a few days to go
Jan 28, 2009
before I join them again. and somehow, I’m already there. though I’m not completely packed. though I have a million things to do.
today, at the office (the green brocade couch, circa 1974, the kind mothers used to encase in plastic, forbid the kids to sit on) at Cafe Fantastico, D, the owner, came over to me and handed me a pound of his very finest. shade grown. roasted in the back of his funky little coffee bar.
good, black, coffee. a smile on his face as he gives it to me. his gift to the boys. and he’s concerned I know, that I don’t have a grinder. because he takes great pride in what he does. in the integrity of it. but I say to him. it’s not possible to carry one with me. so I suggest he grind it for drip.
and I can smell it brewing in Admin. COY already. and I can see the 2nd Lt from Alpha, or maybe the Lt from Charlie, drifting in. to the cage down in the lines. “any coffee left?“ they’ll ask. an innocent lilt in their voices. and the guys in Admin. will laugh. point them to the coffee pot. tell them, “there’s milk in the fridge“, then they’ll settle in for a chat and a joke. tell each other who is going where. when. who is coming. who is going. what the wife thinks of 2009 (not much)…
and I’m thinking, it’s kind of nice. for me. to be the middle man. to deliver the impulse of generosity. of understanding. from a guy working his ass off roasting coffee. buying beans directly from farmers in Mexico or wherever. giving people jobs. dignity. a place to go and be social. or to study. or to write (me). in this soft, spoiled, city.
and I’m thinking, it’s amazing. that he gets what I’m doing. and he’s sending a message through his coffee. to the boys serving. in that freezing prairie city. the boys preparing for who knows?
and D promises to send coffee with me every time I go with the infantry. and to Afghanistan. when it’s time for me. to go.
a little taste of home.