My last year as an undergrad, I finally discovered that coffee can be the stuff of the gods, rather than the dismal sludge I had long seen it as. Not having time to make it in the morning, and disdaining the watery, bitter brews that prevail in coffee shops, I usually ended up enjoying my flavor buzz at eight in the evening. Decaf? No, sir.
The thing is, it didn’t bother me. I’d have my cup of coffee at eight, and by ten or twelve I’d be soundly dreaming. If my dreams were a little less sound, I never noticed the variation from my already crazier-than-normal dreams. My roommates and friends would say. “My word, you’re drinking that now?!” And I would blithely say, “Yep. Caffeine doesn’t really affect me.”
Maybe I’m just getting old, but being married, I think, gives me a slightly clearer sense of myself than I had when I took my cup of evening coffee off to my room to enjoy by myself. If I was buzzing, no one was there to point it out.
Last week, I brewed myself a cup of coffee around six (in the evening). The brewing is strange enough these days—the press is buried in the back of the closet, so I use a combination of paper towels and a hand-held mesh strainer. Trust me, if you saw my closet, you wouldn’t go digging for a french press either. About an hour and a half after I had enjoyed my cup of tastiness, I suddenly realized that I had been talking John’s ear off, non-stop, for the last hour.
“Good heavens, caffeine does affect me!” I said, completely surprised. John looked at me with that sweet, loving look that says “I swear I’m glad I married you, even though you’re crazy,” and said, “You didn’t think it affected you?”
I don’t drink coffee often, but when I do, I apparently turn into an unstoppable jabber-jaws. It took me a year of being married and talking John’s ear off for me to realize it, which started me thinking about how people act as mirrors for us to see ourselves in.
Burns knew the right of it – “O wad some Power the giftie gie us /To see oursels as ithers see us!”
Mirrors have been on my mind this week anyway, which may be why I noticed how caffeine impacts the way I interact with John. We’ve been playing with them in one of my classes. I never realized how many interesting questions they bring up. Don’t know what I mean? I’ll put the challenge to you as it was put to me: grab a friend or two and a mirror and see if you can figure out how to determine where (along a flat wall) you put the mirror so that two people can see each other. Is there any place they can stand so that it’s impossible to find a place on the wall they can see each other?
If you already know how it works, please don’t post a comment with the rule, just in case anyone else actually does want to try it!