Coffee, Tea, and Empathy

“I’ve thought about it,” she said. “And from all the relationships I’ve had since RP, I never felt the way it was with him.” She stopped for a bit, contemplating. “You know, the earlier stuff. How easy it was.”

And at that moment a slow realisation hit me: Is that how people feel? No wonder they sometimes can’t let go of a person they loved in the past. And no wonder I couldn’t really understand it.

“Well,” I started haltingly, trying to formulate my thoughts into words. “For me, every time I meet someone new, it’s a different feeling.”

I lit another cigarette, took another sip of my drink, and realised that it was true.

“So I can never compare whether I love this guy or that guy more. In my memory, and when I’m experiencing it, it’s just different. I suppose there were different levels of ease and comfort but the ‘feelings of love’ were unique for each one.”

I felt as if I understood something then. Something fundamental about love, and something personal about how I love. And as soon as I tried to grasp it, it slipped through my fingers.

Another night, another lost epiphany over coffee, tea, and empathy.


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