paychecks of yours, after all."

Georgia shakes her head. "Well, that's good. 'Cause a white guy can get some pretty nasty looks around here and he can get into trouble if he even looks like he doesn't fit in. Just a little word of the wise." She states cautiously. "Well, your business will always be appreciated, hon."

Church takes a few steps aside, smile still on his face and a glance going to the street to gauge his timing for an exit. "Like I said- I wouldn't worry about me. I manage." Trouble is his middle name! He knows that he hasn't offered her his name, for a few reasons- among them, his potential new job is at stake, and then there is going to be some mystery to him if he doesn't. "I'll be fine all on my lonesome. Buh-bye." His hand lifts in a slight and friendly little wave, just before he turns to skirt across the snowy road as the light stops ahead, and the cars all slow to a halt around him.

Georgia laughs. "Boy, you're some kind of confident. It'll serve ya well in a neighbourhood like this, let me tell ya." She grins and gives him a little wink. "Maybe I'll see you 'bout the restaurant baby. Be sure to save room in that bottomless pit of yours." She chuckles and waves, making her own way home now.

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