Continuation of the Coffee Watercolor Series

Watercolor with Jadeite Mug in Progress

Watercolor with Jadeite Mug in Progress

Last night’s arctic blast clothed the weathered old man in an icy shroud that he sought to shed.  The patchwork quilt draped over his sagging shoulders hung like a duster down to his knees as he shuffled across the uneven wooden floor of his front room.  Holding his favorite Jadeite mug in both hands, he waited patiently for the gurgle to commence within his stove-top percolator.  In just a few minutes, the sun would be cresting the distant range to the east, and he wanted to worship Aurora this morning with an open book in his lap and fresh coffee in his mug.  On this day he had much to remember.  Today would be a day for remembering.

As the percolator hissed, steamed and finally began its chortling, his memory was carried back to a cold, pre-dawn morning in the small, cramped kitchen of a spare urban apartment.  It was 4:30 a.m.  He had only slept two-and-a-half hours, the result of another all-night study and preparation for his Humanities class that would begin at 7:35.  He still had to dress, eat, walk three blocks to catch a bus, connect with a commuter train, and meet his morning class.  He was only thirty-seven, but already felt that he was seventy-two and worn down by life.  He stood beside his small stove, staring at the stove-top percolator he had taken on many a camping excursion, waiting.  

Looking up from the percolator that seemed to be contemplating whether or not to  bubble, his eyes ranged over the pile of books, manila folders and hand-drafted notes taken the night before.  Hoards of writers and artists from the neo-classical and romantic persuasions, all struggling for his attention.  How on earth was he going to synthesize all this information within the next three hours?  All he could hope for was a percolating mind in synergy with the percolating coffee–but right now this just wasn’t happening.  As he stood, contemplating, vignettes drifted through his consciousness, remembrances of graduate study, of seminars, conversations in the study carrels and coffee shops of those days, mornings in the park with a soul-mate and late nights of discussions when ideas were born as muses stirred and whispered their affirmations.  

And then the coffee was ready.

As the solitary old man poured the brew, inhaling with delight the aroma, he couldn’t quite discern what it was that he was feeling this morning–contentment or melancholia.  He couldn’t determine whether the memories were filling him or emptying him.  And he wondered: is memory something you have or something you have lost?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

By now, maybe some of my readers are wondering what is going on with these snippets of stories of an old man waking up to coffee.  These are just my attempts at writing fiction.  I have had these stories floating in my mind for over a decade, and wondered what to do as I began writing them out.  So, I decided, why not just fling them out on the blog as well?

Right now, there are probably some tears on this painting in progress.  I often enjoy playing VHS tapes on my small TV in the man cave, or listening to a DVD on the laptop.  While painting this, I’ve been listening to Neil Young playing and singing “Bandit” at his solo performance of Greendale at Vicar Street in Dublin.  The song is about a painter.  And I am not crying out of depression, just a fullness of feelings (if that makes sense)–a good cry, actually, a cleansing cry.  I feel a real connection as I hear this song and meditate on the words.  Neil Young has done a lot of that for me over the decades.  It is turning out to be a good night.

Thanks for reading.






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6 Responses to “Continuation of the Coffee Watercolor Series”

  1. Xraypics Says:

    That green mug really catches the spirit of the thing, coffee pot is pretty good too! Tony


  2. BJR Says:

    Enjoyed!!..once again!! I always like to see how you render each thing. The cup reminds me of the cup I use each morning…only mine has the word TRUST on it. I feel as if I learn from you! Thanks!! BJR


    • davidtripp Says:

      You really honor me, BJR. I question as to whether I myself am learning anything from these repeated attempts. At least I’m delighted to know that someone else is picking up things from them! I still have a long way to go.


      • BJR Says:

        Oh…I have a long way to go, too!…but striving to improve is my goal each time I get out pens and watercolor. That’s the challenge! I aquired a batch of old postcards…(from latter 1800’s-1920’s.) I love adding one as a pale background. But health has slowed me down. Again! So I look and learn from others right now. 😉 BJR


      • davidtripp Says:

        I am soooo jealous of your postcards, congratulations on that catch! I’m getting ready to get into a challenging composition now.


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