A coffee story

Dateline: Thursday October 16th.

Location: an airport. I think it was Boston, but it’s not like it matters.

Time: Early. More early than I can properly be held accountable for.

Scene one: I get to the Airport. I default to base type and after passing though security (where I am smart enough not to buy a coffee before security that they will only take away from me at security because liquids are bad) I begin a search for coffee.

Scene two: I congratulate myself for not being even a little rude of violent before now, even though coffee is the link to life, and I haven’t had one. (The lines are long at security and I did them coffeeless. This makes me double proud- especially when someone in airport line sees the Canadian flag on my suitcase and takes the time out of their own busy line waiting to tell me that I live in a socialist hell that is doomed to failure. I somehow managed, yay verily though I was COFFEELESS, to thank them for taking the time to share.

Scene three: I buy a coffee at the wee coffee wicket, beaming broadly at the girl.

Scene four: Juggling my stuff, I attempt to throw away some garbage. Due to extreme book tour induced exhaustion, I let loose wrong hand over garbage bin, and throw away coffee purchased mere moments ago. (I also let go passport and ticket, but only retrieve same from bin, deciding that coffee can be repurchased from wicket. Endure stares of random strangers who see me digging in the bin. Smile at them.

Scene five: return to wicket. Purchase more coffee. Decide to visit the loo, because I am still afraid of airplane bathrooms (having heard bizarre urban myths about awful outcomes) and place coffee on toilet paper dispenser while doing what one might do in the loo.

Scene six: Leave loo after washing hands, and return to boarding area of airport. Realize coffee was left in loo. Decide that picking up coffee from dispenser after committing ones own ablutions is not so gross, but retrieving coffee after stranger may have committed same is revolting beyond all reason. Do not return to loo to get coffee, but acknowledge loss and go back to coffee wicket.

Scene seven: purchase another coffee from astonished clerk who clearly wonders what the hell I am doing with all the coffee. Explain vaguely about coffee in garbage and loo. Fail to make sense. Return to boarding area with coffee.

Scene eight: Hear flight called. Realize coffee is barrier to effective boarding, considering knitting that is taking up hand space. Pitch coffee in bin and report to gate.

Scene nine: Misheard, apparently. Flight not boarding. Coffee wasted. Return to seat – coffeeless and in despair.

Scene ten: spend 20 minutes trying to figure out if I can return to coffee clerk to buy fourth coffee in 25 minutes without looking like raving whackjob.

Scene eleven: Decide damage to reputation worth coffee. Return to wicket, buy fourth cup. Avoid direct eye contact with clerk who clearly thinks I have taken all leave of my senses and am coffee guzzling maniac. Resolve not to submit expense report for clearly reckless coffee purchases. Pay cash. Leave no paper trail.

Scene twelve: return to seat with fourth coffee. Sit down. Pick up knitting. Embrace coffee. Hold tenderly in hands while waiting for black coffee to cool enough for actual drinking.

Scene thirteen: Celebrate moment of perfect temperature and then, mere seconds later, feel pang of horrendous bad timing when flight is actually called.

Scene fourteen: Weep, as fourth undrunk coffee is pitched in bin. Board flight. Decide humanity is almost beyond redemption and that I have picked wrong career. Writing not as romantic as previously imagined. Spend time in queue imagining jobs that have coffee maker installed at location.

Scene fifteen: Resolve, somewhere over Washington, while attempting to drink bizarre brown water that United calls coffee… that human focus on caffeine is not yet even remotely civilized.

Scene sixteen: Alternately knit, weep and sleep on plane – all involuntarily.