This is a story about family. It’s a story about entitlement and crossed boundaries. It’s a story about… well, Mexican Chicken Coffee.
I grew up in a large family — one brother, three sisters, a menagerie of animals, and two very dysfunctional parents. One can easily surmise that with such multitudes, there were many battles over personal boundaries.
My father, whose name was Rupert, had no notion of where he ended and others began. He strode through the world crisscrossing boundaries with impunity as though it were his own personal kingdom. He took what he wanted and did whatever he wanted; espousing his viewpoints liberally with no regard for the feelings or sensibilities of those in his path. He was like a human tornado at times, leaving a trail of dumbfounded expressions, open mouths, and emotional devastation in his wake.
Years ago I went to visit my dad and stepmom Bonnie in the lovely town of San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico. They owned a beautiful home he called Sueños de Invierno — or Winter Dreams — named so because they spent every winter there.
As with any place he ever lived, my dad filled every nook and cranny with colorful art. He was an avid collector and hunted obsessively for the next unique piece. I think what my father loved most was the art of the deal. He was voracious in his pursuit of the best and typically got what he wanted at a reduced price he predetermined. I developed empathy early on for the unsuspecting victims of his powers of persuasion and inability to take no for an answer.
I share this so you have a clear understanding of my father’s strong sense of entitlement.
When I visited my dad and Bonnie in Mexico I had the habit of waking up early and slipping downstairs to make some coffee. You need to know that I love everything about coffee; the aroma, taste, and steaming cup combine to create a perfect beginning to any day. It is a sacred ritual that I enact daily. There are nights when I go to bed in anticipation of the next morning’s brew. Wherever I go I look up new bistros in my search for the best cuppa ever. Basically, I’m a coffee snob. I cannot resist the allure of those magic beans at dawn. They comprise what I lovingly refer to as the Elixir of Resurrection.