What kind of person can walk down the street on a cold winter’s day, sipping a cup of coffee? People who do this, and I see them every day, look so content, as if the warm liquid turns their innards into armor against the wind.
I want to be a walking-in-the-cold-drinking-coffee type of person.
I buy a cup and the trouble begins. I have three bags to carry and I know I need my gloves. I put the bags down and put on the gloves, pick up the bags again with my right hand and go for the coffee with my left. (Uh oh. Please don’t turn this into a story about the difficulties lefties have navigating the world.)
Well, it’s impossible to pick up a cup of coffee with a glove on. Put the coffee down. Take the glove off. Try again and finally make it out of the store. I don’t look back to see how long the line has grown behind me as I did my glove, bags, coffee routine. Already I am embarrassed.
Soldiering on, I begin to feel like a coffee person in the cold. I take a sip. Ah. Oh! Hot!! Ok, does everyone on the street have a burnt tongue?
Marching along, I notice the cup cover getting covered in coffee. I slurp it off but now I see a coffee stain on my jacket. Do I bounce too much? I didn’t know I was a walker-bouncer. I try to walk more smoothly, gliding, gliding along. Hmmm. People are looking at me a little too long, as they pass.
Well, I slurp. I sip. Aiii! I drop a bag. Now my hand is wet with coffee. I lick it off, pick up the bags, and move on looking like a coffee person again…I think.
But it is cold and now my wet hand is red, and what’s this?? My nose is running! I don’t see other people with chapped hands and runny noses! I see people sipping their coffee like adults!
I start to laugh – bags flapping, hands frozen, nose running, coffee slopping around, and now…tears of laughter running out of my eyes.
Are there two kinds of people in the world? Content coffee drinkers of the street, and…me? What kind of person am I??
© 2012 Margery Leveen Sher