Still-life with Coffee

Christine Ray – Coffee and questions

Brave & Reckless

This piece of creative nonfiction is based on a journal entry I wrote in the early 1990s


I sit alone in the coffee shop.  It is the kind of self-conscious coffee shop that sells Fair-Trade coffee in large white ceramic mugs and serves food on mismatched china.  The baristas are young, attractive, pierced and tattooed.  Items are arranged on my table like a still-life.  A half-eaten cookie sits on a dessert plate covered in pink cabbage roses.  My iced coffee is half full, condensation leaving the thick glass sweaty and slippery.  My copy of The Ethical Slut sits by my elbow while I write in my journal in purple ink.  I joke to myself about purple prose.  I am feeling self-conscious sitting alone but hoping that I look cool, mysterious.

There is man sitting diagonally across from me with his laptop.  His ceramic mug still steams.  For a moment I…

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