Twice now my coffee maker has piddled half its contents onto the countertop. In the office I tapped away unaware, listening to its comforting burble, then gone to fill my cup from its silence to find it sitting in a pool of its own waste like a guilty puppy. I know this symptom.

It's an old coffee maker. A worn out Braun, last of a trio that used to serve my favorite coffee shop. When the cafe shut down I took this one and a few dead ones from the basement as spares. The sound, look, and taste is full of memories for me. Three times I've gutted this unit and repaired it with parts from the dead ones. The graveyard is now empty. No bodies left to raid. This coffee maker is the last standing of its breed and there are no more donors. Extinction looms.

The pool forms when the pipe around the heating ring cracks. Possibly I can find a Braun repair place that has a new one. Possibly. But that's not right somehow. I had always fixed this unit and its brethren at the cafe with parts from predecessors. It's now an unspoken rule of the game. Part of the no-money style of the forgotten cafe.

But what to do? Memories of how an apartment feels empty the day after a relationship ends surface and linger. What now? Is it ... over?

But there is coffee on top of the heating element as well as below... and the basket is ajar. The basket is normally slightly ajar, popped out from heat. Perhaps.... I filled the unit again and this time strapped the basket in place with an old belt. Hit the switch. Waited. No puddle. No errant drips. Just perfectly brewed coffee.

Tomorrow I will scour the junk shops and find a child's cowboy-costume belt with a big chrome buckle. That will be ideal. It's not time to ride into the sunset yet.

This site is strictly personal. I give no guarantee to the accuracy of my facts or my fictions.
© 2001 Owen Briggs
last modified on 22 apr 01