Friday, January 22, 2010

A Little Change

Somewhere along the line, my essential humanity directed me to create rituals. They have changed at times, but some persist. Honestly, I am 29 and many are here to stay. One such ritual is cream in my coffee. So simple. But why? I grew up with black coffee drinkers. My first experiences with coffee were black.

My first real employment was with a fine coffee company. The roots of my ritual must have grown there.

I was 16 and drank my coffee this way. I was 17 and walking myself awake after a long night of seventeening and would not light a cigarette until I had procured coffee like this. I say, I like being human and I celebrate the ways in which my humanity controls me. But it is obvious that I have no choice.

I have quit coffee altogether once. When I was pregnant with our first child I quit everything, because that is What You Do when you are suddenly carrying another life inside. I remember waking up the morning after the joyful news, waking to Karl making coffee, and breathing it in like life. When he reminded me of my vow I actually cried. I quit coffee just that once, and I kept to my promise all nine months. Subsequent unborn children just had to deal with the coffee.

Yes I have quit the drink entirely but I have never altered my ritual (save for replacing dairy with soy whilst we were on an elimination diet). Cream, no sugar- every morning. I have been known to refuse all beverage if there is no cream. Devotion, I thought, not servitude. I was prepared to die with this ritual intact but I can't.

For no particular reason I decided to quit cream in my coffee. I felt bold that day and crushed the idea of the ritual like an anthill. This is unlike me, as I am not a crusher of anthills, but so is drinking black coffee. When summer comes will it find me destroying red clay cities?
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