Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I so happy I cry

You know what is the best? 

When, on a sweltering hot summer day, you treat yourself to an impossibly large iced coffee, using money earmarked for anything other than coffee, and you carry your delicious tower of a beverage back to your minivan. The minivan has no air conditioning and the windows are broken, so no fresh breeze, but you don't care, you have your indulgence in the drink holder, and you are ready for anything.

You pick up your Dollar Store mp3 player and hold the power button down for five minutes. Soon, soon now, you will have music to go with your coffee.

Untangle the cord for your cassette adaptor and plug it into the headphone jack, then slide in the magic black tape that brings your van's audio system into the year 2011.

You feel so right inside, so ordered and whole, as you shift your van into reverse. It does not even bother you that the dashboard indicators have long ago gone dead, and you have to find that reverse by feel; sometimes you go forward a little, or just sit stupidly in neutral, but on days like today, you effortlessly find your way and in no time are backing out of the parking space.

Every road is an adventure; every intersection a temporary stop on the way to new and exciting destinies.

You pick up your mp3 player to begin the long process of switching to the next song (many, many presses of a picture that is sometimes a button), and you fail to notice the tape adaptor cord swing into your iced coffee, from which you have sipped exactly one time, and unseat it from its comfy home in the cup holder.

It falls slowly, almost beautifully.

Your hands, long known to be more spastic jellyfish than useful tools for manipulating objects or catching footballs, seizure forward and expertly separate the lid from the cup, altering the course of the fall just enough to send an icy river of coffee down your leg, into your sock, and beyond into the confines of your shoe.

It is like you dipped your foot into the cold and clear beginnings of Lake Michigan.

You no longer feel hot and sweaty; from the right knee down you are on vacation somewhere temperate and well-caffeinated.

Your coffee is gone. Parts of it on you, parts on the steering wheel, but the majority of it rapidly finding a home in the floor mats.

How wonderful summer is, how grossly fat with moments.

You squish your foot around in your personal lake and sing out, "Oh happy day!"


  1. This would be so very disappointing. Not only are you a mess and your car will permanently smell like a Starbucks, but you have no coffee to drink. You are so optimistic. I would weep for the loss of my $1.99 iced coffee.

  2. ...and that's why it's better to start the morning out with a mommy martini. just kidding. sort of.

  3. way to put a positive spin on things. and on a happy note, your van, in the summer with broken windows & no a/c will always smell like a wonderful cup of coffee.
    i think you're driving my van. it has similar idiosyncracies.