A mixture of pollinated air and car exhaust climb through open windows as I begin my day. The cat joyously runs between the sorted laundry piles, and down the hallway to greet me. Excited mews bounce off my ears. Closing the bedroom door behind me, I creep to the kitchen. A fuzzy warmth flops on my feet to remind me, again, that ear rubs are needed. With a few more strokes of her silken midnight fur, I am granted passage.
The alabaster bag crinkles under my touch, as the smoky sweet scent opens to awaken me. Hints of cherry, chocolate and wood combine in a perfume of perfection, as the whir of the coffee maker brings the kitchen to life. Following a stream of molten drips, completion arrives.
Heat radiates through the well-loved mug, warming my hands as I cradle my precious cup of indulgence. Ripping open a packet of stevia, the faint aroma of marshmallows stirs through the air. My official coffee spoon, tanned with residue, clanks on the edges of the mug, ensuring the sweetener is perfectly distributed.
Tossing the empty stevia packet in the garbage, the odor of yesterday’s cantaloupe rind slaps me. Sticky sweet and pungent, is has grown into an over-ripe reminder to take out the trash. Thankfully, the cool night did not bake it, leaving it instead as an overzealous air fresher.
No longer distracted from my goal, I walk to the sofa, coffee in hand. My furry shadow follows, stretching out next to me. Time for the first sip. I am in bliss.
The smooth liquid welcomes my taste buds with a buffet of flavors. Bitter, sweet, smoky, umami. My eyes open just a bit wider with each taste, as if in coordination with the rising sun.
As I reach the end of the first glorious cup, an all too familiar texture hits my tongue. Clingy, scratchy, stringy, like a hot spider web, a cat hair tries to linger as it is plucked from my mouth. I will try not to think about what part of the cat that came from. Two golden eyes innocently stare back at me, and the moment is worth it. Ahhh.