Caffeinated Memories


Caffeinated Memories


It’s been swirling around me lately, like a dark roasted jewel, glossy and just a few bubbles on the top of a cup.

I’m not going to go into a tirade over whether we should or should not drink so much of the caffeinated beverage.  After all, my life is fueled by it now.

But after the website I write for posted a story about the beverage . . . about how one particular person kept a bottle of instant coffee not because it tasted good but because of the memory I got to thinking.

My memories don’t center around the loss.  I live too much off of coffee to have that happen.  However, some of the greatest memories have coffee involved.

Today I was walking down the street and someone was roasting coffee beans and the smell sent a wash of memories through my brain.

I didn’t drink coffee before I met my wife.  Well, then she was my girlfriend.

Okay, let’s be honest, she wasn’t even that.

I met her and was invited up to her apartment for the first time before we went out to dinner one night and she offered the brew.  It was dark, bold, bitter, and I drank it.  I don’t think I stopped talking most of the night.  Fortunately it wasn’t a first date.  But Andrea, my late wife, had a way of treating the beverage with a kind of skill that leaned toward admiration.  She loved coffee, but didn’t drink it incessantly.

When we met her college roommate – nearly every time throughout the years – we always met over coffee.

When I see a big cup, nearly a mug, in a store or on the counter I think of Andrea because she always sat at the kitchen table, a big mug, steaming in her hands.

But coffee doesn’t simply remind me of Andrea.  Coffee is, if you’ll pardon the irony, an icebreaker.  I have met sources (of information, I’m a journalist remember) over coffee.  I have asked a woman to coffee because it’s friendly, convenient, and without attachment if you don’t know where the conversation is going.

Coffee, you see, can give you a story.  Stories are what I live by, after all, and the beverage is filling my life with them.  It reminds me of “M’s Pub” in Omaha, with it’s dark corners and flourless torte . . . which was made better with French Roast coffee.  I woke up early after a misspent weekend in another state and watched the sun come up as I drank coffee with a little bit of milk.

I drink coffee now, every single day, on a regular basis, throughout the morning, just so I can stay upright some days.

I have sat, alone at a table, after a date went terribly and drank a cup just to pass time, as the song up there says, wishing the woman in the song was real.

Forget the debates and the arguments over the virtue of coffee . . . or the lack thereof.  I have nothing but amazing memories.  The blazing fire that roasted those beans made me remember.

Remembering made me smile.

Now I just need to find a cup of coffee.

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