Vietnamese Coffee

Even as the more vivid details of our Vietnam vacation recede into the ever more distant past, something as simple as Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk can bring it all back on occasion. This past weekend, I took just a sip and was reminded of the days at our resort in Phu Quoc, when we developed a brief ritual of taking a seat by the window in the restaurant level of our resort, and starting the day with a small cup and saucer of Vietnamese coffee.

We followed our coffee with a combination of breakfast treats, including a pho bar and bahn mi. Aside from the smorgasboard of Vietnamese delights, there was a large selection of western morning foods as well, though we avoided the boring fare, like cereal. We concluded the daily decadence with an assortment of tropical fruits, my favorite being passion fruit, though the juicy dragon fruit and mango were equally memorable. The juices from these fruits trickled down the back of my hands, dried there, and interacted with the island sun, causing a strange dark patch to appear. I discovered that what I initially thought was a sunspot (expanding at a freakish rate) was actually a temporary tropical fruit scar when I casually consulted with a physician friend via Gmail.

While on the island of Phu Quoc, every morning, we ate and drank slowly in this way, enjoying the contrast between the smoky, dark coffee, and the pellucid, bright island atmosphere, treating ourselves to the ocean view and sea breeze floating in through the gigantic windows like a quiet new dream.

Bitter Heaven

There was the distinct morbidity of childhood, then before she knew it, she was knocking on heaven’s door with a baseball bat in one hand a bottle of Jack Daniels in the other. How nice that you believe in an afterlife and will have a warm home basking in the glow of god waiting for you when I continue to be lost, burnt, stubborn, clinging to vacuous resolve, stale romances trailing close behind. The scent of the night before is still in her hair and the beautiful Greek god saw her cynicism running down the length of the closet mirror. She was the most reluctant witness to the pieces of the day: cheap guitars, fake aspirations, imaginary men.

Here she thought she would find his closeness, everlasting regression, and sweetest harmony written in stardust by the purveyor of perceived eternity but he was not there, and in his place was only a fanatic disintegration.

She had ended gracelessly in an anti-climactic fade, swimming in her own ashes so she had no choice but to welcome futility. She hypothesized that sleep is parallel to death.