If there are two things that I remember fondly from my childhood, its candy and friendship. They both carry the polar nature of being sweet and at times sour. They also carry the promise of temporality and the everlasting – hopes of something occurring longer although its fundamental design is the opposite. while the other by the sheer nature of its concept can occur in time continuums known as reasons, seasons and lifetimes.
And yet, candy and friendship both have the ability to make you recall a soft spot even in the frame of the past. They make look back on what was each and every time you experienced it and with whom.
This afternoon, I saw friendship through the eyes of two childhood friends completing each others’ sentences and cracking jokes over pancakes and diner coffee as they shared with me their hopes for a season: summer and the break to come with it. They told me about their moms and siblings, their ideas about dickie pants and a good haircut. Then they told me about coffee, a thing they both loved for how it at times was like candy – sweet and bitter. I listened. I watched. I realized, that they, like me, had formed more than a relationship with coffee but a friendship.
Coffee had come along with them on a lot of events: mornings before school, lazy afternoons with coffee, weekends at the diner, “we loooove coffee.”
It made me recall how coffee has been a friend to me. It made me reminisce on just how many places coffee been a confidant, even a partner. I like to think that what we imbibe in our moments of gathering are just as important as who we’re gathered with – the sixteen year-olds Zeke and Elijah reminded of this. as we sucked on lollipops, mine with a texture like hard candy with a maraschino cherry sweetness.
I wanted to them to tell me about coffee which they like black with a little sugar.
“Coffee is warm, its good, its smells great and makes you feel full, a meal in a bean,” said, Zeke.
How do you like your coffee?
I like French blends.
“What does that mean?”
“I don’t know, it says it on the bag.”
“I grew up drinking coffee. My family comes from El Salvador. My grandparents pushed me to drink coffee because they love coffee. Since we go to school we have sleepless nights doing our homework. Coffee saved my life in school; it helps my grades,” said Elijah.
And it will in life.