the writing mind, an endless train of thought

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Coffee Talk
When I was a little girl coffee seemed like a very distasteful adult beverage. I would make my mom a cup of instant Folger's crystal coffee with hot water and add white sugar and half and half so it was just the way she liked it. But I was never tempted to try it. I remember seeing an old black and white movie where the leading man said "I don't even know how you like your coffee." And the girl replies "I take it black , two sugars." And then there's the joke of "I like my coffee how I like my women/men..." insert preference...
But even though it was distasteful, if you doctored it up enough it was, well almost, like hot chocolate. So when my parents would take us out for a special breakfast at the Miracle Mile McDonald's My sister and I would want to act a little grown up so we would request tiny portions of our mom's fast food brew to be poured into the disposable creamer cups and sip it like at a tea party. For some reason Jim never drank coffee, which reminds me of the 'retirement' home I worked at in the dining room and how some people drank coffee avidly while others avoided it at every meal. We were required to go around and offer it to everybody anyway.
Then there were times when Donna would take me out to the Sleeping Lady cafe and she would get a soupbowl sized cappucino. There was such beautiful marshmallow looking frothy goodness on top, and she would let me spoon off the airy milk and eat it before she would enjoy the drink.
What a nice mom.
Then in high school rebellious days it became almost an obligatory beverage for the general outcasts, new wavers and other aspiring young adults and cigaret smokers. So along with my accomplices we would ditch a class or two and sneak off down to Lansdale Station for 'a coffee'. I think they only cost seventy-five cents. Though that reminds me of another old movie where coffee was only a nickle. Coffee should be a nickel!
Other high school connections are that friends would use the cafes in town as regular meeting places. If you were lonely you could head to one of the four main hangouts and be pretty sure of running into people you wanted to see. Then there was the day I figured out I could go to the seven eleven and mix hot chocolate and coffee in one cup. For some reason I thought that was a really sneaky thing to do, and it tasted almost as good as the mochas from Cafe Nuvo. Maybe the hot cocoa cost more than the coffee and I lied and only paid for coffee...Sneaky sneaky!
Later in college when I had acid reflux a doctor gave me a list of things to avoid. Besides stress and acidic foods and cigarets and too much alcohol, coffee was at the top of the list. I used to fill a gigantic commuter mug at Plaid Pantry with their crappy coffee and a selection from their tasty (no need to refrigerate) mini liquid creamers. Such options! Hazelnut, Irish Cream, Vanilla, Chocolate...of course with my oversized mug I had to use about ten of those (a handwritten sign posted at the coffee station stated if you were using in excess of two creamers then an additional five cents each would be charged.) So I would try to position my back to the cashier, just in case they were going to be a nazi about it. Using the PP to-go mug got me a much needed discount as it was and I wasn't about to pay extra because I used a few more of their artificially flavored synthetic creamer product than I was allotted. If you're not welcome to it then they shouldn't put it all out there! I wonder sometimes what happened to that big old mug though.
Speaking of coffee cost, it's like a big deal for me to go to Starbucks because a teensy cup of plain old coffee is a ridiculous amount of change now. And you don't even get a free refill. So I don't think you should be charged extra if you desire rice milk in it instead of the other offerings. But that, I suppose is quibbling.
I have heard many people quip " Oh, ha ha, I haven't had my coffee yet" as a response or excuse as to why they fucked something up. I don't know why, but it's annoying, like fingernails on a chalkboard annoying. Maybe it's the triviality of stating something dumb like 'boy it sure is cold out today' or maybe it's the wink wink nudge nudge we're all in this caffeine addiction together aren't we buddy? And it's a mad mad world isn't it? Or maybe it's just : hey, if you really can't function without 'your coffee' and you know that, then maybe just give yourself a little extra time before you let yourself go out in the world and interact with others so that I don't ever have to hear that stupid phrase again. I even tried saying it once, chuckling a little out loud so the person knew I was a good joe, but it left an acrid taste in my mouth.

Invisible letters.
Like when you are going to bed but you think of a million things that you should do the next day. Like who you should call or detailed dialogue you might have with people you might see that day. Things that happened in your childhood that you flash upon or a phone number you want to look up, and perhaps call, or not. What you want to do with your life and how to sell stuff on e-bay to make extra money. How you are seriously going to reinvent yourself and improve your life as soon as you wake up. The only problem is that you haven't even gone to sleep yet.