Tuesday, July 10, 2007

LONGING FOR LATTE

It was like any ordinary coffee table we sat on, in any ordinary cafe, like any ordinary two people, but not any ordinary conversation...it was ordinary but not `any`...it only engrossed the two of us...individualized. I ordered a latte. He ordered an espresso. He was eyeing everything except my eyes. He swept a nonchalant glance at me, then looked at the crowded tables around us, and said, "I like your new neck piece, is it new?" I nod my head. I had worn that neck piece four times before.
I take a puff at my cigarette and it fills my mouth with a stinging taste. I take a sip at my latte hoping the bad taste will wash away. I look at him and ask cheerfully, "So what made you wake me in the middle of the night for a cup of coffee?" "Ah, i don`t know...I thought i`d talk with you for a while." I smile, misunderstanding the essence of his words. He looks at me with his beautiful eyes and i see a fidgety shimmer. His fingertips do a jittery dance on the red tablecloth. I move closer, worry muffling me. I wrap my steady fingers on his sweaty hands and ask, "What`s the matter?" He looks at me and avoids my searching gaze. His head falls in his palms and cries out, "I don`t know, really, i...ah...". I draw back and say, "Well, it can`t be that bad can it? We can work it out, we always did". But he looks at me and i know it is beyond `working it out`. He takes a long sip at his espresso, and miraculously, as if it granted him the courage, he says, " I think we should take a break". "Break, you mean like vacation?" I ask understanding, but not wanting to understand. But he crushes away that bleak moment of self-miscomprehension and says, "Well, actually no, I was referring to us...I need a break from us". I draw further back, back into myself. I sit there not wanting to react. I reach out for my marlboro and take out a cigarette. I light it and it burns...burns to ashes. I want to hit him on the head, instead i say, "So you really think we should take a break?" He nods his head and says, " It would be good for us". You mean good for you. There is no `us` in this self arranged decision. "You don`t feel good with this relationship?" "Nah, I just feel crowded with the commitment and all". I look at him questioningly. "What commitment?" I ask. "You know, being together, loyal and faithful and all. I owe it to you when i am with you".
I look around me at the other tables. It is my turn to avoid his eyes. "Ok". I say this small word to the red tablecloth with so much difficulty and he nods his head. He tries to make conversation with me, but i am unable to reply back. He is drinking too much condensed espresso, condensed, unintended cruelty...I need more of my latte. I hold the cup to my quivering lips and take a gulp of the diluted coffee...it might dilute the slap of insult he aimed at my heart.
This arrangement called `us`...I was never used to it but i tuned myself for his sake...to earn his love. I used to work so hard, adjusting, monitoring myself to this new cast I wanted so much yet despised its unpleasentness. I was never born in a couple...only one body per womb, per coffin. But i made space for him, squeezed to the edge for his sake.
"You`re a strong person. I envy you for your poise". His words come aiming at me. So it is person now...gender disappears. I look at him and draw a prideful smile on pale face. I reach out for my mug and it slips from my hands by mistake...blunder caused by confusion. "Shit! I am so clumsy". I utter these words and kneel down to gather the broken pieces...I se my latte on the floor and moan. I needed that diluted coffee...milk...whiteness. Gaurav kneels down with me, but i say, "No need, I can pick up the pieces". With privacy. "Just go call someone to wipe the coffee away". He goes, and I squat there on the floor sweeping the pieces trying to adjust them into place...to retrieve my heart. The waiter comes and wipes the latte with a mop. Just a quick `swish` with his trained hands and weapon, the mop, and the mess is gone. Along with hope.
Two months later.
I enter the cafe for a drink of coffee...it is cold outside and i need something to warm me up. The waiter comes up and asks, "Usual order, miss?" I look at him and say, "Nopes, I will take espresso please".

1 comment:

moon's muse said...

Well,I just went back to your archives to read.It touched my heart.That's about you,when I read what you write I feel it.I can't say much on your posts because they are just meant to be felt.No words of appreciation could ever glorify them.

Hugs

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