fevered inspiration: coffee liqueur

She was drinking coffee liqueur and that seemed unusual, and she must have noticed me staring because she said it made her think of all those nights in high school when she'd go out to the diner and have coffee and talk until the sun came up and she had to go to school. We talked until the bar closed and they kicked us outside and the wind was high and the rain was terrible, the streets filled with water, and neither of us had the cash for a cab--so we took shelter in the mouth of the subway station, leaning against the wall and watching the rain outside.

It wasn't too cold but it was cold enough, so we huddled close, and talked--about the religion we'd both left behind, the small towns we still called home for some reason. I talked about my comfortable upbringing and how I was never sure if I should claim it or reject it. She told me about her family and how she left it behind when she was 18 but she kept going back. Then we both thought of the line from Magnolia, "We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us," and a part of me wished it would rain like it did in that movie.

But it's true. We drink coffee liqueur to remind us of those carefree days in high school we hated so much because we can't afford to forget about them. But, she says with a tired smile, it also reminds her she's not there anymore. The taste of alcohol wasn't there when she was young. Maybe it's cheap and artificial, but sometimes that's all we have.

"We're really fortunate, you know," she says. "Life should have been perfect for us."

I tell her I know.

She says, "Then why are we so unhappy?"

In the morning we go home and I'm left worried about the world but so happy for that one night, and I still don't know why.


effika said...

This is awesome.

Our Lady of the Flowers said...

this is the best post I have read here so far.