Project Coffee Break 001
Prologue: Into the Dream
Make your dreams come true. It sounds easy. Yet most people don't even try. Jenny had been one of those people for a long time. It was easier to just retreat from the world into the dream, than trying to force it into reality. It was also a lot of hard work. Dreams usually where comfortable places, safe and warm. Not something one wants to sully with the sweat of work and panic.
So for many years she just cultivated her dream in her mind letting the warm feeling it left follow her where ever she went. It worked well for her. If life got hard or tedious, she could change focus from the world to her fantasy. Here she was a the proprietor of a small café. A cosy place that was always filled by the smell of freshly roasted coffee filled with the light of a summer sun that never set. It was like a little holiday of the mind. It had the great advantage that she could change the interior and the location whenever and however she wanted. She also didn't have to worry about small details like paying bills, where to get all the things she needed to run a café in the first place or learn how to roast coffee.
However as time went by there was something missing in her life. She had a good enough job, her colleagues were nice some of whom she counted as her personal friends. Life was... OK. There was a tiny little hole in her soul though, one that slowly increased in size as time washed through it. At first she had not realised it was there, when she knew that something was amiss she was still not sure what it was, apart from the fact that her life was for all intents an purposes pretty 'meh'.
Things only came together when she went out of the city one long weekend. She was thinking of a small cottage not to far away to spend it with herself. Spend some time getting to know her heart again, leaving the daily routine behind to see what was left of her if she let the daily routines slide.
Turns out there was a lot of her still left. Mostly she was just tired, not in a sleepy way but her mind and her feelings were tired. Being outside in the warm tempestuous wind where an impatient autumn was wrestling a summer that just didn't want to die just yet made her thoughts clear. She didn't hate her life she was just bored to tears by it. She had muddled her way through school, forced herself to push towards excellence at the university only to enter a world that didn't really give a fuck about her. She was to work somewhere, her qualifications be damned and her needs as a human being barely tolerated as nuisance as long as was functioning.
"Meh" she said to the wind. The wind roared with sympathy ruining her hair in the process.
Looking up the skies she could see that autumn had brought some big burly cloud friends to its disagreement with summer. They were already flexing their edges and starting to turn into dark grey towers to scare summer away. It was time to seek shelter. So she hurried along her path which wound through fields and little patches of forest, resulting in the picturesque landscape she had sought for her weekend retreat. According to her phone and the strength of its signal civilisation was near hiding behind a some trees. Which turned out for the best, it had already started to rain when she reached the little outgrowth of the city. The kind of rain that with thick ponderous drops of water gave fair warning to everyone that the real show was about to start. The air was starting to heat up, the light turning into a dramatic green.
Jenny realised at this moment that she would have to seek proper shelter or risk being washed away by the quarrel of the seasons.
This is how she founds the watermill. Deliberating whether or not to knock on a random door to ask for asylum and hope for a warm cup of tea, she reached a little stone bridge that looked like it had crossed the the little river it was built over for thousands of years. Composed of rough hewn rock and clothed in patches of moss and lichen that would always be in style it stood there calmly waiting for the storm to do its worst. It had stood there for millennia and it was planning of continuing doing so for the millennia to come. As Jenny was crossing it her eyes were automatically drawn to an ancient watermill that stood not far upstream from the little bridge. Apart from the defiant little bridge there wasn't any other building that had stood here for so long as the mill had. Jenny felt a slight tug of admiration as she saw it, there was something about the building that she found touching, that had been a place where people had lived and worked for so long that the language and the country around it had changed in character and appearance so much, that it left the mill stranded in an utterly alien place. And yet it was suited perfectly for that spot. Then Jenny felt a much harder tug, this time it was strong gust of wind telling her that the show was about to start.
Not quite sure why she was doing it in the first place Jenny hurried to the watermill and tested its door. The building was unlocked. It was at closer inspection very close to being a ruin but still maintaining enough of its dignity to keep up appearances. Inside the building was mostly empty apart from some random junk and what people who had sought shelter here before her had left lying around. It wasn't tidy but then Jenny knew some streets back in the city where this level of tidiness would be considered close to spotless. She looked around the ground floor found the stairs and went up a floor. The picture was mostly the same only that it was almost clean up there. She found a small room with a mostly intact window overlooking the river that had changed into his best white foam attire to take part in the dispute that was reaching its full force outside. Jenny was pleasantly surprised that the window was actually keeping wind and rain outside. Letting her eyes wander she was delighted to find an old leather chair. Its best years had past long before she was born. Jenny didn't mind she sat down surprised to find, that it was still supremely comfortable and that below an aroma of stone dust she could still smell the leather. This feeling of comfort reminded her of the times when she had visited her grandfathers home and sat in his leather chair, a monster of a thing that to her child sensibilities had enough space that she could build herself a room on it. She loved to sit in that chair like a tiny queen, while here grandpa sat on the couch facing the chair reading fairy tales to her.
She could feel the warmth of the sun in her face, the voice of her grandfather had faded away. She smelt freshly ground coffee, he had gotten up when she fell asleep to make himself a cup and he would make her a giant cup of hot chocolate. She smiled slowly opening her eyes, the sun was getting close to the horizon changing into her crimson night clothes but still bright enough to blind her, she looked around the room, filled with wooden shelves an a tidy work desk that she remembered always wanting since she had been in university. Which reminded her that her grandfather was long dead, and that there was no couch in the room. And like that very slowly the dilapidated room where she had fallen asleep slowly resurfaced from what had been left of her dream. Only the the bright light of the setting sun remained.
That and at the very edge of perception the smell of coffee.
Jenny had found a place where dreams and reality intersected.