The Espresso Shot (#015)
by Christopher Malone - Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Feeling free, the illusion of flying or floating.

The bench you’re sitting on isn’t doing this justice right now. Get up and walk towards the water. However, don’t stand out on the Skaneateles pier and put your hands out as if you were standing at the bowsprit of the Titanic.

You’ll look foolish.

‘Til You Wise Up

The easiest way to convince your body and mind that you’re not actually on the water is to stand close to an edge. Of course, you’re not going to feel the waves rocking the boat or kayak that you’re sitting in. It’s a seasick free guarantee. You’re equilibrium will not be thrown off. You can still feel a breeze if there is one that day, and that wind will blow across your face and through your hair if there isn’t product in it.

And it’s about just that. Feeling free, the illusion of flying or floating.

When you look up, you expect to see a cumulus cloud-filled sky; plain blue skies are just as boring as plain grey ones — there is no character, and the sun, which shrugs its rays, cannot compensate for that lack of variety. The froth of your latte parallels these clouds, the softness, and the bit that gets on your nose explodes and sounds like crackling fireworks — satisfaction. The caffeine energizes your body, dilates your irises, and allows the synapses to spark even brighter as well. You see limitlessness, but gravity is still considered enough to prevent your gaze from skyrocketing into the darkness beyond. And so your focus boomerangs back, and you stare straight ahead; your line of vision bounces a little, and as if it sprung from a safety net.

Along the coastline your eyes will travel and follow to the very end, trying to zero in on marks that are indistinguishable. Blurry is only a state of mind, which your tired eyes feel and your eyelids can blink away. The bodily reaction is to create tears to resolve the dryness, and the beads slide down your face and jump off into a free fall. They, each teardrop, are your own creation, and you keep watch for their safety; you watch them fall into the lake below, becoming one with the water and exploding out into a ripple at the same time. What’s left is uneasy water and your own reflection and a beam of the sun’s reflection. Your feet are at the rock ledge, and you’re staring straight into an image that looks like you, albeit a bit distorted.

Part of you wants to fall straight in, so you allow it to. It darkens the water. And when you look up, you see the product of Time’s pulling on the earth. And the once great puddle is now an actual puddle that temporarily resides next to you on a restaurant’s veranda in an alleyway, and the light reflecting that was once the sun is lamplight glow. The wooden bench you once sat in is now a wooden chair with a metallic exoskeleton. Sitting too long does not treat your posture well, and you lean forward are your hands come together, your fingers intertwine. To the front of you on the table sits two glasses of wine, and across the table is a person with vibrant corneas encased in rippling glass. Words spill out from poorly constructed thoughts as if you’re drooling uncontrollably, and the embarrassment sets in from creating such a scene that didn’t happen, but it may have well had. The other gets up and walks away without finishing their wine, and your hands cover eyes as your person leans forward; your head reaches the table.

Taking a deep breath, you lean back up, and grip the steering wheel with both hands. You drive forward into night as rain pelts your car, and distinct individual droplets skid up the windshield and propelled back into night. And it’s not going to stop until your car is stopped. After the light changes to green, the droplets continue to fall, slide, and propel; and it’s not going to stop until your car is stopped. And the stop-and-go jars the other idle droplets to take off when it’s their turn; and it’s not going to stop until the car is in park and retired for the evening.

Upon your arrival home and safe and (but) not-so-sound, the key is clicked just slightly so the music continues to play. To finish the song. The seat belt is unbuckled, and that notification emits warning, a high-pitched continual din that won’t stop until you put that buckle back in place or the vehicle is turned off completely. And the beeping turns into buzzing that turns into blaring , which resolves itself to be the alarm that causes your eyes to open up to the morning sunlight that is peering in at you through the window. Crawling out of bed, you reach the bathroom. You splash water upon your face, stare at yourself in the mirror until your reflection looks up and back, breaking the fourth wall.

The Inevitable Coffee Ring