Overall, coffee brings immense joy to my life. Other than taking out a second mortgage to support my habit, it is pretty much a match made in heaven. Oh yeah, that caffeine debt thing and the need for an extra room to accommodate my frappuccino butt. But other than that, it is a love that I have felt for no other.
Except for my family, of course. Yeah, my family.
But my Barista is family too. She once gave me a Christmas card. I have a pleasant personality and all, but you have to visit A LOT for her to address your envelope with your real name and not CMFRAP WC W/DRIZZ!
But I digress.
Every time I stand in line at Starbucks, I get a flutter in my heart that tells me that pure, unadulterated joy is just a moment away. When my Barista passes me my java, I blow kisses at the frosty wonderfulness in my hand. But there have been two separate occasions in my life that coffee has made me want to resort to a criminal level of violence.
It was a lovely spring morning in 1996. I was working in a difficult position at Dante's Inferno and the only thing that prompted me to get up in the morning was a stop at the coffee shop near work. So every single morning, I would stop by for a "cup o' will to live" and a blueberry muffin the size of Rhode Island.
On this particular morning in the parking lot at work, I got out of the car with coffee in one hand and muffin in the other. I noticed a man in a car trying to park next to me.
Seeing that my open door was impeding his passage, I attempted to hasten my exit. But, to my dismay, he was practicing that passive-aggressive, nudge-nudge, "MOVE YOUR BUTT NOW" push with his car. In the confusion and building panic of the moment, I watched in horror as my untouched coffee slipped from my hand and dropped to the ground.
Watching that liquid gold spread out on the asphalt, I felt RAGE bubble from the bottom of my gut through the top of my blown-off skull. It took every bit of self-restraint not to drag the guy from his car and pull out his hair in patches.
The second time was in the parking lot of Target. I'd just finished a grueling round of grocery shopping and had loaded all the provisions into the trunk. I had my Venti in the shopping cart seat, awaiting consumption on the trip home.
Since it was frigid (like totally less than 60 degrees) and all I had on was a thin sweater, I decided to push my cart up on a curb instead of returning it to a corral. As I forcefully "bumped" it up onto the curb, I watched in horror (AGAIN) as my untouched (AGAIN) coffee launched up into the air, flew like Superman over the cart handle, and bounced onto the ground with a sickening THUD. A stiff breeze brought to my attention that brown goop now covered my pants.
AGAIN, I felt RAGE bubble from the bottom of my gut up through the top of my blown-off skull, but this time for the laziest imbecile I'd ever encountered... me. I heartily fought against the dual urges of dropping to the ground to lick up the mess or weep on my knees while yelling, "Why God? Why me?"
Instead, I returned home defeated and empty, but it wasn't a total loss. The dogs enjoyed licking sugar from my trousers for the rest of the night. I'm pretty sure I spotted the glint of Starbuck's love in their eyes.
Does anyone want to start a 12-step program for coffee addiction? Yeah, me neither!