Posted: August 20, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

        Seven a.m. Tuesday. Summer.  The apartment on west San Juan had a small kitchen, with oven and refrigerator from, oh, I don’t know, the mid 80s. They worked, though, for the most part. They kept things cold or heated them up, accordingly. I was awake early for some reason that I didn’t understand. I decided to make us coffee. The grinder whirred and buzzed. I cleaned out the press pot, and started heating milk up on the stove while I waited for the water to boil.

       There is something about the smell of fresh ground coffee beans. For me, it goes beyond a merely pleasant aroma. It verges on the sensual. Couple that with the process of making the coffee in a press pot, and you’ve really got something. Steaming hot. Anticipation as you wait, anxiously, impatiently, to slowly,   s  l  o  w  l  y,  teasingly,  push that plunger down, feeling the slight resistance under your fingers that gradually  yields to your touch, inviting, enveloping.

       Anyway, this is what I did that Tuesday morning. Put the pot and the frothy, steamed milk on a tray, with the cups, some spoons, some sugar. I brought it back to the bedroom. Sitting it on the bed, I watched her as she gradually woke up. She always used to get up real slow, as they say. She stretched like a cat, blinking. “What’s all this?” she yawned.

       “Just wanted to make some coffee,” I replied, pouring her a cup, mixing in the milk and the sugar to make cafe au lait. I placed it in her hands.

       “Wow,” she said. “This is nice.” She took a dainty bird sip, then her eyes shot open wide. “Woo, this is good!”

       “Of course it is,” I shrugged, making my cup. There is an art to climbing back into bed with a hot cup of some kind of liquid, being careful not to spill a drop. I have not mastered that art completely. There was some spillage. We chuckled. The coffee was wonderful.


       It is now a new summer. As you may know from reading this blog, the woman I shared coffee with and I are getting a divorce. Or a dissolution. Or something. Instead of dwelling on all the craptastic times we had, I’m trying to think about the good stuff, like sharing a hot cup on a lazy morning. Watching the fireworks at Pier 60 in Clearwater. Riding out to the park and getting rained on. Things like that. There are, as I realize now, not a lot of good times we had together. There were days of studied indifference, days of ugly, knockdown drag out verbal sparring, days of suspicion, blame, simmering rage, days of loneliness.  It is very difficult to just think on the good times, but I think it’s crucial that I do so. So I will concentrate on that dark, hot, sweet and intoxicating drink, the soft voice, the time stolen from the world at large where we made a space for us.

words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.


  1. Love the commentary style of this piece. And the black & white photos make it all seem very cool. Great work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s