This nonfiction piece was published by Alaska Women Speak in its Winter 2015 issue. The theme was “talking over coffee (or tea).” This my first creative nonfiction piece to be published. Enjoy!
The Important Things
It’s been that kind of a day and now, at home, you are faced with a household tragedy: the tea supply has run dry. Not that fancy, loose tea that sits atop of the cupboard by the stove: the rooibos, the jasmine, the gunpowder green. The kind that requires the French press, a teaspoon to measure, four cups of water, and four minutes to brew. No, you are out of the ordinary Red Rose Tea, the one that comes in the bulk 100-count boxes. The ones that are not individually wrapped for freshness. Those are the ones you lack and need.
You leave your husband and the overtired one-year-old who refused to nap today to make the important journey. You travel to the only grocery store in your small town that has this tea. Forget about the decaffeinated version, you want the real thing, and buy two boxes. When you return home, his raised eyebrows, sigh and silent house tell you that he’s succeed in his mission and the child is asleep. You produce the tea, proving you were successful in yours, too.
The evening proceeds like many others do. You select the preferred cups: his, is the plain, white ceramic; yours, the clear glass Starbucks one. You are not fancy. This does not require much decorum. Just two cups of water, a microwave, and two minutes.
After a moment of silence, you turn on the TV. Forget about the Syrian refugee crisis and the falling Dow Jones, you discuss the important things of life over Futurama: like Katey Sagal’s career after Married…with Children ended and how much adults like Disney cartoons, too.
Your tea is the liquor that calms the nerves and re-energizes your soul. The last sip, overly sweet and growing cold after fifteen minutes, gives you the final jolt you need to pack the diaper bag, make the turkey sandwich lunch and check your calendar one more time, before winding down to a short sleep before the day begins again.