Sweet remembrances with coffee by Travis Burchart
I love coffee! I drink boatloads of coffee – literally, I fill a canoe with gallons of Sumatra and guzzle it down. Of course, my over indulgence comes with a price. My teeth are stained the yellow of fall leaves. I don’t sleep well, which leads to another side effect – infomercial addiction at 2:00 in the morning. My blood pressure isn’t just high – it’s altitudinal. And, of course, my mouth gives off a rather “Starbuckish” stench.
Stench or not, there is a positive to coffee breath. You might ask: What possible positive could come from having the potent breath of Colombian coffee farmer, Juan Valdez? I might answer: In this curse of the coffee – this breath of the Java dragon – therein lies a memory.
When I was in middle school, the bus stop was no more than a five-minute walk from my house. However, every morning, my father offered to drive me to the bus stop on his way to work. Every morning – a one-minute drive to save me a five-minute walk. But in this one-minute drive – a single minute amongst 1440 other minutes each day – I strengthened my bond with my father. It meant something to me that he wanted to drive me, and it meant something to him to drive. Not the type of man to openly say “I love you,” this was his way of verbalizing how he felt.
And, of course, he had strong coffee breath.
So for one minute each day, I experienced both my father’s affection and the remnants of his morning Folgers. I remember it all vividly – the wine colored interior of his Bonneville, the fog of my breath if the car was too cold, the stop sign where he pulled to the curb and told me to have a great day. And it’s all held together by the smell of his breath.
It’s definitely not a Hallmark Card – “I remember your breath. Happy Father’s Day” – but more often than not, it’s the little things that help us to remember. Halitosis may be the bane of dentists everywhere, but for some, it’s good for recalling the moments that are important.
photo by mdid & shinazy
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