“If we where having coffee right now I could tell you all about…”
…Taking tea with Tesla.
Day 11 of the #everydayinspiration 20 day WordPress Challenge finds me having a “Virtual Coffee Date” with anybody of my choosing…
This brings me to La Colombe Coffee Roasters, a Café @ 1045 6th Avenue ‘Tesla Corner’ near 40th Street West – New York NY. Its late morning and I’ve already eaten. The street is fairly busy but not manic. Its a Sunday! I love coffee and go crazy for it at times, just the good stuff mind none of that instant crap! To be fair the good stuff is more popular and readily available these last few years. Or maybe it always was, seems I was drunk a long time! Coffee didn’t become a priority in my life till I needed a beverage replacement (along with a personality and brain transplant). It could of been anything, but since coffee (the good stuff) was relatively new to me it brought something refreshing to the table and I was quickly hooked (Im sort of like that)! I got here early about an hour before the arranged rendezvous. I have a date but with who? Still going for it big time with the ‘Veggie’ diet experiment I passed on my usual rashers of Danish and opted for a bowl of Grits. I treat myself to Butter Croissants washed down with plenty of the black stuff (hot variety, not the Irish). Its another one of those wonderful days were I have to pinch myself to believe I’m actually living it, sure enough I am!
I sit outside in the warm sun people watching, its always a favourite pastime of mine whenever I’m in NYC and have a little time on my hands. I loose count of the cigarettes. I like to chain smoke whilst engaging in this activity, it adds something to the experience – don’t ask me what, it just does!
I feel very relaxed and again I put this down to the Manhattan vibe I’m feeling. The City that doesn’t sleep always seems like the safest place to just take a nap, I know that isn’t so, but it certainly feels that way at times. I start to feel drowsy and shake my head. I take a quick sniff at the empty coffee cup making sure theres no smell of ‘Bushmills’ , the tobacco seems pure enough – old habits and all that, just to be certain!
And then… It was the waistcoat that caught my eye!! Almost instantly he disappears behind a slow walking middle aged couple who are holding hands and engaging in what seems like a humorous conversation. A quick glimpse of a face through the gap between them, the moustache its his… could it be? Surely I’m dreaming! Then there he was walking, no… bounding towards me! That obvious Eastern European swagger – and the clothes, timelessly outdated and classy. He smiles a youthful smile though he is anything but youthful. My friend appears mid 30’s – Incredible considering he’s been gone over 70 years! He reaches out a hand and I go to shake…
“If we were having coffee right now John…??
“Tea Nikola – Legal Aliens in New York take Tea!”
“All alone not by myself.. another girl bad for my health” – I hear the Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ oozing rift coming from the sound system behind me in the Café. My Guest pulls up a chair and I signal the waitress. By the time she returns with Tesla’s Earl Grey our conversation is in full flow. He is warm and engaging, though one senses he has a low tolerance for stupidity and ignorance. I endeavour to challenge whilst also remaining respectful. This is a great man and I get the feel he enjoys my questioning, however the look he shoots me when I say… “ The whole deal with Edison and J.P Morgan must have been hard to take? They allegedly robbed you, burgled and burnt down your Lab, took credit for your work and eventually left you penniless. How did all that feel?” Tesla glares at me, his eyes are piercing and it feels as if they are boring into my skull. It must have been nothing more than 3 or 4 seconds but felt like an eternity before his thin smile breaks at the lips. He responds in his Serbian accented English… “My dear friend, I built an energy for the world. One that was to be used freely by all for the advancement of humankind. They wanted to monopolise it and so they did. What good did it do them? Where are they now?” I make a joke about how in those days of been hard up he would leave restaurants and bars without paying the bill. I reassure him I’ve got this one. He grunts and turns his attention to the tea cup.
I quickly produce my iPad from my ‘man satchel’ and amaze him with the WIFI connection he dreamt up long before World War 2. He listens intently as I update him around how it all came about. He points out his boney chin in a proud mannerism as I describe the worlds first WIFI hotspot – a statue of him in Silicon Valley!
Bouncing backwards and forwards, mixed up but enjoyable and easy to follow along with, he gives his account of Edison’s adaptation of his electric current. He generously concedes a place in the world for both. Niagara Falls hydro electricity, Torpedoes, and his Eidetic (the ability to witness a scene for no more than a few seconds and later be able to recreate it to the finest detail) memory all come to the fore in animated conversation. I am in the presence of genius! Realising the massiveness of the company I find myself in I try to steer the conversation towards his old friend and debating partner, the king of geniuses Mr Albert Einstein… “Einstein was asked how does it feel to posses the greatest mind ever to live? to which he replied ‘You would do best to ask Nikola Tesla that question!’ Some complement eh?” Tesla laughs and pauses to sip at the tea. “You ever bump into him from time to time?” ‘Bertie?’ he replies “We are connected, always have been, since the dawn of time!”
Speaking of, I enquire of his statement about – “There is a core intelligence to the Universe,a life force, I know it to be true and given enough time I can prove it!” I ask if he now could validate that statement. He replies… “John if I was having coffee with you there is much we could discuss and all of it I can prove. But you look tired, let me shout for the waitress!”
“Sir, Sir.. would you like something else or can I get you the check?”
Startled to wake I look at the seat opposite me. Its empty. “disintegrated by the rising sun, I rode a blackout of oblivion… never in the wrong time the wrong place, desecration is the smile on my face” – The same RHCP song comes forward from the Jukebox.
Thats ok, I will just settle up. “Just the two tea’s was it sir?”
A hardly touched Earl Grey sits at the seat opposite, not to be left unpaid for this time. I guess it really is safe to take a nap in the Big Apple.
“The desire that guides me in all I do is the desire to harness the forces of nature to the service of mankind.
The future will show whether my foresight is as accurate now as it proved heretofore” – Tesla
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito” – His Holiness XIV Dali Lama
(Image) Heather Paul – flickr located at the intersection of 40th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan, is a constant reminder to all New Yorkers of the greatness of this genius.
D&O in Fresno.