Coffee Drinks

Image of the top of a fancy coffee drink.Twenty-two, I was with my first lover, not college-girl exploring but the real deal. She was 28 and had an even older long-distance partner who was visiting, so we went out for coffee drinks. Playing just friends. I’d never had one before; it was divine, sweet Bailey’s flame searing night mocha, whipped cream-topped glass mug, shaved chocolate.

Her partner paid, magnanimous, husky and tanned, clueless or so it seemed. I was smug, silky, sitting back watching my lover managing. Later, when she cheated on me too, I called her partner, trying to commiserate. And that was some hot wet salt.

Cynthia Belmont is Professor of English at Northland College, in Ashland, WI. Her writing has appeared in diverse journals, including Slant, River Teeth, and

Photo Credit: Chris Blakeley


4 Responses to “Coffee Drinks”

  1. Aneela says:

    Cynthia, your piece on ‘Coffee Drinks’ is both poignant and beautifully crafted. 🖋️☕️ The intertwining of the sweet, indulgent coffee drink and the complex, bittersweet emotions of love, betrayal, and a sort of melancholic triumph creates such a rich, multi-layered narrative in just 100 words. It’s a testament to the power of succinct storytelling, where every word carries weight and emotion. 💔🍫

    The juxtaposition of the sweet, fiery Bailey’s drink with the unfolding emotional complexity and eventual hot, wet salt of betrayal is so vividly conveyed. It’s a sensory journey that intertwines taste, sight, and emotional feel in such a compact yet profound way. 🔥🧂

    I’m curious, was the choice of a coffee drink as the central motif intentional in symbolizing the blend of sweet, bitter, and burning in relationships? 🤔☕️ And do you find that writing in such a concise format allows you to distill the emotions and narrative to its purest, most impactful form?

    Thank you for sharing this intimate, evocative story with us, and for illustrating how every sip of life’s experiences, whether sweet or bitter, contributes to our rich, complex narratives. 📜💖 Looking forward to exploring more of your work and embarking on more emotional and sensory journeys through your words!

  2. nadia says:

    Maybe “hot wet salt means like” cold shower “,an euphemism.

  3. Christina says:

    Could you explain the meaning of the “hot wet salt” in the end, please?

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