Suddenly Crazy for Coffee

I’d hate to face the barren waste without a cup of coffee.

Hot, black, coffee (coffee).

I apologize for besmirching the reputation of the Sons of the Pioneers and, for that matter, water.

Cool, clear, water (water).

For the majority of my life, I didn’t drink coffee. Then I started drinking it on those rare occasions when I ate breakfast out, mainly because I deemed milk too expensive and there were no free refills. When I got biscuits at the drive-through, I ordered a Diet Coke. Then, when I traveled almost constantly, they always had free coffee in the lobby …

But, then, when fate dictated that I started spending most of my time at home, I decided I wanted a coffee pot, which I later replaced with a coffee maker because I accidentally destroyed the pot. I’ll spare you the details.

In the span of a year, I’ve become a coffee connoisseur. I’m constantly trying new kinds. When I go to the supermarket, I watch for specials, and then I buy up a variety of kinds and continue a process of elimination.

I’ve been aware of people who express an almost mystical love of coffee. I never understood it till now. It’s just … comfortable.

I’m not a connoisseur of wine. I sipped a little one night last week because it was … where I was.

I’m not even a connoisseur of beer, though God knows I have the credentials. I like a variety of styles, but my basic measure beer is based on level of coldness. I can drink almost any kind, with the exception of Coors Light, which I might opt for if I was in a mood for water and there wasn’t any.

I’m writing, and I come to a crossroads. I go put some coffee on and take a break. It restores more than my alertness. It’s a quaint, patient break. I take a sip and think while savoring it. I start writing again, and sip it from time to time, vaguely trying to finish while it’s still hot.

I’m reading a book, and I start to yawn. Fix some coffee. Start reading again, with the same occasional sips.

I pick up my guitar. Sing a song. At the end of it, I drink a little coffee and ponder what I’m going to play next. I might even think of a line to tuck away in my laptop for a future song.

Somehow, it’s a stimulant that calms. It restores both alertness and wisdom. It breeds no clamor, only increases the reflection. It makes me wry instead of raucous.

Or maybe it’s just my imagination, running away with me …

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