I remember drinking coffee at the Zen Cafe....
It was a little coffee shop just off the main drag on Robson Street in Vancouver. The year, somewhere around 1986 or 87. (My memory is VERY unreliable from this time!) All I know is, I'd stay out dancing and partying til late, late, late. The 12 noon blast from the BC Hydro building would wake me up. I'd make myself presentable, and head straight for the Zen to meet the tribe. We'd sit there drinking coffee for hours, creating all sorts of rituals around the drinking of the cup.
I'd pour in two creamers and NEVER use a spoon. We all decided that it was much prettier to watch the cream mingle with the coffee naturally, without help of stirring. If you really ponder the swirling cream, you can't help but start thinking of the universe and it's constant turning...I'd almost get dizzy at the thought of it.
We'd have contests to see who could flip an un-opened creamer the most times without making a mistake. If you flipped it with just the right amount of force, it would make a complete rotation and land upright, ready to be flipped again. My personal record was in the high fifties, this after hours of practice.
There we'd sit, tattooed, dread-locked, leather-clad youngsters--pondering our cream swirling in our coffee. We'd discuss the art work on the walls, we'd make plans for outings, we'd debate the meaning of life...all very bohemian, really. The owner of the cafe never seemed to mind us sitting there, spending only a dollar or two, taking up five or six tables. He must not have been very busy. I don't recall ever thanking him for that. We were all so self-absorbed, it probably never entered our minds.
To this day, I refuse to use a spoon to stir my coffee.