Date night means going to Cat-22, when you're a couple of committed socialists. Or communists. Gisa will never fully commit to exactly which ethos is best for her. She has her own opinions on how things ought to be done. She's left the tiny neurotic hermit crab at home in his large new tank, because his constant whining and claiming that Alonso is going to let his bird eat him isn't exactly good for spending time together.
Gisa holds the door open for Alonso, letting him precede her into the collective. "I think I might have a coffee like Mina, with some brandy." Living life dangerously!
"I think I might just have the brandy," Alonso replies with a chuckle, "or something similarly intoxicating, in any case. It's been a long week so far." Alonso heads to the counter and peaks over the back of it for a moment before helping himself to a bottle. Because, you know. That's the point. And if it isn't the point, then this place ain't what it is supposed to be. He roots in his pocket and places a bill on the counter, setting the stapler over it to make sure it doesn't blow off, then heads back towards their usual table. "I'm useless with those coffee makers back there, I'm sure you can figure it out, however. Or we can just drink whatever this bottle is and call it an evening." Alonso drops down into a seat and works off the cap to his bottle, sniffs it, and has a sip.
"Just brandy will do. If someone shows up who is better with them, then we can have coffee." Gisa settles down at the table, waiting for Alonso to bring back the bottle of brandy, and then gets up to go and get glasses when he just brings the bottle. What are they, heathens? "It has been a week. I appreciate your patience with Herbert. And the shop." There's always an uptick in people buying extremely depressing books around Tisha B'Av, after all. And talking about depressing topics. Among the other things going on. "Hm. You know, there's no one out here we know. Let's go into the back room, where we can speak more freely." Rather than setting down the glasses, she carries them to the fabled back room of which CB previously spoke.
Alonso comes up from downstairs.
Gisa heads through the door and back down to the cafe.
Gisa comes up from downstairs.
Mina comes up from downstairs.
He'd just sat down! Alonso gets back up and follows after Gisa, letting out a longsuffering sigh as he does so. Once they're resituated, he drops back into a chair and elaborately pours from the bottle into both glasses, because Gisa insists on being civilized. He thunks the bottle down between them, toasts with his glass, and takes a healthy swig as he slouches deeper into his seat. "Oh, it's nothing. I know this week weighs have on your people. It's the least I can do to suffer my part it in with some solemnity." Another small toast with his glass is offered. "Still. Tisha B'av is over. Shabbat is just around the corner. And you are hereby ordered by the central committee to drink irresponsibly and enjoy yourself." He points a finger her way before taking another swig.
Sometimes, a golem insists on being civilized. There was money left on the counter downstairs, and now they have a bottle of brandy upstairs, and glasses, because civilized golem. Her fingers click against the glass, and she leans back in her chair. A silent toast, and Gisa drains the glass, having been so ordered. Brandy isn't for that kind of drinking, so maybe she isn't totally civilized. "As the central committee has ordered, I suppose I must do."
There's the gentle thump of feet coming up the stairs, and a moment later, Mina appears. Apparently she had the same idea when it comes to things like drinking and hanging out in the upstairs area, to see if anyone else would show. And lo, there are already people here! The Fairest is wearing a pair of black jean shorts, a flowing tanktop of off-white with a split back.And then a bright, cheerful smile as she greets, "Oh! Good evening. Glad to see someone else up here."
Alonso glances back over his shoulder as Mina comes up the stairs, saluting Mina with his glass. The more you toast people, the more excuse you have to drink, you see. "Ah! Miss Mina. Just in time to force Gisa to enjoy herself for a short while." Alonso drains the last of his drink, then reaches once more for the bottle. "The Central Committee has ordained it, you see. Party discipline. Very important." Alonso pours another glass for Gisa, then slouches once more into his chair, chuckling low in his belly. "Join us if you wish, Mina. Always room for more."
"Shalom, Mina. It is good to see you." Gisa puts her hand over her mouth and burps, because chugging brandy will do that to a person. "Yes, yes. The Central Committee has decreed that I must let my metaphorical hair down." Because letting her actual hair down is sort of a production, given that it is wire and all. "Please, come and drink with the Fully Automated Luxury Queer Communists." Because if you're gonna have a motley name, just go for it. "How are you this evening?" Another glass is poured, this one for smaller sips.
"Alonso, Gisa," Mina gives with warmth, and a bit of laughter. "Ah, well. If the Central Committee has deemed it so, who am I to deny?" She saunters on over to the mini bar, pulling down the bourbon and a glass for herself, because she's a lady. Most of the time, at least. "Party discipline, right. I'm still learning on all of this, so I will follow the example of the more experienced." There's a slow blink, as Gisa gives the name of their motley, and a wide grin that spreads. "I'm going to need something to shorten that to, when I'm a few drinks in." She takes a seat across from them, sinking into a chair. "I'm doing well, for the most part. Better than deserves complaint. And the two of you? Ceebee will be disappointed that he missed you."
"New to it all? Ah," Alonso says with a tinge of regret to his voice. "Some of my jokes will be lost on you, in that case. In most large communist groups, a congress of the workers will elect delegates to represent their interests at the central committee. The central committee is then responsible for enacting policy between sessions of the congressional elections. They elect the ruling committee, if there is to be one. It's essentially just a way of ensuring representation from each worker's group within the representative government. Originally, you see, communism was intended to be truly democratic. Workers directly controlling industries and production, represented by elected individuals in a central committee which itself appoints the ruling committee. At least, that's how it all sort of came to pass in Eastern Europe. And in Spain, where I am from." Alonso asides to Gisa, "It's a framework echoed today even in Israel, albeit by Likud. But the idea persists. In Rojava? In Syria? Direct democracy is creating a similar framework amongst the cantons of southern Kurdistan. It is interesting to see what is becoming of the science of it all in the 21st century." Someone gave the Spaniard liquor and a chance to wax commie. It's too late now!
"Oh, here we go," sighs Gisa, but that sigh is affectionate and amused. Someone did give the Spaniard liquor and a chance to wax communist. "You will learn now, Mina." She gestures somewhat loosely with one hand, a motion all the more odd because her face is so ... freaking perfect... now. Casual gestures seem really weird. "If you wanted to learn about communism, all you ned to do is give my motek liquor." She takes another swallow of brandy. "You can call us any portion of that you like. Space Communists, if you like."
Oooh, there's a Lesson on Communist History. That has Mina leaning forward slightly, watching Alonso as he speaks. There's a little furrow of her brows, as she works at remembering what's being said. But the interest, the want to learn and understand? It's all there on her face, in those bright blue eyes. "That...certainly sounds a lot more reasonable than my learning before ...everything... made it sound," she admits, a little laugh. She slides a glance towards Gisa, and there's a grin there. "I do want to learn. Ceebee was helpful in giving me plenty to read, but with everything else going on, we've not really had much time to talk about it." That perfection isn't unnoticed, and it makes her look away as she tossed back her bourbon like a pro.
"I love to talk about it. I'm assuming you've read The Communist Manifesto? Capital? That's usually where they have people start these days, though there are plenty of contemporary sources to read from. If you want to talk through any of your readings, I'm happy to play the other half of the dialectic. Or if you'd like to pick the brain of someone who lived it, I'm happy to do that, too. Or hit me with the burning questions. The Holodomor. The Kulak purges. Gulags. And so on. Though I'll note I'm an anarchist first and communist second, so my answer to those sorts of questions will largely be 'Because Stalin betrayed the Revolution'. Only in more detail and with citations." Alonso grins over the rim of his glass, has another sip, and nudges Gisa's shin under the table. "She jests. She's starting to come around to my way of thinking. Most of the original socialist thinkers were jews, you know. Their theology lends itself to social justice, workers rights, and so on. It was a natural fit."
With two Pilgrims in the room, there's enough Weird Perfection to look away from, but at least Alonso has always looked that way that Mina can remember. This is new on Gisa. She finishes her second glass of brandy, burps quietly into her hand -- her hand clicks against her lips, that weird 'stacking plates' sound that happens there -- and lets the two of them talk. She's content to listen. "... I grew up in a literal commune in what is now Israel," Gisa points out to Alonso. "I grew up living these values. There is no 'around' for me to come. I am simply not... as effusive... about the academics of it all as you are." Her eyeflames glitter amusedly. "Yes. And 'Granddaddy Marx' was a Jew. Both sides of his family were full of famous rabbis. He converted to Lutheranism to escape antisemitic legislation and to protect his family. But." The golem shrugs. Jews don't recognize that kind of thing. Once of the Tribe, always of the Tribe, no matter the religious beliefs one adheres to.
"That's one of the first that I read, after I had been given some...lighter reading when we first started talking, and I cam here." Mina dips her head, and smiles. "I'd love to hear more of it. I admit, a lot of my education is lacking. When I was in school, it was all secondary to dancing. I never went to university, or anything like that. It was always ballet." Her feet are pulled up onto the chair, and in a gesture that might be a bit self conscious, in a room of perfection, those dancer's feet are tucked up under herself. "But it makes sense, I suppose. The Jewish and it having much history with them." She looks up, and there's a smile for them both. "I know that Ceebee was thrilled, at having someone that lived through such things. I'm only a child of the nineties, so a lot of what he talks about, I don't have much frame of reference for."
"The western press has done a bang up job of poisoning the water for revolution, to be sure. Truth to tell, the interests of both the soviet union and the west were served by the red scare and the demonization of communism. The west's narrative that communism was the state and the state was communism-- that China and the Soviet Union were these great monolithic threats --erased the notion of socialist equality and permanent revolution from the minds of the western left. Trotsky made many mistakes, but leaving Russia when he did, heading for South America, penning The Revolution Betrayed, kicking off the Fourth International? That was not among them. But with Stalin hunting down the 4th from Moscow and the west stamping it out wherever it tried to establish itself in South and Central America? In Africa? We never really stood a chance. The end result is that the only idea of Communism most americans know is state communism under an authoritarian dictatorship. Which, yes, is a sort of communism. But it is not one I ever fought for." Alonso takes another sip from his drink and shifts in his seat a bit, "But much of that was before my time. I fought first in the 1930s. In Spain. Later in Israel." Alonso sets his glass down and asks of Mina, "Have you read The Revolution Betrayed?"
"Yeah, the communism that I grew up knowing was a looming spectre that was going to take away all of my freedoms and rights and all of that hooplah," the succuflower muses, as she leans back once more. "But that's how the teaching is, in this country. Much of it is pretty lies, to paint ourselves better." She raises a shoulder in a shrug. "The important thing is finding the trouth of it." Mina is quiet, as she fills her glass once more, listens to Alonso. History lessons are always better when they come from someone, rather than a book. At least for her. "I haven't, no. But I'm sure that there's a copy of it in here, somewhere. I'll have to add it to the list."
"Truth is a very individual thing, in my experience. I just try to analyze the present, imagine what might make it better, envision what needs to change to make it so, and then get to work on that. Though I am honestly proud of little old Cuba. The little country that could, that one." Alonso seems like he might say more, but then falls quiet. His head shakes twice and he leans forward to pour another drink. "It's not important, really. The musings of a tired old man. What's important is what you think. What you believe. And what you intend to do about it. Whatever the case, I'm glad to call you comrade."