I quit coffee for Lent. It’s been 18 days since I started back drinking my beloved beverage and I am about fully awake.
I am one of those folks who can drink coffee from early morning until bedtime. I usually make a nightcap of fully leaded coffee. It’s the way I go to sleep. I had as hard a time falling asleep without coffee as I did waking.
I wore my coffee sacrifice pretty well. I prayed for the suffering and abandoned souls in purgatory when I made Bob’s morning coffee or fixed coffee before the AA meeting. I’m not sure that there is a purgatory, but I like the idea of springing someone from semi-eternal quasi damnation. I gave faint smiles to those who offered to pour me a cup of coffee at meetings. The first few days of Lent, I poured myself a cup of coffee automatically when I walked into the meeting, then gave it away.
Coffee’s so much in the fabric of my life that I get, and appreciate, coffee cups for most birthdays and holidays. When friends and family go out-of-town, my gift is usually a coffee mug. They get used.
I have multiple flavors of coffee in my pantry as well as several types of coffee pots and espresso makers. I say I don’t understand the stockpiling of guns, but here I am with enough coffee paraphernalia to caffeinate to Armageddon and back.
While I was obsessing over my separation from coffee, I researched the Bean which is not a bean at all. It’s a cherry looking berry. The coffee legend is that an Ethiopian shepherd, Kaldi, noticed his sheep got crazy happy and couldn’t sleep after eating the berries off a certain bush. He passed that information to the abbot of a local monastery who found that a drink brewed with the berries kept him awake through early morning prayer.
Coffee’s been called the ‘wine of Arabi’ by visitors to Mecca and the ‘bitter invention of Satan’ by clergy in Venice who condemned it in 1615. The pope intervened; after drinking a cup, he gave it Papal approval.
When I got home, made my first pot of coffee, and took the first sip, I noticed that it didn’t taste as great as I remembered. I replaced the coffee that Bob had been slowly, slowly drinking over the previous 6-1/2 weeks and thoroughly cleaned the coffee pot, cycling vinegar through it a couple of times. It was better. Absence had made my standards higher. For a day or two.