There’s this short story we had to read for some kind of class in school called Coffee.
Though I read it so many years ago, I never forgot it because I see it happen over and over again.
The story goes like this:
A young couple lives in the country, a short walk from the local store. One morning they wake up to find they’ve run out of coffee.
One insists, “You go buy the coffee.”
The other says, “You go get the coffee”
And from there, out of nowhere, they start dredging up all past wrongs and hurts.
They fight furiously the entire morning.
Until, as I remember it, the husband finally decides to go to the store and buy coffee.
When he comes back home they each make a cup, or maybe two.
They sip in silence, wondering how they ever got to this dark and selfish place, each one wanting to shut that forbidden door forever and to pretend they never saw what horrors lie beyond it.
I call this phenomenon “Minus 1.”
Why? Because I was once in a hospital with a friend whose son was in a potentially fatal situation. He was getting treatments on the eighth floor of the hospital, a floor with balloons and coffee machines. With clowns and brightly painted walls.
One day, the boy needed some kind of scan that was only done on the lower, underground floors of the hospital.
We pressed the Minus 1 button, descended, and got off the elevator.
But, something was wrong.
We were on the wrong floor, a scary floor where the ceilings don’t try to cover up their open wires, and the walls are unpainted cement blocks.
We quickly rushed back to the elevator to get back to those safe and familiar painted walls and lighted ceilings.
I think that every day, at some point, we go to or touch that “lower floor.”
We press the wrong button within ourselves, or within another, and expose a trait or behavior that’s scary, raw, and unpainted.
Most times it’s a passing event, a fleeting moment.
driver of thecar’hisirir.Then he when and he, . Loses it by losing his patience and compassion, thes.
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