Life for Beginners

Stories by Kenny Mah   |   Live Everything


A girl and a boy at a café

There was a girl at a café. Her hair an unruly mop; her mom would complain, “Too short!” How will you attract boys? is what her mom meant. The girl didn’t care. She was content to sit in the café and sip her coffee, watching other girls talking to their silly boys. Coffee is better than boys, she decided.

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All my friends know I have a tendency to rush through my meals especially on busy days. Come to think of it, many of us do. Fill our bellies so they don’t growl at us and then we can get on with the important tasks of the day, right?

It seems that way most days.

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The 4-Hour Secret

You are the same as the most beautiful and amazing day of my life and I don’t think that I can be more blessed than this.

It doesn’t take me four hours (much less months or years) to figure this out and it’s no secret: I’m so in love with you.

Joy, more than I’ve words, when you tell me you’re as deeply in love with me as I am with you.

Thank you, and yes oh yes oh yes!

Be kinder to…yourself

We are reminded constantly not to judge others, to have empathy and a kind heart. This is good advice. Sometimes we apply it, sometimes we don’t.

But rarely do we employ this counsel on ourselves. We judge ourselves harshly, crueler perhaps than our verdicts on friends and strangers alike. The money that we have, our jobs, our weight and waistlines. Our love life or lack thereof. We are not kind to ourselves.

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Don’t wait for the end of the tunnel

I sit down. I’ve ordered us our coffees. You wanted the affogato and I decided I wanted one too. You smile at me shyly. It’s been too long since we’ve talked or shared a drink together. How unusual that we wanted the same thing; usually you’d go for something white, for the latte art, perhaps, while I prefer it black and unsweetened.

But we both do like our coffees.

We talk and the months — the years, really — slip away easily. I curse a lot more when I’m with you; you laugh a lot more too, I think. We recall our former colleagues and clients with fondness and fatigue. Old loves and pursuits with regret and relief. Ah, but that’s all in the past now.

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