This magical place exists not too far away, in Milton, MA, where my sister Sally lives and where she spotted this perfect blue cup hanging from a tree. Sally sent a picture my way. The next day, walking the same route, the cup was still there. Later it disappeared.
There is a place in my brain activated by the word “coffee,” by the implements of coffee, and by the thing itself. If you’re my friend and you like coffee (James or Marcia, for example), then I like you extra. Siblings, you too.
Every coffee story or image reminds me of another one. Recently in one of my early classes, I got to the lab right on time, 9 a.m. It’s a big enough class that several other instructors are involved, and one of them is in the habit of stopping at Dunkin Donuts on the way in and buying munchkins to share and a coffee for himself. On this particular morning, I hadn’t had time to get my own coffee, and I felt forlorn, although I did fake a good coffee alertness face. And yet my eyes kept tracking the movement of Phil’s giant iced coffee around the room. I was like a dog who perks up when people food is about to be served: ears pointed, nose twitching, eyes wide.
The coffee-bearer offered the box of doughnut holes around, one instructor at a time. He reached me. “Do you want one?” he asked.
“Actually, I’ve been eying your coffee,” I admitted, perhaps panting a little.
“Oh, by all means have some!” he said enthusiastically.
I got a cup from near the wash-up sink. I held it out to him; he took the top off his plastic cup and poured. I was happy — it had not been hard to get what I wanted. I drank.
An hour passed as student teams worked on their projects, and instructors hovered around helping and prompting. I kept my eye on Phil’s iced coffee and noticed that half remained, with ice still bobbing in it. Want more? he signaled by pointing at the cup.
I nodded. He walked over and refilled my cup. “You’re like my dealer,” I said and smiled. He laughed.
Image by Sally Kokernak Millwood, found April 10, 2012 in Milton, MA. Thanks, sis!