Sunday, September 16, 2012

An Ode to Coffee: My Muse and Drug of Choice

A young woman bringing coffee on a tray
The Coffee Bearer by J. F. Lewis (Yorck Project)
What would my life be like without coffee? I cannot imagine nor would I wish to. I mean I had lived without it for many years of my life, but back then I did not know what I had been missing all this time. This is one drug I simply cannot go without. If I happen to miss a dose, my body will surely remind me with the not so delicious combo-trio of throbbing headache, fatigue and bad mood, ensuring that I do not ever miss another fix.

But why think of quitting anyhow? Why fix something that ain't broke in the first place? Coffee is good for you indeed. A cup of Cuppa in the morning boosts my attention span, memory and mood, while alerting and preparing me for the hustle and bustle of my daily grind. This yummy brain juice manages to clear my muddled mind and wakes me up (I am not a full person in the morning).

But also on the weekends. The way I drink it and its purpose are rather different. I savor it, slowly with a hearty breakfast alongside the family. I talk, listen, have a sip and a mouthful or surf the web with my (second) faithful companion by my side (My wife the first, coffee the second, just to make that clear.)

If anybody, doctor or religious authority, should tell me to quit coffee, I would laugh it away ... nervously. In terms of religions I am forced to cross out Mormonism from the get-go (sorry Mitt), while thankfully all the other major religions turn a blind eye to my delicious pastime.

[The question also remains, could I live without pork (ham, bacon, pork chops, cochinita pibil ...)? I believe one's religion should be based in accordance with one's personal dietary preferences, and not the other way around where religion tells us what one may or may not consume. So again I have inadvertently eliminated most (if not all) religions and must embrace, by default or process of elimination, “unorthodox” or liberal Christianity. Q. E. D.] 
Coffee is also the underdog liquid of love. Sure, many say wine is romantic, and that is definitely true. Its luscious, sensual and silky red that swirls in your wine glass like a fluid ruby, the buzz that works like a truth serum and distills information you would not have divulged in a sober state, all make it a desirable drink. Incidentally, coffee was originally referred to as “wine of the bean” in Arabic.

But do not be fooled by appearances alone. Coffee may not look sexy, but it is a drink that increases arousal. That is the main reason why most people have dates over a Cup of Jolt as it stimulates blood flow and conversation and once the caffeine kicks in, the other (significant or not) will seem even more attractive. At the same time, it is not seriously impairing judgement unlike beer after the consumption of which practically anybody looks attractive.

That coffee can be misconstrued for arousal I can vouchsafe from personal experience. It is perhaps related to the positive feelings and effects of this black elixir, but I have found girls working at coffee shops especially attractive. So much so that I have written a poem once for a barista who worked at a Blenz coffee shop. I have lost the poem since, but it was something about digging for dark gold and the morning sun goddess that lights my day. Not a very good piece of writing perhaps, and that is what she told me in person. But, at least, I had my coffee and started crying into my cup (of Joe), as a manner of speaking.

I am having another java sip right now so that my ideas flow more freely and I can edit my writing with a clearer mind. Yes, my muse is beside me. I do have to limit my consumption of and my relationship with her though; more than three or four cups a day and I will be speaking in tongues, my hand will twitch uncontrollably, and my sleep will have exited through the back door. Like anything good and valuable in life, including sex, the secret lies in control and moderation.

So there you go, gods and goddesses of the black Ichor of life, may this be your personal ode. I am immensely grateful for and irreversibly hooked on your existence and hope you will stay legal and my companion for all times, or at least until the end of the world (in about three months???). And if inflation inflates you like a disproportionate balloon, I will find a second or third job since a life without you (or my wife) is simply a life not fully lived.

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