Linda takes it black. The way I used to when I was twenty-something and indestructible. Now it’s cream and sugar for the old man, whose stomach can’t stand black anymore.
The old can is on the first shelf, right under my hand as I open the cabinet. Haven’t bought a can of coffee in three years, just foil bags to refill the old can. Three big scoops in the filter, a pot of water in the maker.
Linda doesn’t speak, of course, but her silences scream out in the early morning hours, drowning the gurgle of the coffee maker. I pour my cup, splashing black coffee into the crystalline sludge I’ve piled on the bottom. Sweet as the devil’s kiss, pale as milk.
I drain my solitary cup, leaving only the bitter dregs, three years cold, for Linda.
My morning ritual, complete.
Michael D. Turner‘s writings have graced the pages of Aberrant Dreams, Amazing Journeys, Alienskin, Between Kisses, Continuum SF, Every Day Fiction, Tales of the Talisman and a variety of anthologies. He is an associate editor of the new Flashing Swords e-zine.