Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I'm Out Of Coffee

Half and half, Half and half,
Half and half onward,
None in my empty French press
I'm out of coffee.
"Ruta Maya forever!
"I'll even drink Folgers!" I said:
No flat white, no Cafe' Zorro
I'm out of coffee.

"Expresso, to me!"
Was there a man dismay'd? (Yes.)
Not tho' the writer knew
Himself had blunder'd:
Mine not to make reply,
Mine not to reason why,
Mine but to weep and cry:
No Cafe Touba for me this day,
I'm out of coffee.

Coffee to the right of me,
Coffee to the left of me,
Coffee in front of me
Steam'd and filter'd;
Boil'd bean and grind,
Boldly I drank and fine,
Into the crack of Morn,
Into the mouth of Hell
I'm out of coffee.

Search'd all my cupboards bare,
Search'd but found not a hair,
Save cursed decaf once left there,
Boiling water, while
All the world wonder'd:
City Cafe or Starbucks.
I have to get dressed and that sucks;
Mocha, cappucino, cafe au lait
Without coffee all is astray
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they brewed more, but I'm...
I'm out of coffee.

Coffee to the right of me,
Coffee to the left of me,
Coffee in front of me
Steam'd and filter'd;
Boil'd bean and grind,
While carafe and cup fell,
They that had served so well
Not Black Tie, nor Black Eye
Nor Breve, nor Depth Charge.
I'm out of coffee.

When will my coffee brew?
O the caffeine I knew!
All the world wondered.
Honour the coffee I made,
It was freakin' Fair Trade!
I'm out of coffee.

(Written by Andy Johnson on the morning of January 13, 2015, when he realized he was out of coffee.)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Fisher King

This has been the quietest holiday season I've had in years. I don't know how to think about that. No travel, no trips to Half Price Books for gifts, so serious mishaps, no family. I spent Christmas Day and New Year's Eve alone, in my small house on the end of Main Street. Part of me missed the usual hullaballoo. And part of me didn't.

In part of a long talk with H., I admitted that I still suffer from flashbacks, especially around the holiday season. The smallest thing can trigger them - something on TV, a smell, a random thought, old photos. The flashbacks always take me to the same place: betrayal and revenge. Even now, typing, hundreds of miles away from those who harmed me and my daughter, I still feel the sensation of hot bricks against my soul. I could be the Fisher King, always in pain, never healing, robbed of family. I could be, but I'm not - at least not quite. But I don't entirely know what I am either.

Now I feel heavy. My back and hips hurt, as usual. I'd love (LOVE) for a doctor to take me seriously when I say my hip hurts for the umpteenth time. It's been hurting since that car wreck in 1994. So maybe I am the Fisher King.

Almost no one is out and about. I've seen a few cars, and someone ducked into the hair salon across the street. A stray cat ate the food I set out this morning. While the streets are empty, the ghost run the town. Two of them have already fought over my radio, turning it off and on, off and on again. Several items have knocked themselves off shelves or countertops. I'm in no hurry to evict them. When you're alone, ghosts can be good company. Later today, I'll go to Egan's and watch the Alabama-Ohio game. I'll be social and around people. And then I'll come home, to the ghosts and their squabble.

I don;t know why they like my radio so much. Maybe they just like music, or maybe, like me, they need the sounds of human voices to remind them of who they are.