My dad and I shared a smile as we noticed a man in his 60's with a much younger woman. We asked ourselves if they were father and daughter, or could they possibly be a couple? Dad and I could come up with a hundred different scenarios for these two. I asked him to buy the vanilla lattes for us while I played detective on this unique couple we were watching. I tried drowning out all of the other coffee talk, but it was impossible. Surrounding us were businessmen and women working on laptops, teenagers with tattoos laughing and flirting, and a bunch of elderly people meeting again for the first time in years. I watched the group as one of the gentlemen reached for his camera to capture this special moment. They all smiled and posed and I had to giggle out loud when I suddenly saw my dad with two lattes in his hand standing in the middle of the reunion picture for his usual "photo bomb."
As we sipped our lattes, I reported my findings from my investigative java-eavesdropping. I told my dad that there were at least a dozen intriguing stories unfolding at that very moment, and possibly a few dramas.
My dad was in his 13th year of having CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia), and although it was a tough disease to live with, my dad faced it head on. He always focused on the positive, always laughed, and always made people smile because he was “The Man.” We took time once or twice a week to have these father-daughter pow-wows where we could talk through life's challenges. We would laugh and exchange stories about others and ourselves. It was therapeutic for us both to take our minds off of our daily problems, and immerse ourselves in other people's realities. It was the perfect escape for us.
After hundreds of lattes and some amazing creative stories, my dad suggested we put a book together called the "Coffee Talk Diaries." We could gather stories from coffee shops everywhere and share them with the world. I thought it was perfect...but as it turns out the timing wasn't ideal.
That year my father went through heightened blood counts, rounds of chemotherapy, a trip to MD Anderson Hospital, and a horrible bout of pneumonia. He lost his battle with cancer on April 17, 2007, and I lost my best friend.
Two years and 100 lattes later, I walked into a local coffee shop alone, and I noticed two young girls gossiping and laughing about the men they were dating. I smiled and it made me remember the amazing coffee journeys my dad and I experienced together. It then occurred to me that we never had the opportunity to put together our coffee talk book. That day I committed myself to fulfilling my father's wish, as a tribute to him and all he stood for in life.
This was the genesis for Talkuccino™, a book of short stories to laugh about, indulge in and embrace new adventures! A personal note from the co-author..
Dear Friends (fellow detectives),
After sharing my idea for Talkuccino™ with dozens of friends, I realized that many of them had their own stories to share as well. Thus, I've decided to make Talkuccino a collection of the best stories from around the globe. When completed, Talkuccino will provide a window to the most exciting and fascinating short stories from coffee houses everywhere. I am currently accepting submissions and considerations from anyone that wants to join me on this journey and the Top 100 stories will be woven together to publish Talkuccino. Please submit your story for consideration here. We will be donating 20% of the books profits to support cancer research. Click on the University of Miami tab to learn more.
CJO (Chief Java Officer)