Coffee and Control

Tom and Jim are two old friends getting together for coffee at a local, rundown-but-you’ve-been-there-a-hundred-times-so-it-doesn’t-bother-you diner, and Jim has had a quandary about his life. He probes Tom for insight. “Tom, Do you think we control our lives?” Tom thought for a moment, looking into his coffee as though it had the answers Jim sought. Finally, looking up with a quiet satisfaction on his face he replied in question. “Why did you get up this morning?” Jim, knowing his friend had what he was looking for, patiently answered, “Because my alarm woke me.” Still prodding further Tom asked, “What did you do after you awoke?” Jim sipped his coffee and said matter-a-factly “Went to work.” Tom continued in his interrogation while rearranging the condiments, “And why did you go to work?” Jim squinted at his friend in reasonable puzzlement. “To support my family of course.” Tom, apparently satisfied or bored with the condiments, lit a cigarette and after exhaling asks, “And why are you here now?” Jim stops tapping the table (something Tom hates by the way) and darkens, as he believes to comprehend, “I see what you are driving at. My alarm controls my sleep, my family controls my responsibilities, and you, my dear friend, control my time. Is that your point, that I am not in control? That I am merely a pawn whose actions are dictated by the driving forces in my life?” Tom breaks into a full smile at his friend’s discomfort and incorrect deduction. “No. Think about it Jim. Who set the alarm? Who got married and had children? Who drove here, sat down, and ordered? You did. You are in everyday control of your life. I wouldn’t smile too quickly because you have no one to blame if you fuck it up. Never feel pity for yourself, and never believe there is nothing you can do about your situation for even your mood is your choice.” Jim sits back in the booth to reflect. He looks at Tom with a slight scowl, “You couldn’t lie just once to make feel better could you?” Tom, intent on his engineering work of art consisting of two forks, a toothpick and a salt shaker creating a monolithic pyramid answers without looking up, “You could stop asking.” 

Drive fast. Take chances. Thanks for reading.




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