Tuesday, February 15, 2005

...To The Last Drop

I love coffee. I’m not even sure it’s the caffeine. I mean I know that’s part of it. But if I can’t have regular, I can settle for decaf and still not get caffeine headaches. That does not make sense, I know, but it’s true.

I only need about a ½ cup too. After over 30 years of drinking the stuff you’d think I’d need 3 or 4 to get my java buzz. But Nope! Just a little dab’ll do me. In fact more than two will make my heart all fluttery.

I started drinking coffee as a kid. I think I was 6 or 7. My grandmother would have a cup every morning. I had to do everything she did so I whined until she gave me some. Really what she gave me was coffee flavored milk with a butt load of sugar.

Actually it was Evaporated Milk, or canned milk as she called it. Which is already sweet to begin with. She’d pop two holes in the can with the pointed end of a bottle opener. One hole to pour and one hole to let air into so it wouldn't spurt all over. Sometimes if she was out of canned milk, she’d pop open a can of condensed milk and water it down. Condensed milk is even sweeter. She usually only used it for making homemade ice cream. For sugar she used “Sugar in the Raw” the chunkier unprocessed stuff. A friend of mine thought I was talking about a porno video when I told him I like my coffee with “Sugar In the Raw.”

I still like it that way. “You want some coffee with your cream and sugar?” Michael will say, watching me fix my morning cup. If we go to a restaurant for breakfast and they only give you that tiny pitcher of cream; I let him get his little splash first, then I pretty much empty the thing into my cup. Sometimes I make room by pouring a bit of the black stuff into my saucer first.

I like Mexican coffee. It has a lot of milk in it. My friend Carmen makes it like her dad did. He was Puerto Rican. He used instant coffee and hot milk. No water. It tastes so good. If you haven’t tried it, you should. I’m lactose intolerant but I do it anyway on occasion and suffer the consequences.

On most days I put a presweetened non-dairy creamer in my coffee. A lot of it actually. Michael will gag if he accidentally takes a drink from my cup. When I go to Starbucks I’ll get a latte or a White Chocolate Mocha like I did today. I had the girl put a ½ pump of Valencia syrup in it. Starbucks can go a little crazy with the syrup if you don’t watch them. They can actually make it too sweet for ME.

I stopped for coffee this morning because there was accident on the 5 freeway. I knew there was no getting around the traffic jam. If I was gonna sit in traffic I was gonna enjoy it. The accident was bad. A van rammed into the back of a stalled semi. 3 People died. It happened early about 5:00am I think they said. When I passed the wreck on the side of the road it was 9:40. Pulverized. Heart-wrenching.

I wonder what they are feeling right now; the families of the people who died. I wonder if they are remembering that last cup of coffee shared in the wee dark hours of the morning. That last coffee-flavored kiss goodbye. The empty cup that stands cold on the counter. I wonder if it will ever taste the same for them.

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