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For Frank…

My lover’s teapot screams with its steam song bringing me back to the present from my post-holiday ennui float.

I watch him carefully pour the water over his special wellness tea of nettle, echinacea, astragalus, ginger, burdock, and cinnamon.

Without asking he puts an ice cube and as much honey as his good conscience will allow in my mug. He drinks his plain.

He smiles down at me as he hands me my cup.

We don’t speak as we sip.

He loses himself in the European news hour’s stories about violence and intolerance. He sighs and mutters to himself words like “compassion” and “anarchy.”

I smile at the back of his head.

The tea’s heat reminds me of my father. Ever the anglophile, he drank his black tea with a thin slice of lemon.

I remember the horror he and I felt when I put milk in with the lemon, and it curdled.

I don’t drink tea or try anything new in front of my father for the rest of his life.

Now, I have this man who regularly sees my foibles without grimace or judgment. I have this man who allows me to revel in my “me-ness.”

I can laugh at the curdle of my ill-fated life experiments. And, I can fully experience the joys of my successes now that I have someone with whom to share them.

We drink our tea in silence letting the volumes of our love rush through us creating a river of warmth and cinnamon on a frigid early January night.