I got back into Seattle both mid-day and mid-week, which almost seems unfair. My ideal time to arrive back from the airport is around 8pm: enough time to unpack, sort through mail, and begin the quiet process of converting back into one’s un-vacationed self while not really feeling obliged to do anything at all.
But arriving at noon? You are at war with Maslow: you’re hungry, you’re a little bit sleepy, your circadian rhythm is out of whack, and you probably have a long to-do list for which you are not nearly equipped with adequate energy.
So you dive into cold brew, like I do; so you leave a stack (or, more aptly, a pile) of East Coast clothes in the corner of your bedroom, having not the requisite energy to move it the extra three feet into the hamper. You’re still out of rhythm, but in an annoying way rather than a fun way.
But back to the cold brew thing. How much coffee do you drink? I used to drink too much. This was a product of:
Now I’ve been trying to cut back: partially for nutritional reasons (being addicted to 300mg of caffeine seems inherently bad, even if it’s socially acceptable!) and partially for practical reasons (I’m sick of slumping over at two in the afternoon.)
And I’ve been mostly successful: my afternoon coffee indulgences have been largely phased out (this week not-withstanding.)
But there is something so ritualistic about it! And I recognize that it’s the ritual I love just as much as the beverage itself (“mistaking the tea ceremony for the tea”, etc. etc.) — but the ritual is so good.
I think about the first time I can remember having coffee, an old jar of Nescafé Instant that seems to infinitely occupy the same place on my parents’ pantry shelf. The small shelf, to the left of the sink. And how it tastes like home.
I think about the last time I can remember having coffee, which is a poor attempt at dualism because it is literally right this second. I am sitting in Capitol Coffee Works with a cortado and thinking about a Big Life Decision and sunlight is streaming into the city.
It is the kind of day where it’s not shorts weather, but people are wearing shorts anyway; it is the kind of day where I am not in the mood to do much beyond read, write, and vulture my way through the little scraps of other people’s conversations as they pass in and out; it is the kind of day where I do not need coffee but I crave it with a yearning that almost feels existential.
(Maybe that’s just a withdrawal symptom.)