The first sip tastes like cigarettes, languid memories of teenage rebellion, winter mornings on the stoep with illusions of grandeur and tortured artistry.
The second sip burns my tongue. I chase the visions down my throat, close my eyes for the effect.
Sips three to ten are hurried, the cold sets in, the temperature drops, the need to finish and enjoy and experience all in all in all at once over and under all over the place.
Note the contents of this cup: ground Arabica beans inside percolator, scolding hot water, (but never hot enough, it seems) made in anticipation of my ritual Saturday visits to the bagel doctor. Free with my meal and made to my specifications: hot, black, bitter. Includes kindness and warm conversation. Makes life a little more bearable. Fragile, hot, handle with care.
The last sip leaves my mouth and insides warm and bright and alive. The shakes set in, I struggle to type. A million worlds in a single cup. Past, Present, Future, all working to remind me thus. It’s fucking great to be alive.