Coffee and Smoke

A cup of coffee receiving a long sigh may have been undeserving in other situations. Creature comforts were to be enjoyed, but the well-being of the creature will control ultimate appreciation. After all, there was some poor sap in a third-world country who couldn’t buy a well-roasted cup o’ joe, right? That’s the knee-jerk response from any faceless schmuck upon grappling with deeper issues more important than hot, bean water. The taste of nothing, in a Camus-esque sense met lips cracked from Winter’s wrath. This could be the gooseberries of your life.

The darkness beyond the rim of the drinking vessel agreed with nihilism over Nietzsche, providing a subject matter of negative space. Metaphor for the lonely: warmth surrounded by rigid structure.  He could not help but stare and pity its circumstance, want for it. In an act of defiance, it served as a mirror image of self-pity and reflected his face back to him.

“If I could be paid for depressing myself, I’d be rich.” The long, drawn-out sigh drew more attention than he wished. A mouthpiece of the of the soul made audible by lapse of constitution, as life decided to empty its spit valve. Was this a metaphysical representation of being “in between gigs”? Jazz, music of a whorehouse, and he lay naked and waiting. Vulnerable and desperate. Alone and afraid.

Drink, slightly bitter, much like life with little in the way of sucrose relief. Such emotional luxury is not affordable. The strong, hard bouquet of flavor washes over the tongue and scalds for good measure. What’s a little more pain? It was a joyless exercise after all.

Thriving city streets provided a showcase of unconscious effort, much as a river rapid moves without intervention. Small bubbles are the foam that separates the water from the head, and encased around the clusters of people moving as an ebb and flow of a tide. Unthinking. Uncaring. Unintentional. The walk wasn’t the release he needed.

Along the sidewalk, a panhandler sat in oblivion, a common thread with the stranger. He paid his respects with the drop of coins from his recent escapades at the coffeehouse. They were both impoverished: one of wealth and one of emotion. The only difference being one will see fewer results in begging for affection.

The door to his apartment gave way to a coffee-black square with wedges of light carved upon the floor. The living room displayed a lack of possessions through economy and desire. There wasn’t much of a point. A couch, a bit threadbare in places, was the mightiest of trophies the place had to offer, and was decidedly more welcoming than the flush of people in the streets.

Cigarettes, with their intentions clear, offered their services on an end table as one would hold out a dueling pistol. Several times he promised it wouldn’t end like this, but no bounty was to be had in avoiding the situation. A stick slid out of its pack and a barrel set in his mouth. Fire, propellant, and smoke arrived in due time as the bullet sped to the back of his throat. A slow suicide, but who wouldn’t have the same results sooner or later?

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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9 thoughts on “Coffee and Smoke

  1. Nicole says:

    I loved the language you used in this story. It is fascinating to read about others experiencing these feelings, but they’re pretty horrible to have oneself.

    • I tried doing more with the words this time. The others stories often feel like an eight grader wrote them. This would be something I’d expect from a professional writer, probably with the help of an editor.

  2. I like the metaphors in this one.

  3. Nice writing, Nate. I so remember the cigarette thing….glad it ended before it ended me…I smoked far too much ….the gas bottle ran out as I was making coffee this cold morning, so I couldn’t empathise with the coffee bit….just felt envious:)

    • I don’t even smoke all that much, but it’s just as addictive as any other drug. The psychological effects are nigh inescapable. I’m such a coffee junkie though, I’ll throw mine in the microwave if it gets cold. That’s blasphemy for the snobs around here.

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