Sunday whirl brought to you by Starbucks.

November 10, 2013

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Not that Chloe and I don’t have enough Starbucks around here, we drove the seven minutes away to our old hood to hang out at the Sbux up there to have the very same Earl Gray tea I can make here at home for the price of a tea bag, which is much less than the $2 Sbux price. What’s that all about? And then we watched the lovely people stop by to get their own drinks for 17 times the price of the home brewed.

I was reading the Sunday whirl words and thinking that we’ve all got an addiction to coffee shops, to coffee, a psychosis, and so I let the whirl spiral right down into the dark roasted bitterness of it all.

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buckle, gain, miss, instant, navigate, grace
visions, humming, drill, dignity, years, stride

Coffee is really a dominant force in her life right now. It has been for years. It’s a sad thing, but there it is. She takes it in her stride… it’s a city thing.

She likes to stop for coffee on her way, pay her money and hand over a crisp, white Styrofoam cup. She likes the way it looks. The boy behind the coffee bar looks up and smiles; he knows the drill.

Sometimes she has a latte, sometimes an Americano, she never misses a day. She thinks about that time, thousands of years from now, when she and this country will be known for the things left for future generations: Styrofoam cups, plastic bottles; things which may buckle with age but not decay. She is holding in her hand molecules which will outlive her body. Thousands of years of existence for an afternoon coffee finished in ten minutes…in an instant.

No, it can never be instant. That was left behind a long time ago along with her memories of her mother, fat and nervous. How her hands shook as she pulled the wet linens out of the washing machine.
She snapped the sheet open, folded it and put it in the laundry basket, wet, folded, but wet.
Washer woman, lacking grace or dignity, navigating children and chickens, humming her way down the clothesline in the yard.

She blinks away the frown. She smiles at the Styrofoam cups covering every square foot of her living room, each an organic reminder of the day before. She looks at the clean white order of her days.
Someday urban archaeologists will excavate her home and find a large cache of these things, lovingly organised and ready for study. Oh what a gain for science, how glorious that will be.

She picks up the magic marker and writes 09,10,2013 (thought of mom)
She walks over to the window ledge positioning it carefully next to 09,09,2013 (bought new cups)

Home on a rainy day
Friday photo challenge

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  • Reply Pamela November 10, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Wow, Veronica. That is something I would call perfection. Really excellent writing.


    • Reply Veronica November 10, 2013 at 6:53 am

      Holy smokes Pamela, thank you so much. πŸ™‚

  • Reply reneemwilliams1982 November 10, 2013 at 7:00 am

    I love this post, you did a great job with the wording of your blog post. I love Starbucks especially at this time of year with the weather getting colder. I love their pumpkin latte, and their caramel apple cider. I am not so much into the Styrofoam cups though because of the harm they do to the environment. Luckily our Starbucks has paper cups.

    • Reply Veronica November 10, 2013 at 7:04 am

      Hi Renee, don’t worry, ours has paper too. This poem is written to illustrate an unbalanced mind, not mine…lol. I wonder if anyone actually uses Styrofoam any more. I haven’t seen any here in Vancouver for years.

  • Reply Gena Livings November 10, 2013 at 7:09 am

    I enjoy both tea and coffee but I definitely drink my beverages in paper cups or mugs. I enjoy visiting coffee shops every so often but it is hard for me to spend the crazy prices so I only treat myself once in a while. My Earl Gray tea tastes just as good at home and enjoy the company of the squirrels on my deck in the early morning.
    Great Article!

    • Reply Veronica November 10, 2013 at 7:56 am

      Hi Gina, the best is to bring along a reusable travel mug, isn’t it? But it’s a nice feeling of community and coffee shops are integral to that, which is why we go there. πŸ™‚ I’ve studied that thru my CMNS degree and now am helping my daughter recognise this as she works her way thru her degree. These Sunday whirls are a great exercise for me in poetry and imagination, so don’t worry, it’s just a made-up poem. πŸ™‚

  • Reply sophiebowns November 10, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I love coffee (I’m not a tea drinker at all) I rarely go into the likes of Starbucks and Costa, because they are so over priced!

    • Reply Veronica November 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      I know what you mean, but I love Sbux or Costa; especially the Costa on the third floor of Waterstones in Oxford where I can have a tea and look at all the people on the street. (count all the mad professors πŸ™‚ )

  • Reply Christie November 10, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I think I better switch from my usual English Breakfast to Earl Gray if it can engender that kind of creativity. Well done!

    • Reply Veronica November 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Lol, thank you so much Christie. πŸ˜€

  • Reply Cheryl's View November 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Veronica, your story is delightful and oh so true. I hate styrofoam cups. I stopped going to Stbx a few months ago ever since I discovered I could buy their bagged coffee at a grocery store. I’ve saved beaucoup money.

    • Reply Veronica November 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Cheryl, thank you so much. I don’t drink coffee but I hear it’s the same if you make it at home. There’s a barista machine in my house and some coffee drinking friends make their own here with the Sbux Christmas blend, and, as long as I don’t make it…lol, they love it. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Old Egg November 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I do like it when a writer rattles the cage and allows us to look at ridiculous mankind hastening their destruction.
    What a telling write this is.

    • Reply Veronica November 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Thank you so much Old. I wonder if we all hate Styrofoam so much, and it seems we do, why is so much of it still around?

  • Reply Sabra Bowers November 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Enjoyed your story, Veronica. I think you are correct in that it is a city thing. I found I wanted to know about the mother in your story poem. Great job with the words. πŸ™‚

    • Reply Veronica November 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you Sabra πŸ™‚ I got interested in her too. At first I didn’t really want to introduce a second person into the poem but then I got used to her and she pulled the story together and stayed.

  • Reply paulabuenosaires November 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    WeΒ΄ve had “go to Starbucks for breakfast on a Saturday” on our wish list for a long time until this very weekend. πŸ˜€
    I liked the photograph and the story so I read on. I immediately suscribed to your blog. Even before coming to comment! πŸ™‚ Looking forward to more images and words from you.

    • Reply Veronica November 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Hi Paula, thank you so much. πŸ™‚ Sometimes we go to Starbucks for breakfast too. I’m glad you’re here and now we can get to know each other.

  • Reply 1sojournal November 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Don’t drink either coffee or tea, but loved the story and the lesson to be learned within it. Really like how you wove these words together creating a strong vivid image of humankind’s contrary nature and foibles. Great writing,


    • Reply Veronica November 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much. I read the words to C and R and they had such different ideas, but I had coffee on my mind the minute I read instant. Funny how the words just take over. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Andra Negroiu November 10, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Hi, Veronica! Your poem connected with my unexpectedly, because I had to move to a different house last week and I was amazed by all the useless items that tend to pile up in one’s home. I guess it’s a byproduct of our consumerist society – I shiver to think about all those Styrofoam cups lining garbage piles or forgotten along shorelines.

  • Reply Misky November 11, 2013 at 7:05 am

    A very clever write, Veronica. Well done!

  • Reply Daryl November 11, 2013 at 9:23 am


  • Reply a spirit of simplicity November 11, 2013 at 10:28 am

    very nice..

  • Reply Irene November 12, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Really like that urban archaeologist angle, Veronica.

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