The Right Stuff
Once Upon A Time there lived a man whose system, since childhood, had never tolerated coffee. But as the man grew closer to the other side of middle-age, he kept reading of its health benefits. Apparently, four to six cups of the stuff helps the brain, it helps the heart, it helps fight-off cancer, blah, blah, blah.
Blah, blah, blahs aside, one day, after reading yet another scientific study of its benefits he said: “Maybe I should give this coffee thing another shot.”
He found a mild brew of so-called Joe (which coffee is sometimes referred to as) with the tasting notes of pecans, bittersweet chocolate,and honey. The cup went down well; it reminded him of a “dessert” tea he’d once tried, and absolutely loved.
That was it, he thought: “I’ll have at least one cup of Joe in the morning.”
And along with his obsessive love of every rainbow of tea choices he’d also indulge in, he figured, the combo of those with Joe would hold health benefits for his brain and body as he aged.
Besides, he was a bit envious of a certain kind of priviledge. All the Joe people at any given “coffee house” were offered zillions of options for their cup, while tea people had less than half a dozen types of bags at their disposal to pour water over.
So, too, the Joe’s, at any given coffee house, seemed to relish in delight, as if making love at the condiment stand to their beverages. They’d stir in this, or that amount of creamer, or milk, or almond milk, or whatever. In what the man felt was a hypnotized state, they’d add just the right amount of sugar, or spice, or foam, or whatever, taking several minutes getting it just right.
And while at the same kind of establishment,however, the man would be handed his cup of English Breakfast, or Earl Grey, or Jade Green with a smirk from the barista (or more likely, the cashier) as if his or her eyes were saying: You’re uncool, man. Coffee is for hip people, tea is for wimps. Wimps who’d have to elbow their way into a spot at the condiment stand, wedged between the coffee-headed hoarders of the space, to get a splash of milk, or whatever in their tea.
Then there’s the discrimination between coffee versus tea drinkers who visit a sit-down restaurant, the man reminded himself. When a coffee drinker asks for more, he or she gets a fresh cup. When a tea drinker asks for more, they get tepid water poured over the same tired bag, which results in a dirty dishwater taste.
Blah, blah, blahs aside, the next morning, the man, committed to his mission to be both cool and healthy, french-pressed another a cup of that same pecan, bittersweet chocolate, and honey infused cup of Joe as a pre-gym workout enhancer. He’d read that it helps aid brain stimulation, metabolism, and an overall spike in fitness performance.
What forty-nine year old gay man, as happily married and monogamous as himself, doesn’t want to keep his wits about him, his body in shape, and maintain stamina as he ages? he thought. So,again, one cup of Joe a day would help keep the doctor away.
But, Ugh! The feeling that fused throughout his body was not the same as it had been after the previous day’s brew.
Heart palpitations, a highly lit state, tingly body, and an overall yucky and queasy feeling overcame the man. He felt the same way he had in high school when a friend brought in Dexatrim pills, and they indulged on too many of them as a get-off. The result: a head-spinning reaction, and a music room bathroom purge of his guts, which made for an interesting,
post-lunch time choral practice.
Experiment over. The man’s body reminded him what it had on the years and years ago attempts at becoming a hip coffee head.
The next time he visits a so-called coffeehouse, he reasoned, he’ll take his space and time at the condiment stand; at the diner, he’ll ask for a new package of the stuff that feeds his soul, and which also, by the way, has incredible health benefits.
And he lived happily ever after: a tea bagger.