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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Java Jive

Over the course of my oversleeping, spill the breakfast smoothie, forget to make the lunch, stub my toe morning yesterday, I never drank my coffee. I’m not a coffee addict per se. Not for me the multiple trips to Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, a back seat cluttered with crumpled dead soldiers--too cheap, for one, and a cup a day does me fine--on the occasions that I imbibe in more, my fingers vibrate. That cup though, has become my comfort, my hand warmer, my morning snack, my distraction, and yes, I suppose, my habit.

I’m not a “first thing in the morning” coffee girl. It’s not required to wake me up--the shower I stumble into at dawn accomplishes that feat well enough. The blend of coffee and orange juice churns like an acidic ocean in my belly, so caffeine isn’t a part of breakfast—unless that meal includes eggs over easy, corned beef hash, potatoes and someone named Thelma, scribbling on a pad while asking “Coffee to start you off, hon?” Then the answer is a plain and simple “Yes.” Sigh. Sans a paycheck, restaurant breakfasts have become few and far between.

My practice though, back in the day when life included an 8:30 – 5:00 obligation, involved a drive to work between 7:30 and 8:00. There I kicked-off each day with a winding walk to the corporate cafeteria for the complimentary, albeit bitter brew offered as a company perk for my last eight years. Yup, spoiled rotten, lazy. For more mornings than I can remember, there was no requirement to make the coffee, clean the pot, dispose of the grounds, or absent all that, dig for spare change. Over that last year or so, I acquired an environmental conscience, abandoning the Styrofoam cups dispensed in the cafeteria and going green. This added a journey to the office kitchen to clean out my cup, a trip I forgot to make enough times that it necessitated a detour for a wash up before getting that routine mugful. That was the only effort though. Gosh, free coffee. Some days it tasted better then a comprehensive benefit package.

Now though, there’s no brewed beverage waiting for me. Many mornings, I sit down in front of this computer around the same time as “back when" and it inhales me to the point that I fail to pour the water and flip the switch on Mr. Coffee— in fact at times also neglecting lunch. On those days I lift my head blinking at 2:00, a few minutes before I need to pick up my daughter, realizing my stomach has been yowling louder then our temperamental cat--which is all good.

There is so much to be said for when the work you love sidetracks you from other err, attractions. In the corporate world, coffee, lunch, even an occasional mid-afternoon snack provided excuses to break away from employment that was simply “fine.” Now I’m so immersed in this “job,” I have to put the timer on to remind me to pick up my daughter or I risk a call from an annoyed teen: “Are you coming?” Oops.

Yesterday’s rough start may have distracted me from filling the pot, but it’s this blog, my practice, my teacher and my guide, the writing that engrosses me so that time loses its meaning—that's the real cause of this caffeine withdrawal. I’m not getting paid in cash for what I’m doing. Yet the rewards warm me like a cup of coffee between my palms on the coldest winter day.

Except when writing about it reminds me that it’s the second morning in a row that I haven’t tasted coffee and two days with no java will not fly.

Excuse me while I go grind the beans.


Suzanne said...

Liza, your writing is so fluid and clean. Like a glass of water. Easy to read and refreshing!

Mimi said...

Hi Liza, I came via Suzanne's weekend winners.
It's fabulous when "work" engrosses you so much that you forget about coffee or whatever..
But don't you find that exhausting? If I spend more than a half-hour at the computer, my brain and my eyes go to fizzle.

Liza said...

Hi Mimi! Welcome. It's the best kind of exhausting...the kind when you know you've accomplished good work, rewarding work, work that you love. I spend hours at the computer and still have to force myself away because I love the writing so much!