A Cup of Joe

“I’m telling you, you’re seeing things! There’s nothing there! Just let it go already,” Terry says to me as she turns her attention back to her phone.

Image by Rene Porter on Unsplash

“But I saw something, I know I did!” I say as I slowly pour the milk from my new coffee mug back into a tumbler. “Watch please.”

I pour the milk even more slowly from the tumbler back into the mug, carefully eyeing the tiny dairy waterfall as the milk slips over the edge of one container and cascades into the other .

“THERE!! You saw that right? Please tell me you saw that,” I say as I look up and see that Terry has already returned her attention to her precious phone.

“Damn it Terry, this is important! I think the new half and half I bought yesterday is contaminated or gone bad already! Please? Put down your phone for thirty damn seconds?”

She considers it a bit. “Thirty seconds huh? Hey, I have a cool new timer app!” she says as she starts quickly flipping through screens on her phone.

I gently cover her hand and phone with mine. “Please?” I ask. “No phones? Just you and your undivided attention for a minute or two, max? If you do this I’ll make that roasted sweet potato soup you like so much. Deal?”

I extend my fist for bumping.

She rolls her eyes but bumps my fist; legally binding her, in my mind, to grant me her attention for the next full minute.

“Sure but I was joking about the timer dork! Show me your tainted milk already.”

I steady myself at the sink and again pour the milk from the coffee cup with its colorful logo into the tumbler. I’m getting better at this I think. And this time she does see it.

“Hey! I saw something! What was that!?” Terry says as she leans closer.

At first I had thought it was just a bit of shadow or an air bubble I was seeing as I was dumping half and half out of my coffee mug into the cup. I like to put my creamer in before my coffee and while I take my coffee pretty light, today I had poured way too much. So, in an attempt to not waste it, I poured almost half of the cream into a cup so that I could save it for my second cup.

The dark shadow, the air bubble, had finally revealed itself to Terry. To me it looked like a tiny little man. In fact it looked like …

“Hey, that sort of looked like that podcast guy, what’s his name?” Terry asks.

“You mean Joe Ro…”

“Yes! Him!” Terry says excitedly.

“But how, what … , ” the questions proliferate too quickly in my on-deck circle to make any progress towards the batter’s box.

As my proliferating questions all jostle for place in the queue, Terry takes the mug from me and holds it up to the light, carefully scrutinizing it.

“Shawn, I swear to God, you didn’t even wash this new mug of yours yet, did you?” she asks accusingly. She turns the mug to face me, so I can read the logo on the mug I bought yesterday.

‘A Cup of Joe!’ the colorful logo of the new place in town shouts in large, multicolored font.

She pours the tainted dairy into the sink. Now the interloping ‘Joe’ is obvious. He flaps around a bit like a beached fish but then Terry turns on the water and washes the tiny Joe down the drain.

“Oh that’s right! I forgot you were majoring in ‘micro-joe-ology'” I say.

She just groans and turns off the faucet.

“And you can Joe to hell already!” she laughs and walks out of the kitchen.

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