I’m a night owl. Ergo, I’m a coffee person. I’m the kind of person who hits the Snooze button about five times in the morning, procrastinating to the most impossible limit. I’m the kind of person who wears sunglasses straight of out bed in a foolish attempt to appear like a being of undisputed human origin, thereby sparing their kids from subsequent horrible night terrors. I’m the kind of person whom you don’t talk to (and you don’t wanna try) before they’ve had several double espressos. I’ve been proudly labeled a coffee purist from the time I was 16. No cream, no sugar. Coffee’s got to be black or it’s not happening. No such thing as shades of black. I thought Kofi Annan was a new brand when first I first heard the name. Sort of an obsession, really.
Coffee’s more than a drink, a ritual or a religion. Caffeine is not optional; my survival depends on it. It must be medical. Recent studies indicate how coffee can actually improve your health: from boosting brain power to delaying Alzheimer’s disease, yada yada yada. I mean, it’s great … but I don’t care. I just drink it as I drink wine: because if it tastes good, it’s gotta be good for me. That’s the hope, anyway.
My husband sometimes worries I have too much coffee and suggests I try decaf. Huh?!? Why don’t you just ask me to ride an exercise bike to work?
In my kitchen, a decorative metal plaque on the wall above the coffee machine reads “If you’re not shaking, you need another cup.” (A similar plaque hangs by our wine bottles reserve.) Yet another one reminds me that coffee will keep me excited until it’s acceptable to drink wine whereas above the wine it tells me to “Keep calm and drink wine” and that is too much of a paradox for my head right now, which means I should probably have another cup.
I’ve had so much coffee over the decades that I’ve been literally eyes-wide-open awake since the early 90’s. That’s probably why it’s so hard for me to get up in the morning. And yet, I’m sure there’s still too much blood in my coffee stream.
Just yesterday morning, I woke up later than my usual late. Forget a shower. So long, sacred coffee. Farewell brain. Just shove the kids in the car (yes, my husband is a hero: he’s the one who handles breakfast while the WereZombie struggles to morph back to a more suitable self) and head to my in-laws’. Somehow, all four kids (yeah, I know, let’s not go down that road) remained within the car until we reached our final destination. Somehow, I managed to remember the directions. Good thing they live only a couple miles away; everything can quickly become very, very tricky sans coffee. Somehow, on my way back home, I had the presence of mind to call the office and tell them I’d work from home.
My mouth started to shape into a smile as I exited my car. I could almost smell coffee’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious scent as it hit my nostrils. I closed my eyes and walked blindly, arms outstretched ahead of me with my single key in hand, toward the entrance door.
I bent down to level my eyes to the doorknob and slipped the (single) key in the deadbolt lock. Or at least I thought so. The key wouldn’t slide in. I turned it upside down but it didn’t work either. What the —? I took a closer look at the keyhole, then at my key. Did I mention I didn’t have a bunch of keys, that I had but one? The keyhole was angled about ninety degrees. Oh crap, did I leave a key inside on the other side of the door? I looked closer again. The hole and its key didn’t seem to have the same pattern. Well, that was weird. My eyes had played tricks before but never quite like this. Not sober anyway. There was no freaking way I was going to make this key fit into this hole.
Defeated, I went around to the back of the house, desperately hoping the kids to have once again not listened to me and left a window open. But unfortunately … no. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, CHILDREN, WHEN WILL YOU STOP LISTENING TO YOUR PARENTS??
Back to square one. How in heaven’s name was it even possible that that (SINGLE!) key wouldn’t go in?? That damn deadbolt lock was dead and locked alright. And suddenly, a jolt of electricity hit my brain. Whizz! Neurons connected painfully and I realized why I’d just lost fifteen coffee-ingestion minutes. This was not the entrance door. This was the storage room’s sealed off door. In my defense, they both look very much alike, and they’re just three steps away from each other.
I took the three steps to the right and finally let myself in, walking straight to the life-and-brain-saving machine. My contribution to a global environmental disaster is terrible, I know. Blame on these amazing too-good-to-quit espresso pods. One day, I’ll find another way to have my fix, but for now procaffinating helps me working on my procrastinating faults.