Tuesday, October 26, 2010
The ritual usually begins somewhere between 10 and 11pm. I want to go to sleep, but then I realize I haven't prepared tomorrow's fix. Raising myself from either my chair, or the couch, I shamble like a refugee from a Romero flick to the kitchen and begin the process. Remove the leavings from that morning, rinse both carafes, one large, one small. Paper filter for one, permanent filter for the other. One and a half spoons full in the small pot, two in the large. Push the delay button, then off to bed. I'm not usually around for the first event, as my wife gets up at 2am, hence the two pots, but when the Kitties-O-The-Apocalypse untimely rip me from my sleep, and I stumble downstairs to the refrain of mews and purrs, there awaits that modern marvel of automated technology, the steaming pot of freshly brewed coffee. I can already feel that slight thrill through my sleep-addled synapses as I grasp the handle of my china mug, emblazoned with the so familiar delta and circle pattern and registry of a certain mythical starship, and empty into it the powdered contents of one pink paper packet.(yes, folks, I use saccharine. deal with it) Then that magical moment when I feel the weight of the full carafe in my hand and pour the life giving brew. A dash of milk, and thence to the computer.
Recently we had to retire our first large pot. It was a sad day as it seemed to have learned my preferences and did not make coffee that was too hot to drink right away. Of course, that was a symptom of its impending demise, but it was still nice. We now have a shiny new Mr. Coffee that makes very hot coffee, so I must wait a bit. I surf, read email, then, finally, that blissful moment arrives when the light brown nectar before me reaches the maximum palatable temperature, and those first tentative sips are allowed. It's almost like foreplay to my system, just a tiny sip, not too much lest pain follow hard on the heels of pleasure, then back to the illuminated rectangle. Gradually the sips grow larger as the temperature drops, until that wondrous, glorious, life-affirming moment when the coffee reaches that perfect condition where a mouth full is sheer joy, and the swallowed brew feels like it is flowing to every cell in every part of my body at once, bringing with it a crescendo of power and life that readies me for all the challenges of the coming day. Then, almost sadly, the sight of the bottom of my mug, gleaming like the bones of a battlefield corpse, meets my gaze and I realize the cup is drained. The house is silent for a moment, save for the soft susurration of the computer's fans. It's as if the world is holding its breath in anticipation or remembrance, and a moment of sadness comes upon the morning at the passing of this wonder of the beverage world. The cat mews, a bird calls in the distance, then all is quiet. And then, slowly at first, the corners of my mouth begin to climb upward as realization hits like a thunderclap...there's more coffee in the pot!
And there was much rejoicing.
Good morning, y'all.