Sometimes the simple pleasures in life are the best pleasures; like sitting down at my breakfast bar enjoying a hot cup of dark roasted coffee. I like my coffee in a clear cup that way I enjoy the variants of the coffee’s colors. I smell the aroma of cocoa and the smokey scent as it wafts up to my nose. I anticipate my first sip the way a young child anticipates Christmas. As I’m bringing my cup to my lips, I hear…
“Ray, Ray don’t take that sip. Hand me your cup, por favor,” said La Flor*.
I hand my cup to La Flor. She takes hold of it. Steps away from me and simultaneously grabs the coffee pot. She carries my cup and the pot of coffee to the door leading to the patio.
“What are you doing, La Flor? Leave my coffee alone. Don’t take it away from me. Why are you wearing sunglasses? The sun is barely up?”
“My sunglasses are a statement any time of day. The coffee’s mine, Ray. It’s all mine. Don’t dare follow me. I’m desperate. I need it all.”
“Please, La Flor don’t kid with me. I’ll get a caffeine headache. I’ll have the shakes by 9 a.m. I’ll be mean-tempered by 9:05 a.m. I won’t be able to finish my blog.”
“I’m saving your life.”
“You are not saving my life,” I said.
“Am too,” she said.
“Are not,” I said and wished I didn’t say it. When am I going to get out of third grade?
La Flor had one leg out the door, her butt pushing the door open. Her eyes darting between the patio and me. She said, “Am too.”
I had to break the cycle of silliness. I said, “How are you saving my life?”
“I’m saving you from someone who could be potentially dangerous if she didn’t have a lot of coffee this morning.”
“Do I know this person?” I asked.
“La Flor PI doesn’t want to answer that question.”
“Why are you talking in the third person?” I asked.
La Flor took a quick look around the kitchen, then said, “I only see you, Ray. Then, of course, there is me, whom I can’t see because I can’t hold a mirror, coffee cup, and coffee pot at the same time. I don’t see a third person. I don’t understand why you said I was talking in the third person.”
“You’re taking this too far, La Flor. Take my XBox. Take my iPad. But, please don’t take my coffee.”
“Too bad, Ray. It comes with the territory of living in the same quarters with La Flor, beautiful, tough, and edgy PI. Think of me as your personal security.”
“I don’t recall hiring you as a bodyguard. I don’t recall hiring you for anything. What time did you get in last night?”
“Let’s not change the subject, Ray.”
I knew I was on to something, I pushed on, “Let’s change the subject, La Flor. Did you get in?”
“Let’s put it this way, The time I got in is the time I got in. Does this make sense to you?”
“La Flor, do you think you are talking to one of your alt ego males?”
“It was worth a shot, Ray. They’re not too bright.”
“How much sleep did you get?”
“La Flor, beautiful, tough, and edgy PI, doesn’t sleep when she’s on the job.”
“Please quit with the third-person. It’s going to give me the hives. Did you just get home?”
“I’m home now. That should count for something. I was out having breakfast with my mystery writer blog friend. We wanted an early morning breakfast. I knew this day would be action-packed trying to keep you out of trouble. I chose a healthy breakfast instead of eating something you might make for me.”
“You don’t think oatmeal and Greek yogurt and fruit are healthy?”
“Oh, heavens no, Ray. And when you add walnuts and flaxseed to your Greek yogurt, it’s a turnoff.”
“May I ask where you had breakfast and what you ate?”
“Sure, we got breakfast tacos at Paco’s Taco food truck.”
“I think I am catching on, La Flor. Let me guess, Paco’s Taco food truck happened to be in front of the alt ego bar. Is this a correct assumption?”
“You’re on fire. You didn’t need your coffee. I’m going to sit on the patio. I have a headache, my eyes feel swollen, and my tongue tastes terrible. Please don’t play music.”
“Are you hungover?”
“I like to experience all life has to offer.”
“Enjoy the coffee and peace, La Flor. I’m headed for Starbucks.”
One thing we share in common is imperfections. Recognizing my imperfections helps me to accept La Flor in her imperfections. She didn’t need a lecture or to feel shame for her long night or hangover. She was being who she is and figuring her way through her alt ego life in much the same way as I am figuring my way through life. We all need more understanding and lot less criticism.
* La Flor is a fictional character and acts as my alt ego. Her character has evolved over the blog posts. She began with a single letter as her name. Her name gradually grew to two letters, then three before she settled on La Flor. She liked the name because it fit her idea of a beautiful, tough, and edgy feminine PI. It is my interaction with her persona that serves as the source of these blog posts. I have no notion how La Flor will continue to evolve. It is an adventure for me as well as the reader.