I have never been a coffee drinker.
On occasion, when I lived in New Orleans, I would have a Cafe Au Lait at that famous beignet store in the Quarter, because That’s What You Do. That’s it, though.
When I was in Paris, I greatly offended my French coworkers by ordering Coke instead of coffee at lunch. I didn’t have the heart to tell them it’s what I had for breakfast as well. When I was going to Chicago, I once ate at some snooty, high-end, jacket-required restaurant1 where the waiter actually snorted when I ordered a Coke, and said, “I’ll surprise you.”
So, after many years of being a social pariah for not taking part in the worship of the bean, it’s somewhat disturbing to find that I’ve been having a cup or two a day since last Tuesday. Last Friday morning, I chatted with my mother over coffee, which is the sort of thing adults do.
It started when my waitress at the hotel in El Paso put a cup in front of me without asking whether I wanted it or not. I drank it, because no other drinks were offered, and I noticed later in the day that I hadn’t had the urge for my morning Coke.
It smells nice, though it doesn’t taste particularly good nor particularly bad. It lacks the complication of tea, with it’s stirring and seeping and teabag/tea leaf disposal. In contrast, there’s always a pot brewing here at work, for free. It still contains that nasty caffeine and tooth staining color that Coke carries, but it lacks sugar (at least mine does), so I’m one step ahead of the game there.
Look at me. Dressing in khakis and drinking coffee. Hopefully, we’ll never invent time travel so my 13 year old self won’t have to find out what a loser I’ve become.
1 Biggs was the name of the place. The only reason I was there was that my then-girlfriend’s father was a doctor. He had saved (or rather, extended for a while longer than expected) the life of some bigwig who lived in Chicago, and out of gratitude gave the GF a gift certificate to this way-too-expensive restaurant. Among the many gaffes I made was wearing tennis shoes and pants with a hole in the knee. At least they were my best pants and shoes, but that only works on a relative level and I couldn’t find a way to explain that to our waiter. At the end of the evening, we handed him the gift certificate and he smiled as if that explained it all.