Back to Life
After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again?
No, hang on. Back up a bit. Arrive home, get out to open garage door, stretch long and hard (essential), manoeuvre car backwards through narrow entry, switch off, thank car for its sterling service. Haul bag/s + computer up four flights of stairs, let self in, open windows and balcony door and then unpack.
Always unpack. Takes five minutes, reduces chaos to soothing order, guarantees that necessary goodies will be to hand as needed.
This system has been developed by trial and error over several years and innumerable trips backwards and forwards. It isn’t rigidly set in stone. I’ve been known to have coffee before I unpack, if the drive’s been particularly ugly. I’ve even been known to drop the lot, have a drink of water and go for a swim if delay risks total melt before the job is done. But whichever way it goes, the truly humanising factor at the end of any gruelling anything, is…coffee!
My grandmother was horrified when I first started drinking it. Stunt your growth, she said. But since by then I was 5’10, that only spurred me on. And really, she should have sympathised. She was 6’, which was pretty damn tall for a gentlewoman of the Victorian era. But then life’s never fair, is it, and I don’t suppose she thought hers was too tickety-boo either, so why should I merit special treatment?
People have tried to stop me drinking coffee over the years. What a foolish endeavour! They even deprived me of it for a few months, thinking that would make me eat more, which just goes to show how little they knew. And years later, I was issued with dire warnings that unless I at least switched to decaff, hideous things would befall me. Gangrene would set in? My leg would drop off? Don’t remember now, but that was 25 years ago, and both legs are still attached and functioning well enough to maintain a healthy stride, so maybe they had shares in the decaff company.
And then there’s the matter of bone density. Mine is surprisingly good, all things considered, and that’s purely because I drink my coffee with milk.
The thing is, you see, that coffee isn’t just coffee, for me. It’s comfort… relaxation… reassurance… pause for thought… motivation…company… reward…
And why not? If I sucked up alcohol for all those things, I’d be permanently blotto.