(for cream)

Now, I don’t know what’s normal here, but when I make the rare mistake of saying yes to “would you like room (for cream)?” (I always visualize the parentheticals in real life), they seem to think “here’s a guy who wants to come back and ask me to top off his cup.” I am not such a guy. Maybe that’s just the protocol: give waaay too much room (for cream) in case the customer is a freak for the white stuff, and we can always top off in the event that the customer is not off his meds. But I don’t want to top off. I don’t want to go back. The customer should never have to go back. I think that was the whole point of Jesus. “Imma do this thing twice, ya’ll, to make sure you can get it in one go.” One of his less celebrated miracles, oh by the way, was the Great Topping Off. It was a full day at the Nazarene Barista Academy when everyone got exactly as much room (for cream) as he wanted. Not a single customer had to go back.

And a poem seed is planted.

I had that moment yesterday at the dentist, during the 6-month update and life-story refresher, wherein the hygienist asked what it is that I plan to do with my schooling. I am not an idealist. I am not unrealistic. I know that this is the natural thing to ask, so I’m not going to rail against it like some hippy (I’m wearing a J Crew sweater over a collared shirt from Nordstrom, so I wouldn’t really be able to pull off the hippy thing, anyway). But here: I’m not really planning on doing anything with it. What comes, comes. I like to write, so I imagine there will be tsunamis of that sort of thing going on. Maybe I wind up teaching. Best case, I can earn respectable scratch by sitting at home writing poems and books. That’s the dream, in a manner of speaking. A way to visualize a thing that would be good for me and my family. How pleasant, right? So if you want to know what I plan on doing – or rather expect to be doing – with my education, I guess that’s got it.

I really don’t know what else to say. A deeper discussion would be a turn off – existential platitudes about being vs doing vs seeming. Real human value, permanence, faith, etc. That, by the way, is the discussion I am having. It’s the discussion in my head and in my actions. But it certainly isn’t the discussion in my dentist’s chair. It isn’t the discussion where the coarse sophistry of Facebook’s trending topics is so ubiquitous. It kind of just isn’t the discussion anywhere, is it? I would have been a terrible Socrates.

Ugh, now I really do need to write a poem.

It’s Friday, anyway, which is another thing that I have been given back by school. Since last April, weekends matter again. Weekends are a deep breath, again. A little extra room (for cream, even). I had lost something to look forward to, and then I got it back. Now there’s justice.

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