Behold the Karma of a backsliding coffee quitter…

A little back-story here is that I used to consume massive amounts of Coffee.  Not to keep myself alert or even just awake but because I loved the taste of it.  I seriously used to drink a couple to a few pots a day.  Can you say out of control?  Anyway, after some time of drinking this way, I think I actually may have damaged my stomach a little.  It got to the point where drinking more than one cup of coffee made me nauseous.  Seriously, I would get queasy and have a lingering temporal headache.  So gradually I began to listen to my body and lessened my coffee intake to the point of quitting altogether.  That is quite a transition to make let me tell you.  Even as I quit, I missed it.  Not the hi’s or low’s of a caffeine roller coaster but the taste.  The sheer taste of it.  I have always loved coffee.  When I was little I used to beg my father to let me have some of his coffee.  My dad drank it strong, black and no sugar…as a lesson once, he finally consented to me having some of his coffee…I held the valuable liquid just beneath my nose inhaling deeply the acrid smell of coffee-too-long-in-the-pot, and had never smelled anything sweeter.  It was as though all of my senses were heightened during that first exquisite gulp…of course, as my father had known it would, it scalded my mouth all the way down my throat…but his lesson ultimately was to fail, for as it burned it’s way to my stomach, I caught a small hint of how much promise that cup held.  On that day a coffee drinker was born.  I was 10, and I snuck coffee every opportunity I had, never missing out on a chance to imbibe in that incredibly sinful concoction of cream, sugar and the best Columbia could grow…these were the days before Guatemala Antigua.  Drinking coffee for me was a visceral experience.  Deep and real…

Which brings us to the pain of quitting…I quit drinking coffee about four years ago…oh sure, I have had a cup every now and then but that has been about it. Until recently…at work I have begun to build my coffee consumption up again, not crazy, it started out at a cup or two a week; lately though I have been wanting more and more…and it has now worked itself up to the point where I have a cup or two everyday.  On some level I hate the idea of being a slave to anything, but that sweet, hot cuppa joe pulls me in every time. Which brings me to this mornings happenings…

Today began like any normal workday, I just returned from Vacation where I indulged in multiple cups each morning…it was a holiday wasn’t it?…..Anyway, I stood in our little work kitchen and fixed myself one, big, glorious cup of coffee…reveling in it’s depth, its heat….I drank one cup, it was perfection – all that was good and right in the world could be found swirled together with cream, and sugar in that cup. Ahhhhhhh….sweet sustenance.

But then the coffee glutton inside of me reared it’s ugly little head and said…”insufficient…need more”…and because I am weak…I obeyed…stumbling toward the kitchen to partake again of coffee joy…the first sign was there, the coffee pot was full but coffee maker had been turned off, I should have walked away…but I pressed on, that’s what microwaves are for right?  so I made the perfect cup and as I was reaching to open the microwave door to place this precious cargo inside to be heated; the inexplicable happened…I caught the edge of my cup on the counter and down went my cup, splattering coffee everywhere…it was an unholy mess…so there I am – Happy Thursday to me…just back from vacation on my hands and knees in the kitchen mopping up what seems like gallons of creamy coffee mess with hundreds of paper towels (at least 30)…after cleaning I arose dusted myself off and contemplated just returning to my office to sulk over the lost cup of coffee, to mourn it’s loss ~ but alas, it was not to be…I could not just walk away, so I gathered close to my chest my unconquerable spirit and set off with determination to replace the lost java…with an even better cup, perhaps the best cup ever…by now the coffee in the pot was quite cold so I poured it ever so gingerly into my bruised coffee cup (freshly washed) and as I passed my cup over the quart of half & half sitting by the coffee maker, the unimaginable happened, the coffee cup handle caught the edge of the carton of half and half and down it went, in my attempt to stop the carnage I upended my own cup of coffee trying to stop the flow of cream, into the utility and supply cabinet below with pathetic inaccuracy…so now I find myself again on the floor cleaning, wiping, opening cabinets and cleaning them out, getting the coffee and creamer off the wall…wondering…what has happened to me?  I am not a clumsy person…I have got excellent hand/eye coordination…so how do I explain the great coffee disasters of this morning…finally I finish my Cinderella act and contemplate once again just returning to my office sans coffee but…No, it will not get the best of me, I will have coffee.  So I set about ever so gently preparing that hot coffee goodness…I decide to wait to add the cream until after I microwave it.  I set the cup gently in the microwave close the door punch in two minutes and sit back and watch it…with a mere 20 seconds to go I check the coffee as it spins around inside the microwave and head over to the refrigerator to collect the half & half.  While I close the refrigerator door I hear the beeeeeeeep…of the microwave and I think smugly to myself that I am only moments away from my mornings bounty…the best cup of coffee ever.  I punch the open button on the microwave and stare in morbid fascination at all that coffee that used to be in my coffee cup that has now formed the mighty Euphrates river inside the microwave…in the last 20 seconds of it’s micro-journey the coffee had boiled completely over the sides of the cup, which sat, quietly with all the dignity a cup can muster while being surrounded by 2/3’s of it’s former contents.  Why did I not just walk away, you ask?  Why indeed…because it had now transcended the very Coffee-ness it had once represented and become the battle for every thing in my life that I could not control.  I was emotionally committed to the cup of coffee and everything true and imagined that it now represented.  I would have my cup of coffee or I would go down fighting.  One way or the other the battle was to end!  I cleaned the mess up in the microwave, and with military precision prepared my what was to be my final cup of coffee.  With exact measurements, precise movements, strategic placement of components the coffee was assembled, heated and transported to my desk.  I sat with all of my righteousness shrouded about my shoulders as I contemplated this cup of insolence and fury before me and…the phone rang.  I spoke to one of our salesmen for awhile, wrote a couple of notes, hammered out an email and then absent mindedly reached for my coffee.  With little fanfare I took a big gulp…of cold coffee.  I drank it anyway.  I am not sure who won the battle but the war rages on…

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5 thoughts on “Behold the Karma of a backsliding coffee quitter…

  1. gastricgirl says:

    OMG that was soo freakin funny!!! Well, not for you, but for us, yes, yes it was quite funny! I’m glad you finally got to sit with your cold coffee. I was just commenting how I need to stop spending $3.00 on my Iced Skinny Decaf Cinnamon Dolce Latte because I’m a waster! I swear they put crack in that stuff.
    There are a lot worse addictions out there, believe me.. enjoy your Joe!

  2. Kim says:

    Jil, you crack me up. I’d of gotten mad after the first spill and have given up!

    I am a coffee lover too, but keep myself to one cup in the morning, though there is an occasional afternoon where Starbucks beckons.

  3. Kim H. says:

    WOW… that is a very passionate and tragic story… I love reading your stuff – it’s so raw and real… full of every emotion. Hopefully you’ve had eventful coffee since then!

  4. lacy says:

    oh jil.

    you are speaking my language, lovely….good post!

  5. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Appropriately

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