I lost my coffee cup the other day. Six months I had it, my first reusable cup. When I went to the counter, the barista asked me about my cup and… “I don’t know,” I said sounding a little desperate and yes, pathetic. “I can’t remember where I left it.”
It was at that moment that it hit me. The time spent, the drinking, the stories.
I had never gotten a reusable cup before. I lived at coffee shops and it made sense to have one, but getting one of those, reusable’s… Well… I guess, I just… I didn’t want the responsibility.
One day at the counter I saw one that, I don’t know, spoke to me. She was white plastic, her size was grande and I thought, “Why not, why not.” After I picked her up I realized that the discounts alone would pay for the expense in just a few days.
The first time they filled her up, I realized that she was not like the standard cups. She was plastic, not cardboard paper. She was durable and thin, and when a nice hot brew was inside her, she got even hotter. She was so hot I needed a cup holder with her. I took her to the counter, added sugar, half and half, and then… I took my first sip.
You’d think it would be easy. I’ve drank from other cups, hundreds- thousands, but it was awkward the first time I drank from her. She poured a little differently than other cups, but her lid was snug. It fit tight and secure and there was no spilling her. I think her lid is what I liked the most of all.
Every couple days I’d wash her out and wipe her down, cleaning every crevice. I half expected the coffee to stain her like coffee tends to do, but no. When I was done she was perfect every time. Pristine white with no discoloration and her lid would snap right on.
I left her once or twice and that could have something to do with it. Packed up my table and left her sitting there. I never threw her away or anything like that, but I think the leaving her at the table sent a message. I was too comfortable, too confident that she would always be there. I was used to her heat now and no longer needed the cup holder. She was still hot, but I could handle it.
We were side by side, every day, most of the day for months. People got used to us being there and being together. They sometimes didn’t know if I just arrived or had been there. “Is this your first cup, or a refill?” It always did something to me when I’d say… “First of the day… but it was really the first of my life.” I’d pass her over and they’d fill her with hot coffee or hot water depending on what I wanted her to taste like.
And now… I haven’t seen her for a couple of weeks. I thought she’d turn up, at home or in the car, but she didn’t. When I thought about it, the last time I saw her was when I went to the carwash. They did a great job that time, maybe too good.
When I went back to the carwash I saw her. She was there with one of the rag men. I mean cups look alike but I… I recognized her. We were saving the environment together and I don’t know what happened.
I watched the rag man pick her up, put her to his lips and drink. Yes, I was jealous and a little pissed. I wondered what she tasted like. Then the rag man noticed me. He smiled, raised her up, threw me a nod and gave me a wink. Then right in front of me… he drank from her again.
That was the last time I saw her. I often think about her, how she tasted and what her heat felt like with my fingers wrapped around her. I wonder how long he was able to hold onto her and I wonder… who’s drinking from her now.