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Coffee is the liquid of life. I drink it unsweet to make a political point that I cannot now remember but that I can assure you is of world historical significance. Since the day I discovered that my body was a neon board of political signs, I have never looked back. And today, I can safely says that I have revolutionized the way revolutions are performed. Check this out. The other day, I devised a way of drinking my coffee in a way that fought world hunger. The point is that irrespective of the temper of the weather and the world, I can put in my daily quota of freedom fighting. I begin by taking an unremarkable sip of overpriced coffee while sitting in a genuinely rotten chair in a hip-pie café.  Raised to eye level so that all can see the title, I pretend to  read an old collection of Plato’s dialogue I found a year ago at the thrift store down the road. There are two reasons I am not really reading Plato. First, reading brings on a very oppressive mental lethargy that more often than not ends up in melancholy that is brought on by the realization that I love pretending to read much more than reading.  But I am also busy looking at this girl, whose face is buried in a newspaper she is holding up side down. I am hoping she is looking at my coffee shop props: a handsome pile of café classics—Art of war, Tao Te Ching, Beowulf, To The Light House, and good ole Moby.

Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

3 Responses to “Cafe Conversations: Coffee Shop Props” Subscribe

  1. Boye August 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    I drink coffee unsweetened also and started drinking my beverages unsweetened when the sugar stopped being a commodity and became a luxury item in Nigeria.

  2. Boye August 3, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    sugar and not “the sugar”

  3. Ainehi August 4, 2010 at 3:09 am #

    Yeah Boye. Sugar is totally overrated.

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