Monday, January 30, 2012

The Importance of Coffee

One could actually label this one "The Importance of Caffeine" but since my caffeine delivery system of choice is coffee and it's my damn blog, I'll write the headings I want to.

I remember when 7-11 carried three kinds
of  coffee: Regular, Bold, and Decaf.
When I was 13 or 14 and I had a paper route in the early morning (Monday through Saturday) that required a wake-up time of about 5:00AM. Of course, I was 13 or 14 and doing this posed absolutely no problem. I got up, jumped on my bike, delivered the papers, back by 6:00 or maybe a little after, play on the PC for a bit, breakfast, then off to school. It was nice rhythm.

Then during one summer, I finished my Saturday run and the sun was already pretty high in the sky. And on some impulse and the fact I had money in my pocket I rode over to the local 7-11 (which is long gone). I wandered in, feeling somewhat grown up -- I had a job after all -- and bought a coffee. My first coffee. I dumped sugar and artificial flavouring into it. It was "Irish cream."

The heat hadn't really set in yet and there was just the barest of chills in the air as the dew evaporated. The sidewalks weren't hot yet. Traffic was light and only a few early-morning dog walkers were on the sidewalks. I felt grown up. Like I owned the place. Like this great big sea of possibilities extended out in every direction. Not just for the summer but for my entire life. After pre-lunch street hockey it could be an engineering job in Dubai or a cigar maker in Cuba. Who knew? It was all there in front of me!

I rode my bike one-handed as I cautiously sipped the coffee, the heat of which was dulled by the amount of "Irish cream" I had added. It was just a little magical.

And I think what could of been...
And that pretty much sealed it for me. I was a coffee drinker. I wasn't a regular drinker until I was out of highschool and have been ever since. And with each bitter cup -- having long since given up on "Irish cream" and even sugar (most of the time) -- I remember even if it's fleeting that Saturday morning so long ago when I was 13 or 14. Of course, drinking it now is more out of necessity, especially lately when sleep is at a premium. That is to say, practically non-existent. This is the time when I think of coffee as a means to stay awake, even if that doesn't always translate as "alert."

Still, no matter how fatigued I am or how bad/good the coffee is, there's still part of my that snaps back to that Saturday morning. I won't ever be a Cuban cigar roller and the last time I played street hockey is clouded by years of being an adult with adult responsibilities, but coffee... I can drink that whenever I like.

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