If I Were A Coffee Cup #1
If I were a coffee cup in a diner on a busy street corner in a big city.
One Spring was especially nice that they set up tables out on the patio for special Champagne Brunch seating. We’re right on the street corner. Bright green trees, lush leaves and warm lighting that highlighted the rustic brown paint of the building. Open 24 hours, our trees at night shined just as bright as the lights on Broadway welcoming everyone- all the time. People passed by from every direction. As they approached in the day, the sound of clinking flute glasses, giggling and rustling ice buckets piqued interest before the smell of the food lured them in. It’d work like magnets and magic. People, entire families even would walk past and then quickly return and walk in with great smiles on their faces. The regulars would storm or stumble in at all hours of the day.
The first meal I can remember was serving among the Champagne flutes with bowls of strawberries and French Toast. Although the plates were mostly empty when I arrived, the Champagne bottle high atop its ice bucket castle in a cold sweat still pumped out a few more glasses. The ladies were all chattering and giggling when suddenly I was lifted up and like angels in unison they sang “Cheers!” Then I gently bumped several Champagne flutes across the table high above the flowers, napkins and forks. A roar of joyful giggles.
A “Cheers!?” What a beautiful experience! I felt honored and humbled to be amongst such fancy tableware. My stubby, thick ceramic frame serving with the sophisticated and tender glass flutes. Usually it’s best not to bump into each other but the “cheers” was different. It was gentle, special and full of love. A connection. A celebration! These girls like a choir in heavenly song lifted me up off the table and closer to the Sun. Cheers! More Cheers! Yes! Cheers!
When I sat down I was empty but felt fuller than I had ever been. Then as the laughter faded the server came by and I was refilled. The heat circulated and I protected it round and round as the hot coffee poured into me. She stirred in the cream and I cradled it gently steaming through the stirred vortex, then calm. The last tap of the teaspoon, a sip and a contented gasp as I’m sat back on the table. Immediately after, a man walking past us on the street stopped, turned to his lady and said “Mmm… The coffee smells so good! Let’s stop and have a bite.” As they pranced past the patio and in through the front door’s chiming bells, I couldn’t help but think that I did that! Not the Champagne flutes, I did that! They came in because of me! I gloated in my warm, stubby, ceramic happiness.
As the sun rose higher through the trees, the server returned and placed the bill right next to me. The coarse paper smelled like hamburgers and fries from the inside. Then my lady lifted the bill and as her exiting shadow cast over the Champagne flute next to me, I noticed my reflection. Pink lipstick wrapped around the edge, drop of syrup on my handle and a single drip of coffee all the way down to the table cloth. All around me, Champagne flutes adorned with tiny droplets that sparkled in the sun and the one lone strawberry that went unnoticed as it rolled off her plate. I stared at my reflection through the golden droplets and couldn’t help but think that I was a part of something special. A humble, portly coffee cup serving with the finest tableware. But, I was the only one left with a syrup kiss that I will endearingly cherish until the wash.