Jittery with a java jones

In summer, when temperatures are as sultry as a debutante full of sloe gin, nothing’s more refreshing than a hot cup of coffee.

You heard me. Coffee. Give me coffee, no matter what the weather. First thing out of bed every morning, rain or shine, steamy or snowy. Coffee. I gotta have it.

I’ve got a caffeine addiction that won’t quit, and I’m not the only one. The whole country’s got the coffee jitters. How else to explain the sprouting of drive-thru coffee joints on every vacant corner in North America? No wonder all the bad drivers are on the phone, talking really fast. They’re all juked on java.

In some places, you don’t even have to cross the street to get coffee. Winter before last, I found myself in midtown Manhattan on a Sunday morning, the one quiet time of the week. Everyone was still in bed, but not me, because I don’t sleep in hotels anymore, especially in New York, where honking is acceptable behavior at 3 a.m. So I’m up, and I visit the Starbucks in the hotel lobby and I go out for a walk. It’s cold, but dry, and I walk briskly and I’ve got my paper coffee cup to warm my hands. Most all the businesses are closed, but up on the corner, there’s another Starbucks, all lit up and warm. Across the street and down the block, another Starbucks. I walked around Grand Central Station before I ended up back at the hotel. In those 12 blocks, nine Starbucks.

At its current rate of growth (and allowing for recent closures), Starbucks will, by 2032, have crowded an outlet into every home in America. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to having my own barista.

My java jones is so bad, I select hotels on the basis of whether they have coffeemakers in the rooms, so I can get an initial fix before dressing in the morning. Those little machines never make coffee exactly how you want it, which is intravenously, at bedside.

At our house, we’ve got the fastest coffeemaker on the market; I can barely finish yawning and scratching before it’s ready.

I start downing coffee at dawn, and I drink it right through lunchtime, or until I get so jittery that I burst into flames, whichever comes first.

Worse yet, I use an embarrassing amount of sugar and/or artificial sweetener, so the coffee has the overall sweetness and slightly chewy texture of molasses.

No cream, though. That’s for sissies.

And none of those fancy coffees for me, those lattes and cappuccinos and mochachokas and frappagrappas. I’m sure they’re very tasty, but I freeze up, trying to decipher the menu, where many of the words appeared to be Italian and nothing is “small” or “medium.” I mutter, “Coffee,” and take whatever they give me and pour in an embarrassing amount of sugar, and I’m out of there.

It’s probably not healthy to consume six to eight cups of coffee per day, or maybe it is, depending upon which study came out last. Coffee either prevented colon cancer or caused heavy users to grow antlers. I forget.

It doesn’t matter what the doctors say. I’m sticking with coffee. I’ve given up nearly all my other bad habits. I’ve got to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

They can have my thermal mug when they pry it out of my cold, lifeless hand. Which could be any minute now.


1 comment:

Life without Clots said...

there are a couple of good books about Starbucks...