If it felt like ten below outside and I didn’t want to walk the extra half mile to the best coffeehouse in Bushwick or if my work morning was taking longer than expected to get ready, I’d just make my coffee at home. Before I learned that the FDA was approving a chalk like substance, used as a mineral source of calcium, in my two percent milk, I was a dollop of dairy in my coffee kinda’ gal. Now, I’m one of those straight up, black coffee consumers that my late grandpa would be proud of though he’d take it sans the ice.
Oftentimes, that coffee with a splash of two percent wouldn’t be entirely finished and I would leave it on the kitchen countertop or the coffee table. By the time I got home, its okay to consume time had expired and I would simply wash my dishes.
I’ll never forget the evening David curtly asked me and mind you, this is the guy who rarely hung his clean clothes, who would wear dirty clothes by turning them inside out and who sometimes didn’t brush his teeth for days – he said to me and I paraphrase, “Can you please rinse out your coffee cup before you leave in the morning because that milk just sitting there all day is really nasty?”
I suppose the thought never occurred to him that he could pick up the coffee mug and take it to the sink, turn on the water and rinse it out. But maybe milk was radioactive to him or he had a fear of it like he feared blood. At the time, I think I was just resentful of his audacity because where did he get off telling me to rinse out my coffee mug when I’ve asked him repeatedly to get his clothes off the bedroom floor so that we at least look like we’re living like adults? Never mind the countless dirty boxer shorts I lifted between forefinger and thumb off the wooden floors into a nearby hamper.
His request was, quite frankly, laughable but I complied. I made sure to rinse out my coffee mug, among all the many other dire things I needn’t forget before work in the morning and if I, sometimes likely, did forget, I would send a text message apologizing for my minor offense or major from David’s warped perspective. I need not mention that his entire wardrobe remained on the bedroom and the closet floors.
Fast-forward a few years to my first night in my new apartment in Toluca Lake where I was to live alone with my two fur babies. I was fresh off an animal attack that rendered my left arm useless, my bedroom mattress was in the living room and there was yet a working heater or water heater on a cold, late October evening, which meant no hot shower.
Even amidst all of the chaos, I lay there on the sheet-less mattress, smirking and relishing in my newfound freedom, the space to call mine and mine alone, the closet that I vowed would always be organized and the hours old, half drank, coffee filled mug sitting on my countertop that would welcome me home in all of its sour, spoiled glory.