Cerebral Discussions at the Deli

PFSC - Cerebral Deli

Saturday afternoons are generally very quiet at the Cerebral Deli. Especially around three in the afternoon, but that's when Summer is waltzing into the establishment, switching out her lab coat for a name-tag. The coat, and her bag, are placed on a hook behind the counter, and she perches herself on the stool behind the register, book in hand. One that she's not read in ages. Wuthering Heights, only in the first few pages.

Somewhere in the back of the shop is the owner, catching up on paperwork during the quiet time.

One of the deli-style tables already houses a body when Summer begins her shift. There is only one person there and only one book in hand. It might almost be sad if he weren't completely content with it. The man is wearing jeans, a dress shirt, a tie and a blazer. He almost appears to be a business man on a day off, and yet here he is. Reading. Elliott doesn't immediately react when he hears the door and a new arrival. He is, however, on the last page of his book about Buddhism. He likely will be moving soon.

Summer reaches a few more pages in before she actually realizes that there's a customer sitting in the deli area. Her book is placed gently aside, bookmark marking her place. Hopping off the stool, she moves toward the table and jovially asks, "Anything I can get you, or help you with?" The thought is not to startle him, but just see if he wants something to eat or drink.

Just as he's approached he finishes his page. The book is closed gently and placed on the table with the cover showing. Brilliant blue eyes focus on Summer then. Elliott isn't too cheerful but doesn't appear to be sketchy, either. He could almost blend into the background more than he already has. "Tea would be heavenly, Miss." She's older than he is but he will not call her ma'am. "If you wouldn't mind, that is."

A hand is waved at the word Miss. "Summer, please. Do you have a tea preference? We have regular tea, and a whole variety of herbals. Toby's always trying to expand the shop to just more than coffee and the like." As she waits for the specification, she glances down at the book. "Buddhism, hmm? Don't really see many people reading a book like that in here."

"Can we meet both ways with me calling you Miss Summer? I'd hate to be more formal than that since we've just met." A smile is given as this is said. The man barely moves; his actions are very reserved in general. "Black tea, though, if you have it." Elliott glances down at the book and chuckles softly. "Given the selection I thought this best to read in public. Research, is all, and I find that some take offense to the less than popular religions in this country."

Her nose wrinkles up, but she nods. After all, as Toby is fond of saying, the customer is always right. "Black tea it is. May take a few moments, since there isn't a pot ready." She heads toward the counter, pulling her hair up into a clamshell clip, and then turns back to him as she prepares the tea. "What did you find offensive about Buddhism?"

He chuckles again as he shakes his head. "Personally? I find it enlightening and not offensive, yet some are not so open to the opinions of others." The book is his and is placed into a messenger bag that is on the floor to his feet. Another book is removed with the same general theme. "It's just important to understand the views of others before you can form opinions on them."

"I never put a whole lot of stock in religion myself," Summer says, setting the tea to brew. Elbows lean against the counter and she watches the customer. "Not that I have issues with any of it, though I may disagree with that Fellowship setup from time to time. Just that I wasn't raised to make a whole huge deal out of it."

"That is exactly why I wish to read about it. My family was never big on it, either. I have no particular pulling towards one or the other; so to say I have one of preference means that I was able to choose." Something she says causes Elliott to appear thoughtful for a moment, almost as if considering his words. "The Fellowship are allowed their beliefs as any other. I, however, feel that a church should be available for its people, not cause them to be a public spectacle."

"It's not so much that they're a public spectacle that bothers me," Summer says, taking the tea pot off of the burner and filling a nice big mug with it. Carrying it out to him, she places it on the table, and then sits across from him. A somewhat familiar manner, perhaps, but it's just who Summer is. "What bothers me is that they're no worse than any other group that perpetuates hatred. Saying that they're allowed their beliefs is like saying that the Klan is allowed their beliefs in that everyone that is not Caucasian should be eradicated. Or that the Nazi's were right to kill so many innocent people."

The fact that she's joining him doesn't seem to bother him in the least. Ever the gentleman, Elliott keeps his eyes to hers and not to her body. He likely has no idea what her body even looks like. "Well, each individual or group is entitled to their own beliefs. But a belief does not mean action, and calling for genocide is unacceptable no matter who does the calling." If the Pope were to speak out about vampires he would still be saying the same thing. "Every living or unliving creature has more to them than what is on the outside. To each grouping there are no limit to the amount of different personalities one will find. There is good, there is bad and there is survival. I do have to agree with you that their group is a bit unorthodox yet as you said also not new to history."

Summer exhales a little sigh. "Not new to history, and every large religion has gone through something similar. Look at the Spanish Inquisition. The Crusades. Any number of Holy Wars since organized religion settled in. I think that may be a large part of why I avoid it. Religion that is, not the fact that there's obviously something larger than the world out there, with his or her hand in the mix."

Religion is not something that he will try to speak too in depth with her, not here. Still he nods, a smile growing as she speaks. "But Miss Summer, you must see that a great war will erupt from everything. Freedoms of all sorts always end in war. Our very country was founded on the idea. Even if we're not raising arms and going to battle, there are still other wars going on around us. What of the attempts to end segregation? Or the most recent issues of same sex marriage? While all of these may have some sort of ties to religion, the issues themselves are not religious. Still the wars rage on."

"There is a huge difference between fighting for an ideal, and fighting in the name of God when one likely doesn't have a clue if God wanted those women persecuted. It was a witch hunt, plain and simple, and I'm betting that a lot of women who spoke their minds were pegged as witches, even though they were just wise women and wanted to be heard." Summer shrugs, not wanting to get too in depth on things herself. "Religion should have no say with such things. If it is a belief system in a deity, then that's fine. When it starts trying to change and corrupt things, that's when I've got an issue with it."

Both hands are held in the air as he concedes to her words. There was no argument to begin with but he's not about to push her further. "I believe that you're rather well read and more knowledgeable on the subject than you might admit to." Elliott now reaches for his tea and takes a deep sip, enjoying the flavor. "Religion is best left in the churches and the hearts of those who believe in it. There is still struggle even in that. So let us take this newfound information about creatures that are not quite human. Should they be denied the same beliefs as you or I?"

Summer laughs lightly at the way he makes the concession, and she smiles. "Thank you for the compliment. I grew up in book shops like this one, so I spend a great deal of my spare time reading, and educating myself on topics the school system would never have." There is hardly a pause at all, before she answers his posed question. "Why should they be denied beliefs, or rights? People generally just fear that which they don't understand is all. So they'll try, but in the end, are they really any different than a human? Considering that they've been among us for so many years and all, what right do we have to deny them things like citizenship or religion?"

An index finger taps at his temple as he nods. "I must say, you are rather open to many thoughts. Thank you for the conversation that you've offered me." Only a moment is taken to stray from the conversation as Elliott allows himself the pleasure of the tea. "I have asked and thought the very same way. I still do, in fact. You would not believe how many inside the church do not." Beat. "I should say inside the local Catholic church so as not to make a general assumption of all religions. It is increasingly difficult for such beings to feel accepted in their own beliefs. Their own preference on thoughts. I would even wager that the same is happening in religions everywhere."

"I find it bothersome to be close-minded on things," comes the reply, a gentle shrug of her shoulders given to the man. "I likely would believe it, actually. Catholicism has been close-minded about many things over the years, so it's unsurprising that they would balk against the advancement of vampires into the public eye." Summer considers things for a moment, and then shakes her head. "Not so. Voodoun have the lougarou, and the Hindu religion is filed with many animal deities. So not every religion would be as adverse to vampires as the Christian ones, I don't think."

She's not as fond of his chosen religion but he will never call this to question. "I still wonder," Elliott begins; tea still in hand. "There are religions that are different, yes. That are known for greater acceptance as a whole. Yet everything changes when we speak of blood sucking demons that end the lives of our own kind." As soon as this is said he places his tea on the table. "Not speaking of my opinion but rather the descriptive words I hear from others. I will leave my own opinions out of the conversation for the moment."

"Let me ask you something. Do you eat meat?" Summer is curious as to the response. "Because how is it different than any other part of the circle of life? Do we shun wolves, or cougars that attack humans and eat their remains? With the advent of synthetic blood, these "blood sucking demons" really are just nocturnal people who sometimes bite a little harder than most guys would when they get frisky." Probably a wonderful thing that Summer has no idea she's speaking to a soon-to-be man of the cloth. "We kill innocent and defenseless creatures for sustenance. All they do is take a little nibble, and leave the human to walk off generally unharmed."

"As I said, there is good and evil in all creatures." Now with the tea gone, at least for the moment, Elliott focuses his eyes squarely on hers. It would seem as if he may be here for a while. "Also, that is not entirely fair to use as an example. You are asking if we anger at wolves that attack humans. It would be more appropriate to say wolves attacking other wolves for sustenance and occasional pleasure. Then you would need to try and guess as to how other wolves feel about the issue and I don't believe that is entirely possible." He folds his hands on the table as he speaks, making himself quite comfortable. "And the advent of synthetic alternatives does not change the fear that lies in the hearts of others. You will not find the level of fear of a wolf to be the same of that as a vampire."

"Fear is useless." Summer watches the man, then without a word, takes the empty tea cup to the counter and refills it. When she brings it back, she seats herself once again. "Depending on the circumstance, most animals will shun one of their kind that resorts to cannibalism without good cause. A vampire does not need to kill a human to feed from it, and if they were killing multitudes of humans over the years, they would have been public far before now."

Her words actually cause him to chuckle. "This may be a valid point, Miss Summer, at least in your opinion. That does not prevent fear from existing. It is very real and will always be." Elliott doesn't seem to be afraid. He also doesn't seem to be anything but pleasant and comfortable. "Thank you." He immediately grabs for his tea, more than ready to keep it in hand. "Who is to say that vampires were not known before not all that long ago? Stories of their existence have been around for much longer than you or I. The truth is that now they do not need to kill as they have in the past. If anything they are, indeed, far less of a threat now that they have officially stepped into the public. Even if this is the case, they will still be feared."

"Rumors and myths abound about many things, but it doesn't make their existence true. If we were to go by that logic, then mummies, banshees, and wraiths are all real as well, wandering in the darkness. Werewolves, creatures from black lagoons, the Loch Ness Monster… it is wise not to believe everything you read, just as it is wise to educate yourself on the mythology of it all. I would not be surprised if vampires keep much of their actuality hidden from us, relying on their myths to keep us in the dark in order to keep themselves safe." Summer lets out a slow breath as she finishes, and then smiles at him. "Fear is still useless. To fear change, to fear something that is different, it makes a person dangerous. No matter their race or religion."

"Ah, but it means that somewhere along the line in the mythology of it all someone was correct. Is this not the very foundation of most religions? We find a book that speaks of wondrous acts. Is it true or is it merely the creative minds of several authors? Even the Iliad and the Odyssey hold some truth to them if you attempt to venture the same course as Odysseus." Finally he sips at the tea, careful not to empty this one as quickly. Elliott dips his head to her, his smile growing. "Again, that is merely an opinion. It is not saying that I don't agree with it, but it is an opinion all the same. Although I do enjoy hearing it. This has been a pleasant surprise."

"I could concoct a story right here and now, and call it a myth. Would it then have basis in fact, or would it just be considered that once upon a time it was correct, because someone believes it to be so?" Summer could tie that in to religion, but in case that's a touchy subject, she falls a tad silent. "That's me. Pleasant Surprise Summer. I really should change my name to that." She winks at him, in a conspiratorial manner, not at all flirty. "If you're interested in the older mythologies at all, and how they tie in with religion, we do carry a few great books on it. I can go find them if you'd like."

"If you mention things in the story that seem to be facts, then it can be said to involve facts. The very thought that vampires exist might not make the mythology true but rather speaks that some facts were involved." He isn't budging on his mindset in this. Even if there's very little in common with vampires as they are and has they have been portrayed, the fact that they exits means to him that others have known for centuries. "Although I could likely speak to someone and clarify as to if they really were known all that that time ago." Elliott finds himself chuckling at her apparent name change. "Really I'm more curious in religion itself as it does play a major role in a possibly career change. But I do have much time to read in the evenings so I would not turn down such an offer."

"Then let me ask you, since you are interested in religion… where are your facts that God, as an entity exists? The facts that he bore a son upon some virgin, and that this son was the Holy prophet sent from the heavens?" Summer, again is not trying to argue but just bring a different opinion to the table. "Think on it while I go get the books for you. By the way, the tea is on the house."

There is no thinking to be done. He knows exactly how he is to answer. Elliott is prepared to begin but then she tells him to think on it so he merely nods. "As you wish." He falls into silence until he hears that the tea is on the house. "This is your job, Summer. I should not be taking any income from you or this establishment."

Summer takes a few minutes to find the books she was looking for. She returns with two rather thick volumes, and offers them to him for his perusal. "Actually, Toby won't mind. Water costs nothing, and the tea is really just flavoring." If it were her only job, she'd be concerned. Giving him a two dollar break, isn't going to kill her budget any.

"Well, I should seek to thank you and this Toby for the wonderful donation." This is said with a smile and even a wink. He is far from the type to flirt and does not mean to do so yet it is impossible to tell how others will read into it. Elliott eyes the books but does not seem to be intimidated by their size. "As for me personally? I could delve into the fact that some things are echoed in different religions, such as the existence of Jesus. I do one hundred percent believe that he is a man who walked the Earth, even if he was merely a prophet and not the son of Mary." Only now does he take a deep drink of his tea. "Yet I do not look for facts, for evidence. My religion is what I personally choose to believe, much as your ideas on fear are what you choose. I know that in my heart I feel that God is there. Even if it can't be backed by evidence I will not change my mind because that is what I choose to believe." Beat. "Besides, it would leave me a rather pitiful priest if such were not the case."

All of a sudden, the poor woman looks shocked. "Oh dear. I'm so sorry. Running my mouth like that." Summer looks quite embarrassed, and she fidgets a little. "I guess I'm more of a fan of believe what you can prove. Besides which, I just can't believe that a loving God could allow so much pain and suffering to exist in the world."

At this he laughs rather loudly. "Do not apologize, please. I'm not a man of the cloth yet; it is merely the career change I spoke of earlier." It could explain his interest in reading materials. "I also would never be upset in what you're saying just now. It isn't irrational to seek out physical proof of any belief. Yet that is the point of ideas; they cannot be proven. Everyone is entitled to their own. I personally am still seeking so I would be the last one who would judge." Elliott then drinks from his tea as if nothing offensive has been said. "I much prefer conversations where people are honest with me anyway."

A sigh of relief is exhaled, and Summer grins. "Well I'm glad I've not upset or offended a potential customer. Toby would be upset at that." She watches him silently, and then says, "Honesty is a difficulty. Even the most honest people hide things from certain others, for their safety or for whatever other reasons. True honesty doesn't exist."

He laughs again as if to drive home the fact that he is not upset in the least. "No harm, I assure you. And this Toby. Besides, you were merely speaking your mind. There's no way I would be upset with that." The younger man leans back in his chair, the tea cup placed back on the table. "For the most part I agree with you. I just see no point in hiding anything at this point. My live is nearly an open book and I have no issues displaying it to the world. On the flip side, this places me in more danger than I often times realize." Elliott is at least realizing it at the moment.

"Life is dangerous, no matter who you are, and no matter if vampires were public or not. That's what life is. A series of choices, changes, and dangers. That doesn't mean you stop living the way you want to live and making the most out of every day." Hence, why Summer thinks fear is stupid. "If you're afraid of the danger, change the course of your life."

"Unfortunately it isn't always so black and white for people. I'm not saying that your personal belief is incorrect, just that not everyone can follow by it as you do. That is what makes it a belief and not a fact. That doesn't mean it isn't important." One of the books offered is taken into Elliott's hands. "I'm not speaking just about vampires. The one certainty in life is death. There's no telling when it will happen or even how. To life conservatively because of what might happen is robbing yourself of life experiences. That is my personal belief, at least."

"Is death truly a certainty when there are creatures that can live near forever?" Summer shrugs. "Death comes unexpectedly, and it takes away those you care for, yet you still go on living. Vampire or not. So there's no point in letting dangers control your life. Not that I live dangerously, but I take chances on things I normally wouldn't."

He nods. "It is, because they have already lost their lives once. There is also no guarantee that they will continue to live forever. They can still die, permanently, and I have a hard time believing that it isn't their fate in the end. That is also a belief of mine, not something that I am quoting as fact. For if I lived that long I would surely be bored with it all." Forever is a long time, after all. Elliott doesn't comment on the other part as it seems that they are not disagreeing in the least bit. All he does is offer yet another nod, as if he were a bobble head doll.

Summer eyes him silently for a moment. "It is hard to say. Think of all you could accomplish in that time. All you could see and experience. History as it happens." Not that she'll ever have a chance at anything like that. "It's no wonder that so many authors have romanticized vampirism over the years."

"But what happens when ten years becomes one hundred, and then five, and five more? What happens when even the great historical events that you witness are just the repeated mistakes that history is known to repeat? Will you still view everything as you do now?" Elliott shakes his head finally. "It is difficult to say for sure, I agree, until one is in that position. Great opportunities are everywhere and undoubtedly in such a thing. It doesn't mean that it should be actively sought out but I can see where it would be appealing."

"Or not appealing as the case may be?" Summer smiles at him, then pushes herself up from the chair. "It's a lot to think about though, and it's no wonder that so many young men and women throw themselves at vampires hoping for eternal life. Not for me though. I'm happy with the life I've been given." Hands dangle over the back of the chair for a moment. "If you decide you want those books, just bring them up to the cash when you're ready. If not, feel free to browse and leave them on the table. I'll restock them when I've got a chance to."

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