Essay: Black Coffee

Apr 20, 2018

In my family, dinner ended with the children being excused to go play while the parents and grandparents stayed at the table to drink coffee and talk. At first, I was eager to leave but as I got older, I yearned to stay and listen.

When I was finally invited to join the adults (somewhere in adolescence) I discovered the price of admission. If I drank half my milk, I could fill the glass with coffee. What a privilege! And what an awful taste!

I tried to sip with nonchalance but secretly wondered why anyone could prefer this bitter dark liquid to a can of cold pop? Maybe growing up wasn’t such a great thing.

I thought being an adult meant doing anything you wanted, having all the power and all the freedom. Instead, I heard them worrying about taxes and illness, politics and war. Still, I stayed at the table and got used to the taste. Today I drink it as hot and black as I can get it.

And I’ve decided that being an adult is a little like drinking coffee—dark and bitter at times. Even so, a privilege.