You know I don’t like mornings, right? That should not be a surprise at this stage in our relationship. Mornings are bad. They are cruel and filled with unpleasant sounds like alarm clocks and neighbours’ alarm clocks and people moving around outside. They demand that you get out of your nice cosy bed and do things that you won’t have the energy to do until after at least 2 cups of coffee, like, for example, stand up.
They are even worse, however, when you have a cold. No matter how much better you were feeling when you went to bed, by the time you wake up in the morning you will again be at death’s door, your head heavy with what feels like an entire swimming pool inside it. Your nose no longer functions. Your cough makes you sound like you’re on 80 a day. When you groan self-pityingly it comes out as a raspy, gurgly sound.
There was no time for coffee to improve matters this morning, as I dazedly hit snooze for approximately an hour and was 15 minutes late for work, so all I could do was grab my bag of ground coffee and bring it with me. My intention was to take it into the classroom of Sarky Teacher (a fellow coffee enthusiast), who has a little French press there. Occasionally we go to the little coffee place to share a coffee together, with me bringing in the odd bag to keep her supplies up.
However, as I struggled up the stairs and along the corridor, tired and aching and coughing, I could hear her with a couple of the other English teachers, obviously starting to make the coffee. They were chatting in the way that groups of women often do… loudly, with shrieks and giggles. This sort of thing irritates the hell out of me in the mornings, even though I’m generally at the centre of it all later on in the day. And when I’m not feeling well, it’s just unbearable.
I slunk past the door unseen, and took refuge in my own classroom, shutting out the painful din of Morning People.
I was still dying for a coffee, of course, but what to do, what to do? Going in, demanding coffee, and then leaving as soon as I got it might just possibly be seen as a little rude. And I couldn’t face the Morning People conversations, I just couldn’t. So, in utter desperation, I poured my coffee into my cup as if the grounds were granules of instant coffee, and poured hot water in to form the most unappealing sludge you ever did see.
I didn’t think this through, I murmured despairingly to myself as I poked at the sludge with the end of a pen and realized that it wasn’t, as I had for some reason hoped, going to sink obligingly to the bottom of the cup. And yet still I could not make myself throw it away and go face the Morning People.
I found a paper cup in my art supplies cupboard, and proceeded with a disastrous attempt to decant the coffee from the sludge.
I ripped up some pieces of card and used them to try and scoop out as much sludge as possible.
I used tissues to try and clean sludge from around the rim of the cup.
By this stage, my desk was swimming with coffee and sludge, and I had half a cupful of coffee with a generous helping of grounds floating around in it.
I drank it. I have been picking bits of coffee out of my teeth all morning, and have come to the conclusion that I’m going to have to learn how to be in the company of other people in the mornings.
Alternatively, I could move my coffee machine from my apartment to my classroom…