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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Duct Tape in a Cup

Coffee is not just a morning stimulant; it is a powerful medicine in the fight against aging. It washes the fog out of my eyes that are too blurred to read newsprint until I have at least ten sips from my cup (I have my computer’s font size set on 16 right now.). I often need caffeine before I can walk without a pronounced limp first thing in the morning. Today it is the cure for the physical hangover of either a tough day of mountain biking yesterday or the subsequent nine hours I spent passed out from exhaustion at the end of the day.

A lot of people say how coffee makes them feel jittery. Jittery? I think that coffee is the only thing that keeps me together. I think of coffee as my liquid chemical version of duct tape, and without it the jalopy that is my body would be broken down on the side of the road, with the hood up and steam pouring out of the engine. Like duct tape, coffee isn’t a very sophisticated technique to make repairs. I should keep to the scheduled maintenance; I should realize that my body is now a vintage Oldsmobile and not a Porsche, and I should use only high quality motor oils instead of Maker’s Mark Manhattans.

But coffee, like duct tape, is an inexpensive, versatile, and highly effective method of fixing a broken down body. Coffee is cheaper and a lot easier than surgery, physical therapy, or alcohol rehab. A paper cup filled with hot black liquid and which costs $1.64 with tax is a lot more convenient than actually taking decent care of my body. Coffee is breakfast. Yesterday, after almost three hours of mountain biking, an unfinished latte that I bought for the drive out of town also served as my very late lunch.

I don’t drink a lot of coffee. 16-20 ounces in the morning is usually enough to get me up and running. I take drip coffee, not black like a man but with a bit of sugar like a little sissy-boy. I may have another cup in the afternoon, but I really don’t need this one. I will order a latte just to have something to fidget with as I do my scheduled hour and a half of reading. I am fairly moderate as far as caffeine consumption is concerned, which goes against my abnormally compulsive nature. You could probably talk me out of my afternoon coffee, but don’t stand between me and my first cup of the day. That ranks up there on the stupidity scale with standing between a mother grizzly and her cubs. I’m usually not a violent person but before I’ve had coffee in the morning I can’t be held responsible for any bad behavior.

I’ve almost finished my coffee and I feel like I can probably do something besides type nonsense on a keyboard. If I didn’t drink coffee I’d probably type nonsense all day long. Without coffee I would imagine that what I wrote would be a lot more bitter and profane than it is now. It’s dark roasted lithium.

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