Heated Liquid Courage

The first time I really and appreciatively inhaled a cup of coffee was in the kitchen of my parents’ home in Johnson City, TN. It was a bright Saturday morning, meant for snuggling the family pet (when he wasn’t asleep) and catching up on sporadic cable in pajamas. My older sister and I were joking about some reality show premiering the previous night, that received one broadcast too many in our staunch opinions. Mom and Dad were laughing in the background, and Dad had just put on a pot of Folger’s with canisters of sugar and small pots of cream awaiting the finishing hiss. Sunlight danced elegantly across the backyard. And then, that deep roasted smell hit my nostrils.
What did I process here? Relaxation promising hard, energized work later; sharp intake of the world around me; chemicals that cause slight addiction but also tremendous creativity; these things sparked the neurons into miniscule fireworks. I wanted to do cartwheels in the fresh mountain grass, write my bildungsroman masterpiece, go through old essays, help Mom sew a tablecloth, and finish Monday’s algebra worksheets: all in the next hour. One of coffee’s perks is that it doesn’t illuminate this tragic or nerve-wrecking, it reflects sweet, sweet production. My wildest travail dreams purred over fresh air, rough drafts, cleaning, handiwork, and necessary evil numbers. Adding perfection, I felt at home with the stunning Parisian ladies who nursed cups while observing human life from the café. This potent drink waxed poetic, and now I knew why. I floated down into an urge to plant and till my fallen garden.
So beginning with this smell, years of loyal coffee intake ensued. The epitome revolved around my job during the last year of undergraduate study. After being unfairly fired by a crazy bookstore boss, I was treated to an interview with the famed Starbucks Coffee Company. Until then, I assumed that it was an overpriced offering to “the man.” However, they invited to pay me generously for sweeping floors and making quite expensive drinks, so I asked “the man” if he needed room for cream and sugar. On the first day of employment, my very jovial manager Kristin explained what a coffee tasting was. I trusted her because she was sweet, peaceful, didn’t mind silence, and had the coolest glasses and haircut I had ever seen. Then tiny cup after tiny cup of espresso, deeply crafted coffee, bit of sweet pastry, and sensory stimulation came for the next two hours.
Two years later of inhaling this magic drink all day long, and I was treated to an undeniable pleasure in my work, if just to get a contact high at four-thirty in the morning.
In the recalling of this history, it feels incredibly strange to fast from such a sweet daily habit in order to whiten my teeth…for pictures and the height of female appearance in July? I questioned that going through withdraw a few weeks ago, especially in the horrid drone of two-o’-clock without any caffeine. My teeth are less yellow, but damn…After regarding more carefully, though, the context of why this was occurring I had another neuron explosion. This time the master of creation, the divine being that I choose and delight in calling God, decided to use something as universally insignificant as my coffee habits to reveal himself. What did he whisper? That preparing for elated beauty means sacrifice. It means that sixteen days out of pursuing the loss, I sit with my second and last cup of coffee for the week. It tastes delicious.


About violetprose

Writing pulls me out of myself and into a world of color. It soothes, encourages, and inspires, among other treasures. I use it to love, work, and play. I pray it breathes life and shares hope.
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