When I was in my 20s, I attended a dance performance at The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio with Twyla Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov. I didn't have a lot of cash to burn back then, but I’d long been a fan of Tharp, and it goes without saying the ease with which I parted with my hard-earned pay for relative proximity to Baryshnikov.
I vaguely remember a pas de deux and a Baryshnikov solo, but what really stuck with me to this day was a performance by Tharp to the tune “Java Jive,” I think by the Ink Spots.You know the one, "I love coffee, I love tea...da duh da duh da duh da duh ...and it loves me..."
She conveyed a mood of longing in her movements, and the piece resonated with me, but I wasn't sure why. I read in the program she created the work as a tribute to her lost love of coffee, which she’d recently given up upon the recommendation of her doctor.
At the time I was struck that she loved coffee so much she created a work to mourn her loss.
I understand it better, now, some 20 years later.
Having for years been a fan of the French Press (or for my British friends, the cafetiera), I thought I was doing just fine. My husband was of a different mind it turns out, and gifted me at Christmas this year with a very fancy Swiss machine, which at the press of the button whips up the perfect cuppa.
You just touch a button. It grinds the beans, heats the water, and ... you receive a dose of hot, frothy goodness — one cup at a time.
You know that commercial when the wife says, she just needs a barista? I have one; automated style.
Now this may not be as novel for many, or most. For me, it’s a thrill. So much so, my index finger keeps hitting the button; repeatedly throughout the day. I thought the novelty would wear off, and I'd return to my regular consumption habits but, alas, it seems to have become a nasty Pavlovian predicament; pushing that button more than I should.
Now I can’t sleep through the night. I wake up wondering, “Why me?! What did I do to deserve this sheet-tossing madness?”
Then I remember — that last cup of coffee. It was nearly 5pm. That’s never good.
Will I be able to control my finger enough to only press that shiny silver button twice a day?
It remains to be seen. I may just be doing my own dance of withdrawal soon.
Meanwhile, the nice machine says, "Ready," in bright red letters...