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Three Coffees

There is one routine Frank religiously follows in the ten years of being retired: to have two coffees in the morning, one on the breakfast table and another at Ronnie's. Actually there is one more, make it a third cup. Between his house and his joint, he will stop at Marguerite, his mistress, to have an added kick of caffeine.

Martha's coffee, that's his wife's, is unsweetened and decaffeinated because her measuring eye nurses her husband's diet. Her worries are compensated by Frank's frequent complains of restlessness. Frank's last laboratory test are not favorable to her standards, blood pressure and blood sugar level a fraction up, a mere tenths up, from the normal. Frank is not his usual self, tender as a bear, every time Martha joins and orders him an orange juice at Ronnie's.

Strong black coffee, the energizer of a daring matador, as Marguerite likes to describe it, is always her concoction for her visiting lover. She will serve him his favorite, the devil's chocolate, to go along with her seductive insinuations and before they know it they will be meowing like rambunctious cats clawing at each other's neck in the kitchen among broken china, upturned table, and spilled liquids, two feisty competitors at the prime of their life.

At Ronnie's, Frank is the master of his coffee; sugar, creamer, and a stirrer, he personalizes his poison without any demure bewitchment. He can sit plausibly with his newspaper or with his gang; he can grade the rise, the shift, and the fall of his tempered breathing; and he can drown the taste of habit one swig at a time.

Story by:

Jay Coral

submitted at 5:30pm

12 September 2010

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