Mine, All Mine

by

We share a coffee cup. We never used to. At one time I drank my morning caffeine from the ceramic mug Bruce bought especially for me. I still have it. It’s white and decorated with pastel colored conversation hearts, those little valentine shaped candies that began speaking in text before texting came about,  “Luv U”, “4 ever”, “T-4-2”, “B Mine.”  He gave me that mug, not on Valentine’s Day, but for no reason at all. It sits far back in the dish cabinet now next to its mate.

His mug, the mate to mine, is also white, but with a larger handle to fit the width of Bruce’s hand when he holds it. The mug sports a blue oval with the Ford Motor Company logo across its middle. Bruce’s first truck, his first love, was a Ford.  The mug came from a box and contents he bought at a local auction sale. I still remember the grin on his face when he held it up, having just been named high bidder.

For years, the mugs sat side by side on the counter each morning waiting for the pot to brew. Two spoonfuls of sugar and a dash of cream waited in each. One teaspoon stirred both mugs. I would set the coffee maker the night before, and Bruce would bring me my own cup of coffee in bed the next morning to help wake me.

I can’t remember the exact date we graduated to the one cup, but I know where we found it. There’s a thrift store called the Green Olive Tree half a mile from our house. We visit there on occasion for treasure hunts. Both of us spotted the mug at the same time and reached for it, a piece of handmade pottery, signed on the bottom by its maker. The colors, graduations of blue, green, and brown, drizzled in rivulets down its side. The mug was taller and bigger around than each of ours, the handle, a nice wide rectangle.  Bruce weighed the pottery in his right hand, testing it. He held the handle, examined the lip for chips. Then, he offered it to me. I cradled the piece of art, running my left hand over the colors, feeling its perfect weight balanced in my hand. I pretended to drink from it.  We placed the prize, an original, in our basket and bought it for a dollar.

Not long after, Bruce brought the new mug to me one morning in bed. I took the cup, drank from it, and closed my eyes savoring that first taste of the day. When I opened my eyes he was looking at me smiling. “That’s my cup you know,” he said. “I saw it first.”

“No you didn’t,” I said. “I saw it first. It’s mine.”

“You can’t have it,” he said.

“Yes I can,” I said with force. “But I’ll share. Here, you can have a taste.” I handed the mug back to him for a sip.  He took the mug from me, drinking from it as he turned to leave the room. 

“Hey,” I called after him. “My coffee!” 

He laughed, then placed the mug on the dresser as he left the room.

I carried it with me to the bathroom, taking a drink before brushing my teeth. Bruce came in to shave, and I handed him the mug so I could go get dressed.

I was in the hallway, headed to the kitchen when Bruce handed me the newly filled mug. “Take care of my cup,” he said laughing before he kissed me goodbye. He tasted of coffee.

I stood on the porch watching him walk to the truck. As he opened the door, he turned and looked at me. I raised the mug in a toast to my husband and smiled. “Possession is nine-tenths of the law,” I said, looking from Bruce to the mug and back to Bruce again. “And that means, it’s mine,” I said, “all mine.” And I could hear his laughter over the truck’s motor as he drove away.

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5 Responses to “Mine, All Mine”

  1. Dorothy Lang Says:

    I love this story Margaret…my husband does not drink coffee, he hates it, he hates bananas, liver!, Ugh!! all of the things I love, except (liver) we use to eat it when I was growing up, but not now…Anyway, we share a lot of other things, movies, he loves old movies, I like new ones. Books, I love romantic and he likes mystery, suspense, spy stories, Si Fy, oh heck he likes all books. We have hundreds. We like to take the day off on Sunday’s and just read or watch old movies…now that football season is over we have plenty of time to catch up on reading. Every couple of months we have sort of a date night. We go to one of the latest movies. The last time we went I packed ham and cheese sandwiches and we ate before the movie so I wouldn’t spend over $20.00 on popcorn and a drink. The movie’s cost enough…
    Love you stories….
    Dot

    • train-whistle Says:

      Thank you Dot. It’s funny how the little things mean so much more than you ever thought they would, and how what you remember in a relationship is so far removed from what you imagined you would remember in the beginning. I’m rambling, but I think you know what I mean. Thanks for reading my work and commenting. It means a lot to me.

  2. stephanie Says:

    Love it!! That Bruce is one heck of a man!

  3. train-whistle Says:

    Reblogged this on Train's Whistle and commented:

    An Oldie, but still true. xxxooo

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