Best Part of Waking Up

Coffee is something I’ve been drinking for well over twenty years, and it has always had many tastes to it. There is the really harsh sting of espresso (and Starbuck’s style), the weaker, watered-down American variety I prefer—almost like dessert. Overseas I have to order Americano, and even that is too strong, so I have to mix in milk and/or sugar. By itself, coffee feels light and oily. The milk thickens it. By itself, it’s not heavy, but with milk… 

I spoke to my thirteen-year-old niece on Skype today, discovering she was a coffee drinker. At thirteen. When I called her on it, she said she’s been on the stuff since twelve. The first time I drank coffee in earnest, I was fifteen, in a food court in Gallup, New Mexico, after pulling a New Year’s Eve all-nighter. I wasn’t drinking coffee for its taste, but strictly for function. As a child, I had to drown it with cream and sugar, but it was coffee. And so that’s when it kicked in: adulthood. My voice deepened; I walked taller; hair started to grow where it never had before. From that point on, I’ve never gone more than two days in a row without it. Because I am a man. 

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