Jul 29, 2014
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Ode to Coffee

Coffee is more than caffeine. Coffee is a reason to get up in the morning. And coffee is awful when your tummy hurts.

Ode to Coffee

My friend Sheri said this to me the other day: “I like going to bed at night because it means I can wake up and drink coffee.”  This, I thought, was one of the more profound things anyone has said to me in the history of ever.  It hit me at my source.

 Ok, ok, ok.  I know.  There are some of you out there that don’t like coffee.  This is incomprehensible to me.  Coffee isn’t just a beverage.  Coffee is a sensual experience, a ritual, the fuel that keeps America running and makes this country great, despite the fact that to my knowledge not a single bean is grown on American soil.  I’m generally an open minded person, and I like having friends of different backgrounds and races and religions because they are interesting to me.  But I admit a prejudice: if you don’t drink coffee, I think there is something suspicious about you, and I will never fully trust you.  Ha ha.  I’m just kidding.  Sort of. 

 Nutritional studies seem to be all over the map, at least according to that most credible of sources, Facebook.  Coffee is good for you.  Coffee is bad for you.  Coffee dehydrates you.  Coffee is just as good as water for hydration.  Coffee stains your teeth.  Coffee regulates your bowels.  Whatever.  If the internet experts can’t agree, I’m not going to weigh in, except to say that I strongly believe in the studies that say it is good for you.

 I may be a little extreme in my love for coffee, but I know that Sheri and I are not alone.  I have another friend who started roasting his own coffee in his backyard because he couldn’t find satisfaction elsewhere, and the results cannot be compared.  They have since turned this into a nifty little business.  (Thanks Steve and Debbie from Trinity Coffee Roasters – do I get some free coffee for the unsolicited plug?)  Their coffee is so fresh and so good that I have accused them of importing cocaine as well as coffee beans from Colombia because there is so much buzzy caffeine in some of the varieties. 

 Which brings me to the inspiration for this little ode to coffee.  A few days ago, I had a migraine.  The horrible kind (not that there is a unicorn and rainbows kind) that doesn’t get knocked right out with medication and eventually results in nausea and the losing of one’s breakfast/lunch/dinner.  This happened once in a Judge’s Chamber during a pretrial conference, which is a story for another day.  (Note to self: does my family find itself experiencing reverse peristalsis more than most families, or do we just speak of it publicly more often?)  Usually when this happens, I go to sleep and when I wake up I am mainly functional, and by the next day I’m ok.

 Only now it is the day after the next day and I’m still not ok.  My headache has gone away, even though there are still the occasional aftershocks.  But my stomach has not gotten back to normal.  Most food does not appeal to me, and even plain drinks like water make me a little queasy.  The only things I have been able to consume with any gusto are Coke Zeros and Ritz Crackers.  So, part of me thinks, “weeee hooooo!”  Diet by illness – whatever, so long as it works, right?  But the other part of me wakes up in the morning and pours coffee in the cup and smells it and waits for the endorphin rush triggered by the dark, earthy smell and anticipation of the complex flavors and stimulant rush of the caffeine.  Instead, I get a little stab in the gut and think, “Urgh, there is too much acid in that cup.”  This will hurt me to drink.  And so I take a few sips because I want them but then have to put the coffee mug down somewhere that I can’t smell it because my tummy starts to cramp and complain loudly about its perceived abuse.

 I want my coffee!  I want it now!  I want to stamp my feet like a three year old in front of the coffeemaker like that will somehow make a difference.  I would get a brush – maybe like a dryer vent cleaning brush – and stick it down there and clean out the yucky parts that are causing the grief if I thought it would allow me to drink a cup of coffee. I’ve already tried Alka Seltzer and peppermint tea and ginger.  I’m thinking of swallowing a charcoal briquette to see if that will do any good.  I don’t want IV coffee – I want to sip it, to smell it, to feel the warmth, to enjoy it. 

 Wake up and smell the Coke Zero.  Just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

Lori B. Duff is the author of the Amazon ‘Hot New Release’ Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza, a collection of autobiographical humor essays.  You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/loribduffauthor

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