I have a theory about really bad coffee. I have a theory about John Mayer, and I have a theory about why the rain came down yesterday when it could have easily came down today. I have a theory for almost everything, but the problem with theories, is they don’t solve the problem of heartbreak..
The rain in May fell gently on the planes….of Oklahoma yesterday. The mood was somber before the mood even had a chance to wake up and realize it was going to be a somber day. Days like yesterday have a feel to them, right off the bat, the moment you open your eyes, your soul has already been up, talking to the universe, getting the news of the day, and readying yourself for the goings on that are about to occur. My soul woke me up, just in time before the phone did, which is why I think the universe was ready for me to start making really bad coffee.
There is not much you can do for someone that is sitting on the end of a couch with more rain in their eyes than the earth outside. You offer the door, you offer a hug, then the couch and then the coffee, the really bad coffee. My couch is stained with the war paint of that of a seven year old that sometimes doesn’t find his mouth. It is beaten and worn, and it is the perfect place for a sad soul to sit on a rainy day, to talk about the death of a friend and to drink really bad coffee.
Really bad coffee serves two main purposes: to give the body the caffeine it desires to wake up, and it is so bad that the person drinking it is slightly distracted by the bitterness of it, which helps distract of the bitterness of the world. Really bad coffee is the perfect companion for sitting on couches and telling stories of the swan that went home.
I must warn you now, that if you come to me with the news of death and seek the comfort of my couch and the bitterness of my coffee, you will also have to endure the humaneness of my humor. In the face of death I know that people want to talk, people want to grieve, but more importantly, people don’t want to be treated differently. And so I tell jokes, really bad jokes about the things most people wouldn’t dare tell jokes about when you find out someone’s friend has just passed. I offer my ear for the listening, but I offer my poor comedy skills for the pauses between tears.
And I blame John Mayer for this.
I have loved the musical stylings of Mayer for years, but for some reason, I have been stuck on one particular song for the last two days. Who are we kidding, I am not stuck on one song, I am really stuck on one particular verse of one particular song, and it is driving me mad. But to get back to the understanding of John Mayer, His music came along about the time I moved back to OKC. He has grown with me and I have been around to see his music grow as he grew. His happy stuff and his sad stuff. I have seen the interviews and read the articles, and I have come to the conclusion, that life, like music, is circular, that you can have a happy song next to a sad one, a good moment next to a tragic one. It’s okay to laugh when you are feeling sad, and it is certainly okay to feel broken in the middle of a sunny day. Mayer’s music has carried me down the road of life and back again, and like soundtracks we listen to during these trips, Mayer’s music makes me feel, good and bad, happy and sad, that in the end, it is fine to feel.
And so I am reminded of the verse “I can’t wait to figure out what’s wrong with me, so I can say that was the way that I used to be…there’s no substitute for time…”. I was hung up on this verse for so long, and now I am not. Because the person I was then is not the person I am now, that I remembering hearing this verse the first time years ago and thinking the same thing, wondering if I would ever feel like the whole person that looks back and says ‘that was the way that I used to be”. But now I am on the other side of this verse, the way I am on the other side of this couch, listening to the story of heartbreak, and knowing that there is no substitute for time, that the only way through is through.
Now I am sitting here on the other side of my journey, helping someone start theirs.
I find it an enduring sign of human emotion when people apologize for crying during sad moments. You don’t hear people at a comedy club apologizing for laughing at jokes, but we people of this planet will say “I’m sorry for crying” while they tell you about the death of their friend. I simply reply “I’m sorry for having shitty coffee”.
And then there is the slightest pause in the rain, on the face and in the universe, and this is why the rain must have fallen yesterday, and not today.
The swan loved rainy days. And if you are going to take something so beautiful away from beautiful people, you need to do it on a day the swan can swim beautifully away in.
Blessed are those for whom the rain falls.
The universe was sad and weeping yesterday. My friend was sad and weeping yesterday. I made bad coffee and bad jokes, and quoted John Mayer. And the world felt right. Sometimes the universe knows what it is doing, that the process we hate is the process we need. But that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. We want simple and we want precise.
Sometimes we just need bad coffee to swallow that pill.