Coffee

Coffee: (n) a drink made from the roasted and ground beanlike seeds of a tropical shrub, served hot or iced.

An ambiguous lover.

That’s what coffee has been to me.

It always reminds me of that one girl I knew, who was a good friend and occasionally made me think that I wanted to make out with her–and I think she probably felt the same way about me–but we never, ever felt it at the same moment. So awkward attempts to be romantic always led us back to long conversations about how we didn’t want to ruin it because our friendship was so special.

That’s the way I feel about coffee.

I have really tried to get into coffee. It seems like something that should work for me. I hang around with people who enjoy it immensely. Part of me would love to love coffee–just to fit in.

But the numerous times I have tried to have relations with the coffee cup have ended up very unsatisfying.

Maybe it’s because I snuck up on it.

A couple of times it seems like it snuck up on me.

Perhaps it revolves around the fact that our love affair is decaffeinated.

I tried it iced, but it just left me cold.

I tried it with cream, without sugar; with both; and even with something they told me to put into it which I could not identify–and did not help.

Officially…I am not a coffee drinker.

I sometimes hold a warm cup of the fluid in my hands in the midst of strangers and adults so as to take my place in the tribe.

But always, by the time they’re ready to have a second cup or top off their first, I have barely taken three uncomfortable sips.

 

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Aren’t

dictionary with letter A

Aren’t: (contraction) are not.

Tricky business, this game of words.

One wise men said by them we are justified, or on occasion, condemned.

Aren’t is one of those words which has caused more trouble than we can imagine. It is the favorite contraction, and verb, of prejudice and bigotry. For after all, it has no personal application. I can’t turn to you and say, “I aren’t.”

The word is only applied to others, to limit their capabilities:

  • You aren’t pretty.
  • They aren’t talented.
  • We aren’t as dumb as they are.

It is a word without a mirror, peering at other planet-dwellers with a jaundiced eye and dipping into the well of our experience to determine their value.

It is always ambiguous and never leads to a sense of understanding. Even when we say something like, “They aren’t coming to the party,” hanging in the air is a sense of uncertainty about the reason for their absence.

Beware of words that are geared to attack others and have no function in revealing oneself.

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Appendicitis

dictionary with letter A

Appendicitis (n.): inflammation of the appendix.

It’s just not damn fair.

Even though I realize that knowledge is a good thing, a little knowledge sucks.

I know I have an appendix, and I have learned enough to realize that it doesn’t do anything for me whatsoever except threaten to become inflamed, requiring my body to be sliced for removal. On top of that, this little booger has such ambiguous symptoms that every time I have a slight twinge in my belly, I’m curious if it is pleading deep within me to exit from its extinct purposes.

Yes, the appendix turns us all into hypochondriacs–because we know it has absolutely no value to us and its only purpose in life seems to be to get sick and die. (The only other part of creation that emulates it are old people playing shuffle board in St. Petersburg, Florida.)

I try to resist being whacked out by it. If I get one of those tummy aches, I think to myself, more likely spicy meatballs than the appendix.

But I am still aware of the danger lying deep within my flesh, threatening a gashing exit.

Maybe we would all be better off if it was just removed. Matter of fact, if somebody came up with a way to shoot a laser through the skin to dissolve it, I might line up for the treatment.

Of course, adding to the paranoia is the realization that because we have limited knowledge, they will find out in five generations that the appendix was actually the key to solid physical well-being. And those future scholars will marvel at the ignorance which existed in our time, which not only failed to discover the intrinsic value of this little organ, but actually removed it–shortening the life of the patient by twenty years.

I tell you–it’s a frustrating mess.

Thinking that it’s worthless but dangerous…or wondering if it’s dangerous because we stupidly think it’s worthless.

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Ajar

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Ajar: (adj and adv) a door or other opening left slightly open

“Keep the door ajar.”

We all know what that means.

It’s our way of communicating that what is happening, beyond that which is inside the enclosure, is not private, segregated or secret.

It is also what we were told to do as teenagers when we were in a room with our girlfriend or boyfriend. It was a reminder that at any time, our seclusion could be interrupted by the inclusion of others.

I made a decision a long time ago to keep my life ajar. To think that any of us can get by with hiding our mistakes or foibles is a ridiculous notion. In an age of super-information available at super-speed, it is doubtful that privacy can be attained, so the only thing open to us is to select speed of revelation.

I’ve been silly about it in the past.

  • At one time I was embarrassed that I didn’t go to college, but began a family immediately due to my rising hormones, which preceded declining grades.
  • I used to be afraid to admit to others how unknown my efforts were and attempted to name-drop to procure respect, which only, in the long run, drew further attention to those mightier than me, whose names I was invoking.
  • I used to avoid questions by changing the subject or offering answers I thought were cleverly ambiguous, but actually just sounded evasive and stupid.

You can feel free to attempt to delude the public, keeping your door tightly shut, in hopes of avoiding interference from strangers. But as the Good Book says, there is nothing “whispered in the ear which is not eventually shouted from the housetops.” (By the way, a statement spoken by a fellow who didn’t even have to deal with the Internetor the NSA.)

So I can sum up my philosophy about “keeping my life ajar” in three quick statements:

  1. If I’m ashamed of it, change it enough to where the shame is gone.
  2. If I’m the first one to bring it up, nobody can act like they “got me.”
  3. Honesty is the best way to keep people off your back, because they relax and then you can actually be more like yourself.

Keep the door ajar. Pretty good philosophy.

Keep your life ajar. Genius.