Saturday, February 27, 2010

I want coffee

Coffee's just a great thing that's warm and when you swallow it you feel it blanket every tube and intestine until the temperature of your body and the temperature of the coffee balance each other out, the way two lovers might, to create the most content feeling you've had all day.

I've had coffee all over the place but my favorite coffee remains to be a latte from Che's. It's so nice because someone bought that whole milk at the Stop & Shop checkout a quarter mile down the street and they put the change in their shirt pocket and they carried the milk back to the building and they had to wipe the condensation off of their left hand when they put it in the little fridge. They hand-packed coffee grounds and let them drain into tiny little glasses while they steamed that milk from the Stop & Shop a quarter mile down the street at for the perfect amount of time. And the same hands that put the excess one dollar and nine cents into the front pocket of a shirt gives you a mug full of heartfelt latte and and it's warm on your palms and there's foam on the top.

What I don't particularly enjoy is coffee from places like Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks. I still, to this day, never remember that my "barista" expects me to let them know that I want cream and no sugar in my regular small coffee. Behind the counter is a coffee maker (coffee dispenser, rather) that spits out some shit that's made as soon as a button is pushed and on the same machine, a few tablespoons of low grade milk that arrived in a case of twenty trickles into your scalding cup of mud. No brewing or waiting or love or any of those things that makes drinking coffee so enjoyable.

Another hassle about off-island coffee business is that it's so industrial. I was once at a coffee kiosk at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I picked out a styrofoam cup from one of three cup dispensers and the cup was white with some leaves that were meant to suggest these cups are green, and there were words on the cup that read MADE FROM 25% RECYCLED MATERIAL. I moved on down to the coffee dispensers and two signs let me choose decaf or regular. WE PROUDLY BREW STARBUCKS® COFFEE. Proudly? I inspected the dispenser for a hastened bit because there was a man with white hair in a suit waiting behind me, but the thing looked like it was from outer space. It was silver and it had a lever that was black plastic and I couldn't find the damn spout so I crouched a little and peered up at God knows what. I just saw a bunch of dark, dripping plastic, so I guessed that the dripping was from coffee poured previously and I stood up and put my cup back where the spout appeared to be and I pulled the little lever and the next thing I know my cup is on the counter and I'm shrieking and my hand is red. I was shocked and angry that the spout was not where I thought it would be. All I could do was huff because my instinct was not to cry in public and I was teetering on the edge of bursting out and sobbing. I've never been so close to tears without actually crying, but tears finally did emerge when I sat down with my new cup of coffee and my other cup which was full of ice. I put my thumb, the majority of the scalded area, in the ice and grimaced.

I guess I'm just used to this little place.

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