Coffee storm

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Retirement has its routines.

Every day after lunch, Celia consumed the next one of an endless succession of romances. John snoozed away while supposedly playing online scrabble. Then, at four o’clock, Celia made them a cup of coffee each.

Today, John woke with a start and looked at the clock: nearly 4:30. Wanting to do something nice, he asked, “Would you like me to make the coffee?”

“Wait a minute,” Celia sounded annoyed. She stayed silent for maybe half a minute, then snapped, “I’ll do it, but CAN’T YOU WAIT TILL I FINISH MY CHAPTER?”

Feeling both puzzled and hurt, John shouted back, “DON’T BOTHER!” He stormed off to the kitchen, and made one cup of coffee, for himself.

That evening, Celia set the table for one, and had a poached egg on toast, with nothing for John.

He’d never hit her, or any other woman, but sure felt like it now. To control himself, he stormed out, had a hamburger at the local shopping centre, then visited their daughter, Mandy, crying on her shoulder about this incomprehensible reaction to an attempt at kindness.

“Sit down, Father,” Mandy commanded, and pecked on her phone. She put it on speaker.

“I knew that passive-aggressive wannabe manipulator would run straight to her favourite daughter,” Celia’s voice came.

John opened his mouth in outrage, but Mandy waved him to silence. “Mother, can you explain what you mean by that?” she asked.

“OK, so I was caught up in a great book and was a few minutes late with the coffee, but couldn’t he just have said so?”

“Father, what did you say?”

“I saw she was enjoying her book, and offered to make us the cup. And she bloody bit me in the bum!”

“Liar! You mocked me!”

John spoke loudly, to ensure Celia heard him: “Mandy, you’ve got an opportunity for a live-in babysitter and domestic worker. You know I’m a good cook when I put my mind to it. May I move into your spare room?”

“Jee, what a child! So you’re going to divorce me because your coffee was a half-hour late!”

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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4 Responses to Coffee storm

  1. Dr Bob Rich says:

    I wrote this little story for inclusion in a book on depression I am working on. It illustrates Aaron Beck’s concept of “mind reading,” something Celia is obviously prone to.


  2. MaanKind says:

    The price of being misunderstood, he thought. They call you devil or they call you god.” ― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.


  3. Dr Bob Rich says:

    I got cured of coffee when I was 21.


  4. mybooknks1 says:

    On coffee.

    Oh, the routine of having a coffee. In my retirement, caught in the inescapable web of writing, no chapter or new thought ever overreaches my 10:00 am coffee. Even if I’m only an hour out of bed after an all night writing binge the urge is upon me, screaming, ‘have me now; you know you want to’, ‘take me with you back to your computer’, ‘savour me’, or ‘I’m always here for you’… and so on. So I give in.

    Bugger; I’m out of coffee! See, coffee has advantages like needing to do some shopping including dark chocolate coated teddy bear biscuits and the best Columbian available to perpetuate my coffee lust.


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