Friday, July 01, 2005

Best cup of coffee

The absolute best cup of coffee in the world can't be had any least not in this world. You see, it was my Opa who made the best coffee and there is no duplicating it. Trust me, I've tried. I've tried in American and I've tried in Germany, using the same coffee, the same canned milk ♠ and it simply cannot be done.

Some years back, I wrote the following. It's about that cup of coffee, but it's about much more.

It's really silly, I know. Oh, how I know. Silly and childish, to say nothing of impossible. Even when I wish it, I really don't wish it, because I don't want to live in a universe where such things are possible. At least not yet, not now.

But still, I can't help the wishing at times, odd times, when the thought seems to overwhelm me. Just four hours. Just four.

I know how the stairs would feel beneath my feet. My fantasy always starts there, you see, in the staircase, as I'm bolting up the three flights. It's not the way the staircase is now, of course, but the way it used to be then, when I was younger and still given to bolting up stairs. But the mad dash of happy anticipation is part of it, not just to save time, not just to avoid squandering any precious moment of those four hours, but to recapture something. Because that's what this daydream is really all about.

Of course they are waiting for me, front door open, with the echoes of laughter all through the house. I don't imagine the greeting, really. I make it low key, almost nonexistent. It's breakfast that I want. Breakfast and what always followed.

It's waiting for me too, my place already set at the table. Ah, just to taste it again---simple food, really, but was any breakfast ever more glorious? It's all a feast, but it's my eyes and ears that feast the most.

Just to see them again. Just four hours. To hear their voices. To see him pour the coffee. Nothing special. Just everyday breakfast. Just to sit at their table. Just to be with them again.

I want to hear him read God's Word. Oh, to linger over coffee and a long devotional. How could I have ever squirmed impatiently as a child? How could I have not realized that sacred treasure that I was experiencing? How could I have not realized that one day I would weep for the missing of it?

Just four hours.

I want to hear them pray again. Long prayers. Fervent prayers. Prayers like only they prayed. And, if there's time, I want to ask them all the questions I never had the sense or maturity to ask. I want to hold their hands and kiss their cheeks and gaze into their beautiful eyes. And then I'd let them go again.

Just four hours. A lifetime in four hours.

A silly wish, really. Silly and impossible. But that doesn't stop the longing. Doesn't stop the dreaming.

Just four hours. It would be enough to satisfy me...until we're really together for eternity.

-12. March 1999


  1. I'm glad someone is as obsessed with coffee as I am!

  2. I would love to sit with my grandmother over a cup of Nescafe again.