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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Cavalier

Cavalier: (adj) showing a lack of proper concern; offhand.

If we can laugh at it, we can mock it.

If we can mock it, we can make it seem insignificant.

If we can make it seem insignificant, we can deny its importance.

If we can deny its importance, we can stop doing it.

A nasty little process that’s being practiced every day in the entertainment industry, politics and even religion.

The cavalier approach we take to essential issues is damnable. You cannot take life-giving activities and place them on pedestals and put them in the museum of
“practices of the past” without setting up the destruction of our species.

Every morning I get up and ask myself, “What is important?”

It’s not important that my eggs are over-easy. That’s just nice.

It’s not important that my coffee was made correctly. That would be amazing.

It’s not important that my car did not start. That sets up a possibility for a lasting repair.

It is important that I have enough self-awareness to be aware of the other “selves” I will encounter.

To take the cavalier attitude that certain situations, certain occupations and certain people don’t really matter because they are either impossible to handle or not worth the time is the definition of hell on Earth.

After all, hell is the absence of God.

And God is the presence of “loving your neighbor as yourself.”

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Brunch

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brunch: (n) a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch.

I hate brunch.

I always have.

There are foods I enjoy at breakfast, and certainly foods I prefer for lunch–and I never really wanted them to meet each other.Dictionary B

“Soup and sandwich” just doesn’t seem to be compatible with scrambled eggs and bacon.

They were brought together by lazy people who didn’t want to get up for breakfast but felt stupid for eating lunch at three o’clock in the afternoon.

So they made up a meal where they could gorge themselves in one sitting, with foods that were never meant to co-habitate, and therefore justify snoozing.

It also ended up being something that many younger folks did on Sunday instead of going to church, the park or flying a kite with the kids. Add a little champagne, fresh produce and you have a fantasy date for anyone under the age of thirty-five.

I know I sound grumpy.

I’ve always been a little bit dour when confronted with people who insist that they are “not morning folk”–when every job in America begins before nine o’clock.

So, dammit–get used to it.

I will even tolerate folks who say they need coffee before work or insist they’re not quite alive until 10:17 A.M.

But somewhere along the line, we have to stop adjusting all of life to our predilection for sleepiness.

Otherwise, there is a frightening possibility that omelettes will fellowship with chicken salad.

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Biscuit

Biscuit: (n) a small, typically round cake of bread leavened with yeast

There is a certain comfort in self-deception.Dictionary B

Even though lying to oneself seems to be an egregious error, at certain moments in the journey, it can be as comforting as a swallow of chipped ice on a hot day.

For years and years, I insisted that I did not like biscuits. Matter of fact, I was even guilty of planting the notion that bread was distasteful to my “buds.”

But anyone who followed me around or who was acquainted with my eating habits, would find that I was either the biggest, fattest liar who ever lived, or the weakest, dumbest avoider of temptation.

Especially if someone brought biscuits to the table accompanied by sausage gravy, I would “break down” and have one–which soon was edited, in my mind, to be “one plateful.”

Biscuits are good when they’re hot, very similar to coffee…and women.

When they sit too long, they congeal or get hardened (once again, paralleling the afore-mentioned).

  • I know they are high in calories.
  • I know they’re filled with carbs.

But when they arrive at the table hot, it is very difficult to resist them (once again, quite apropos to coffee and women).

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Beetle

Beetle: (n) an insect of an order distinguished by forewingsDictionary B

It’s a language which I have affectionately, but sarcastically, dubbed “Marjorian.”

It was named in honor of a woman I once knew named Marjory.

Marjory had developed a way of speaking in which she would address any problem that ended up falling in her front yard with very gentle language, while summarizing the actions of others she did not like with more sinister terms.

Let me give you an example.

When Marjory’s daughter became pregnant in high school, she insisted they had planned on having the young girl marry her beau, but the pavilion they wanted to use was not available, so normally the pregnancy would have fallen after the marriage, but preceded it only because of a scheduling conflict.

Yet when the young girl next door found herself with an unwanted pregnancy at age seventeen, Marjory whispered to the neighbors that “the lass was a tramp” and that such declining morals were ruining our country.

She spoke Marjorian–a language generous to oneself while condemning to others.

I bring this up because one day I was sitting in Marjory’s home and a bug crawled across the floor. Instinctively I leaped to my feet and crushed it with my foot. I knew the insect to be a roach. When I identified the bug to Marjory, she immediately disagreed and said, “No, no. That’s a beetle.”

Apparently it was completely respectable to have a beetle crawl across your floor but not a roach.

Being in a playful mood, I picked up the remains of the bug and carried it over to Marjory, causing her to launch into a hissy fit.

I put it toward her face, showing her that this bug had no wings, and was therefore not a beetle.

Without missing a beat, Marjory countered by saying that “it was a Japanese beetle. They don’t have wings.”

I immediately realized that Marjory had no idea of the flight habits of the Japanese beetle. But it was not worth arguing about, so I tossed the carcass into the garbage can, finished my conversation and coffee and was on my way.

I have met many people who have their own dialect of “Marjorian” language, but it always amazes me that after all the claims are made, all the exaggerations espoused and all the false belief preached, that somehow or another… the truth still has a way of winning the day.

 

 

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Agitation

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgitation: (n) 1. a state of anxiety or nervous excitement 2. the action of briskly stirring or disturbing something, esp. a liquid

Proximity.

It’s a great word. It means how close I am to something.

Occasionally I become very upset at myself for agitating my own spirit, allowing my being to be disrupted, disoriented, and lending itself to disorganization.

It doesn’t take me long to trace the problem. I put myself in too close proximity to something that should be further away. I even have friends and family who are best suited for spending time at a distance from me and I from them, so as to maintain the mutual love and respect that we both would hate to lose.

Agitation is a proximity problem.

It is difficult for us, as human beings, to sit ourselves down in the middle of our quandary, surrounded by the tension, and still remain rational and capable of solving dilemmas. It is necessary to create distance from anxiety in order to free ourselves from worry.

That’s the truth.

I know some people would disagree, saying it’s idealistic to think we can escape the surrounding “crush of crash” in order to make adequate judgments. But I have never been able to be agitated and be anything but a jerk.

  • I need distance.
  • I need air.
  • I need the ability to turn my back on the oppression, stoop down and “fiddle in the dirt with my finger,” giving my spirit the chance to calm down, and therefore, my mind the opportunity to clear.

If you reach the point of agitation, you’ve already missed your exit off the freeway of frustration.

Pull over. Get off the highway. Don’t try to text, drink your coffee, stare down at your computer and drive your car. It only feeds the agitation.

I do believe that everything in life is a proximity decision. And when we run across something that stymies us, it doesn’t do any good to try to stare it down.

Walk out of the room, buy yourself a minute, regain your soul, escape agitation … and let the better parts of you speak the wisdom that’s available.

Affectionate

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Affectionate: (adj.) readily feeling or showing fondness or tenderness: e.g. a happy and affectionate family.

You gotta BE there.

It’s true, you know. There are some things in life that cannot be viewed, read, perused, discussed, debated or downloaded.

Affection is one of them.

In a climate where “lukewarm” has begun to feel “heated,” we lack such closeness and intimacy that it has caused us to become defensive with one another because we privately feel cheated of the tenderness we need to satisfy our souls, yet at the same time we push away personal overtures from those who try to get too close too quickly.

A lady warned me the other day, saying, “Watch out! I’m a hugger.”

I do remember attending a rock concert many years ago where complete strangers–thousands of them–came up to each other, hugging in groups of five and ten without explanation or apology. Yet to promote such an idea in our day and age would be cynically mocked as a “hippie philosophy,” a throw-back to olden times or impractical due to the spread of disease.

This culminated for me when I saw churches offering hand sanitizer to folks after they had the “passing of the peace.” I wish I had a profanity to express how upsetting that is to me. And please, spare me the explanation on why it is needed. I am fed up with the notion of what is needful and anxious for the pursuit of what is helpful.

  • I need affection.
  • I need to be affectionate.

Now, it doesn’t have to always be demonstrative, but it does have to be spontaneous and real. It can be reaching across a table and cutting up the banana of a friend who is making you coffee, or coring an apple for another friend so she doesn’t have to deal with stems and seeds.

When you lose affection in a society, you promote the idea of isolation. Once humans are isolated, there’s only one thing that takes hold–survival.

Is it possible that in the next decade we will begin to treat each other–all the time–like we do when we’re in a traffic jam?