It is a grey day. Lightly falling from the silvery grey cloud cover is transparent grey drizzle, and over the lawn a grey mist clings to the grass with damp, wistful fingers. When I hand drinks through the drive-thru window of my coffee shop, my arms are baptized with a vague sprinkling of water that reminds me of the vegetable mistings in the produce aisle.
People are so interesting on mornings like these. The air is filled with quiet bustling; there are urgent things to be discussed! Grandchildren, the death of lilies, the restoration of a classic car, the ridiculously slow internet connection, the cute little barista's wedding details. Yes, I am getting married in 3 weeks from today! I am met with widely varied responses to that news.
"Congragulations...I guess" one little woman says quietly with a sideways glance at her quiet little husband beside her. I've always assumed that they're happy, but perhaps appearances are more deceiving than I give them credit for.
I brew enormous pots of drip coffee this morning. The names of the different roasts make me laugh: Organic Tatoosh, a deep, dark piercing blend with a little roller coaster of an aftertaste that begs to be tasted again; Espresso Paledino, which invariably brings a picture of a horse to mind; and my favorite, Guatemala Huehuetenango, a name that makes me want to sneeze. They are like the children of faraway and foreign lands, sent to bring a little culture and beauty into our decidedly bland American lives. One exotic woman with tiny, fiery blue eyes orders the light Huehuetenango with 5 - count them, five! - sugars and absolutely no cream. She speaks of her coffee like it is a thrilling, holy secret we are sharing with her.
The breeze sneaks in the window and laughingly kicks the dark coffee grounds across the counter. I want an entire room painted this color; this deep, deep brown with a gorgeous hint of red. It is so vivid you can almost taste the way it looks.
Fall is gently but firmly hinting at it's coming. All the coffee shop folk feel it with mounting excitement, tinted with a soft disappointment in this brief and fickle summer. We feel ourselves settling in, and thinking of books we want to read on grey days, cozied under blankets with new husbands or lovers, and of all the marvelous, strangely named coffee that we shall drink.