My mouth is on fire.

It seemed like a fairly safe choice. The sign in front of the muffins identified them as 'breakfast bread'. I couldn't see what was on them (the coffeeshop turns into a bar at night, and turns the lights down low accordingly) but I am a fan of many kinds of tasty breakfasty fruits and creams, so I felt safe in the choice. But no, Common Grounds has to be different, distinctive. Thing was chock full of jack cheese and jalepenos. Didn't mix too well with the Cinnamon Nut espresso. It took half a bag of that chalky/not-chalky heart-shaped Valentine's candy to restore feeling to my tongue.

I had been back home not 24 hours from whiz-banging my way across the Deep South when I decide to take off for Fayetteville - Rainer Maria was playing, and if dearest i-dee likes 'em, then I likes 'em. Of course, I had to leave ballet class ten minutes early and then goose my car past the 75 MPH speed limit - through thick, stewing fog. But I made it, and I incurred a minimum of damage on the way. Even better, a TCBY was right next door to the music venue, making it easy for me to continue my tradition of giving away free ice cream to random kids before the show.

Halfway through the set (after Artificial Light, I think) the guitarist/singer, Kyle Fischer, grabbed an elaborately-wrapped square (elaborate, but not frilly; these are indie-rockers, after all) and stuck it in his mouth. He fiddled with his guitar, turning knobs and yanking strings and whatnot, and attempted banter over the microphone.
Kyle (into microphone) : MM MMM MMMM MMM MMMM MM MM MMMM?
Caithlin De Marrais, bassist/singer (behind speaker tower) : What?
Kyle (into microphone) : MM MMM MMMM MMM MMMM MM MM MMMM-MMM!
Caithlin (now, into the microphone, quizzically) : What are you doing?
Kyle (removing square from mouth) : Aren't you gonna ask me what I have in my mouth?
Caithlin (with a sigh and a smile) : All right, what do you have in your mouth?
Kyle : A Valentine's Day gift!
He hands off the gift to Caithlin, who sets her bass guitar on the ground and warily unwraps the gift - and her face suddently transforms into giddy delight. It was her favorite sing-along song - Janet Jackson's contribution to the Nutty Preofessor 2 soundtrack. The roomful of haughtily cool indie-rock kids just dissolved into sugary cuteness, waves of genuine smiles sweeping through the crowd.

Everyone should have such an utterly adorable, irony-free experience of pure wuv on Valentine's day.

I spent the rest of the drive home with my eyes half-lidded - the espresso was tainted with hot peppers from the breakfast bread, and the resultant lack of caffiene in my system almost killed me countless times on the way back.