There are some memories and some sparks of memories so beautiful that you cry. As you get older, the memories take on new meanings. Paying bills quickly ceases to be fun, and you revert to craving only the basics in life: coffee, food, and your mom.
I felt primeval as I arrived at work Tuesday morning. I was late—not really a huge surprise, but I was later than normal. Julie and I realized that we hadn’t prepared the beef stew ahead of time, and if we wanted to eat supper (which, of course, we did—it’s a basic need), we needed to prepare it before work. So I showed up at work eleven minutes late without eating breakfast. I blindly grabbed two granola bars from my “after workout stash” and sat down at my desk to edit the chapter on…imperialism. But at least I had my coffee.
I went to Italy yesterday and drank the antoccino—one part espresso and one part milk. I read that the Italians like their coffee lukewarm. I couldn’t fathom how they managed to get their coffee at a lukewarm temperature. Whenever I make coffee, it’s either hot or too cold to drink (I get distracted rather easily). But as I drank the cup of happiness, I realized that the milk is what makes the coffee lukewarm (and keeps the espresso from being overpowering).
In the bliss of my recent understanding, I opened up one of my granola bars and began to chew. I was first overpowered by a strong scent of barbecue, and I could not understand who would eat barbecue at 8:30 in the morning. Then I realized that the barbecue smell was coming from my granola bar. I had picked up a honey smoked barbecue granola bar. Needless to say, I took out my lemon Luna bar and ate that one instead.
As I continued to edit the imperialism chapter, the disconcerting scent of vinegar lingered in the air. And I thought about how all these scents and all these images might someday actually become important. THAT is a beautiful thought, almost as beautiful as French words, that what seems insignificant now may have immense meaning later.