'So,' I say to Geoff next to me at our favourite window seat, 'if you could do any of the below, would you:
a) Star in a Broadway play?
b) Share an onscreen kiss with Kim Basinger?
c) Dirty Dance with Patrick Swayze?
'Hmmm,' says Geoff tapping his forefinger on his chin, 'c) is obviously impossible, and blondes aren't my type so I guess it would be a).'
'Fair enough,' I say, making a tick in the margin. I'm reading from Geoff's ironic Christmas present to me, a ten year old copy of Anthony Robbins's 'Awaken the Giant within', (Oxfam, £1.99). We're working our way through the Creating a Compelling Future section.
Coffee Plant is full today, mostly with locals. To our left, Shakti and three other yoga women are talking about the New Year's Day two hour Jivamukti class with a live dj. The N.A crew are clustered at the back, while Shaky Dave is downing a double espresso at the counter.
I sip my coffee and continue with Creating a Compelling Future.
'If you had the chance, would you like to:
a) Carry the Olympic torch?
b) Swim with pink dolphins in the oceans of Peru?
c) Race camels between the pyramids of Egypt with your best friend? And win?'
Geoff shrugs. 'Well, both dolphins and the Olympics are a waste of space, so I guess the camel racing.'
I make another tick before moving on to customise a few options from the 'Contribution Goals' section:
'If you could contribute, would you:
a) Volunteer at a local pet rescue centre?
b) Help out at a local homeless shelter?
c) Read to the blind?
'Either b) or c)' says Geoff, inspecting a yellow stain on his right sleeve.
'You can only pick one,' I say.
'In that case, the homeless shelter,' says Geoff. 'Maybe I could nab a bed for myself.' He stares out of the window at an abandoned Christmas tree stranded on its side by Quicksilver, the Amusement Arcade.
'Geoff,' I say slowly, 'I'm going on a date with Wilson tomorrow night, and I was wondering, if things go well...'
'You want me out,' says Geoff.
'But only for the night and only if you can find somewhere else,' I say, nodding over at Shaky Dave with whom Geoff once shared a flat.
'It's alright, I can sleep in the taxi,' says Geoff, eyes still fixed on the discarded Christmas tree, whose needles have already turned a dull brown.
'No,' I say. 'That's not right. Forget I ever said it.'
Silence hums between us. To our left the yoga women are discussing a fasting retreat on Koh Phangan. Behind us, the two girls whose parents recently bought them a flat on Elgin Crescent are planning their first dinner party.
'Why are you going on a date with Wilson anyway?' says Geoff suddenly.
'Because I like him,' I say.
'What's that supposed to mean?' My voice is louder than I'd intended.
Geoff lobs his cardboard coffee cup into the bin and shrugs on his overcoat. 'Just don't come blubbing to me again when it all goes tits up.'
To be continued next Friday...