THE GOODBYE PROJECT: Letting Go is Good, Yo! Episode 21—The Espresso Machine

About The Goodbye Project:

There are so many of us who can’t part with objects because of the sentimental attachment we have to them. You know—the graduation tassels, the barfed-on stuffed animal with the missing eye, the coat your late father bought for you because you begged. So what do you do when it’s time to let go of these beloved items because it’s absolutely necessary?

I’d read someplace that one of the best ways to let go of an object is to know that you have a photo. Sure, you can photograph it before you get rid of it. The Goodbye Project takes the idea a step further: go back and find photos of yourself actually with, using, or wearing that object, and blurb a bit about the memories it invokes.

Why? Everything has a story.

And because of that, the object deserves more than just a hasty trip to the Goodwill or the trash without a second thought.

EPISODE 21: The Espresso Machine

The machine.

I know, it’s just your ordinary (although very high quality) household espresso machine—and one we barely used; whoever gets this will get all the parts in mint condition and even the instruction book (it also comes with a set of gold demi-tasse cups, saucers, and gold-plated spoons).

So what made this hard to get rid of?

Most people don’t pack up their espresso machines and take them to Disney World.

Back in the summer of 1998, my housemate Charles and I were wondering what we were going to do for vacation that year. Eventually, we decided on taking the long drive down to Walt Disney World for a week. We booked ourselves into a Best Western in Kissimmee, packed our clothes—and at the last minute, decided to bring the espresso machine, which, at that time, was the only coffee maker we had in the house (the one I had moved in with had broken just a week or two before and we hadn’t replaced it yet). We figured we were going to need high-test coffee to keep us going so we could power through all the parks, plus Sea World and Universal, in seven short days.

The parts of the machine, as well as the two cups we brought, on the back of the hotel room sink.

When we came home, we bought a new coffee maker, and the espresso machine went in one of those high cabinets that all kitchens seem to have above their refrigerators—and, except for the couple of parties at which we wanted to serve espresso, it hasn’t seen the light of day since. We tested it and it’s fine, but we decided…why keep it around if we only seem to use it every few years?

Still, the espresso machine brings back all the fond memories I had of that trip. So it wasn’t easy to let it go.

Me on arrival at our Kissimmie Best Western. We found out many years later (when we went back in 2005) that it had been bought out and converted to an exclusive resort. From my understanding, it's now abandoned.

My housemate, Charles, knocks back a Mai Tai at Sea World. Because we had the espresso machine back in the room, we COULD drink in the middle of the day and then go back and pump ourselves full of caffeine so we could go back to another park—or to Pleasure Island—at night.

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of both the New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers Association. Follow her adventures at

Posted on August 19, 2011, in The Goodbye Project and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve always loved that one photo of you.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: