A hot cup of coffee, nice and strong, waited for me at the kitchen table. It had been the same way for roughly a week. Each morning the cup of coffee was waiting for me. And each morning the coffee grew cold and untouched until I threw it out in the sink.
Numbly I would wash the cup clean, dry it and hang it back where belonged. At my place the cups I own are stored neatly in a special cabinet, hardly ever used. I’m more of a mug person to be honest. Beloved refers to mugs as beakers. He was the first person I met who actually had those little cup hangers and used them. To hang cups up. Everyone else I know just uses the shelves in their cupboards.
The first morning the cup of coffee appeared after the words which could not be unspoken had come into the house, I tried to drink it. But there was an odd smell to it. Not only has the coffee gone untouched, but food has lost all flavor and interest to me. I’ve reached the point of eating whatever is at hand only when I absolutely must. But I’ve gone a week now without coffee.
The house is empty, even when we are all in it because when hearts break sound ceases to fill the void. Empty spaces seem to grow, and it’s hard to say what does and doesn’t matter. For some people there is nothing to be done other than go through the motions until a spark kicks things up. For others it is a case of filling voids with as much as possible in an attempt to ignore the new emptiness.
We’ve come to that odd place where you either push through and make it work, or you go your own way. Conversations that once felt natural and happened easily for us now seem to have dried up and gone away. Perhaps if we just talked, but then again perhaps we out-talked it all. Then again there may be fear about words which could not be unspoken still being in the house. Fear that more of those words may be spoken never to be unspoken. So we walk on eggshells, speak carefully and keep space for now. And the cup of coffee appears like clockwork each morning. Perhaps a peace-offering of sorts, an olive branch or maybe just thoughtfulness that couldn’t have been present before.