Saturday, July 16, 2005

Confessions of a Java Junkie

I'm on the bean. The way a junkie is on the horse, the way a rummy is one the bottle, I'm on the bean--the coffee bean. This is an exciting and wonderful development in my life, and I have my employer to thank for it.
My position with FedEx changed this week. Previously, I'd haul myself out of bed at zero-dark-thirty in the morning to drive to the airport, where I'd work the arrival of FedEx's daily 727 full of important stuff that people absolutely, positively needed overnight. You know, camouflaged thongs and electronic thingies. That all changed this week. This week I began working for FedEx at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Waterbury, Vermont.
FedEx ships all the coffee from Green Mountain's facility, and they maintain a couple of employees there to oversee the shipping. At first blush this seems anathema to a graduate student of writing, but it's been a blessing. You see, I'm now surrounded by coffee, coffee, coffee...buzzzzz. It's no secret that coffee fuels an inn. It's also no secret that coffee fuels a writer. Blending the two creates a potent mixture of inspiration and uncontrollable shaking.
One of the main reasons people become innkeepers is coffee. Innkeepers pride themselves on their coffee. They also pride themselves on drinking buckets of the stuff. So when the chance to work at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters came along...well, you can guess how I felt. My days are no longer governed by the clock. Their segmented by the coffee I drink, for at my new position (official job title: "Box Monkey"), I have unlimited access to fresh coffee.
I arrive for work at 6 a.m. Or, as I now refer to that position of the hands on the clock, Kenyan AA. It's a dark and acidic brew, and you have to be over 21 to drink it. I'll follow that up with a cup of Indonesian Dark. Mid morning belongs to Fair Trade Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. Okay, I'll admit I have no idea what Yirgacheffe is, but I know what it does. Hey, Bob Geldoff can help out Africa his way, I'll help out by rinsing their coffee through my liver. By late morning I'm ready for a treat, maybe a Belgian Chocolate Nut. And just before I leave, I finish with a vat of Jamaican Blue. It's not my favorite, but it sounds vaguely like one of the controlled substances we used to smoke in high school, so I'm all for it.
Besides giving you the ability to see the truth, coffee does lots of good things for you. It speeds metabolism, and it keeps your molars nice and smooth. And some claim it's an aphrodisiac. I'm not touching that. (Or that. Yet.) But what's really great is my arrival home after work. I'm ready to create thousands of pages of new creative work for my advisor. She thinks I'm writing a collection of short stories, but I think I'm documenting the story of life itself. That's what the coffee keeps telling me.
I'm not sharing this to make all the coffee junkies jealous. I just want to show that at the intersection of writing and innkeeping there's a big sign, and it says COFFEE. So grab your notebook and your pen, snuggle up to your desk, and pour yourself a big old cup of java. I'll meet you at Caffeine Junction and we'll explore the Costa Rican Peaberry together.