Thursday, August 28, 2008


I have such a love hate relationship with coffee. Coffee represents warmth love friendship addiction loneliness thirst. When I was little I would wake up at my grandparents and listen for the voices and the smell of coffee. Sometimes I would wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning and wait for the first person, usually my grandpa, to get up. The house was always warm and cozy, everyone was fairly happy and sober, each adult filtering in grabbing a cup of coffee maybe black maybe with cream ,perhaps even a little sugar. Wiping the sleep from their eyes they'd find a spot amidst the warmth and quiet. Early morning coffee meant quiet laughter,perhaps a little music from my grandpa's radio, clinking of dishes being washed in the sink from last nights dinner, a chance to be surrounded by my favorite people and perhaps have them talk to me before the rest of the kids woke up and I became a chore instead of a person.

As I got older I decided to partake in the thick black foul tasting stuff myself. Unlike my first cigarette or drink I don't remember my first cup of coffee. I just know that somewhere along the line it became a consistent part of my day. Most of second period my sophomore year was spent at Perkins eating a fat muffin and drinking a bottomless pot of coffee.

When I was 16 I started working at the coolest coffee house in town. As the youngest employee I was excited to show my long history of coffee drinking. Like a badge of maturity and sophistication, I would drink mine black, not wanting to mess up the myriad complexities of each individual cup of coffee. I learned to pull a perfect shot, to steam a cup of milk just so. Sadly, I missed the whole 'art in a cup' part of the specialty coffee drink world. Coffee brought together all kinds of people, including teenagers. In fact one might argue that the popularity of coffee houses came about from youths need to congregate. And congregate we did. Crazy clothes and hair, facial piercings and tattoos, cigarettes and caffeine, sex and rock n roll. All at your local coffee house.

When I became pregnant with my daughter coffee became my bane. I wanted it like a wanted my cigarettes, but I knew both were bad for me and my fetus so out they went. I got pretty hardcore about not drinking caffeine. I never was a big soda person so that wasn't hard, but to many nights at the Tobacco Bowl had left me pretty toxic and not drinking coffee(or smoking) along with all the pregnant hormones really threw me for a ride.

I didn't drink a cup of coffee until my daughter was around three..... coffee and breastfeeding just didn't go together either. With my son some years later though I didn't get all hardcore about not drinking coffee. Due to a really bad case of morning sickness I didn't drink to much for the first few months and I really did try to stay away all through my pregnancy. Once I had him though all the healthy momma stuff went out the window. I was much more lenient this time around!

Which more or less brings me to today. Today I drink more coffee than water. I drink coffee in the morning when I check my email, in the afternoon when my son takes a nap, and in the evening when I check my email. I'm dehydrated,hyper, and depleted. In the eyes of most twelve step programs I would be considered clean and sober but I know better than that. I'm still hooked on java. It's (I hope) my last addiction. Of course this last one is not only socially acceptable but still pushed on almost every street corner and market. Just go to an AA meeting if you don't believe me.

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