It may well have been a coincidence. Or perhaps my lack of coffee provided me with a greater sensitivity. But hearing the ad on the radio for a 64 ounce cup of coffee made my jaw drop this morning. That’s a lot of java, man! I’m just saying it’s big, that’s all… I mean, when we start measuring in quarts, I really think it’s time to share… Whaterwe supposed to do with that much coffee, soak it it? Dye a T-shirt? Is that supposed to last all day, or can I get a refill? “Oh, that’s not my front seat, it’s a cupholder!” Sheesh.
At the same time, for all of my indignance and misplaced aggression, I was deeply jealous of such a beautiful vessel of the magic elixir. What a wonderful companion. What a faithful friend.
Ever since the cleanse we completed in September, I’ve only drunk decaf, with the very occasional cup of the real stuff. Granted, I drink several cups of decaf each day, but at 1/10 the caffeine, I’m not feeling any side-effects from my abstinence today. I’m not ornery or sore or desperate or debilitated, like I was back then. But I am lonely. If there is one thing I’ve learned about coffee, it is the wonderful comfort that it provides: the simple sameness of its daily preparation, the smell of the beans and the steam off the water, the rinsing of the pot and the pre-heating of the cup, the first slurp that must be swallowed quickly lest it burn the mouth, the many cleansing sips to follow as the coffee’s perfect viscosity cleanses mouth and sinus and throat each morning, and gives a meditative welcome to each new day. Even The Girlie– who has never tasted the stuff– enjoys the sights and sounds of the daily preparation of ‘doffee!’. She can perfectly replicate the almost inaudible exhalation which follows each sip.
So now, with the caffeine addiction long gone, I’m left to deal with the more difficult and intricate dependence: the longing for comfort. Which, when I think about it, is probably the reason I ingest many other foods (and why I engage in so many other behaviors), and the reason I’ll miss them so much over the next forty days. I’d like to think that I’m quite self-aware, and fairly disciplined, and willing to deconstruct whatever entangles me. But I’m afraid that, in many ways, I’m a simple, happy slave to comfort.