Tuesday, April 19, 2011

in the time of kyoto


for some intangible reason, i decided today was the day that i would visit the blue bottle location in mint plaza. it just seemed like it was time.

i've been avoiding it.

not because i don't love blue bottle coffee (because i do) and not because it isn't a beautiful space (because it is) but because i have a couple of remarkably strong memories of being here with someone.

i remember when it opened, i was so excited to share it with him. i remember practically bouncing with excitement as we walked down fifth street toward mint plaza.....and him....looking askew at me from his great height......but still trusting me to know where the hell i was going as i was leading him through an area that was right on the edge of sketchville. i was so excited, comfortable just being my nerd self, and yammering on and on about the siphon bar and how i wanted to try the kyoto iced coffee. that initial visit spawned additional random visits including a particular early morning visit....years ago.....that i realized both then and now....was a turning point and that our friendship with each other would never ever be the same.

for better or worse.

after that early morning visit......years ago....i made a conscious decision to avoid it. because sometimes it isn't the nasty memory i want to avoid....it is a good one. sometimes, a good memory can be just as sniper deadly as a nasty one. actually, sometimes a good memory is even more deadly.

nothing like taking a wee bit of baggage with you huh?

over the years, i've learned to trust myself about things like this. if there is something within me telling me that it is time....then it means it is time. so, after i completed my work day and before i headed out to an evening event, i made my way through mint plaza.....

to the blue bottle cafe.....


and ordered......of course....a kyoto iced coffee......


as well as the arborio rice cake which is something new i hadn't tried before. then i sat down and spent some time just looking at the empty lined page.....


because to write it down....whether in this blog or in my-eyes-only-paper-journal.....somehow makes it more tangible....and sometimes i'm like "oh hell, what is going to appear on the page now?".

naturally, what's on my mind was the most significant visit here. the most significant visit here was when i was a bundle of confusion, happiness, awkwardness, comfortableness, and fearfulness. at the same time.

i remember, after we waited in the line and obtained our coffee drinks, and eventually walked over to union square for some privacy to chat (yes, union square is empty enough for a chat around 7ish am)....i remember my words being so awkward.....stilted....yet incredibly sincere. i really did not want to fuck this up. actually, what i really wanted was not to fuck up who we were together and how important we were to each other. i was trying so hard to speak through my awkwardness and hoping that somehow this would be miraculously translated through the stilted fragments and phrases. i remember him being bemused at me and just grabbing me for a hug. probably to shut me up and put me out of my misery. i sighed in that hug.....believing in that moment that it would work out. because this was my buddy, my friend, my co-conspirator, my comrade-in-arms through the fire.....who knew me almost as well as i knew myself.

hence his bemusement.

because the more important it is, the more difficult it is to speak. for me.

so there i was today.....years later....sitting in the blue bottle cafe at mint plaza....looking out of the window.....


surprisingly calm and accepting of the memories flowing in.....nibbling through the rice cake....


and thinking about how much has changed since then.....and that perhaps.....the good memories aren't as deadly as they once were.....which is a great thing.....as....of course... this means i can drink more kyoto iced coffee.

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