Saturday, May 31, 2014

My Coffeepot

My Coffeepot
There are stories that should wait until after coffee. There are stories that are left better to begin, to be created after coffee. There are things that just ought to be spared outright, and if not, please wait until after the coffee.

Are you moving in or out, she said. We were on the elevator, mid-morning on a beautiful April day. Out, I said. Oh, she said, they'll move me out of here in a box. The elevator dinged, sixth floor, my floor. I pulled the moving cart out into the hallway.

The place smelled like death, it really did. Sometimes, I know, the older, mid-century hi-rises smell like old age, but my building smelled like death. There were other young people in the building, I had seen them, but they were rare. In the laundry room I met my neighbors. They were old people who were not decayed enough for a home. They were people who had been deposited in this building. The place was very 1950s looking, and it smelled like death.

Inside our apartment, I felt comfortable. I had no reason not to feel comfortable. Our books stood with proud spines on the bookshelves. Our clothes hung on hangers in the closets. The bathroom smelled like our soap, her perfume and my shaving cream. The place was ours, just like all the other places we've lived in, all the other spaces we've occupied over the years.

But the hallways, the lobby, the laundry room smelled acrid, stale, old, rancid, all the smells of death.

In the mornings, our apartment smelled like coffee. I moved slowly from the bed to the bathroom and from there to the kitchen. Since our windows faced north, it was always dimmer in our place than our neighbors across the hall.

I cooked the coffee in the kitchen everyday we lived in this mid-century hi-rise. In the early days, I used a percolator. And that only ended on the day that I picked up a moka pot on the sixth floor landing. For some reason, and it may have been one person or it may have been the culture on the sixth floor, there was always surplus stuff on the bench in the elevator landing. It was oftentimes knickknacks, recent magazines of the home-maker, celebrity gossip kind and sometimes some kind of weird kitchen apparatus. I always looked over this stuff, but I never touched anything.

Until the day of the moka pot.

On my moving day, all the old people I met in landings, elevators and the garage had something similar to say as the old woman who said she'd only move out in a box. It baffled me at the end of our time at this mid-century building how many people could only imagine leaving the place when dead.

I have had, as I'm sure we're all had, a physical attachment to a place, a space or even four walls. I did not have this feel in this particular place, we lived there only one year. I have very little from that place, especially in the way of material things. I suppose I could point out the books I bought and read when we lived there.

And I have the moka pot.

I've developed a relationship with the moka pot. I've cooked at least only strong cup of coffee out of it every day since the day I picked it up on the sixth floor elevator landing. Some days I make two cups.

Should I be forced to move out of my current digs today, like in a box, I mean, I hope they put my moka pot in with me.

Perhaps when the big sleep comes to me, I can set aside all of stupid beliefs I have about life and death and just relax into the situation. When it comes my time I really do need the moka pot to go with me. When it comes time, I will cook up a cup of coffee and afterward, I can just let the story begin, just let the story be told.

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