It is not often that someone comes along

I love coffee.

Since my days working at the Bourgeois Pig Cafe in Lincoln Park, I have dreamt of owning my own espresso machine. I made myself a promise that when I published my first book, I would use some of my earnings to buy one. At the time I envisioned a large advance with a movie deal (ever the optimist), so I figured that the espresso machine would look something like this La Pavoni Europiccola.

When we were living in Germany, I could have bought a nice European machine to bring back to the States, but I decided against it because I wanted the espresso machine to be special. I wanted it to “mean something,” to be tied to my book, to my literary history. I wanted to fulfill that promise to 20-something me.

Last week I bought my espresso machine. It was not the above model. It was this:

I love it. I love it because it makes a nice espresso. I love the shape and little storage compartments. I love that it was discontinued when I first discovered it, and now it’s difficult to find.

I love that it has a history. Not only is tied to my first novel, but it’s also connected to a writer friend.

When Kyle Cassidy was in Chicago for his workshop this summer, he invited me and Molly Robison to accompany him to Andersonville to meet Ysabeau Wilce, author of the Flora Segunda series. Of course I knew her work. (I keep waiting until Maya is old enough so that I can introduce her to the fabulous Flora.)

I knew that Ysabeau was an amazing writer and world-builder with an impressive vocabulary and imagination. What I didn’t know is how much I would like her and how much fun it would be to talk about writing, travel, raising children, balancing all those things, and more.

After that lunch, we made plans for coffee. I brought the sweets, she introduced me to her espresso machine…the same model pictured above. It made a nice espresso, and the company could not have been better.

I went home and researched the machine. It was out of stock. So many things I love get discontinued or cease to be available in our area…like Ysabeau, who moved away just a few weeks later.

I did eventually track down the espresso machine; and Ysabeau and I do keep in touch–both thanks to the internet. I am grateful for her friendship. She’s amazing and has joined a small group of people I treasure who are scattered around the globe.

I love my espresso machine. It has a good story, and I have both a good espresso and a good friend. (Thanks, Kyle.)