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with Robert Buckley
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Cracking Foxy

by Robert Buckley

Coffee Time


Foxy CoffeeI’ve been thinking about coffee ... defined as ‘just coffee.’ I’m not talking about stuff that tastes like chocolate or hazelnut or cinnamon. Not the overpriced gruel served by overwrought baristas in overdone coffee bars. I’m talking about the stuff that tastes like coffee, because that’s all it is ... coffee.

I’ve been drinking coffee, it seems, forever. I’m sure I was drinking it before my teens. The coffee I drank most of my life was perked – that is, percolated – on a stovetop in a pot. It was sweetened with sugar and lightened with canned milk; that’s evaporated milk. I didn’t use cream or half-&-half in my coffee until I got to college.

I drank coffee in the morning before school. It was warm, it was comforting, it helped me face the day. In fact, coffee has always been more than just a beverage that gives you an extra kick in the a.m. Brewing it and drinking it took on the aspects of ritual ... a simple, homey ritual, but a ritual just the same.

So, imagine my surprise and indignation when, while watching a television special on the history of coffee, an alleged expert decried percolated coffee as “swill.” For generations it seems Americans who knew nothing but percolated coffee were ruining the brew, turning it into mud. This guy, no doubt, brews his coffee in a device that whines and fizzes and emits the finished beverage out a tiny spout in a trickley, treacly, brown dribble resembling baby diarrhea.

I don’t know ... I think one person’s “mud” is another’s “strong cup of joe.” I remember the transition from perked to drip-brewed coffee. Every cup I ordered outside of home tasted weak, flavorless. Then came the advent of those silly devices that required you to merely pour hot water over grinds. That left you with pale coffee-colored water. Today there are a gazillion ways and contraptions to brew coffee. I’ll stick with the swill, so long as I can find a percolator – they’re getting to be pretty rare.

Coffee is so woven into my memory that it can never be just a mere beverage. The simple mug served in the homely roadside diner brings to mind memories of youthful road trips and adventures.

Some may extol the mythic allure of an especially fine vintage of wine, or the perfect romantic moment during which that vintage was enjoyed. Perhaps it was a special occasion; perhaps a ring was offered and accepted. Then, if you’re drinking wine, you’re probably already in love.

But you’re more likely to fall in love over a cup of coffee. I always did. See, there’s something cozy about sharing a cup of coffee, it’s a homey ritual, no pressure, just a mellow moment. Thinking back, I’m pretty certain every girl I ever fell in love with fell in love with me over a cup of coffee.

Buying a lady a cup of coffee is not like buying her a drink. I recall the frenetic bar culture back in my college days, and the implication that if a girl accepted a drink from a guy that she somehow owed him ... what?

I recall an acquaintance railing and ranting, even threatening violence. Why?

“I bought that bitch two daiquiris and she fucking snuck out on me. Fucking cunt!”

I remember when he had calmed down, or perhaps just mellowed from his ingestion of alcohol, I asked him, “So, you bought her a couple of drinks ... what the hell were you expecting? A blow job?”

“Damn, right!” he replied, emphatic and certain in the justification of his pique, as if it was spelled out in the Bill of Rights.

It’s been a long time since I took a pub crawl with single male companions and assumed my place along the stag line, as they used to call it. But, it appears the quid-pro-quo rule has survived as regards to young women who accept drinks from guys. That’s sad; that’s pathetic.

Offer to buy a girl a cup of coffee, though, and at the very least, you’re going to be rewarded with a smile. You’re offering a low-key, cozy, no-pressure encounter; a chance to chat, get to know one another. After all ... it’s just coffee. But, it’s so much more. It’s a way to peek into her heart, and for her to peek into yours.

Girls who drank it black tended to be adventurous; girls who took theirs with cream were a bit more demure, circumspect, but tended to be great kissers. The ones who overdid the sugar liked to talk ... a lot. And they were funny.

Wooing a girl over a cup of coffee was as much a ritual as brewing coffee, a comfortable ritual, a way to say “I like you; I think I see you in my future.”

In a way, it was like a first kiss, or perhaps the prelude to the first kiss. So simple, so sweet, presenting the prospect of so much more. I suppose, to put it another way: It was courtship. And courtship is an art ... I hope not a lost art.

So here’s to coffee, the humble elixir of romance, a pedestrian love potion.

When’s the last time you asked someone special: “Join me in a cup?”

Robert Buckley
April 2010

If you have comments or question about this column, please send them to Robert Buckley

Read more of Robert Buckley's Cracking Foxy in 2010 ERWA Archive.

"Cracking Foxy" © 2010 Robert Buckley. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written

About the Author: Robert Buckley is senior fiction editor at ERWA. His stories have been published in various anthologies, including editions of Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica and the Coming Togther series of altruistic erotica.

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