Coffee. Remember that coffee scene in Ally McBeal? Yeah, that’s how I feel about coffee. I don’t just love coffee. I LOVE coffee.
“But,” my friends are all thinking right now, “you don’t drink coffee.”
That’s right. I don’t drink coffee like an alcoholic in recovery doesn’t drink wine. Nope, I’m not kidding. I have tried and enjoyed my share of substances over the years. Sure, the red wine intake creeps up every winter. It’s just so easy when you drink from a box and have fabulously gigantic wine glasses. But nothing hooks me like coffee. It starts with a cup. It very quickly becomes a pot. A pot of coffee. Every day. Or more. I get jittery and anxious, and I stay up until 4 in the morning. Even when I finally get tired, I can’t sleep. So the next morning, I need more coffee. And more coffee. And more coffee. Hot, creamy, magic coffee. Coffee all day. Curling through my sinuses, rolling on my tongue, warming my hands, coursing through my veins. Mmmmm coffee.
I can’t have my beloved coffee in the morning because I have no coffee off switch. I can have it once in a while if it’s not part of the ritual. I can have a cup in the afternoon, or some decaf after dinner. I can have the occasional overpriced coffee at a café because I can’t afford to do that every day and because we pretty much only have Starbucks here, and that swill is just not that tempting. I can even have coffee in the morning… if I am at someone else’s house. At my own house in the morning, I drink my coffee methadone, Diet Coke. Those are the rules, and they have kept me clean of coffee benders for years. If there were 12-step meetings for coffee, I would have been an awesome sponsor. It had been something like 10 years since I had a cup of coffee at my own house in the morning.
Had been… yeah…
It all started when my husband left for the day. He left some coffee in the coffee maker. He often does. I don’t know why today was the day. But I thought, “What’s the big deal? I can have a cup.” So I poured it. I found some half-and-half in the fridge. My husband drinks fat free half-and-half (yuck!), but we had the real stuff from a houseguest. It wasn’t expired. I sniffed it. Smelled OK. Poured it into my coffee. And some tiny chunks floated to the top.
Universe, it’s really nice that you are trying to save me from myself. It’s super cool that you are looking out for my sleep problems and anxiety issues. But man, universe, you can be such an effing douche. That. Was. Not. Cool.
So I dumped out my chunky coffee. I rinsed out my cup. And I looked at the coffee maker.
I don’t know how to use our coffee maker. Yeah, the coffee maker we got as a wedding present 9 years ago… I don’t know how to use it. It’s this fancy thing that grinds the coffee and has all sorts of bells and whistles. My husband doesn’t use the grinding part because it is a pain to clean, but it still makes the whole thing kind of daunting. But still, how hard could it be? I put in a new filter with some coffee, and the water, and turned it on.
Beep beep beep beep.
What the hell? I push all sorts of buttons. Lights go on and off. Beep beep beep beep. “Just make my coffee, you temperamental bitch! Just heat up the damn water and run it through the grounds. What’s wrong with you?”
Oh, there’s a piece I had to take out to put the grounds in. OK. I put that back in. Close the lid. Push the button.
The coffee-maker starts making that water-heating sound. It’s like a whisky drinker hearing an ice cube clink into a cup. Want. Need.
Coffee. Coffee is ready. Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend. With real cream left over from making ganache. Oh. My. God. I am so off the wagon. If you see me facebooking at 3am, that is my cry for help and the sign that it’s time to set up an intervention. Until then… it’s just one cup.