Stir Crazy

Graphic Joshua Barkman

When I started drinking coffee I’d chew on a teaspoon of my dad’s Taster’s Choice coffee crystals, chase them with a glass of water, and run out the door. Eventually I learned to manage my time well enough to boil the water first and then put the instant coffee in it.

Waiting for it to be a drinkable temperature and ingesting the caffeine through gradual sipping really slowed down the ultimate goal, though. I had an 8:00 a.m. class to get to, after all.

When I want coffee, I become the Veruca Salt of caffeine—I want it now.

These days, I buy a coffee and dump some milk into it until it looks a little paler and that’s it. But all too often, I am blocked from executing that simple scenario.

I’m trapped behind someone who thinks this is eighth-grade science.

She stands in the middle of the little counter, pours the cream, then slowly lifts the cup to her lips, sips, puts it down, thinks about it.

She looks around—where are the stir sticks? Ah, there they are. She stirs. She thinks. She takes a sugar packet. Shakes it. Rips it open. Throws the corner in the circular cutout in the counter. It doesn’t go in. She brushes it a bit to push it into the garbage. She sips again. Thinks. Repeats.

How does an adult not know how they like their coffee? There are very limited options. And why is this moment being drawn out and savoured so much? There are parks to walk in for times of quiet reflection. I’m starting to overheat in my winter coat back here.

This is fourth-floor Hall Building coffee, after all—stop trying to fix it, that’s just the way it tastes.

—Elysha del Giusto-Enos,
Fringe Arts Online Editor