Quenching Thirst

The constant beeping of the electric coffee machine reminds me how badly I need to take a sip from that ivory white cup filled with instant coffee— foamy, smoky, and fantabulously aromatic; quite strong even for a cheap cup.

It takes a few seconds to mix the water and coffee powder inside the machine and pour it into the cup. And I find the sound created in making this benevolent drink fascinating enough— the whirring sound resembles the cash coming out of the ATM. To be honest, both sounds excite me equally.

The first sip I pass down the throat, it kicks all the taste buds until they get a boner. The second sip, tastefulness begins at this stage— the coffee starts melting inside my mouth and gradually it overpowers all the food particles that might’ve trapped themselves while my teeth were busy crushing them like a giant hammer wreaks havoc on salvage cars.

So, how’s the day?

I knew I’ll have to answer this.

Parking the little motorbike I can afford to ride right in front of the local coffee shop and then buying a cup only at 10 cents has gifted me with something that a man doesn’t have the gut to refuse— a brotherly relationship promised with eternal caring.

Ah, nothing exciting. Usual.

My answer to his question echoes the same day after day. On occasion when I have stories to share, I don’t wait for him to ask me how I am passing the days. And he can sense if I have a story to tell just by observing my mood.

And yours? How’s family?

Now it’s my turn to ask about his day.

Same as yours— nothing special to highlight. But, you know……

This is where the episode of his life starts unfolding as I listen to him as a psychiatrist listens to the client. Having this conversation is like therapy for both of us.

Surprisingly, a tea stall or local coffee shop in our country is full of stories— whenever you pay attention to your surroundings, you will find stories to take lessons from. Sometimes, it’s political, philosophical, religious, or even family secrets that people are discussing with others.

For me, it’s all about satisfying my hunger for a cup of coffee or the abominable habit I have grown over years. Nevertheless, the moment I spend at the coffee shop is the most satisfying of them all. Not because it’s about my bad habit but because the stories I add to the chapter of my book of life are priceless. And a day without adding another story is more like a day wasted to me.

Mighty coffee— you are a blessing.

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