Why do I love coffee?
The most immediate reasons that come to mind are beyond the delicious bitterness that I have grown to enjoy over the last 15 years. It relates back to the relationships I have developed with special people over a cuppa. There are several. It didn't have to be coffee. I suppose it might have just as easily been soda or hot chocolate or tea or even water. It just so happens that drinking coffee together with loved ones made a difference in my life.
The first boy I ever kissed drank coffee. After school we would often walk down that great hill topped by the central campus and visit a diner known at that time as Lola's. This is the same diner where Daddy bought me chocolate milk and orange tic-tacs when I was very young. We often sat in the booth by the front window of the smoking section with bottomless cups of watery coffee. I remember he tasted of coffee and cigarettes. This taste is impossible to forget. The day we first kissed we were together under the railroad bridge over Mud Creek. My first kiss! This is a strong association I suppose.
Another person so dear to me used coffee, Starbucks quad tall half 'cafe nonfat cappuccino topped with cinnamon swirled into the foam to be precise, as a crutch to quit drinking alcohol. This incredibly dear person managed to go eight years without a drink while suffering through the drastic Kodak layoff years, going back to school to get a Master's in Social Work, and providing kind support to her family while a beloved matriarch came to the end of her days at the hands of acute myloid leukemia. My young adult self, barely old enough to drink, occasionally went to AA meetings with her to provide social support. At least once a week we went out for Starbucks together and I told her everything going on in my life. She told me about the tortuous environment at Kodak, the challenges of returning to school after 30 years working in a factory, and the same gossip she might have told her friends at the bar. I needed her, and she needed me. We shared coffee.
Maybe coffee stunted my growth to 5'4''. Maybe bringing it to a job interview prevented me from being hired. Maybe it led to me losing a job? Maybe it just tastes good and feels good in my hands. Maybe it prevents me from getting caffeine withdrawal headaches. I always thought it just woke me up, kept me ready for what is coming next. I suppose I will to slowly switch to decaf because I have gotten feedback that I come across as wired on caffeine. It's just that having a warm cup in my hands helps me to feel more secure in an uncertain world. Life is scary sometimes. There are many worse addictions I could have. At least I managed to quit nicotine. I suppose that makes coffee the cause of my worst vice: a lack of presence. I think it will do me good to focus more intensely on listening.
Thank you for letting me know that this is holding me back.