Friday, September 18, 2015

A Tea-Addict's Journal PART ONE

This is that little booky thing I am writing, I will be posting a new installment every Friday.

It is fiction.

Part One-

The Apologetic Mask

The tea tasted off this morning. 

I don’t know if that was due to the work that had to be done today, or not. 

Cardamom and ginger-spiked Nilgiri black tea with fat-free evaporated milk, and for once, real sugar. 

I was preparing for a shipment that was to enter the US at any time now. 

I guess when they say “slow boat from China” they aren’t kidding. 

I was already itching to make another order, and I hadn’t even received the first one yet. 

But the spring teas were starting to be harvested, and any week now, I’d receive word that “Yes we do have that Darjeeling from Namring estate in.” and “Yes, the new sheng pu’erhs for this year will be ready to ship any day now.” “Yes, you can pre-order the Jin Xuan oolong for this season, would you prefer scented, or unscented?”

For most people, this might be an easy choice. 

My problem is that I like them all

The mellow smoothness of Darjeeling, the bite of a young sheng pu’erh, the creamy milky-ness of a true Jin Xuan. 

There was also so much more to my habit than this. 

Beyond the drink itself was what it was presented, prepared, proffered, and eventually drunk in.

 Pots, Gaiwan, cups, bowls, mugs, and the occasional saucer were scattered around my little nook of a tea room. 

The only pity was, there was only one chair. 

Because of that, the tea room felt very lonely and isolated despite being less than two steps away from the living room, where my husband entertains any friends who come over. 

I wished it was a room I could close off. 

A room I could have poufs and bean bags strewn around, comfortable chairs everywhere, yet still with a focus on tea. 

Because despite all of my beloved husband’s efforts, I was lonely. 

Sad isn’t it, I had most everything I could ever want, but I was lonely. 

Lonely and afraid. 

Afraid to reach out, afraid to try. 

I had been burned by people so often that I had completely given up on making friends.

It's hard, being different. 

Ever since I was a young girl I have been ostracized for being "weird". 

It was everything from a bully "accidently dropping my textbook in the chem lab sink full of formaldehyde, to them slamming a locker door in my face. 

I was lucky if I didn't have to replace my glasses every six months. 

You get jaded in that kind of situation.

 I got to the point where I only didn't have my guard up around maybe three people.

 Only three people I felt I could trust enough to where I wouldn't have to wear that mask.

Everyone has one, a mask, I mean. 

Some people have several. The mask you wear when the boss tells you to come in on a Saturday. The mask you wear when your mother starts talking about your weight.

My mask is very simple. A fake, hollow smile that doesn't reach to my cheeks, let alone my eyes. One corner higher than the other, almost a smirk.

I have a pretty tough outer shell. I hold in emotions until the little bottle I keep them in bursts under pressure. I make sure not to burst around others. 

You wouldn't like me when I explode.

I say things I don't mean.

Things that are purposefully built to hurt feelings.

Things that would make even Lisa Lampanelli say "That crossed the line, WAAY back there".

I don't mean to.

But sometimes, that's the only way to get the hurt out.

Maybe that makes me the biggest bully of them all.

If I still believed in a god, I would probably ask "why don't you fix me?"

But that doesn't fix anything.

So I have been trying to fix things.

With tea.

With meditation.

With therapy.

With medications that more often than not make me feel ill.

But that's better than just letting it sit where it is, right?

Back to the tea.

I figure I should dump it and start over.

Maybe that blend with the lavender and jasmine.

So, I brew that.

It still doesn't feel right.

I set the mug on my tea table and start doing what maybe I should have been doing all along.

Writing apologies that I will never show anyone, and never send.


                 I am sorry I was such an insufferable person last night. I should not have argued about taking my medications on time. I was wrong. I hope you can forgive my rudeness and impudence. Please don't hate me.

             I am sorry I did not get the dishes done. I have no excuse, but I hope you can forgive me for not taking care of my responsibilities in a timely manner.


I did that for about an hour.

They were not all grave offenses, and I had already verbally apologized for most of them.

It made me realize my mistakes, I guess, to write them down.

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