Years ago, my Papa Don drove me up to Lima, the halfway point where my parents would scoop me after a grandparents weekend a couple hours south.
We pulled into the McDonald's lot. The rendezvous site. And my parents weren't there yet. So my grandpa said, Let's go in.
He ordered us a hashbrown and a coffee respectively. We ate at a plastic booth and crumpled our wrappers on the table.
Once the coffee cooled I took a sip and said, Not bad for McDonald's coffee.
And he said, It really is a good cup of coffee. Wherever you go, you can always depend on McDonald's for a good cup of coffee.
And I thought, McDonald's coffee is trash. And how, though decent, none of the sustainability buzzwords then applied to this cup of coffee, its story; well before Corporate elevated the product's word cloud.
Years later, I backpacked China in sandals. Wrists of cheap bracelets. I considered getting an infinity tattoo. Like that would actualize me. I journaled about how it would help.
Coffee was uncommon in rural China at the time. I only saw tea. Served in ceramic pots.
But I thought I couldn't write as well without coffee. And the only place I could find it was McDonald's.