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It’s Sunday morning. It’s bright and cool, the sort of fall morning that makes the world’s problems seem like fake news. Peter and I are at the Marriott Courtyard, off campus. This morning’s breakfast is Peter’s 19th birthday present to me.

I’m redorkulously happy and surprisingly hungry. Somewhere, in the noisy, happy sounding kitchen, there's a bacon, cheddar-cheese, tomato, ham, green-pepper, and spinach omelette being convoked in my name, and my tummy is growling in anticipation.

Our waiter brought us large white mugs of nutmeg coffee - God bless her for that. Sipping it, I scanned the dining room, where carefree, normal people were enjoying their brunches. They didn’t look like they had hours of reading and problem-sets (homework) waiting for them later - but who knows?

Peter leaned forward, smiling, to refill my mug and then, when adding some cream, he almost overfilled it. I couldn’t help chuckling. I enjoy this awkward man’s company beyond all sanity, to the point that it’s a little cringy and embarrassing. Our smiles seemed to clang together, like symbols. I wish I could bask in the warmth of that smile all day.

“You could do me a favor,” I say shyly, “a little extra present?” I said, trying to look pitiable.
“What?” he asks, with a skeptical look. I open my bag and pull out my latest physics PSET (a homework problem set).
“This problem haunted me in my dreams last night,” I say, smoothing out the wrinkled paper and rotating it so it was right-side-up for him. “#6,” I said, confirming that with a pointing finger.

He glances at it. “Ahh, classical mechanics?” he guessed. “Right,” I confirmed.
He looks up at me through his bushy, brown eyebrows, “You took AP physics one in high school and physics 2 last year?” He asked. “Yeah,” I confirmed, “but this problem is throwing me.”

“Well,” he says, motioning me to hand him my pen, “you’re perspicacious all right, but you’re basically a biology major,” he begins, “a set of studies that involve a memorization mentality. For physics one and two, I bet you memorized Maxwell's laws, the Kinematic equations and the table of equation cases, ya?”
I nodded yes.

“Unfortunately, that’s not going to cut it here,” he says, shaking his head, “All of those nice simplifications aren’t in play here - there are no cases to rely on - it’s derive as you go.” As he explained this he was briskly scribbling something on a paper napkin and the answer was there, on that, a second later, when he rotated the paper back to me.

His eyes are a dark, gingerbread brown, but despite that darkness, they seemed warm and lit from within. A swoop of his dark blue-black hair has fallen across his forehead, I leaned over the small table to tuck it back into place. “Thank you,” I said, breathing a sigh of relief, “did you show your work?” I asked as I folded the paper and napkin away.
“Of course,” he says, amused, “but we’ll review it later,” he assured me.

“Happy birthday ME!” I said, in a whispered cheer.
“Yes,” he grinned, “Happy Birthday, YOU,” he pronounced as our omelettes arrived
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Perspicacious: “the keen ability to understand difficult or amorphous things.”

Redorkulously = so ridiculous it’s dorky
Eloisa Aug 26
And today my coffee
tastes like magic.
Another year older.
My journey so far has not been easy but I’m grateful.
It’s a beautiful day to celebrate!
Anais Vionet Aug 15
Our coffeemaker died this morning - it wouldn’t **** all the water out of the reservoir - c'est tragique. We love our coffee and apparently, we brewed the life out of it. It sat, oddly neglected, in its usually busy spot beneath hanging copper pans. Adieu, faithful friend, you gave your life to a good cause. We’re reduced to using a freeze-dried brew.

Lisa grew up in New York highrises, and she was agog in our garden. “It’s like Versailles!” she whispered, when we first arrived and did the tour - flattering but hardly. It’s a six acre, French, Color Garden. An acre is like a football field without the end zones - so maybe you can picture the size of it as it wraps around the front of the house.

The lawn slopes off gently to circular beds and right-angled parterres. Two staircases lead to a fountain that feeds a rectangular reflecting pool full of lily-pads and lazy goldfish. Lisa and Leong spent hours this summer reading in the only cool spot, a shaded, wisteria-covered pergola, but gardens are best in fall and spring - when in bloom. I’m sorry they didn’t get to see the explosive flowerings - maybe we can come back, someday, for Easter vacation.

We’re leaving for New Haven at the end of the week so I’m slow organizing for academic life. I have 21 new notebooks (three per class or lab) and 60 various, carefully coutured, colored markers and gel-pens. I tried taking notes on my iPad last year but I found I remembered things better when I took colorful notes by hand, highlighting ideas, and pinning them down in my notebooks, like butterflies.

We hung out with a lot of rising college freshman girls this summer and across the board, it’s been fun. Their questions were super random, but super aware - their interests make our bumbling, freshie experiences seem buzzy. I remember being so ground-down the carceral, COVID lockdown of my 10th and 11th-grade years that college freedoms seemed like space travel. I’m excited for these girls.

Peter and I are squeezing in a morning Facetime call. He looked a little tousled and undone, sporting a black, almost blue, bedhead mess of morning hair. With his sleepy, brown eyes and five o’clock shadow, he looked like he just fell out of bed after hours of.. ahem. My usual, unfocused feelings seemed to find a compelling point.

I smiled and sipped my coffee, “What?” he said, self-consciously, upon catching my expression.

“I just can’t wait to see you in person.” I demurred, choosing to focus on this morning’s awful, instant coffee. I tend to chatter when I’m excited by something, but maybe I’m learning the power of silence.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Carceral: suggesting a jail or prison.
The cool plush ****
of succulent grass
whispering against
bare ankles.  

The verdant smell
of rain pelting
the crusty earth,
loamy fresh.

The piercing tingle
of noon sunshine
on the bald orb
of the shoulder.

The comforting touch
the warm embrace
that soothes  
the aching heart.

The energizing aroma
of coffee burbling
brews hope
and inspiration.

My filter, clear and bright
illuminates the night
in waves of bliss

Anchored by the senses
I remember
what brings me
Caitlin Aug 6
The first time I saw him, it was through the glass window of the space that he moved into right around the corner. I thought it was a weird spot to move into but shrugged it off because it was none of my business.

The first time I met him, he was wearing the exact pattern of red and black plaid that I’ve been looking for whenever I shop. I stared at it and felt a little defeated that someone found it before I did! But I made no comment.

The first time I spoke to him, I thought nothing much of him at first. the words I used to describe him were “ordinary, typical, run-of-the-mill”. He was…simple. he spoke like he would steal those cheesy catchphrases like “she was like a shot of espresso” — which is what Andrew Garfield said about Emma Stone. And so I walked out of there as if it was just another Monday.

Several Mondays and cheesy catchphrases later, that little place around the corner that was made of brick started to feel more comfortable, and I saw him more often. Slowly, I realized that there is some charm in simplicity. Eventually, I stopped using the words “ordinary, typical, run-of-the-mill”, and I started using the word: familiar. There is so much comfort in the familiar.

At this point in time I seem to always find myself back at that familiar little brick place around the corner. at the end of each day, I go there hoping to find solace. And I always do. If I was into those cliché phrases I would describe it as a warm cup of hot chocolate after a long, rainy drive. It’s a fireplace during a snowstorm. But saying those cheesy catchphrases would be really lame of me, so…

If I were to put into words how I now feel about this person… This must be how it feels when people are looking for a new place to move into. They have this image of their dream house or fantasy apartment. maybe they picture a place with a marble countertop, a dining table made of mahogany, and a ceiling high enough to hang a glass chandelier from. But then, just as they had given up on searching for that dream place, they come across this little cottage made of brick and hardwood floors. There is a leather couch in the middle. They take a seat. Suddenly, they can picture their life there so clearly: nothing but the pitter-patter of the rain drumming on the window pane, the sound of the coffee machine running in the background, and a slice of chocolate cake waiting for them in the refrigerator. It was the familiar feeling of comfort after a tiring day. It was so far from what they had first pictured, but they are absolutely certain that they want to make a home here.

That is how he feels to me now. So far from what I had pictured, but certainly where I want to be at the end of each day. But the funniest part of all of this is: He was the one that arrived there in the first place. He was the one who moved into that quaint little building around the corner. He was the one who found me. And I am the one waiting here; hoping he finds a home within me.
If you think this is about you,

it is.
little lion Jul 14
you are my favorite part of my mornings,

and the hardest part of my nights.

Maybe someday,
I can brew enough
for two.
I long to spend my days with you.
D A W N Jul 4
maybe love
is a shot of expresso
i should not have taken
hours before bedtime
yawa last na taysa ragd
Kassan Jahmal Jun 15
Pressing charge,
unplugging the worth you have in my heart,
Wicked, and deceitful,—would I seem saying,
"I love you with all my heart"

What haven't I loved long before you,
I've loved another; or rather a better
taste of you. Cloying; to a degree of natural ecstasy.
Scented ravenousness, so sweet by the first brim of
open lips connected.

I've had an affair with her, over the plain;
that seemed to be what we once had.
But still I could never start my day firstly without a
hint of you; yearning yourself down throat.

Enkindled by you both; though as the latter
proved herself, only in the first few times.
My bladder full to breaking point of a glutted
water balloon; hanging on a thin string.

The effect she had on me...

The effect of when I picked a latte coffee
over my traditional black brew.
When the rain falls
I think about you
My lips meet mugs
The morning coffee
that warms my body
Your love touches my heart
In the city that covered me
On your jacket
And I memorized
Indonesia, 6th June 2022
Arif Aditya Abyan Nugroho
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