*This piece contains explicit language
He woke first in the cottage…the others still recuperating from yesterday’s movement and conversations. He had an idea to go grab some donuts at the infamous bakery nearby, and he romanticized a moment in his mind about his child and her cousins devouring their chosen flavor, while his sisters thanked him and looked at him admirably. Sometimes, he thought, you can get what you need from a moment simply by imagining it, and then consuming the accompanying emotions.
He decided not to go, and instead went to the small hallway bathroom to splash some cold water on the back of his neck and face. Wiping away yesterday seemed logical…practical even. And because he knew today would call for more demands, more love, more sacrifice and compromise, he understood the need for a fresh start.
Seagulls careened and cried over the cottage, and a young piping plover let out his first innocent and faint whistle. It barely registered. His feathered body neatly tucked and tufted. The man then made his way to the large kitchen, open to windows and a slider that invited in a view of the ocean. The sun hadn’t risen yet, but there was enough light for getting around effortlessly. He found the coffee that one of his sisters brought…chose a dark, south-american blend, and placed the small plastic cup that the grounds were housed in, into the high-tech machine that miraculously pokes a perfect hole in the top and bottom of the cup, and then cleverly streams already heated water through. He hated to see and process the brand name on the machine, and considered that it was too early for such commercial and consumer thought. He was still somewhat pure at this time. Still dis-infected. And it’s best to prolong such exposure indefinitely.
But as he pulled the handle of the machine toward himself, closing the hood and housing, and creating a locking ‘snap’ sound, as well as the puncture wound to the cup…there it was…proud and inevitable: Keurig. ‘Fuck you,’ he thought. Then he closed his eyes and took a deep breath through his nose, as he had been instructed in the latest self-improvement book he was reading. You see, it’s tough when you take a thousand steps in what you think is the right direction, but then you realize that something so minute…something so very inconsequential…ironically has the ability to break you right back down to where you choose swears for the first spoken words of the day. This man never cursed. But this brown disposable cup, this shell of his body, this upcoming day, would sadly only get one shot…one walk through…before being consumed and disposed of…never thought of again.
Now…something was flashing. A searing, bright green light illuminating 3 buttons, demanding a decision. The man adjusted his glasses and reluctantly leaned forward to investigate. He found that in order for this machine to create the ideal individualized caffeinated beverage yet, he’d need to select a size, by pushing one of the representative selections. ‘Small, medium, or large,’ he thought as he took in the mini computerized illustrations of cups on each button. But as his index finger approached a choice, and hovered back and forth over the flashing lights, he gave up. It was too much, too early. ‘Jesus’, he said…letting out his second curse word before 5am. He lifted the handle on the machine, unlocking it and exposing the wounded cup. From the hole seeped out a small waft of south American notes: bright acidity, citrus, chocolate. It reached his olfactory senses almost instantly…and that would have to be sufficient. It was all he needed actually. To be taken somewhere…elsewhere.
He turned, and his gaze reached across the kitchen, cut through the bay window, and met some small cresting waves…the tips seeking the newly arriving sunlight on the horizon. The tide was coming in. The man thought that going out to see that, and allowing himself to be part of that, would be much more significant and meaningful than anything else in the world. It was the choice to make at this moment. He slowly labored across the cold, sand covered tiles of the cottage floor, cracked open the glass slider releasing the pressure from both sides, and emerged into his day.