By Judith Pedroza
I pay 2 and take one,
Then five and drink three,
Waiting, expecting you at the door,
One day you will appear,
Caffè sospeso, here I leave you,
Take one for me,
One day we will sit in the same chair
With a similar cup, the pending coffee that I leave
I hope to go back and find you,
And have the coffee that we could not have together,
The coffee that could have led me to follow you on the roundabout
And walking in circles
Sugar and milk, more milk than coffee,
Come by and ask for the pending coffee with your name.
Do you have a pending coffee?
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A caffè sospeso (Italian: suspended coffee) or pending coffee is a cup of coffee paid for in advance as an anonymous act of charity. The tradition began in the working-class cafés of Naples, where someone who had experienced good luck would order a sospeso, paying the price of two coffees but receiving and consuming only one. A poor person enquiring later whether there was a sospeso available would then be served a coffee for free.
Thinking about the Tonino Guerra Tale.- Caffè Sospeso
Someone wants to escape...
A curtain flirts through the window of a building. It is the only one. The curtain is determined to be rebellious and has decided to play with the air that comes after an open door, plays to walk abroad. The other windows of the building are kept locked because in September, in Graz, a slightly cold air begins, but this curtain does not hesitate to come and go. Passing by, I 'm looking at the curtain and it seems to want to tell me something, "Look at me, look how I wave the colors of the flowers in my autumn pattern; I have no fear, someone in their carelessness left me here with only a moment to meet you. Stay there. Look at me. I don’t know how long the door will be open." Why don’t you come over here? Surely from here, you would appreciate all who walk with their bread in hand toward their homes. I have never seen someone in Graz walk with a coffee in hand. That's for people from America, who are always in a rush, but this is a city of contemplation. Right now, if you look up, you could appreciate the beauty of this, my home. Sacred time of this building has colored those dark shadows on the walls around the windows … I stop, but it's hard because I'm in a conversation with the curtain. I've always hated those who need to take a picture of every meaningful moment; there are images that only live in experience and memories. The photograph is never a good reference to the experience, but this curtain wants to stay as an image.
After 20 minutes of contemplation, I have to wait for the time frame and flirting. Here you are curtain; I know you want to reach the cables hanging in a perfect horizontal and linear way. Why did I have to encounter you? I imagine your home with old books. Surely, from the beginning of the last century with illustrations in black and white, cups of strong coffee, those that do not let you sleep for three days. I would let you escape every day with a promise to return.
Thus, you would conquer the bread walkers. I'm standing here talking to you from a distance again. The bread walkers are curious, asking why I am looking at you. Some of them stop. You have conquered them as well. Remember me next time. I will pass through here. I'll have a coffee in hand and you will know that I am a foreigner.
Canon, Issue 7
© 2014, the contributors
Department of Visual and Critical Studies
The School of Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60603