I still dream of coffee. I still dream of dipping my fingers in eddies of swirling froth and suffer the distant warmth fading with the passing of time. I still jump out of bed with a start, disoriented, roused by a whistling kettle that’s never there, struggling with tangled sheets, hoping to catch a whiff of an exotic phantom brew.
How long has it been?
I find no sense, no rhyme, why unwelcome thoughts linger. How the mind always forgets what it yearns to remember and retains the things it needs to forget. This is how it has been, my dilution to a fragmented whole – my decaffeination process. But there are days I wish we had shared one more cup. One for the road, they say. One for the olden days and how they speak so much of how times have changed. How realization had regressed to ambiguity, to more questions why some cups are always half empty, like ours. We were scared. We often sat in a corner, discontented, ever shy to ask for a refill.
Does it matter now? For months I have kept watch over your mug teetering on the edge of my oaken coffee table,
reflecting a skewed portrait of everything it sees, perhaps holding me in contempt for leaving it frothing, dying in its gaping, lipstick-tainted mouth. I wonder. Does it still bear my name? Does it reek of disdain and envy for being replaced, unthinkable once, now thick as the cream that had made our blend larger-than-life? Do you ever wake up every day to the same choices – whether to bathe in the morning sun or seek comfort from an inanimate cup?
It is unfair to compare what we had to a morning beverage and an enduring piece of china. But if there’s anything I learned from all these is that nothing is unbreakable. What we have striven to live for is what eventually did us. And there’s this certain inevitability that, one fine day, I would wake up with the steely resolve, the heart, to finally put matters in order. I wouldn’t let anything kill it, not even hope. Today is as good as any day, I guess.
I still dream of coffee. But today I will be putting back your mug – your Holy Grail – high up the cupboard behind the looking glass where it will sit alone, unrivaled for now, looking down on me from a revered place where it truly belongs. And for the briefest of moments, I will remember the last significant time you held our cup, smiling, beautiful and radiant in the dying afternoon sun, the summer breeze blowing tufts of your golden hair, your eyes saying everything’s going to be alright.
It all ends here, not because there’s nothing else to say, but because nothing else matters. Remember our attempt at definition. Deja Brew: The feeling that we’ve tasted this coffee before. This has ominously become our definition of fate, our destiny. But when that time comes, this I pray – the next time you look down your petit noir, face-to-face with that bottomless black, feeling that old familiar feeling, I hope that every once in a while you’d still see my reflection looking back at you, reminding you how brave we’ve once been to throw it all into the mix and how we’ve given it all we’ve got.
You know I’ve been under the rain for too long. I love the rain, but sometimes I miss the sun. So here I am looking out the door with my final brew – a piping-hot cup of decaf – its steam rising, floating, thoughtfully dancing to the wave of a last goodbye.
(because nothing else matters)