Coffee–coffee is the fuel for dreams, for forging ahead, for scraping by and for sipping slowly. So many stories begin in my mind with, “We had just stepped out for coffee…”
Like this one…
“Yikes!” he yelped, and she looked up to see him battling the jammed entry door to the courtyard, hot coffee slopping over the rim onto his hand. They had meandered to the Old Soul cafe at Weatherstone on 21st Street, looking for an afternoon pick-me-up.
As he hastily set down the ceramic white cups, each artfully decorated with a swirling white leaf, she dug through her purse. She pulled out a tightly folded napkin, hesitated for only a moment, and then handed it to him.
“That’s a mean door,” he explained playfully. “It tried to make me spill these the first time, when I bumped it open, but then got me as it swung back.” He finished wiping his fingers, crushing the thin paper, now transparent with use.
He didn’t see the tiny writing, blurring with coffee stains and disappearing into a small white wad of trash as he casually threw the crumpled ball onto the wrought iron table.
But she did.
She knew that it was a poem she had written, a poem that held her whole heart fixed in one still moment in time. And she had gladly handed it over, for him to wipe his hands clean.
Just then a barista crossed the courtyard with a stack of napkins piled high, re-stocking the tables like a gift from the god of irony.
She laughed, shaking her head at the idea of it all.
He looked at her, questioning, with a half smile on his lips.
She said, “Have I told you the story about the grumpy teacher who retired last year, only to become a flight attendant? Yes, it’s hilarious, I promise you. Listen…” He leaned forward, wrapping his warm hands around her cold fingers as the tale unfolded.
Later, as they left, she slipped a clean white napkin in her purse…just in case, for poetry could come in the most unlikely of moments.
Just like spilled coffee.
I try hard to hold things only lightly–relationships, stories, even shoes! The trick is to love intensely, with everything I have, knowing I may have to let go and walk away, or watch it walk away from me. There is only this moment, and the next, and the hope that these moments string together in a beautiful chain of memories…but remembering that there are no guarantees, no warranties for the future.
So I try to give everything I can today.
**Photo Credit: http://goo.gl/8Or779**