Friday, December 17, 2010
I love you.
I always knew I loved you. I never had to live the "don't know what ya got till it's gone" with you.
I knew what I had.
Coffee, my coffee, the perfect drink. Black gold. Brings you up, yet calms you down.
Revs you up, powers up the brain. All the cylinders firing.
Like a good Colombian family, our day began with you percolating in the pot, coffee. I received my own first percolator at age three, which my Spanish grandmother would fill with coffee and my brother and I would sit and sip in the warm, sweet soul smoothness of our coffee. We were masters of slowly stirring in the cream till it was the perfect caramel brown.
We just knew how much cream to add, it's part of the DNA we came with.
I was not new to the power of caffeine, oh, no, not then, not now, not ever.
I understood all the coffee jokes, I got it--- I'd even poke fun at my own twitching eyes.
I also confess that it was me that began my husband down this same, indulgent path. Poor soul, he never stood a chance.One morning, after a particularly focusing round of the bean, I almost had him convinced he could run for president, and win. After one more cup, emitting a Howard Dean primal scream, he was submitting papers.
Coffee. You can have intelligent conversation when you hold a mug in your hand, you are confident with a mug in your hand, you are clever and witty, sharp, focused, and the ideas are firing off in your head like a little boy with a cap gun.You'd be left with such a good feeling, that at times I could scarcely believe that something this good out of Colombia was legal.
My days are built around coffee. Get up, get going, have that cup, be in a good mood, get it all done, do the exercising, the smiling, and wow.. the ideas for the posts... bing bing bing. 50,00 lined up and ready in draft and celebrate me! Woo hoo! Ima get the stuff done today.
I'd finish one cup and start another. People would mention they were cutting down to two a day, and I'd quip, "yeah, me, too... TWO POTS!" Hilarious, coffee made me hilarious.
On the days of that perfect, centering caffeine buzz, where the balance of coffee ingested was just right that you loved everybody and everything and Life is sooooo SO good, you'd look in the mirror and loved that, too, with that youthful, adrenaline cherry flush in your cheeks and only the two second attention span courtesy of coffee to not stare much longer.
To those of you who know just what I'm talking about, your mouth is already wetting and salivating as you read this post. You have the thought of a good, hot, fresh cup of coffee to hold in your permanently coffee clawed hand, fingers molded by the mug's handle, don't you? You know you can smell it if you close your eyes. Ahhh... nothing. like. it.
But, 'tis a dark day for me here in my small town.
Even my children understand what is happening today. Middlest said today in the car returning from the Doctor, "Mom, I feel so sorry for you. I can't believe you can't have coffee." Smallest added his points of concern, "You were so much fun, Mom, you'd drink your coffee and then chase us, Mom." Oldest understands, "Mom, you love coffee. what are you going to do? "
Yes, yes, oh, yes, I do love my coffee.
But, last week, you remember the night, don't you, Coffee? Where I found myself sitting up in bed all night, unable to sleep, panicking at the symptoms of the worst reflux I have ever had.
Sensations so bad, I almost took myself in to the ER at 3 a.m.
Promising God anything in exchange for surviving the night.
I endured the night and was able to wait it out until morning. I drove to our family health center and sat outside in the parking lot, awaiting the last few minutes out in agony until they opened for the day. The staff there allowed me to see our family physician before his other scheduled appointments. At the sight of him, along with being so grateful to finally be receiving medical attention, and with the fresh memories of the longest night of my life just hours behind me, my lips were loosed. I let go the floodgates of truth and disclosed the details of my until then secret two pot consuming lifestyle. He, in his $700 cashmere blazer, decreed the unholiest of the unholies, the diagnosis and prescribed medication along with firm orders of "no more coffee."
No more coffee for your overcaffeinated body. Swallow these three pills twice a day and stay away from your coffee.
Like that. Like.that.
And that's how it went down, coffee.
I love you, I miss you, I gaze at you from a safe distance, where you can't hurt me. I think of all who get to cradle you now, both hands encircling their favorite mug this morning, feeling the warmth of you and the satisfying almost burning hurts so good sensation of you sliding down their throat.
I think of them, because it can no longer be me.
I watch them, as they gently blow across your smooth surface before they take that slow, measured sip, then I see them close their eyes and softly inhale the steam rising from their cups.
Oh, the magic of that steam, the steam that opens up more than your sinuses; the steam that gives way to confidences exchanged through lowered voices. I know these moments so very well.
I miss you.
I still keep you around, just a small amount, in a rolled up shiny off-white bag, hidden behind the vitamins, so that I can for a minute, open you and inhale you and linger on your seductions. But I have thrown the coffee pot away.
Had to. So powerful is your siren's call to me, so weak is my resistance.
Too many weak moments potential.
Too many "just this once, and then, never again," lurkings.
And, now, here I am, coffeeless, at a loss for what to write about, and the only thing that comes to my mind, is
Coffee, I love you.
I wish I could quit ya.
I am tremendously better since off the joe, and on the healing meds. I haven't slept this good and uninterrupted in ages. I move very slowly, as slow as Uncle Joe, and I do stare blankly back and am stuck for a response when you say "good morning," but I feel good. And I haven't slipped off the wagon yet. Those four nights of sitting up awake, in mid-chested pain, pretty much scared the pants off me. So, yeah, there's that memory keeping me unleaded.