Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monsters and Maxwell House

I'm one of those people
who can't start functioning correctly
the first thing in the morning-
without a cup of Joe.

Luckily, for me (and the bathroom scale)-
I drink it black.
No sugar.
No creamer.
Just hot and fresh
and in my favorite good-luck mug.

Whenever I think of peace and comfort,
I see a cup of coffee.
Right there with the brilliant sunrise,
or the first snowfall,
or days when I am sad.

When I was in high school,
my mother let me have my own
percolator in my bedroom.
(Yeah, she was cool like that.)

It was white with blue flowers
and sat on my ancient hi-fi cabinet-
right next to the 8-track tape player
that my oldest brother John
fabricated for my listening pleasure.

What more could a girl want?
Led Zeppelin and The James Gang
along with a cup of Maxwell House...
Sitting on a soft bed,
writing poetry and dreaming of cute boys,
fashionable shoes, and Friday nights...

I realize that it sounds as though I was a spoiled brat.

But, no.

I shared that room with my little sister, Tina.

(And another thing...
everyone else on the face of the entire earth
had cassette players by then.)

Tina talked in her sleep.
nightmare talking.

She would grab the blanket and sit up in bed-
with her eyes as big around as a quarter pounder-
and stare toward the closet door
with a frightening whimper...

And, of course, who was I to doubt
that something very real and monster-like
lurked among the wire hangers and shoe boxes?

Being there, you would have thought
that Zombies were about to attack-
or maybe some of those scary Puppet-Master dolls.

It was nights like those that made me glad
that I had a little caffeine in me.

I was able stay awake and guard the bed-
ready to throw a copy of "Love Story"
or a leather sandal
toward any supernatural freak
that emerged from the depths of the closet.

Tina was always back asleep in minutes,
snoring like a baby-
while I had goose bumps the size of dimes
and the hair stood on the back of my neck
like a porcupine on steroids.

So, when morning came,
I kicked Tina out,
perked my coffee,
and enjoyed a world without fear.

Through the years,
I've tried Starbucks and iced cappuccino
and lattes.
I sometimes splurge on expensive creamers
and flavored syrups
and sweet International Delights.

But, I always come back to
coffee in black.

And I secretly wish Tina
many sleepless nights...