Oh Joe. It’s hard to believe that after all these years I finally have to let you go. You have been the only constant in my life for well over a decade. You warmed my soul every morning, filled my various homes with your rich musky smell. And you carried me through those long and lonely university nights when I spent hour after hour pouring over every word of every essay.
On the road, you were always by my side. Together we traveled from New York to Los Angeles, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and we braved mountain passes in the Rockies I never thought I could face. It was harder to find you in Africa and the Middle East. At times, I was too poor to afford your finer self and settled for the instant version of you instead. It always felt like cheating.
We were inseparable and everybody knew it. Nobody dared come between you and me, especially during our fierce early morning embrace, but in the back of my mind I always knew there would come a time when I’d have to say goodbye.
See, Joe, it’s not healthy to love a thing too much. My passion for you was unreasonable. I would get anxious without you by my side and sometimes, lately, I would even get sick if we weren’t together first thing in the morning.
If I wanted to leave the city to trek in the desert or the mountains, I had to plan ahead: how will I bring Joe? Sometimes it seemed like I couldn’t leave, that I couldn’t even spend a single day without a little taste of your sweet love.
Surely, in real love, there should be a space between?
And every time I brought you into me, I knew I was paying the price. That you were sucking the hydration right out of me and quickening my heart rate, but I couldn’t get enough of you. You were my rebellion. With you I told the world I have the right to destroy myself and I kept after you.
Also Joe, and please don’t be hurt when I tell you this, but the earth pays a price to provide for you. It was innocent enough in the beginning, but you are so powerful that everybody wants, nay needs, your beans in their lives.
I wasn’t jealous, but many workers in Guatemala, Kenya and elsewhere also suffer on your behalf and I can’t forgive myself for that. So now is a time for healing: for the earth, for the workers and yes, even for me.
Trust me, it hasn’t been easy. I can hardly pull myself out of bed and I still feel sick for want of you. You’ve left your mark on my soul (and kidneys, no doubt) and I’ll always wonder if I’ve made the right decision. But I know that the pain of losing you will subside over time.
Although I will miss waking up to your intoxicating smile, it will get easier, and I will be healthy again.
Farewell my beloved Joe. Thank you for the good times we shared.
Image: a cup of coffee with a heart, Shutterstock