Coffee in a Black Hole

What I never understood was the old wallpaper,

Probably saturated with coffee, and moisture, and mold; bulging and peeling at the edges.

That ornate Victorian print has no right hanging here:

The utter injustice of it all;

Every metal chair from a different flea market; shards of eggshells go unnoticed in the lavender scones;

The lock on the customer restroom had been broken for years; so it stands empty because trust is a freighting concept. They don’t even take credit cards anymore.

The bulbs are bare, and only half of them burn on any given day.

The coffee here scorches the same way every time:

It has a compelled interest in seeing us hurt, and we like that attention.

This place has to be shut down, plastered up, and covered in sheets for the rest of eternity; allowed to dissolve into nothingness, where even the weary, static time and space will decay into dust.

Decades will pass and the first black hole on earth is discovered.

Science gods are forgotten, and a memorial is made.

“Sadness made everything disappear,” they tell the tourist hordes, “Unimaginable pain made the entire place collapse.”  

The tourists remember the waiver they signed, realizing the lawlessness of the whole situation.

They panic; their stomachs give a definitive lurch, and they go home.

Darkness has a way of invading the deepest parts of the human mind.

Sometimes a few pieces of wallpaper flutter out from the abyss, as weightless as angels;

Sometimes a hesitant fire erupts around the edges and is quickly killed by the strain of existing;

Sometimes a lonely traveler stands behind the yellow caution tape for hours and hours, listening to the black hole’s secrets; and, overcome and blinded with its startling beauty, he dives in.

He falls, faster than the speed of light, into an infinity greater than himself.

Eventually, he forgets about his body; his memories are left behind, but he is finally happy.


Nobody on earth remembers him.

Eventually, the tourists stop coming. The black hole is filled with cement, and a supermarket is built on top.

A few years later, a customer deciding between pinto or lima beans vanishes; the cans fall to the floor.

The next day, everything vanishes.


Only the corrupt laws of physics remain, laughing, waiting for the Next Big Bang.

But the Next Big Bang never comes.

The void stands still.

Inspired by this Prompt


18 thoughts on “Coffee in a Black Hole

    1. Thank you! I think the coffee shop I talk about here is a combination of few that I had been to; slightly exaggerated, of course. Yet something about it as a whole feels so familiar; I can’t figure out why, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “a very observant person, but unaware of the bigger picture behind my thoughts.”

        Kat, that can be accurately said of just about any highly intelligent and highly observant young person. Almost no one figures out the big picture in their teens or 20s. It’s just close to humanly impossible. Too much data has to first be observed and then thoroughly digested. As you get into your 30s, you begin to get an idea something bigger is afoot. But even then, most people will find out the ideas of their 30s don’t stand up in later years.

        As McCoy says to Kirk in one of the movies, “The damn truth is you die just about when it all starts making sense.”

        Here’s why the fact you can’t really know the big picture at your age might be of surprising importance to you: As you get older, the pleasure of understanding things begins to mount. By my age, Kat, it’s like being bathed in a warm ocean every day. It’s not like an orgasm or anything, but it’s pretty close to happiness all by itself.

        So why can’t old people simply tell young people the big picture?. Well, old people have been trying to do that ever since our ancestors learned to speak. Alas! It’s easy enough to impart facts, but damn hard to impart wisdom. Especially, wisdom about the most important things in life.

        If none of that makes any real sense to you now, worry not — it will someday.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was thinking about this comment for the last couple of days and perhaps I don’t really understand it because I don’t know what I don’t know. I have no idea what wisdom really is, but I guess I have something to look forward to.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Just to make sure I got my point across with clarity. I could easily tell you Kat that you need to work your butt off at being true to yourself. At finding out who you are and then becoming as true to that person as you reasonably can while yet remaining socially and environmentally responsible. I can tell you that, you can believe it, you can even try to do it and largely succeed, but you will not fully appreciate how important that was in your life until you’re pretty old.

        Bonnie Ware, an end-of-life nurse, used to interview her patients as they were dying. Guess what! The number one regret that nearly everyone of them had was, “I wasn’t true enough to me. I spent too much time and effort living up to other people’s standards.” Number one regret.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. But what does it really mean to stay true to oneself? How is possible to truly understand ourselves outside of the social conventions and institutions that we are unavoidably and permanently bound to?


  1. I enjoyed that, really good writing – it got me thinking, I felt quite relieved during the passage where nobody on earth remembers him, I don’t remember reading anything like it before, so well done! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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