The Big Mug

(Author’s Notes: The following is what I wrote as a submission for the “welcome wagon” phase of the NovoEd 2015 How to Write Fiction online course, as the first assignment)

There was a particular coffee mug at home that I used often. It was large, much larger than all of the other mugs the family owned, and was covered with a dark blue-over-light blue print that stopped short of the mug’s handle.  The print itself proudly advertised “Bloom’s Coffee” in bold letters, positioned under a stylized image of flowers tumbling out of a decorative vase. To the left and right of the flowers were the words “regular” and “grind”, displayed in much smaller font, as were “vacuum packed” and “one pound net” right underneath the Bloom’s Coffee label. Finally, at the very bottom, were what I presumed was the address of the makers of the mug itself, J.Bloom & Sons Coffee & Tea Corporation, located at Portland, Oregon. This design was repeated on both sides of the mug, as if to make sure that people looking at it would know exactly where it came from.

I’m not really much of a coffee drinker myself, so I often use the mug to hold other types of drinks. If it isn’t water it’s usually something cool, like orange juice or, if my family had received a package from my mother from the States, iced tea. Or even cola, at times. 

It’s because of this that I’m sometimes tempted to ask the mug whether or not it was happy with its situation.  Was it happy that I was using it like that?  It was made with hot drinks in mind after all, and coffee in particular, and yet here I was making it hold the opposite. What could it be its reaction to that, I wonder?

I’d like to imagine that it would be happy that it was even being used, period.  It sat almost forgotten in a corner of one of the kitchen cupboards after all, and I only noticed it due to how large it was compared to the mugs that my father normally used for his morning coffee. Because of this, I’d imagine it to be patient as well, doubly so because I was the one who used it most often. 

Would it be angry instead though?  Should it be angry?  What if whenever I pour in cold water from the fridge, it gnashes and grits its figurative teeth at me, and mouths curses in my direction whenever I use it to hold mango juice with ice for a warm’s summer’s day?  That would certainly be interesting, though it would likely make me think twice about ticking it off too much.

On the other hand how would it react to when I used it to carry the strong and very hot brewed coffee that my father drinks to get through the morning? Would it be pleased then, nod to itself, and think that I was finally using it as it was supposed to be used, it’s true purpose? Enough to endure my usual antics, day by day?

It could go any way, really.


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