Coffee and Life Shouldn’t Suck
short writings by Cindi A. Jobe
(Below is one of many writings/stories that have begun in my head, found their way into my journal and onto my computer and then traveled reluctantly into cyberspace. I hope you will enjoy the timeliness of this one. May your day be as mundane as mine while we travel into unknown territory. Namaste my dear ones.)
Awakened by the familiar smell of coffee, CJ rolled over stretching and yawning. Her favorite cup appeared uncomfortably close to her nose. Sleepily, she took in the scent, nearly spilling the scalding coffee as he handed her the cup.
“Good morning,” he said softly.
“Uh, yeah, good morning,” she moaned.
Not really surprised by the “instant” coffee cup, she felt relieved that some things remained normal. Her cup still miraculously appeared every morning. Even today. Sitting up slowly, Catrina (CJ for short) cradled the hot vessel carefully, scooting herself up against the warm pillows. She briefly remembered how much life sucked these days. Then the thought faded a little as she gulped the steaming liquid, slurping up the foam, and licking it off her chapped lips. He always brought her coffee in bed. No matter what. Even today.
Momentarily confused as she became more awake, CJ heard the sound of the news in the background of her still foggy brain. “What are they mumbling about?” The news app CJ unconsciously opened every day was droning on about the latest virus updates. It was competing with the local TV news her husband had clicked on in the living room. Even the news report was no longer like every other day, was it? News. Huh. More coffee. Slurp. At least coffee doesn’t suck. But life does. The news does. Sucks. It all sucks. When would this get better?
Catrina’s reaction to life these days was carefully controlled and on auto correct. Like her passive enjoyment of the hot coffee appearing each morning, the daily experience reinforced the Groundhog Day comparison. Catrina was lately unmoved by exceptionally unusual things. She “fixed” her reactions as she went, desperately trying to keep her emotions under wraps. Control was necessary. Be centered, calm, in the moment. Don’t look too far ahead. No expectations.
Looking down again into her half-empty, now cooler coffee cup, CJ had a bittersweet reaction. The creamy coffee was a welcome distraction, the daily news updates were not. The news. The isolation. Better than despair though. This morning she would consider that progress.
The early Spring sun had risen surprisingly bright and according to her Apple Watch, it was time to get on with her day. The coffee interaction had also awakened the slumbering cat-dragon next to her. The slightly smelly, fire-breathing dragon was CJ’s geriatric cat, Mila. She had the worst breath, probably from aging teeth and eating wet cat food. Mila had an annoying habit of loudly demanding attention she neither desired nor would actually accept. Much like me, CJ thought —such an ungrateful bitch. But spending every day at home now with her meant Mila wouldn’t be ignored.
Catrina pushed away the feline, peered again into the now nearly-empty coffee cup and let out an overly loud sigh. Mostly meant for Mila’s deaf ears, the moan sounded annoying even to herself. Regrets all the way around. Coffee and life shouldn’t suck. Neither should cats, but they do sometimes.
Catrina felt another reluctant sigh come from deep in her soul. It was like the hiccups – uncontrollable. The sound made the now familiar whine of a defeatist’s exhale. It soured on its way out, a passive-aggressive tone. CJ’s reaction said, “I know how to inhale, but instead of owning this really awesome exhale on the other side of the breath, I’m just gonna sigh —a pitiful, puny whimpering sigh and move on.” Feeling sorry for yourself now? This is getting real, CJ.
Time to get up
Still sleepy, Catrina swung her legs off the bed, dangling her feet just off the floor. The room was still a little chilly from the cool night. CJ sighed again and reached her toes toward her house slippers. And again she heard herself sigh. Louder. Deeper. Longer. Her stomach growled. Mila meowed loudly and jumped down off the bed, landing at CJ’s bare feet. Cook breakfast or eat cereal and fruit? Her feet slid into the slippers and she stumbled off.
The onslaught of bad news continued to come uninterrupted from the app on CJ’s iPhone still in her hand as she shuffled into the kitchen. Why had she opened that shit? Habit. The voices from the phone washed over her like a perpetually dark thought. Wave after wave, a mix of nausea and regret. The latest news on this nouveau virus was scary shit. How accurate was it? Updated on the hour. Life shouldn’t suck this much.
The sound of the monotonous voice in the background began to migrate to CJ’s head. Mixed with the sick feeling in her gut, it was probably another migraine on its way. CJ steeled herself against the inevitable interaction between her gut and her head. Her mind waded again into the murky water of personal disappointment mixed with societal despair and turned off the news app. The news could wait until she had her coffee and some sort of breakfast.
Today would be just like yesterday, and the day before that and the day before that…every morning the same realization these days. Even though it had only been days, maybe closing in on ten, as far back as she could remember now, life had sucked. Sucked, she thought, like drowning. Yes, sometimes living felt like drowning. Gasping for air, bobbing up and down, in and out of the darkness. Grasping for something to hold onto. Gulping the news down like medicine. Not helpful in times of drowning. Get your head above water CJ, and breath.
“How’s your coffee?”
It was going to be another unsettling day, so grab another cup of something that doesn’t suck.
Cindi A. Jobe
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