24 March 2015

[Liff] This Is How You Coffee Cup

This is an oooooooold warhorse.

It's been with me since the mid 80s. I got it, under some distressed circumstances, in Seattle. I think I've owned it now for about two decades.

Since I still aspire to authorhood, I'll relate a quip a friend of mine once evinced:

"Where is a writer when he doesn't have his coffee cup?
He's looking for his coffee cup."

You may replace he with she and writer with artist, as the context and circumstance dictate.

Here, friends, is that cup:

It's five inches high, and about five inches wide at the base. It's august volume holds about 21 ounces of liquid; back in the day, I was a much more avid coffee drinker, more of the two-fisted variety, who thought nothing of draining one or more Mr. Coffee-carafes' worth per day.

Today, where once I drank my coffee with unrestrained gusto, I more approach it with the constant sip. I will sometimes leave a few dregs of coffee in the bottom of the pot. But the mug is still with me.

You only really find one truly great one. The maker of this much, a California company called Bearly Surviving, apparently has gone out of business some time ago. Smaller versions of this same design are available only on places like eBay and from collectors. For a price. These big mamas, the 21-ouncers, are even harder to find than that.

Vanishingly rare. You can't replace 'em, you can only repair 'em.

But there is nothing I don't love about this cup, even though it be shattered and put together again. As a matter of fact, when, at last, it dropped to the floor and broke, I made sure every piece was accounted for and kept them … for a span of years. Eventually the right glue came along.

I don't worry too much about it leaching into the coffee … after all, I rarely fill it to the brim any more, and when I do, which isn't often, it doesn't stay that full for very long. Mmmmm, coffee.

The cracks are a badge of honor, of service, really. When something like this stays with you this long, it's more than a favorite. It goes beyond being a fetish, and even jumps over talisman.

By now, it's achieved totemic proportion. And you don't jettison that, friends, unless you have to.

Go ahead, have this quirk. You're an artist.  You're entitled.

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