June 8, 2011

It's All Good

There is no such thing as a vacuum, which is not to say that people are forever condemned to dirty carpets, but rather is a statement against things existing in isolation. No idea is had without inspiration; no action fails to generate some kind of reaction. Picture a pond, a stone dropping in, a ripple; then dismiss the pseudo-zen imagery. 

This is not about rocks or carpets. It's about bread, coffee, muffins, mochas, and taste. It's about "What's/Is this good?", and the futility of what is truly a stupid question, no matter what a well-meaning grade school teacher might say.

Of course, you can forgive the questions as honest inquiry from the ignorant, a show of respect to the knowledge and taste of the barista. And isn't that what we want, after all? We mock the customers who douse our precious single-origin beans in cream, laugh at the preening caramel machiatto sippers. We know quality. We know it, and if only they would listen. 

And so our narcissism is indulged, our egos sated, by a curled lip, a pointed finger, and a simple question. 

But no cafe exists in a Hoover, and so, simple though the question appears, we stumble. "Well I like..." we say, before realizing the irrelevance of the point. "Well it tastes like..." we say, not answering the question. "It depends," we manage. "Everything is good if you like it." 

Even coconut mochas, extra hot, skim milk, no whip. Even pitch dark beans from everywhere and nowhere in particular, flooded with milk, sweetened enough to send someone from zero to diabetic in seconds flat. 

We pause, and so do they, both wanting direction and having none to give. We stand in front of our silent orchestras, arms paralyzed, pining for that familiar symphony. "Are mochas good?" Sure. Well, maybe. Not to me. But to him? To her? To you? Yes? No? Maybe? Ihavenoeffingclue?

A breath. "Most everyone likes them. It's chocolate. Hard to mess that up." The music plays, and brings our arms to life. "I think you'll like it."

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