Monday, February 08, 2010

Retirement


I disassemble my coffee maker and dump out the last pot that has been sitting for so long (embarrassing to admit) that the contents are mostly mold. I don't drink coffee anymore. I'm not sure how that happened--I just stopped liking it. First I downgraded to decaf and then poof, I was past all that.

As I scrub the carafe clean of mold and coffee stains, I am taken back to a woman I once knew--a friend of sorts--who got me hooked on five cups of Joe a day. She needed rescue from an unhappy marriage, my favorite neurosis--and I needed someone to mother me, her favorite weakness. I gave her advice for leaving a man and she made me pots of coffee and let me take refuge in her cabin in the mountains. Oh what a time we had, laughing as we dipped biscotti into cups of coffee with a pif of cream. At nights, we drank beers and told stories and shared secrets. We made a thousand plans to be friends forever and become old women together. There was care between us until she went back to her man and I finally stopped stalling and found my real mother.

I roll up the cord to the pot, dry off the carafe and carry the whole mess down to the basement to be stored away.

Coffee was our connection and now, all I have are the memories and the lessons.

I leave the old Braun pot on a shelf, in the dark and stand there for a long time--digging into my truth. I never really liked coffee and if I had to have another cup--one day--it would be the kind my mother made when we finally met; that one cup at a time with the flavored creamer that comes in a bright yellow carton. I remember loving the way she made coffee for me, both of us so awkward and confused. I was so damn happy to have found her, alive and real and mine, I'm pretty sure I would have been happy with a cup of mold.

But that's another story.

Not this.

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