Their migration ends not far from me by what has been replaced by a one time natural source of life-giving nourishment. Standing on the top of the counter at about a foot in height and even less in width it is an unimpressive sight to behold to say the least. Yet it seems irresistible to them. It is amazing to me that something that happens with such regularity and frequency every morning with such obvious importance to such a select crowd can be so overlooked by outsiders and passer-bys. But truly I never really thought of it before. It never really seemed… well, to matter… Perhaps I am blinded by the same ignorance that keeps these migrants from noticing me. I am not part of it, so I am insignificant. Just as I might find their little semi-religious ceremony insignificant on any other day.
Today however, I watch them go through the motions, performed with almost ritualistic precision and dedication. The silence is breaking up now, dispersed by mutters and grunts from the few apparently informing the impatient rest of progress and intentions. Familiar gurgling sounds and warm aromatic scents further encourage participation. It is close now and everyone seems to shift impatiently. Knuckles holding the more or less colourful expressions of each of them in the form of cups and mugs – of course displaying the mandatory array of “personal achievements” and lame gag gifts – would turn white with anxious anticipation if it weren't for the fact that it obviously is too much effort at this early hour.
A particularly loud last gurgle burps from the top of the indifferent little gadget they've all been staring at for the past few minutes and briefly everyone shuffles and postures in the attempt to place themselves in a prime location for distribution, according to some obviously disputed pecking order. Then things settle and for a little while everyone simply stand around, slurping… as if they ran out of energy during the wait and need recharging before they can move again. Or maybe it just isn't possible to multi-task during initial consumption? Or perhaps it is simply considered blasphemous to not stand still and savour the gift of nourishment they have received from the kitchen-counter demi-god.
I suppose in a way such determination to enjoy small things should be admired or at least not let go unnoticed, and yet I admit that I might be somewhat more inclined to seek to adopt that manner of appreciation if weren't for the seemingly complete inability to function and communicate prior to the distribution of these plentiful – however precious – drops.
I confess I don't get it. I probably never will, so I am settling in for a lifetime of watching the morning migration of the coffee-herds with puzzled bemusement.