When I introduce the song Coffee Cup at live shows I usually say something short and simple: “This song is about Addition: addiction to coffee, and addition to relationships.” That’s not a lie, but it’s not the whole story of course.
On the night I wrote Coffee Cup, I walked into my kitchen about 2 weeks out of a relationship and contemplated whether or not to have my 3rd cup of coffee. I spent the whole summer clean from my 5-cup-a-day addiction, but now it was the end of September and I happily poured a continuous amount of coffee in my cup throughout the day. Because coffee tastes better if the cup is always full. It just does.
I opened my cabinet to find a mug that fit my mood and mojo. Naturally, I chose one my Ex gave me. I wish I could say this was the only time I’ve done this, but each of my past significant others gave me mugs. It’s probably because I wear my coffee addiction on my sleeve. If you’ve known me for more than a week it’s likely I’ve asked you to join me for a warm cup at least once. Still... How embarrassing to look into your kitchen cabinet and find a collection of mugs from your past staring you in the face.
I remember one particular mug, [and relationship] that consumed my thoughts for much too long. I guess you could call it a toxic relationship...if you want to use that word. You could call it emotionally draining, abusive, a learning experience...whatever self help word you want to insert...It was one of those. All you really need to know was that it was confusing. Why had I let something destructive into my life? Why wasn’t I smart enough to stop it...let alone see it? If love knows how to play that sort of trick on me, I’m certainly doomed. So I drank more coffee. Had I known I would be up to five cups a day I would have restricted myself. Or maybe I wouldn’t have. I can’t really say. Therein lies the confusion.
If I’m honest, a part of me didn’t mind. I willingly picked out my Ex’s mug and drank out of it to prove I was fine. I drank out of the mug to convince myself that I could hold on to the good parts of my relationship choices, and the bad wasn’t so very bad.. I drank coffee to prove I was stronger than my hurt. I drank coffee to prove I hadn’t made a mistake. I drank out of the mug to prove that my past relationship had absolutely no power over me. Every day. I drank out of the mug.
Until one day I didn’t. In fact I couldn’t. I got out of bed, walked into the kitchen and found that mug shattered on the floor. I ran my hand over the counter where I securely placed it. There were no tricks. No trap doors, no mysterious cats, no earthquakes. Just me, and a broken empty mug. I was terrified. Then I was relieved. Then I burst into laughter. What kind of person gives a mug so much power?