Four red digits dramatically pointing out the beginning of their departure. He woke up first. Crusted eyes unfastening on a silly flashy poster. Then her. Breathing hard before stretching her arms against her nude waist, then above her ruffled head, and finally towards the far ceiling, the pale hands waving like a skylark who silently devotes a hymn to the torpid morning to come.
Me and coffee have the most stereotypical love relationship ever. I do love it, although it is suffered love, the one of the kind you keep on being stuck with even if it does not love you back.
What does that mean? That I need it. My body calls for it; even if I am already shacking and my blood veins are shrinking themselves down to almost disappear, it needs just a drowsy face to my brain to believe that yes, I need more caffeine, no matter if I will end up feeling I am having heart attack for good 30 seconds – I will feel great anyhow afterwards for having survived.
I crave it. Better say I used to crave it so much that now I don’t want to let it go anymore. I do remember vacations in Calabria calling watermelon with funny names and expecting it to appear anyway on my plate; and then asking for cappuccino, getting extremely pissed off when my mother winked at the waiter whispering “Just a drop of coffee, please”. I must have been 7 years old and being in my latency stage, and so reclaiming things that I didn’t know – maybe I didn’t – that would do me no good.
It’s my reassurance. Part of a routine, so to say. Waking up zombie like in the morning and knowing that it is there – until my neurons are fast enough to make me remember where to find the yellow packet and my arms strong enough to unlock the coffee machine. Embracing me every single day, no matter how bad, sad, mean, I have been the day before, it keeps all the things the same – fire-brown liquid-cup-throat.
It is part of a routine then, that I try to shake, rekindle. For example, sometimes I only go for black coffee. Other times I disguise it with a drop of cream milk – yes, I do live in a northern European country – other times I shock it with the surprisingly good combination – works properly only if the coffee is superhot– of honey, certain periods I like to create a sandy-like bottom layer of – preferably – brown sugar in the cup. Shakes resembling a frustrated wife buying naughty underwear in the expensive shop to surprise her partner at night.
So yes, me and coffee have the silliest, most stereotypical relationship ever. My mom used to tell me about relationships, “The most important thing is that you like him and that he makes you feel good”. And I am over there, I guess.
Nobody really cared about what she said; she was the average girl, not really attractive, not particularly clever, not really funny. Less than average he thought. He although felt something on his throat when he noticed the high pitched tone of voice she reached in the effort to be heard among the circle.
“Mummy’s little girl! How beautiful you are! How good you great school, so little and already so clever! The pride of my life!” She closed her eyes and enjoyed those waves of reassurance filling her.
In front of that kind, curly hair guy – a putto she would have said because of her country heritage – those big blue eyes staring at her – still something to be struck about, still because of her country heritage – she was drawing himself, he was drawing herself.
They had that dream. They hold it still, apparently. I saw them. They could have never managed it otherwise. They literally crossed the country, going over 700 fucking kilometers on that rolling bin, but they have, I guess, what you are used to call love.