A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

I'm a man of simple pleasures. . .

. . .as I've rarely ever been able to afford more than that. And, there have been times when I've not even been able to afford the simplest of them -- such as the past six months. But, now that I have a full-time job, I can spend a little cash on a few of my creature comforts. One of the first things I bought with my first full week's paycheck was a bag of whole-bean coffee.

Over the past several months, I'd lamentably developed a taste for the pre-ground stuff, because I had no choice. The transition wasn't pleasant, but it beats the hell out of adjusting to the loss of a limb, or some other real human challenge. But, the upside is that getting back to the good stuff makes it seem all-the-better. And, the great thing about whole-bean coffee is that even the cheapest stuff is a tenfold improvement over the most expensive pre-ground stuff. So, I bought the cheapest beans I could find at Wal-Mart -- 8 O'Clock Colombian.

The first thing I did upon arriving home was to search the grocery bags for the coffee, dump some into the grinder, set it for the ultra-fine espresso grind -- and hit the button. Twice. (One run-through leaves the grounds too coarse, and it's just not as flavorful.) And, once I got the coffee started, I set about putting away the rest of the groceries. The smell of fresh-ground coffee brewing fills a room like nothing else. There's an almost buttery taste in the air that makes you want to run to the coffee maker and huff the fumes like a juvenile delinquent with a mason jar of paint thinner.

When the pot finally finished brewing, I poured myself a cup and took that first sip. For a moment, I was transported to a place where everyone wears white linen and struggles over how late is properly late in showing up for a cocktail party later in the evening. Then, just as suddenly, I was transported back to my humble abode, where I struggle over just how much later I get to sleep in the morning if I go ahead and press my work clothes at night.

But, that brief taste of a life of leisure is something you can't get out of a can of Folger's or Maxwell House. The best you can hope to get out of those is a slight jolt to help prepare you for the remainder of your forty hours. You drink them at work. Drink something else after work. It's a relatively inexpensive escape compared to travel or heroin. And, there's no packing, no needle tracks, and no terminal diseases. Just a few jitters that might interfere with your ability to play Jenga.

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