coffeeYou came into my life last winter, the second winter I’d spent in Western Washington. I was shopping for groceries in the Walmart Supercenter (ours is a nice one), and something in my heart led me to the coffee machine isle. There, sitting cute and tidy, was a small Mr. Coffee. I purchased it. Coffee, I know in the past I ignored you, I dismissed your ways, and shrugged off your attentions, but something about this cold day changed me.

I took the machine out of the box and scooped ground coffee into the filter, added water, and flipped the switch. It was raining outside, but in winter, when isn’t it raining? The sky was that depression-inducing shade of misery, as it had been for weeks before. Your aroma, which filled my apartment, drew me to the finished pot. I poured a cup. I added a dash of chocolate creamer. Took a sip.

Oh. My. Gawd.

My life hasn’t been the same since that first sip, Coffee. Now I have to have you every morning. You have an interesting way of toying with my emotions. Non-caffeinated Courtney can be kind of a witch, and I pity those who come in contact with her. Why, just a few weeks ago I had to go without you. Somehow my french press had cracked, and not wanting to consume tiny shards of glass, I had forgone my morning coffee. Though it was sometime in August, the sky was that irksome mental-illness-causing, frustrating gray and dark hell. I wondered, as I took my dog for his morning walk, why anyone would subject themselves to this kind of torture. Washington was a godforsaken place, and all the people who lived here just masochistic fools. That d@mn effing sky with its effing grayness and darn darkness. It’s summer! I HATE IT HERE! This is the WORST place in the WORLD! Ten months of d@mn darkness, ten months of GRAY and FALLING WATER is ENOUGH!!!! That’s IT! I’ve HAD IT! Next “summer” if it’s this same d@mn type of effing weather, I’m taking the dog and Libby and moving the EFF out of this EFFING STATE! We are GONE! Screw all of you pale people and your tall, always green effing trees. You’re morons, all of you! You can have stupid Seattle, I’m out, I’m DONE!!!

I decided I needed coffee. If I had to live here for another year (oh dear GOD!) then I might as well caffinate myself to numb the pain. I secured Riley outside of our town’s local coffee shop and went inside. I ordered a 16 ounce caffeinated beverage with an extra shot of espresso. I live in hell, remember, I deserve the d@mn extra effing shot of effing espresso. I went back outside to sit with my always happy dog. He’s a weirdo, everyone admits to that. It’s effing gray, dog, this is HELL, why are you so happy?

I took a sip.

God, it’s like nine in the morning and no one is out walking these effing streets. This effing weather is the worst. Where can I move to escape this punishment? And what have I done to deserve it?

…another sip…

What do I have to do today, anyway? Suppose I better get something done, make some kind of money so I can at least support myself, then save up so I can move out of this hole.

…another sip…

Riley sure is a sweet dog. I’m glad I have him in my life. He’s always so happy. He even has a happy walk–springy and perky. What a delightful animal.

…big gulp…

It might be warm today. I should wear a t-shirt or something. Get out of these frumpy sweats.

…halfway through the beverage…

You know, it’s really lovely here. Everything is so green and lush. And this town! So quaint! Like Mayberry. Wow, I’m so lucky to live in such a quaint, green and idyllic sort of place. It gets even better to think that I live on a boat! On the water! I have the best view of this wonderful little town! Oh man.

…sip, sip, sip…

I cannot wait to get my day started! So much to do! Going to go to kickboxing, hit some things. I just love beating things up. Puts me in such a productive and stress-free mood. Oh, what a pleasant life I have, with my dog and my boat, and in this place that’s just so green and picturesque. Why would anyone want to live somewhere else? It’s just so lovely here! Ahhhhhhhhhhh…

By the time I finished my coffee, I was convinced I was the luckiest person alive, and that I had been abundantly blessed with my boat, my dog, that I’d written and published a book, that I got to work from home, and that I lived in such a wonderful place.

It’s no wonder that you cannot walk down a street in the Pacific Northwest, specifically the greater Seattle and Puget Sound areas, without bumping into a coffee shop. We have drive-through shops, the gas stations sell espresso, and advertise it on street signs. I’ve always said that you could throw a rock and it would land in someone’s coffee cup. The only way people who live in the gray, virtually all year around, can cope is with caffeine in the form of coffee. Starbucks got its start up here in Seattle. I can see why. We need it to survive and be happy.

We need you, great coffee, wonder of ways and emotions. We need your powers of delusion, your creation of bliss. We need you. We love you. I am so pleased that you finally seduced me to your ways, that I got over my snobbish tendencies and took that sip.

Oh coffee, how I love thee! May you always be close to me in times of gray.


  1. Jennifer August 30, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Yeah, coffee or cigarrettes. I noticed that a lot people over here have one or the other in their hands. I thought it was for warmth, but I suppose stimulants explains it just as well.

  2. Holly August 30, 2011 at 4:30 am

    Coffee. Love the smell. Tried very hard to like it, to love it. Love the idea of coffee; the cozy-ness of it. Even worked in an espresso bar through college and tried every flavor of coffee known to man (and woman) trying to learn to like the taste. Still think it tastes horrid.

    I have discovered contentment in not being a coffee drinker. I can now strut around with my peacock feathers in full bloom knowing that I am a rare, priceless coffee-less breed in this gray wilderness. In my rarity, I am of more value than those coffee addicts; my snobbery is well-earned. (wink)

    1. Courtney August 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      I was with you for years. All that nonsense about “acquiring the taste” just seemed like a waste of time and effort! Alas, coffee finally nabbed me. With a little cocoa, that stuff is the nectar of the gods. I usually can’t drink it black (can with certain blends), but always add some hot cocoa mix and then it’s AMAZING! But you can be a snob if you’d like. 😉 That just means more coffee for the rest of us addicts.

  3. Kathy Houret August 30, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Too funny. I laughed out loud here in my quiet office. I, too, am relatively late to a coffee addiction and am quickly making up for lost time!

  4. Jaye August 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Love it! Thanx for the morning chuckle. Morning coffee is even more a special ritual on a boat, where we need the extra time and mindfulness (is that a word?) to grind the beans by hand, boil the water at the stove in a teakettle, and pour it over the ground beans, instead of pushing a button and waiting for magic to happen.

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