The First Sip…

Posted by admin - 04/03/14 at 08:03 am

The woman shuffled toward the kitchen.
She rubbed the bridge of her nose and the bone above her eye socket, the one mostly covered by a manicured eyebrow.
On her way, she shot a bleary glance through the living room window at the weather outside—too early to tell.
Her ritual never varied.
The left arm opened the door to the freezer while the right one reached up to remove the bag of frozen coffee.
She turned to the counter, picked up the grinder and filled it to the top.
She waited while the blades spun around and chopped the beans from small boulders into a thick, brown powder, enduring the noise that always seemed to loud despite its rewards.

She poured filtered water into the pot and set it to boil.
At home she brewed each cup from scratch, dripped every one for maximum flavor.
She pulled a filter from the customary spot in the corner, set it in the cone, dumped in the fresh ground, fumbled in the cupboard for her favorite mug and assembled the rig that would soon render the magic elixir, the one that would pry her eyes open and jolt her system out of neutral.

She heard the bubbling sounds from the stove.

Carefully, she drizzled the hot liquid over the entire surface of her creation, made sure to flow the stream back and forth in a tiny trickle, to cover every inch of what quickly became a dark lake that shrank in the middle not unlike a volcano after spewing its ash.

The drip, drip, drip made her smile.
The smell made its way into her nostrils.
By power of suggestion she began to wake up.

She removed the cone, deposited it in the sink, grabbed the handle of the steaming vessel and crossed the room to her chair where she sat, brought the rim to her mouth, let the steam bathe her face and the aroma flood her olfactory track.

Now, finally, the first sip.
Exquisite, as always.
The second sip followed and then a third and another until only a few dark drops floated on the bottom in a hint of a puddle.

Sacred ritual.
So important.
Or was it?

As the caffeine rattled her brain into motion, she began to ponder.
What’s so special about the first sip?
Is it the anticipation, the fulfillment of sensory desire, the genesis of a series of simple tasks, what?
Even more puzzling, why only the first sip?
Why does the luster seem to evaluate, morph from ambrosia into morning fuel, each sip less tasty or at least less memorable?

How could she make each sip more like the first?

In still awareness, her thoughts traveled.
Can I find more gratitude, can I heighten my own senses, might I sharpen my palate for life?
If I did, would it translate to something so mundane as a cup at dawn?

She leaned forward, brought herself to her feet, ambled back in the direction she just came from.
Time for a second first sip.

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