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Thursday, May 11, 2006


One of my coworkers won a gift card to Starbucks in a monthly birthday giveaway, and since her preference is sweet tea to coffee, she gave it to me.

I'm not a coffee drinker, though I'd like to be. As a former Starbucks employee, Tim knows his way around a bean, though, so I let him use the card to purchase a half pound. His choice was Yukon blend. The name means nothing to me, but when he opened the bag and poured in a few tablespoons into our French Press, I stuck my nose into the glass and breathed in heaven. Just the smell itself sloughed off the stress and strain of the day, and evaporated whatever tears of frustration (of "Oh my god. I still have 8.5 more weeks at work." Yes, my countdown is down to weeks, and soon, days.) were still lurking behind my lids.

I was transported back to Unicorn Cafe, age 22, and everything that time encompassed. All the newness of Chicago and a new cafe where I worked to make friends. It reminds me of smokey coffeehouses with open mic poetry readings and intense conversations.

With milk and vanilla honey, it was like silk on my tongue. I have always had fantasies about waking up in the morning, putting on the kettle for coffee, then lingering over breakfast with a mug. It doesn't quite fit into my view of life that I consistently wake up 9 minutes later than I should, and race around getting ready and hoping I'm not late to work. And somehow relaxing over breakfast/coffee/newspaper on the weekends isn't such a treat, because it doesn't feel like a special stolen moment the way it would during the week.

I think, though, that if I drank coffee every day, it wouldn't be such a special, ritualized treat for me. Maybe it should stay that way.

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Blogger Jen said...

I dream of lingering on the deck, newspaper open on my lap, unread sections scattered beside me. My free hand gripping a mug of steamy coffee as the early morning sun comes up.

Then I realize, if I'm jacking around on the deck with the paper, my sorry ass is going to be later to work than normal.

But I can't wait for summer. Then I can do that all I want!

10:15 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

I don't know when coffee became such a big force in my life. But really, a lot of my fantasies of domestic life and adventurous life include coffee as an important part of it. It really is NOT so much the caffiene, it's the ritual and the luxurious smell. Every morning in Ecuador I would begin the day by flinging the hard circle of coffe grounds from my miniture espresso maker out the door into the yard. Then I would quickly shut the door so no one could start a spanish conversation with me. And make my americano, happily reading a novel or doing crosswords. It was great.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Lesley said...

Yes, yes, I agree, Hannah! I honestly think I need coffee every morning because of the ritual, the taste and smell. And the ritual might differ. Either latte from the barristas who start making my drink when I walk in the door, or our own selections at home (Meijer actually has great grinds when we run out of Gevalia), I can't do without coffee.

Oddly enough, I know I'm really ill if I actually don't want coffee. I was sick this past weekend, and then, it was only tea. I was *so* happy when I craved coffee again!

7:12 PM  

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