Elixer of Life

Burnt beans.  Who comes up with this stuff?  We must have lost a lot of ancestors to ill-fated experiment s with new foods.  Perhaps at this point in human history we have pretty much exhausted the ranks of new natural plants and animals to experiment with.

Sitting at Dunkin Donuts, sipping on some coffee, I was hoping to find an inspiring story.  Maybe some unique individual would walk in.  Or I’d overhear the conversation of someone with a wildly fantastic tale.  Nothing.  Although I did hear something about a suicidal armadillo form a woman who was on the phone with her insurance agent detailing her automobiles damaging encounter with this crazed beast.

People talk to loudly in public places.  You’ve heard them.  On the phone.  In the elevator.  At the restaurant.  I can’t figure out if they just want everyone to hear about their lives, or if they just don’t realize how loud they are.  Me, I keep my stuff on the quiet side.  Maybe that’s why I don’t understand Facebook and twitter.  But I digress.

The other day I finally had to admit that I was a coffee addict.  I had to go to the doctor first thing in the morning for a breathing test.  No, not a breathalyzer.  A test to measure lung function.  That’s another story but to prepare for the test I had to forego coffee for eight hours prior.  After the test, which I passed with flying colors, I found myself scrambling for a cup of Joe.  I practically dove on the pot to fill my cup.

Looking back, I should have seen the signs.  Wake up in the middle of the night, drink a cup of coffee, go back to sleep.  Drink a cup of fully leaded just before bed, and drift off to sleep effortlessly.  I’ll drink it cold.  Almost always black.  Special occasions call for a touch of cream and sugar substitute.  I don’t care much for powdered cream.  Anytime.  All the time.  Gotta have a semi full cup nearby. And it must be caffeinated.

I learned to think coffee like this in the Navy.  Sailors work long hours.  There are always people on duty.  Around the clock.  And thus, there is always coffee available.  On the ship it was always in a thirty-gallon pot.  Hot.  Black.  Burnt.

If I go to a coffee bar, you know the places, with hundreds of choices for fancy brews, I always order “plain old coffee.”   The barista looks at me funny.  It’s not the caffeine.  Nor the taste.  I just need to know it’s there.

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?  http://www.personalhistorywriter.com


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