Today she is drinking mint tea.
She hasn’t had mint tea in a good two years. Long enough to miss it. The botanists always get to the mint plants first. For research. She’s seen the results of that research in the salons of the moneyed, when she passed unseen through rooms and retrieved books as the scent of mint arrogantly infused the swirls of heated water and made her head spin with envy.
It makes very little sense, this scarcity of mint. The planet feeds itself. Food grows. It isn’t difficult to grow mint. The aroma arrests her attention and pulls it away from this critical line of thought.
Green leaves float like a forest from another world. She squeezes lime directly from a diminutive and elegant green fruit into the water, then stirs, watching as water and juice combine in an aurora of near-nothing pale green. To amuse herself she leans over and peers into the glass from the side.
Someone peers back at her through the glass. She starts.
Oh, it’s you!
Of course it’s me. Who else would peer at you like that?
No one, I suppose. What are you doing here? I thought you were out of town.
I was, yes. He nods affirmation but does not elucidate further.
Do you like the seat I found?
In the window? Yes. You can look out onto the port.
Indeed they can; the airships are coming in. So many now. Smaller and sturdier than even the ones last year; they cope better with the winds. No more delays.
Do you like this view? She asks.
I like the view of you, he answers. Is that mint tea?
Yes. Would you like some?
No, I wouldn’t take that away from you.
You can only add to my happiness if you have some.
Is there honey?
There is honey. Another swirl joins the galaxy of leaves and lime and water, cooling now. New formations. They take turns sipping, watching the giant honeybees that are the airships. To and fro in the strengthening winds. The cold drafts are kept at bay by the lake of mint tea on their little island.