“Un doppio espresso per me, per favore”.
– Un doppio espresso per me, per favore.
It is said that smells are able to bring out memories.
When living a moment, smells are usually attributed a secondary role of the scene; something that, despite its permanent presence, is purely decorative, a trivial element, an insignificant factor, something that belongs to the scene as a simple part of the context. However, when time passes, a brief odor is enough to make us travel to the past.
For her, her childhood was the aroma of a just-made cup of coffee (or maybe coffee was in fact her childhood – she always had problems when giving the correct order to the words in a sentence). During lots of years, coffee was the first thing she felt every morning: before she had opened the eyes, the coffee maker whistling was already in the air, and before she had entered into the kitchen, her father’s breakfast was already noticeable by her nose. All the morning conversations including the “Buona giornata!” and the “In bocca al lupo per l’esame” were covered by the same smell and every goodbye-hug given to her father before going to school was impregnated by the same aroma. Coffee was necessarily related to her father.
That was the main reason she usually gave when explaining why she had ended up accepting the job. From eight to two she worked in Via Roma preparing capuccino and machiato, serving them to the tables and cleaning the bar afterwards. A part-time job that she combined with her studies in order to have a wider budget and do short trips from time to time.
– Sono uno cinquanta per favore.
From eight to two she worked preparing coffees. It was already three years since she stopped living with her father. But during those six hours she felt back home, close to him and to the child she was once ago.
That’s why she thinks she accepted the job. Even if she never drinks coffee.
„ Un doppio espresso per me, per favore”, said the man in front of her. He was tall, his dark, short hair seemed to mach perfectly his elegant suit. She was the next one in the queue. “How would like your coffee?”, question made by a bar attendant stopped her flow of thoughts, she asked for deca caffe’ latte with soya milk. According to her sister, she belonged to the people Who Actually Don’t Like Coffee But They Order It Anyway. That was not entirely true as from time to time she had a cup of cappuccino, but then, following the definition made by her coffee -addict sister, by adding quite a lot of cacao she had to remain in the mentioned group. Her sister. Yes, Annie. Now she didn’t anwer her calls what bothered Cathy a lot. She didn’t like to make a long phone calls, it was actually Annie who usually took initiative. This time however quite an urgent situation made Cathy reach for a mobile phone. Another trial. Nothing. At some point she felt as if somebody was observing her. The doppio-espresso guy. Trying to avoid his eyesight, she grabbed a newspaper lying on her left. Having covered herselft a bit, she caught a glance of him: interesting posture of somebody who knew who he was and where he wanted to arrive; expensive , dark blue suit and extremely tired eyes, he must have worked a lot, she assumed. At some point of that analyse she felt vibrations of her phone. Only a quick glance at screen was needed realize it was her sister. She got involved in the conversation. “No, I’m fine, forget about hospital. It is just… Tommy, yes, he, he said he was not ready to get married.” . She made a list of comments about him. Moment of pause. “Yes, we’ve broken up.”. Yes, I am in cafe’”, “Yes, I am fine”, her sister followed with questions. Having finished the call, her eyes filled with tears. She had her table cleaned by waiter, then stood up and decided to do something that could change the world. Doppio espresso guy was still there. She perfectly knew what steps to take. He didn’t know yet.