Saturday, September 25, 2010

The One That's Bitter Sweet.

Dear Lover,

I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop.  
Next to the window.  
Which is being tapped on by sideways rain.  
Sipping on a hot chocolate.  
Remembering those days, just after college, when I worked in Haddonfield, New Jersey.  
In a small, family owned chocolate shop.  
My white apron.  
My hands resting upon the top of the glass display case.
A case filled with all those delicious chocolates.
Smiling at the old man who came in each day at 3:00 p.m.  
Crumbs in his beard.  
He would stare at each tray of chocolates.  
As if deciding.  
But I knew.  
White chocolate covered pretzels.  
They were his favorite.  
And they'd become mine, too.  
For he liked to share a bit with me.  
Breaking off a piece and handing it back over the counter with a wink as he left.  
Leaving a jingle at the door...

When suddenly, back at my coffee shop.
A familiar face walks by the window.  
An old boyfriend.  
From high school days.  
And I remember.  
His kind, nervous smile.  
The way he looked in his baseball uniform.  
That time he waved to me from the outfield.  
His brown hair.  
The way he danced.  
The day on his canoe.  
That moment on the bench by the bonfire.  
Those daily gifts of chocolate kisses and handwritten messages...

I take another sip of my hot chocolate, back at my coffee shop.  
Images flash once more.  
Haddonfield and its autumn leaves aflame.  
Mayan hot chocolate brewing through the chocolate shop.  
The old man with white chocolate crumbs in his beard.  
The innocence of my high school days.
Sitting in the front seat of his truck, unwrapping the silver wrappers of those chocolate kisses.  

The sweetness of life.

From my coffee shop window, I watch him run down the sidewalk and around the corner.  
His hands shielding his head from the rain.
He was the one, I've mentioned before, that I broke up with because he told my 9-year-old brother to scram.

There's a reason why the Mayans called it xocolatl.  
The bitter truth of sweet chocolate.  
The bitter truth behind the sweetness of life.
I chuckle and stare out my window.  
And take another sip.


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