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The sleek, caramel-white machine looks at me longingly.
Pressed up against the wall, she waits for me to turn her on. She offers me more than one option, depending on what I’m in the mood for today.
I know from experience, her buttons are soft to the touch. Some days I crave it bold — others, I prefer it vanilla. Before her, we did it the old-school way: grind the grains, tamper them in the press, extract the perfect brew.
Regardless of the method, her end always justifies the means.
My gaze draws over to the milk frother, and then I remember what he can do. The matcha powder sits next to him on the counter. I remember how he tasted: bitter at first, then sweet as can be.
His effect is relaxing, and simultaneously, energizing. He takes longer to craft to perfection, but I know I’m equipped with the little that’s needed.
Caffeine content is nearly the same. But he gives me a clean hit, and she gives me the high. She makes me feel productive, put-together, and strong; he makes me feel comforted, intellectual, and healthy. Both make things move, and both suppress my incessant urge to snack.
An aroma of arabica wafts back from the machine. She’s warm, and she’s ready to go. Her minimal design is exalting.
— “You remember I offer decaf?”, she whispers.
— “I won’t make your energy crash”, he replies. “And boost your immune system, too”.
— “But I can boost your metabolism…and help you burn fat…and enhance your memory.”
— “Would you rather reduce your stress or increase it?”
— “Stop overthinking…”, she summons.
Listen, Matcha — I know how you make me feel. I know what we have cannot be replicated anywhere else. I know you may reduce my risk of cancer, and I know that sometimes, you’d be the better choice. I know you can make me happy.
Except this may be a case of the nice guy finishing last. Love is not something we force; it is something we nurture and grow over time. A connection can only be harvested between two people if it has previously been planted in each of them. Maybe it was meant for our souls to cross paths during this lifetime — but maybe, this wasn’t our lifetime to be together.
I do believe our paths with cross once again. But for now, there’s somewhere else I need to be.
And that place is savoring a dark, magical substance. A substance that manages without fault and on the daily to turn my languor into efficiency, and speaks volumes when it whispers to me:
“Girl…you’ve got this.”