scrape

The scene: you’re sitting cozily under a blanket drinking your coffee on Sunday morning. Suddenly, you hear something scraping — repeatedly, insistently, roughly — against the ice and wooden planks of your front porch. Your mind fills in the blank by guessing:

A. the giant claws of some unknown, unseen beast that dares to venture out in the day only because it knows a warm and tender morsel is curled up inside the house, waiting helplessly.

B. It’s the guy they hired to shovel snow and ice, shoveling snow and ice.

If you chose B., carry on. You’re fine.

If you chose A., maybe lay off the Lovecraft for a while. And the caffeine. And get some sleep. But in the meantime, come sit over here by me. I’ll make coffee.

magically delicious?

The corner store seems to have mixed up their coffee dispensers again.

Well, I knew that when I bought this bag of beans, which came from a bin marked with two contradictory labels. No, this is more than a mix-up. This is a travesty.

The brew I’m sipping at this moment is not either French Roast or Italian Espresso, as the two labels insisted. I’m not sure what flavor it is, but if I had to guess, it would be…

Lucky Charms.

reduce

Though I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions, I’ve arbitrarily chosen this month to reduce my caffeine intake. And for no good reason; I was, after all, restricting myself to a sub-lethal dose.

For about a week now, I’ve been having one enormous homemade cappuccino in the morning, not one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In real-world terms, this means I’ve gone from six-to-eight shots of espresso a day to about four shots. That’s a big change, and explains my recent silence here; without the nervous pounding energy of a near-toxic caffeine load, I don’t feel the urge to typetypetypeohmygodtype.

I’m sure it will return. I think.

discovering

A few embarrassingly obvious things I’ve discovered today, this week, and this month:

- When you make coffee, it’s important to include the coffee.

- Duct tape and Duck Tape differ in thickness, texture, and stickiness.

- Do not keep reading that Chuck Palahniuk book if you ever plan to have sex again.

- Related: that one good “guilty pleasure” Stephen King book I keep thinking of — the pulpy page-turner that gives me the chills, cracks me up, and never makes me cringe in scalding embarrassment for the author? Yeah, he never wrote one of those.

- I can watch Kubrick’s The Shining over and over and over and over again, forever. And ever. And ever.

- Ow, that’s hot!

- Canned lentil soup tastes like clean woolen socks. But definitely like used clean socks, not new ones.

- If you do a little happy dance upon discovering the laundromat is open on Labor Day, you are: a) a bit of a weirdo; b) not a staunch supporter of unions; or c) desperately behind on your laundry duty. In my case, it’s a little from column a) and a little from column c).

- Dude. Haunted puppets are not scary. (I mean, in a short film. In real life, they’d be pretty scary.)

- I do not like to think about real-life haunted puppets.

- Sniff the milk before you splosh a whole lot of it in, not as you splosh it in.

- Though I never really understood the appeal before, when you have a super-fast connection and a reasonably fast machine, computer games really are a lot of fun.

- Yikes, that’s sharp!

- Hey, that stinks. Hey, what is that? Oh, it’s — Oh! OH! Eugh.

- A pot rack can only hold so many pots.

- Related: those winged plastic screw anchors? Yeah, you have to buy those by size. You can’t just, y’know, buy one and expect it to fit.

- Some tasks that seem to be about finesse really do require brute force, too.

- Well, that was a bad idea.

note to self

Dear self —

If you botch one step in your morning routine, view that as a red flag and pay closer attention to the subsequent steps.

If you botch a second step, don’t curse and press on; stop. Breathe deeply. Regroup.

If you don’t, things might will get worse. If you’re lucky enough to end the process with only inadequate caffeination, a small steam burn, and an explosion of dry espresso grounds all over the wedding supplies, count your blessings and back away.

sniff

A conversation before coffee: a brief parable on the importance of caffeine to the deductive faculties.

E: I’ve mostly seen him in passing. He seems sweet. He smells like toast.
D: He smells like toast?
E: Well, I’ve only really talked to him once. He smelled like toast.
[long pause]
D: Was he maybe making toast at the time?
E: …yeah.

Warning: I am a sap.

Support from dear and long-time friends is no surprise; indeed, knowing it is always there under the jokes and the kvetching is the very essence of friendship. Elli, K., T & J: there are no words to thank you for your good, generous hearts. We’ve been through so much together that your love leaves me grateful but unsurprised.
But the sweet, stalwart persistence of a few new friends utterly sideswiped me.

You took me out for breakfast. You put down your textbook and suggested coffee. You bought me vodka & tonics in that dim, swanky bar. You burbled beautifully about your wedding plans or your internship or Shakespeare. You listened. Oh, sweet fancy Moses, did you listen. You cracked stupid, smutty jokes. You hugged me ’til my knees buckled, and held on ’til I could stand straight. You revealed yourselves as true friends, and you make me quite weak with fondness and gratitude.

I take it back: you make me strong.