Cafe Coco continues to act as a savior. The history is long, but many times it’s been when these two guys are with me as they are here. My brother Joel was not able to be in Nashville this Thanksgiving otherwise he would be in the pic. He missed being with us, and we certainly missed him.
We are of the age now that quite a lot of life has happened to all of us, and Cafe Coco has been a go to place we have gathered because they are open 24/7. Tonight was no exception, and we listened intently to each other as we grappled with our existential questions.
The first part of our sit down happened in the back, but it took awhile as I sipped on my Banana Dream Boat (mocha drink) and talked to Jason as he waited on his order and sipped his very dark beer. Jeremy came in and got a coffee with brown sugar and cinnamon in it, but when we sat down I asked him if he got the Banana Dream Boat, and he said he forgot what it was called. It’s been awhile since we’ve been to Cafe Coco. There was an artist performing his stuff with a guitar, and he was pretty good, but we had to move to the side porch because our conversation got deeper, and the music was loud. Had we been in a place where tunes and beer were what we needed we would have just stayed there, but we needed some brother conversation that can so amazingly redemptive. Especially when you have the kind of brothers I have. They are amazing.
Even in a dark ungodly place like Cafe Coco we feel the freedom to be raw, and as warm blooded American men we need a place like that.
You don’t have to be a warm blooded male to appreciate that kind of setting, but when you have a remnant that grew up under the same roofs from Guam to Florida there’s something special about a place where the other patrons don’t stare at you. Or if they do it’s because they are afraid of you because you’re bigger. Then that causes them to “pretend” not to look at you.
A lot of answers have been discovered for me at Cafe Coco over the years, and tonight was no exception because my brothers are not afraid to ask the hard questions we don’t really want to answer. I’m not going to divulge those here, but when relationships work right you know it. Our life long relationship from birth works. It’s something I marvel at, and I thank my Father for all year long.
We’ve gotten a lot of things wrong, but this is one powerful thing we continue to get right even when one of us is in Arkansas. I think distance makes us stronger. We grew up separated from family, but the reunions were always so indelible to our connection. We’ve applied that to our situation now. Skills and effort like that are transferable, and that is an important attitude to have in any organization.
Intentionality is essential if any relationship is going to work, and when you treat life like a Seinfeld episode you lose something real. I’m not condemning television and movie consumption because I’m a big fan, but sometimes in our medium driven society we have a hard time separating fact from fiction. Put the phone down, turn Netflix off and get off the computer. Look someone square in the eye and listen to them.
It’s a habit worth developing, but be patient with yourself because a new habit takes at least twenty-one days to develop.
It’s worth it, and you won’t regret it.