Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Oratorio

By Capt. Fogg

 A morning like this. And not too long ago I'd have taken coffee on the patio with my orchids and dwarf trees and watch the sunlight spread across the pool.  Not since I was sick.  It's different now, having been all but dead and buried and I struggle to remember how it was to feel the rising day.  I have one less now.  I measure out my mornings in coffee spoons.

In Brazil one has café da manhã. Morning and coffee are inseparable and even when you're having tea and a salted duck egg and a yo chow and you're farther from home than you've ever been, it's coffee of the morning.

Coffee in a tin cup. Lake water boiled over a sputtering Svea, old brass patina and gasoline smell and sitting on a log.  Tent and everything else drying in the breeze. Coffee. You don't need anything else to provide synthetic ambiance. No funny names, no audio, no Wi-Fi and everything is free.  Maybe it's only freeze-dried like the eggs in a foil package you pour water into, but it's coffee.  It's resurrection, It's life.

Coffee in a little cup, in a little town where they bring in the sardines in wooden boats and put them in tin cans.  You asked for duas bicas and you put extra sugar in but you don't stir it so you have to feel the full strength of it until you reach the sweetness near the end. Life is not like that. It's not like that at all.

Gerstner on Kärntner Straße.  Pastry and chocolate and coffee and your feet are getting wet as your shoes begin to thaw -- feeling shabby in all that elegance getting crumbs on your old loden coat with stains.

Café de Flore in the sixth, reading Kerouac and lingering over coffee and the heat is building because it's August and because we're young it's time to leave like everyone else. Flogging the old Fiat down to Juan-les-Pins, downhill, decreasing radius turns and high crown narrow roads and you do it non-stop except for coffee and gasoline in stations where you're invited to Mettez un Tigre dans votre Moteur as though it would help.  Cars on a mountain road blow by and the breeze and the view as the hills descend to the sea take your breath away as you sip from that white cup at a white metal table under the faded umbrella, soaking up the glory, soaring into the day

And I remember all those mornings, I remember them all. My sandals, my woven mat, taking coffee in my bathing suit overlooking La Plage and all those Paris girls down for the summer. Café au lait in the August heat and I'll meet you across the street at the beach in your white bathing suit where the sea sparkles like a world without end, right out to the horizon.

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