Over the years, I have accumulated a wide ranging assortment of coffee brewing devices. From the lowly stove-top percolators, all the way to the automatic gods of espresso divinity, I've tried them all. But something was lacking along my journey through the dark, caffeine addicted vestibules of life. I wandered down the dark, shade grown back alleys--the seedy underbellies of the coffee world, my passage marked only by the small handfuls of rich, oily beans dropped into the jittery, greedy hands of instant coffee addicts and Dunkin' mafiosos in exchange for myths and rumors.
I was stumbling sleepily down one particularly dismal twist of road, dodging a handful of shifty-eyed hustlers with starbucks bags full of folgers, thinking I might just find a nice little local place and play a bit of latte-roulette with the locals. Just then, a glint of light struck me as I crossed over a second alley, dimmer yet, branching from my own. I rewound three steps and peered, trying to catch the distant light that struck me before. And as I peered deeper and deeper through the gloom and musty air, I saw a faint glow, almost invisible, arching curiously from a half-hidden doorway. Yet even as I struggled to make it out, it vanished like a trick of the mind.
"Ah, forget it," I mumbled, "I'm too tired to chase alley cats tonight."
"S'no a damn mangy cat, that" came a voice from behind me in the shadows.
"What? Who's there?" I stammered, thrown by the nearness of the voice, yet unable to make out its source.
"I'say's no a cat, a feline. S'a witch what haunt 'is godless stretch you spy." the voice moved deeper into the shadows, but I caught a moving shape.
"Stop! Who are you? What do you know about this street? Stop, I'll give you good beans for your time!" I shouted at the rapidly diminishing form.
"Ha!" came a distant, hissing growl, "beeeeans.... no beeans. S'a machine you seek... cold, teeeerrible, leave it! Leeeeaave iiiiiiiiit...." the voice trailed into a low, frothy hiss and silence.
I should have left. I should have found that nice cozy local shop--probably could have found an assortment of old boardgames with only some of their pieces long ago replaced with paper clips and packets of sweet n' low. I didn't.
You must understand me. I needed this maker. I needed to touch it, to gently finger its Chinese-made buttons--soft to my touch, yet firm as only silicone with trace amounts of lead can be. I needed to embrace it firmly, hold it close until the heat from its warm, coil heating element became one with my own heart and we made sweet, sweet coffee together. I thought again of leaving, but I already knew I must go...