This morning I woke from pleasant dreams,
To the wafting scent of roasted beans.
The kettle boiled and sounded it’s call,
I heard the whistle from down the hall.
I put my old robe on over my trunks,
To the friendly clink of coffee cups.
Now, I don’t mind a noisy home,
But I admit I was surprised—I live alone.
So I went to the kitchen to see who was there,
And at the table, slumped in a chair,
Was a dishevelled man with tears in his eyes,
When he saw me he leapt to his feet in surprise,
And said, “Please forgive me and do not be mad,
I’ve perhaps had the worst week a man ever had.
I didn’t intend to intrude in your house,
But a man gets desperate when his luck runs out.”
Never a more sorry wretch have I seen,
Never a worse hangover has there been,
The man was a mess, without shoes on his feet,
His face was gaunt and long without sleep.
He told me the hundred woes on his mind,
He told me he’d drunk so much he’d gone blind,
(The stench of his clothes had told me that much,
While his breath declared that he’d just thrown up.)
The man said he’d passed out right in the street,
And taken two hours of tormented sleep,
Before the dawn beat down on his head,
And called him back, it seemed, from the dead.
So he entered the first house his sore eyes could spot,
And climbed through a window I’d left unlocked,
Then brewed himself a cup of caffeine,
To see him through his waking dream,
The nightmarish sort, from what I could tell,
His troubles were three, in a nutshell,
His wife had left him, asked for divorce,
(Sleeping with his best friend, of course),
Then siphoned their savings, how do you like that?
And then, worst of all, she’d taken the cat.
So I said, “Young man, you’ve done pretty well,
To make it this far without hanging yourself,
For I see right now you’re in a world of pain,
But trust me, I know, there will be better days.
You’ve been kicked around and burned by love,
But someday you’ll find someone worthy of trust,
So forget the intrusion, there’s no harm done,
If there’s any more coffee I’ll join you for one.”
The man said, “Oh, you’re a guiding light!
You make me believe it will turn out all right.
How can I ever thank you enough?
Well sit down for starters, I’ll get you a cup.
How do you take your coffee, kind sir?”
“With a shot of vodka—shaken, not stirred.”
The man laughed aloud at my beverage preference,
Nothing lifts the mood like a James Bond reference.
He went the kettle to make me a drink,
While I searched through his wallet he’d left by the sink.
Then I took a seat and he brought me a mug,
We drank and we talked then I gave him a hug,
And said, “Farewell young man, and take care of yourself,
And smile when you can—it’s good for your health.”
He thanked me profusely and bid me adieu,
And said, “I wish I could do something for you.”
He left, and I went shopping online,
Bought myself a new mattress—the memory foam kind—
A Happy Days shirt and some DVDs,
Up and Jurassic Park 1, 2 and 3,
And an autographed photo of Jussie Smollett,
With the credit card I took from the young man’s wallet.
As moments go, it wasn’t my best.
But you take opportunity when it presents,
Besides, the young man had worse problems than me,
And there’s no such thing as a free coffee.
©️ 2019 MILES VENISON ALL RIGHTS RESERVED