Tag Archives: coffee

Peppermint

12 Nov

Dear Krystina,

it’s that time of year again, when walking into Starbucks always leaves me feeling a little bit sucker-punched. The walls are draped in that peppermint color, red and white striping everything from the pastry wrappers to the boxes for sale of instant coffee.

It’s those twelve-packs of instant Christmas blend that get me most. Those were your favorite, the only instant coffee acceptable enough for consumption by your standards – though whole-bean roasts were always preferred. I remember those weeks where we bought bag after bag, made affordable only because you worked at Starbucks, had been before it all happened and then were transitioning back again, all those early morning shifts that would turn out to last you all day. I’d miss you when you were gone. I don’t know if I ever told you that.

Oh, and thanks for letting me use your employee number to get discounts on my own personal stash of Christmas blend instant, hidden in the dresser middle drawer between my nicer clothes, out of sight of potential surprise inspections at the house. No, we kept our dutifully decaf coffee on display in the cabinets for those.

You know you were the one who taught me how to make proper drip coffee, right?

Requiem for a Dream was your favorite movie.

You always managed to pull off that leather jacket more than you knew.

You had mad eye-liner skills.

The only thing I have left of you is a single goddamn piece of paper. I was leaving treatment that day, going back out into the world of real people and real triggers and real chance of relapse. But you told me you believed in me. Scrawled a single-line note on that piece of paper. Signed it with “<3 K.”

That’s the only thing I have left of you.

A single goddamn piece of wrinkled paper. That’s not enough for your memory.

I believed in you too.

“<3 K”

I hope the syringe didn’t hurt too much. I hope you didn’t hurt at all, in the end. God and all his damned angels know you spent too much time paying debts that weren’t yours with pain that was, while you were here.

The Starbucks are looking like peppermint, Krystina. Guess it’s time to buy a bag of Christmas blend again.

Advertisements

Cupped

4 Sep

hands and coffee

There is something comfortable to holding a hot mug of coffee in your hands, fingers cupped around it while a gentle heat exchange between capillary and vessel quietly bonds you together. It’s the modern Thinker’s pose, in a way. Elbows resting no matter where, cup steaming between dreaming fingers, eyes looking over the sconce off in the distance, as if it held future just before time dipped out of sight. The grey and wet city street, the dry and dusty desert playa – they’re both the same. I was away at Burning Man last week and sat on empty truck bed, the long wooden kind that semi’s use to tow things. It was a Friday, the day that my roommate and I always have our coffee date in the morning, even in the desert.

We rested our coffee away from the edge and then wriggled our way onto the bed as well, hoisting ourselves up using elbows and fists and wheels as necessary. We grabbed our respective cups and then, for near an hour, we talked. Just talked. But when you’re cupping a mug of coffee, what would other be just a seat becomes a perch. A spot like a semi truck bed becomes a space. Rambles become musing, garbled whispers revelations. There’s something that invites truth-telling, in those flickers of steam in front of your face. Coaxing tendrils that threaten litmus should you lie, as if their calm clear grey might fire up into red if you throw a falsehood at them.

At least, that’s how it was, retrospectively, in the Black Rock desert, that morning. Perhaps I anthropomorphize too much, though.

Or maybe I just really like coffee…

Headaches

5 Aug

It’s too late a morning for what I’d planned,

hours of dream-thrashing that left me sweaty

what I wake up to, instead of the cool and metal sheen of dawn.

The shrunk-down woken-up figures of odd dreams and bad memories

wrestle round my neuron junctions, pulling at threads

and threatening connections that would sooner be left alone.

I re-heat the coffee and guzzle it down like magic,

hoping to thrust my mind through enough caffeination

to rid me of this rough-delivered headache

and release me, forgetting and free.

Don’t bite the hand that caffeinnates you…

28 Feb

Yeah… considering that on this rainy LA morning, when I walked into the office and discovered that another coworker had already made coffee for the day my response was to gush, “Oh you blessed saint!” – I’d say this might maybe possibly be pretty true.

(Unfortunately, I also discovered that for whatever reason, the coffee tastes like expired plastic. It’s now sitting on my desk growing cold as penance for its wretchedness. Poor thing.)

Red Bull and Rolling Stones

26 Feb

Write With Sarcasm #3

How I Feel As A Coffee Drinker In College

And then add some creamer.

Much thanks to ‘I Love Coffee‘ for the Starbucks cup image. Yes, yes I do love coffee.

How you know you really need it to be the weekend.

21 Feb

When your alarm – which interestingly enough is NOT the usual default tone you lazily leave it on, but rather some other strange, unfamiliar song that starts with the energy of a full-on fanfare – goes off right next to your head, you immediately snap upright cursing with a vague idea – whereby “idea” I mean “intention” – about smashing the Noise Producing Machine with your hand. Or with potential energy and the floor. (Don’t worry, you then remember that’s probably not a good idea and do not in fact throw the offending mockery of your alarm to your dorm room floor. Cellular technology is safe. For now.)

Then, when you visit the campus coffee shop on your way to work, after Jeff the enigmatically burly coffee shop worker has completed your sacrifice of tuition money to the coffee gods and handed you your student ID back, you simultaneously greet and bid goodbye to Jeff with an astoundingly chipper, “Happy Friday!” But, after Jeff has chuckled and returned the well-wishes, you suddenly garble in an unintentionally guttural voice, “We’re almost there!” And then, mortified, you quickly avert your eyes and duck out of the coffee shop.

Why yes, I would like a dash of sinister with my coffee this morning, thank you…

Yeah. I think that’s how you know you really need it to be the weekend.

A Storyland Poem

16 Feb

I was feeling a bit crazy and just kind of garbled this out, because I was also kind of lonely and was hoping the Cheshire Cat might come round…

 

The Cheshire Cat

I once sat down with a cat to coffee

(or was it with a bird to tea?)

and the cat asked what was on my mind

but my soul hadn’t yet learned to breathe

and so I asked if I could have some time

and the cat told me I’d had enough

and I said yes, that’s exactly it

you see I’ve had enough of this.

And the cat, the cat poured me some milk

(or was it that the bird tipped some sugar?)

and asked if I’d perhaps prefer a different ilk

to get my lungs again aquiver?

And I said yes, I’d much prefer

a different kind of trek than this,

a different land, a different sea, maybe a canyon

or mountain or few

and the cat just nodded thoughtfully

(or was it that the bird took off and flew?)

but we ran out of coffee (or was it tea?)

and I’ve forgot where I’ve put

that hat or card or book

that the cat had handed me

and so I’ve but this world of porcelain cups

to remind me of the smile I’ve missed.

 

cheshire cat crazy reality