by Diana Lu
EXCERPT // Ray’s Cafe: Magic Potions Amid the Dragons
“The person in front of us beat me to it by only a few seconds—he monstrously ordered the day’s batch and smugly took it home in his own gallon jug. His greedy hoarding of the day’s treasure robbed the visitors of an experience that was meant to be shared. And it robbed me as well: I would not get to be there to witness their awakening—that special moment between human and magic brew, when your senses come alive. I fancied myself the hero, and he the villain—and he was the most tricksy, clever, and wicked villain imaginable: Smaug the Dragon—guarding every last drop of liquid gold. Could I outsmart him with riddles? Negotiate for just one cup from his splendorous jug? Wait until his guard was down and use my small, hobbit-like stature to tiptoe behind him and swipe his jug? My mind raced with ways to vanquish my foe and paw at his vast hoard.
My small army was a bit more polite and a bit less offended—they had yet to drink the sweet nectar—and I reluctantly withdrew, defeated. It was a sad day. I quietly vowed to seek revenge when we faced off again.
Deep down, I understood the obsession and greed that consumed Smaug the Smug Jug Dragon. We shared a precious love with limited supply. We drank from the fountain of life and there is no mistaking that elixir. One coffee ruled us both and the dark roast bound us. I had the monster in me, too.“
For full text and images, consider reading RQ in print, on a Sunday afternoon, sun streaming through your window, coffee in hand, and nary a phone alert within sight or in earshot… just fine words, fine design, and the opportunity to make a stitch in time. // Print is dead. Long live print. //