Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Aggravation and Magic


We were driving back from town, and Dylan and I were talking about horses. As we got out of the car, Rhonda said, "You guys sure are talking a lot."

"Oh no," I thought. But yeah, it was seven in the evening, and I was revved up.

We'd had dinner at a Japanese restaurant. Dylan loves it because of the "sushi boats" that float by, allowing the patron to pick from a wide selection of sushi and other Japanese food. After dinner, we stopped by a drive-through coffee place to get a couple of dessert coffee drinks. For Dylan and me, that is. Rhonda can't stand coffee, no matter how gussied up.

I ordered decaf versions. Dylan is ten, after all, and if I drink coffee much after noon or so, I can count on spending a good chunk of the night sleepless.

For some reason, we didn't get decaf versions of our coffees, and sheesh, those suckers were big. The guy at Dutch Brothers probably didn't hear the decaf part of my order over the music in his work area.

Rhonda went to bed around ten, and Dylan and I were still talking away. At midnight, we were still talking. That was when I started to feel really aggravated at the guy at Dutch Brothers. I was listening to Dylan, but silently calling the coffee guy a bunch of ill names.

I probably stewed at that guy for a good half hour. But then, the front porch light inside came on, and I realized that I needed to give up my rancor, and focus on the magic going on with my son.

We talked about his friends. We talked about horses. We talked about falconry. We talked about his hopes and fears for the school year. We talked about him getting back into Jiu Jitsu. We talked about our favorite music. We talked about what he would do when he grew up. We talked about the day he was born. We talked about my mom, his other grandma, the one he didn't remember because she died when he was thirteen months old. We talked about both of his grandfathers, who died many years before he was born. We talked about kindness, and toughness, and how they often belonged in the same room.

Finally, at two-thirty in the morning, I could see him start to wind down.

"Let's get you in bed," I said.
"Aw Dad, I'm not sleepy yet."
"We can keep talking."
"Will you stay with me until I fall asleep?"
"Yeah."

So I did. His speech started to slow, and he started to talk about a time we'd gone snorkeling, but he didn't make it through the sentence before drifting to sleep. I kissed his head, then went to our bedroom, and kissed Rhonda on the cheek. She giggled.

"What time is it?" she asked.
"You don't want to know."
"Oh brother," she said, before drifting back to sleep.

It was nearly four in the morning before I even thought about trying to sleep. I wondered if those coffees had something illegal in them.

I finally started to feel myself slip, as I thought about the three of us swimming through the ocean.

***

About three weeks later, we went to the same Japanese restaurant, and Dylan and I once again decided on dessert coffees at Dutch Brothers. As we pulled into the drive-through lane, I could see the same young guy hanging out of the window, handing coffees to the car in front of us.

"Dylan, it's the same guy who gave us caffeine poisoning last month."
"Oh brother," Dylan said.

The caffeine poisoner shouted out a greeting, and asked us what we wanted.

"Two decaf Carmelizers, one on ice, one blended," I said.
"So that's two Carmelizers, one on ice, one blended?"

Dylan and I shouted in unison, "DECAF!"

The poor guy nearly jumped off the floor. Probably because of too much caffeine.

6 comments:

Bob said...

You realize, of course, that the coffee guy inadvertently gave you a wonderful gift.

Algernon said...

Ha ha ha!

Roland said...

Great story

Pam said...

Wonderful story, as usual! Loved it!

Kelly said...

Ditto what Bob said.

Yep, great story! Treasure these moments.

Debby said...

This one made me smile. Yeah. You got a marvelous gift, but sometimes one marvelous gift is just about enough.