A morning like this. And not too long ago I'd have taken coffee on the patio with my orchids and dwarf trees and watch the sunlight spread across the pool. Not since I was sick. It's different now, having been all but dead and buried and I struggle to remember how it was to feel the rising day. I have one less now. I measure out my mornings in coffee spoons.
In Brazil one has café da manhã. Morning and coffee are
inseparable and even when you're having tea and a salted duck egg and a
yo chow and you're farther from home than you've ever been, it's coffee
of the morning.
Coffee in a tin cup. Lake water boiled over a sputtering Svea, old brass
patina and gasoline smell and sitting on a log. Tent and everything
else drying in the breeze. Coffee. You don't need anything else to
provide synthetic ambiance. No funny names, no audio, no Wi-Fi and
everything is free. Maybe it's only freeze-dried like the eggs in a
foil package you pour water into, but it's coffee. It's resurrection,
Coffee in a little cup, in a little town where they bring in the
sardines in wooden boats and put them in tin cans. You asked for duas bicas
and you put extra sugar in but you don't stir it so you have to feel
the full strength of it until you reach the sweetness near the end. Life
is not like that. It's not like that at all.
Gerstner on Kärntner Straße.
Pastry and chocolate and coffee and your feet are getting wet as your
shoes begin to thaw -- feeling shabby in all that elegance getting
crumbs on your old loden coat with stains.
Café de Flore in the sixth, reading Kerouac and lingering over coffee
and the heat is building because it's August and because we're young
it's time to leave like everyone else. Flogging the old Fiat down to
Juan-les-Pins, downhill, decreasing radius turns and high crown narrow
roads and you do it non-stop except for coffee and gasoline in stations
where you're invited to Mettez un Tigre dans votre Moteur as
though it would help. Cars on a mountain road blow by and the breeze
and the view as the hills descend to the sea takes your breath away as
you sip from that white cup at a white metal table under the faded
umbrella, soaking up the glory, soaring into the day.
And I remember all those mornings, I remember them all. My sandals, my woven mat, taking
coffee in my bathing suit overlooking La Plage and all those Paris girls
down for the summer. Café au lait in the
August heat and I'll meet you across the street at the beach in your
white bathing suit where the sea sparkles like a world without end,
right out to the horizon.