“Coffee and cigarettes”, and the conversations that come in-between the exhale and the inhale. The flicks of ash into a Thrift Store ashtray and your slightly crooked smile flashing as our eyes look quickly away. These are the moments that imprint themselves deep beneath the skin.
These are the things of memories.
“Strange Condition”, off of Pete Yorn’s debut album, musicforthemorningafter (2001), reminds me of just those kinds of memory-making moments.
“Strange Condition” by Pete Yorn
from the Album, musicforthemorningafter (2001)
These kinds of memories are made up of stolen hours where two people swap stories, unpack late-night confessions, revealing hints and layers of who they really are while partaking in some not-so-good-for-us behaviors. No matter the “not good for us” packaged warnings, I’ve always loved those “coffee and cigarette” conversations.
They trigger moments of real intimacy, even if they come wrapped up in a rebellious nature carried over from our youth.
We exchange words. They tumble from our mouths as smoke swirls off pursed lips. It encircles us as we curl our bodies closer together, leaning in, closer. In many ways, these moments are more intimate than sex.
With each story, we give more of ourselves away.
And what happens next? Do we trust easier through the trading of bits of our life, and ourselves? We knowingly make this exchange in each of these conversations over “coffee and cigarettes.” We pretty up our mortality with lipstick and unshaven shadows, a nip of creamer, or maybe sometimes a half shot of whiskey to swirl around in the caffeine.
Have you ever fallen in love during one of these moments? I know I have.
We all so desperately want to tell our stories. To be listened to. To be remembered.
“Strange Condition” by Morgan Page, featuring Lissie