He held the open paper bag of coffee beans to his face and breathed in. If there had ever been a more pleasant aroma he could not bring it to mind, and the smell of the Vietnamese beans took him back to an A&P grocery in Wareham, Massachusetts in the late nineteen fifties.
On an aisle where the linoleum tile flooring was pockmarked was a machine to grind coffee beans. It seemed massive to him, impossibly large and delightfully complicated, substantial and handsome and sporting a brilliantine red finish.
He stood in front of the machine and tried to understand its mysteries and standing there spellbound was his introduction to the allure of the bean.
This was the best smelling place in the supermarket. He thought about how one day he would drink coffee. He wondered if it would taste as good as it smelled and what it would be like to be grown up and to drink A&P coffee and smoke Chesterfield cigarettes like his mother did.
That is what sticking his head into the brown bag of shining Vietnamese Double French Roast Beans brought back, a far off time when he went to the A&P with his mother. When he tried to understand the intrigue of that imposing machine with knobs and wheels and buttons, with gauges and dials and secrets which could never be revealed.