It's all a matter of perspective.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Lament For A Coffee Mug


Editor’s Note: Nathaniel is a former two-pot-a-day coffee abuser. About a year ago his doctor ordered him to quit cold turkey because of chronic acid reflux. Three months ago Nathaniel finally got around to quitting.

Let me tell you something cowboy:

I had a coffee mug that I loved very much. I would refill it many times during the day. When it was fresh and full I would gently hold the steaming mug to my bosom and let the aroma lift to my anxious palate in a sort of olfactory orgasm. Savoring every molecule, I would slowly lick the last few drops from the sides of the mug when the volume became low enough that gravity would not pull them out.

The dark bean was my savior; the snowy ceramics mug my best friend.

Focusing on the sunburst Gibson Les Paul on its outer shell, I know its message well. "Hard Rock Cafe" it proclaims, "Houston, Texas." Loud and clear it speaks to me, in a back country sort of guffaw that makes one picture a lonesome scene, perhaps a camp fire and Sam Elliot as he pulls the mug away from his parched lips and sucks the java residue from his ample mustache.

Ah my old friend the coffee mug, how it has been with me through the ages. A gift to me from my roommate Ray-Ray after a psychology department field trip, I often carried it in my backpack during the college years. Many a day it left the classroom next to notebooks in an empty and neglected state, waiting to be rinsed and refilled at my convenience. Often times it would hold more than just coffee. First thing in the morning as the precious brew was percolating; perhaps I would fill it with milk to take a BC powder with. Occasionally it would be necessary for the first cupful to be half Evan Williams or cheap vodka, still trying to combat that hangover. My mug was always with me, and often the only thing that got me to work or class on time.

Perhaps the thing that I miss most about my old friend is the way it brought perfect regularity to my digestive system. As I close my eyes even now I can remember sipping that last cup of the morning and immediately making a break for the privy. Nothing in the universe is so healthy for ones colon as a steady supply of the glorious bean juice of the Java Arabica plant. Even to this day I long for that feeling of immediacy to my bowels.

The coffee mug, I know it well. Alas I have no good use for it now. The damn thing just sits on my desk holding pennies.


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