Ben’s hair is long and messy, his cheeks rugged with stubs as he forgets to shave, black rings encircling his eyes as he stays up late more often, his body gets thinner as he often forgets to eat. My friend is mutating into another version of doctor Frankenstein. The Mad Barista.
I arrived with grumbles. “What’s so important that it can’t wait till tomorrow?”
Ben doesn’t answer. But I catch his eyes sparkle brightly, radiated from his convoluted face.
To my nose, he thrusts a measuring cup. There’s warm coffee inside. “Here, smell this…”
I sniff. Smells good. Smells really good.
“Take a sip…”
I do so with a doubt. A combination of taste climbs over my tongue. Hmm… this is… “Ben, this coffee is…” I lift my face, “PERFECT!”
I shake his hand with such a zest that his whole body shakes too. Both of us laugh. For a long time. As if a great weight was suddenly lifted. As if we haven’t laugh for years.
“This is the most delicious coffee!” I shout again, amazed.
“…in the world,” continues Ben. “I have travelled the world and tried all the nice coffees, but none comes close. I can finally say that there is a coffee blend with the PERFECT taste.”
I nod in agreement. “What would you call this blend?”
Ben stands motionless, until a smile blooms, a proud smile of a father watching his son being born into this world. “BEN’S PERFECTO,” he says firmly.