Other People's Coffee

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lyrics

Ever walk the streets and wonder what people are thinking? Ever look at their paper cup to see what they’re drinking? Ever taste their coffee in attempt to understand that their state of mind is based on what they’re holding in their hand?

Some people dump in seven Dominos, anything less and they’re comatose. But because their hot beverage has a taste so attractive, they finish theirs first and are the most hyperactive. Others would rather not be connected to that scene, instead contacting bean extract with a few drops of cream. They’re a little more grown up and they know that life’s not sweet, but they like to have a cutter to negotiate its heat. Then there’s the purists, drinking like they think they should, taking it jet black though it doesn’t taste as good. Either giving to a fault, after what they’ve suffered, or so used to sacrifice that they expect it from others. And then, of course, there’s the assorted riff-raff, who, though it looks like they have coffee, are drinking decaf. Which goes a long way down the road to explain why they’re wandering the town looking perpetually drained, but at least their lives aren’t filled with pathetic searches for public restrooms, enslavement to a diuretic. All this is not to mention specialty espresso drinks that completely control people’s ability to think to the point of derangement, so that they don’t even mind a twenty-cent concoction costing them $3.95. Even classism, the paper cups betray. Did they go to Dunkin’ Donuts or the Hot Shit Caffé? Would one say it’s with milk, while the other would say that ce que en le main est un café au lait? You never know what’s in that cup, you never know if it’s filled up, but a little checking in to what’s inside it lets you into someone’s soul, no matter how they try to hide it.

Ever walk the streets and wonder what people are thinking? Ever look at their paper cup to see what they’re drinking? Ever taste their coffee in attempt to understand that their state of mind is based on what they’re holding in their hand?

credits

from New England Music (1996), released May 21, 1996

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