Chasing Coffee

You can chase that perfect cup of coffee your entire adult life. It exists in your mind like a Platonic Form. It takes you back to that café, the one where you stopped because you had time to kill, and you managed to snag a table outside in the morning sun. You had that cup, and then another, not because you were trying to wake up, but to bolster your claim on the city’s best outdoor seat. You imagined writers finding inspiration and putting pen to paper in a seat like this, but the sun made you lazy, and you settled for reading the inspired words of others.

An impulsive swagger made you order your coffee black, but after a couple of sips you added just enough milk and sweetener to enjoy as though no one was watching because of course, no one was. The adjustment made you pay attention to the coffee’s flavor and the aroma, and the warmth spreading through your chest from within. That’s when you ordered your second cup and slowed yourself down.

Over the years you’ve tried different shops, different blends. You’ve had cups that are, if you’re being fair, superior on every measurable dimension than the one you’re chasing. But they remain your fall-back, your second-best. Sometimes you fear that if you ever found that original cup, it wouldn’t hold up to your romanticized memory. Your tastes have changed. You’ve changed, and as the saying goes, you can’t go home again. And that’s when it hits you. It’s not about the coffee. All this time, you’ve been chasing a moment.