Every cup of coffee tells a story.
Like this one.
This particular cup came from a little cafe in Paris called Le Bal.
The husband and I visited France for the first time last month, and this was the first spot we stepped into after a long day of traveling and a skipped night of sleep. Coffee was necessary.
Our sleepy state didn't last long. How can anyone really be sleepy in Paris? The city is animated with people bustling every which way, gliding to an urban rhythm that is eager yet graceful. As we took our front row seats, the kitchen at Le Bal was a flurry of baked goods, each making its highly-anticipated debut on the countertop. The show had started. Hunger of every sort was imminent.
And there was this little red-headed boy. Our server told us that he comes to the cafe every weekend with his mother to see his grandfather. He sits at the counter, stealing glances of the treats out of the corner of his eye, and noisily slurps his orange juice from a red and white striped straw.
I'll never forget that cup of coffee. It was quite possibly the only cup in France that was bigger than a paper Dixie cup. (We learned quickly to ask for un grande cafe). But more than anything, it was our first cup in France. There was so much anticipation in front of us, so much to see and taste and do. Life felt weightless.
A cup at home tells a different story.
These days, usually it's with Matt Lauer. Curled up in a blanket with my "C" mug. It's funny how having your initials on things makes you feel more special.
Sometimes, it's at Walnut Street Coffee, my favorite local spot in Edmonds. I come here to work, but really I come for the lattes, multigrain raspberry muffins, and the comfort that comes with people hustling and bustling in and out. I pick up my drink at the counter and smile as the barista forms a leaf into my espresso with the foaming milk. The cup is filled to the brim and I find it quite impossible to make it to my seat without it spilling over. Especially when I have to pick up my pace to get to one of the three possible seats that allow me to plug in my laptop. Its battery is on the fritz and it doesn't last more than 30 seconds without being charged. Although, I can't say that I mind sometimes when there are no such spots and I must simply sit and drink my coffee.
Occasionally, it's on the go. It's not very fun to drink coffee this way, so I don't do it very much. My name is always spelled wrong on the paper cup, and I deeply wish that I could just drink it out of a big mug and have a chat with a friend or stranger. But during my early morning shifts as an intern at Seattle Children's Hospital earlier this year, that wasn't an option, and I convinced myself that a cup on the run was as good as any to give me super powers.
Not often enough, it's with my mom, where hilarity and good times always ensue. We get so excited to see each other that we hardly let each other talk. And we always spend at least the first half of our discussion debating over what we want to order. Chocolate croissant or oatmeal cookie with figs and walnuts? Latte or cappuccino? Maybe just drip with some cream? Tall or grande? These are tough decisions.
And on special days, it's with the husband. These are the days of pancakes, French toast, scones, or fresh buttery croissants. With French Press and talks that last for hours. They're not the talks where we talk about our days. They're the ones where we find ourselves sharing our fears and dreaming about our possibilities, where our tears drop into our cups when it all feels like too much, and where we laugh until it hurts when life feels good. Neither of us really wants to take the last sip because we both secretly know that the moment we wait for all week has passed.
What story did your coffee tell today?