‘Why am I here?’
I've stopped. The addiction, craving, euphoric fervor I once felt has all but vanished. Occasionally, my senses will be faced with a dark roast from Ethiopia or perhaps an Egyptian blend - and they will fight, leeching at my subconscious will, my stubborn resistance.
‘No’, I tell myself, ‘I can't’, and although I so forcefully reject my aromatic first love, it must listen. I must listen. Tempting, it really is, the forbidden allure of my own Nabokov nymphet, my Arabica Espresso, my Lolita.
The coffee sits hot between my palms, in a porcelain cup, unsympathetic of the debilitating hate I feel towards the saccharine, nostalgic, beautiful taste. It's far too close, too hot, for any comfort — and yet, I stare into the depths, immaculate with the embellished portrait of a flower stained onto the surface. It's a tulip.
Once, the fringed tulip was a favorite of mine. I had picked a bouquet of the perennial flower for a certain flame, only for him to leave to another boy he found much more "wholesome" within a few days. ‘Was I not "wholesome" enough, Walker? This ceramic mug holds more meaning in its silent, insincere apologies than yours ever did.’
I feel myself wavering. Only seventeen minutes have passed, shaky and uneasy, in this place I've forsaken.
‘Should I leave? Is it worth it to stay? To feel my hands tremble in helpless apprehension — to have my mind stimulated by the aroma of a Montague's poison, one for his love? I hope so.’ And so, I continue to sit within the quaint cafe of east sixth street, the coffee hot between my palms, waiting.
Soft lavender cologne appears, distinct among the cacophony of caramel lattes and cinnamon mochas, thirty-six minutes late. He's here. And as he calmly, so unapologetically, seats himself across from me, coffee in hand - my unfettered dread drips away, as always. And so I take a sip, for him.
‘That's why I'm here.’