Porch Coffee

It’s 2020

My friend died this June. Every morning, I drink my coffee on the porch and I look for her in the bunnies, birds, and rainbows.

Gary* made the morning coffee, and I head outside. Usually porch coffee is my favorite time with Gary. Early in the morning, before everyone is awake, before remote school starts, before work zooms.

“What a lucky time,” I think each morning.

But recently we use the porch coffee to disagree, to fight, to cry.

Today is no exception.

“Why is he so mean now?” I wonder and I stare at the hummingbirds drinking nectar. They are so close to the porch.

Gary asks why I have to wear my sunglasses all the time. “I can’t see your eyes. I don’t know if you are talking to me,” he says.

I don’t say that my eyes don’t know how to look at him anymore. “They are sensitive to light,” I say. It’s the truth. Just not all of it.

His opinions don’t budge, and I don’t understand why he is talking to me like this. I don’t know that before he came outside for coffee he had to tell Heather he would be late for their zoom date. “Coffee on the porch with my spouse,” he told her, with a sad emoji.

He used to call me “peach.” Now he calls me “spouse” with the disdain assumed.

Suddenly, 5 hummingbirds stop drinking nectar and start flying at us.

No, at him. They are flying straight toward him and only veer off inches from his face.

I say a silent thank you to my friend, who is surely watching out for me from somewhere over the rainbow.

*My husband’s name was not Gary. Remember, I am changing names. I wouldn’t want Gary or Heather to feel called out, you know.

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