the dusky cold November day in New Hampshire when I turned to
the man who would become my best friend of years and tears and years, and said "You
know, Bill? All I really need in life is coffee and cigarettes. That's all I really
need to be happy. If I had to choose between coffee and a place to stay..."
He raised his eyebrows.
"I would still choose coffee. I'd go to the beach and watch the stars. And I'd have no
problem staying awake."
It was the first time I said it, but hardly the first time I'd thought it. Coffee is an
elixir, the one drug that is both utterly legal and utterly acceptable. I've been drinking
a pot or two of this stuff for twelve years. Coffee is a lifestyle that is so omnipresent
that we don't even notice it. People that don't drink coffee are weird.
I have never had a perfect cup of coffee. That particular title isn't an award. It's a
life quest. It's a spiritual issue. And if you don't believe me, then trust me. A lot of
people will agree with me on this one. The Perfect Cup of Coffee is the American Dream.
It's the attainment of Enlightenment. It's the juice that gets you there.
Which brings me to my friend Janice....