The Stains of Time

A sign (“Thank you for 9 1/2 years”) and a locked door.  I put my face against the glass but could discern little familiar in the darkened interior of the former coffee shop.

I mean, it was only another Arabica, right?  Just a peaceful place to chat, to ruminate, to philosophize over a cappuccino in a glass mug.  And yet… I couldn’t walk away entirely at ease.

Packing away the espresso machine after nearly 10 years?  Pulling the advertisements for various art shows and concerts off the walls?  Wiping the coffee stains off the tables for the last time?  Perhaps, some had been aware of the change, but as I absentmindedly approached the door, it was a sudden shock.

Later, as I sipped my overly sweet drink from a Styrofoam cup in a different café, neither the sugar nor the caffeine could entirely overcome the bitter residue.

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