Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Caffe Your Way to Happiness

By Camincha

In Miraflores, the little girl drank café latte, café con leche. Her mother fixed it for her.


Not something to be afraid of. Something to savor. Coffee from Cuzco, Putumayo or Chanchamayo.

Decades later when her fortieth birthday came a' knocking, she decided to confide in her best friend, her boyfriend.

Met him in West Portal Chinese restaurant, $3.50 buffet, ALL YOU CAN EAT. Didn't enjoy it, this buffet she had relished other times. She is usually good humored. She works at it. But that day felt heavy. Moments like this when you are thinking about life there is much too much to deal with, longings, regrets, memories.

The Chinese waitress-owner brought them some tea. They drank it. To her, it was tasteless.

When they parted, he made a suggestion: maybe she should consult a good counselor. Somebody to help her sort out all these feelings. Gave her a name.

I recommend him, he smiled, concern in his kind blue eyes. They hugged, Good-bye. See you tonight.

What I need she decided after they parted, is a good café latté. Café con leche. Un buen café con leche. She remembered a friendly coffee shop nearby on Ocean Avenue. Ordered one to go, a Mocha Especial. The clerk asked: cinnamon and chocolate?

She said, yes. Lots. Added Sweet and Low. Stirred it up, it was good. Muy bueno. She savored the robust, full flavor. It pumped her adrenaline. And the color brought memories of skin that exact tone, Jorge’s! the revolutionary who had never returned.

Moments later she went home driving in the rain, a forceful storm was in progress. At home she sat in her living room looking out at the wind pushing the rain down the hills across the way and against the window panes. The drama. The beauty of it! She savored the rest of her full-flavored coffee and thought of the good-looking guy. The beauty of his dark eyes. She drank it in, that memory of them. She enjoyed the coffee to the last drop. Gave herself completely up to it, at that moment, to the feelings they evoked. Of the strong feisty revolucionario.

Suddenly her good humor was back. She made a toast to birthdays and decided she wanted to live to be a hundred, drinking coffee all the way.

Camincha is a California-based writer and frequent contributor to My Story Lives.

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