Reading: Coffee, in Two Cups

Coffee, in Two Cups

by
Fiction - February 5

I thought to myself as I touched the table: is he aware of my index finger tracing the knots of the wood? The coffee, in two cups, each an arms length apart, but not quite straight on the horizontal plane, had steam twirling up and dissipating into the air and I imagined it spinning into the face of Richard Nixon or a man wearing the face of Richard Nixon and I had an identity crisis. It should rain tonight. Uncountable darts bursting into existence, only to crash into a temporary new form. But there was no rain, and I had an identity crisis. You see, and I peered across with my eyebrows raised, we are like the darts of rain. But this was such an obvious fucking analogy that it only served to diminish the point slipping painfully into the mundane, stoner, star-gazer, hippie, mother-to-child, POV, that it became fodder to laugh at across the coffee, in two cups, each an arms length apart, sweat dripping off my chin and into the black pool, and I saw my reflection distorted in the ripples and I had an identity crisis. Wiping the sweat from my brow, I slid my hand through my hair, each strand pulling backwards, and I wondered if he was aware of my index finger tracing the lines of my forehead. The coffee, in two cups, each an arms length apart, now perfectly aligned like a lunar eclipse, drew different shadows and I asked, and what would become if the sun was much older? Well the fucking coffee would be different! And that was the first of only a very few eternal truths. I thought to myself, as I thought about moving my right hand from my head to my coffee cup, the only cup I could call mine: will he be aware of my awareness that I’m moving my hand from my head to my coffee cup, the only cup I could call mine, or alternatively is he at once thinking about moving his hand from his head to his coffee cup, the opposite cup, the only cup he could call his, that he doesn’t have the capacity to worry about my hand and my cup and my life, or alternatively are we at once in sync, and once we decide to move our hands toward our coffee cups, the only cups we can call ours, we will gracefully slide our index fingers through, place our thumbs on top for balance, and curl our middle fingers for support thereby taking a sip, each second presenting itself for our operation, our moment and if it was our moment, was it not my moment? And I had an identity crisis. I am not alone, and yet, I don’t feel you. I could really only see my coffee cup, the only cup I could call mine, because his coffee cup, the opposite cup, the only coffee cup he could call his served as a reflection of my coffee cup, the only cup I could call mine. Or was my coffee cup just a reflection of his? Gravity removed our hands from our hair at once, but it wasn’t in sync as I imagined it and once we decided to move our hands toward our coffee cups I was milliseconds behind his hand and much more dramatically, my hand came down at a different angle, and if his cup didn’t serve as a reflection of my coffee cup, the only cup I could call mine, and we weren’t aligned like a lunar eclipse, and he wasn’t aware of my awareness that I’m moving my hand from my head to my coffee cup, the only cup I could call mine, then is the present for observing only? The porcelain felt cool, my hand now gripping the concave handle, prepared to raise the coffee cup to my mouth, but he just casually rested his hand on the top of his, and I had an identity crisis. The coffee, in two cups, each an arms length apart, froze in time, which led me to say, and what would become if the sun was much older? Well the fucking coffee would be different! And that was the second of only a very few eternal truths. I slammed my left hand to the table sending ripples through the coffee and said look, the waves move at time intervals only we can experience, a sequence that exists within our minds only. The way I feel, my hand still gripping the concave handle, is that the clock came before time; the architect needed the concept to exist only after the machine was created, and once it was created then we had no choice but to experience the clock and I thought what would become of me if the sun was much older? I let my left hand slide across the wood, retreating toward my lap, while my right hand slowly lifted the porcelain coffee cup to my mouth, but he just casually rested his hand on top of his, and I had an identity crisis. The cup now suspended in air, halfway between the point of origin and it’s destination, seemed a different color and I wondered if he, too, saw what I saw, but this was my coffee cup, the only cup I could call mine, and there couldn’t possibly be anyway that he could see what I saw. But, was there still an experience to be had by the both of us? A moment to be shared, that even if not experienced in the same way was still a moment in and of itself existing, suspended like the coffee cup, in only our minds, existing as all other concepts exist: temporarily or alternatively, could the moment live on, as a memory to be passed down, but experienced in different ways drawing different shadows for different purposes to be utilized differently for different clocks or alternatively is the moment there without needing us for we have only shaped the moment to suit us, to create a fabrication of a moment in our minds, and yet this moment would exist separate of us, eternal, in contrast to our ephemeral fabrication and I had an identity crisis. The moment was constantly changing, but generally felt the same. The coffee no longer sat motionless across from its counterpart, still as a pond, but now rushed like the waves of the ocean; the ocean, of course, represents the eternal change of nature. What appears the same is not absolute and unchanging, but just slower to change for the ring on the inside of the coffee cup was at one point higher or not at all or lower, but most recently higher, then not at all, then lower and how can something be not at all then higher? So a loop? Well, if it were a loop, the whole discussion on time seems a bit irrelevant or maybe just less relevant as our experience wouldn’t change unless we exit the loop, but is a loop still a loop if we aren’t aware that the loop is a loop and it doesn’t loop while we are experiencing it, or is the loop no less loop-like because we don’t have the capacity to understand or experience the loop, or should it matter to us, that is whether or not we are contained within a loop if we aren’t aware that the loop is a loop and it doesn’t loop while we are experiencing it, or is it human nature? And thus, the coffee, in two cups, each an arms length apart, but not quite straight on the horizontal plane, had steam twirling up and dissipating into the air and I imagined it spinning into the face of Richard Nixon or a man wearing the face of Richard Nixon and he had an identity crisis.

Lucas Staggs is an Atlanta-based writer. He hopes to bring a unique and thought-provoking experience to readers. You can find his work on The Five Hundred and Nately's.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shares