14 November 2008

moment of madness


This morning I was running late. Now my "late" is probably long before most folks think of getting up for the day, but I was meeting with a parent for a conference at 0'dark-thirty this morning and my commute time depends greatly on my "start" time. I left the house with only a banana washed down with a single cup of coffee to fuel and propel me through the morning. By the time I had driven a few blocks, I knew I was going to need more of that delightful elixir, and in my caffeine-deprived brain it made more sense to continue on to a Starbucks than to turn around and go back home for a sturdy stainless steel to-go mug.


I stopped, got the biggest cup o'joe they have, decided to throw caution to the wind by adding a dash of raw sugar and cream (why not...it was going to be a long day), and drove along my merry way. I could smell the coffee, the hint of cream and sugar (yes I could), all the way to work. The cup sat in its well-designed (thank you Honda), pre-designated safe spot just to my right, cooling during the commute to the ideal temperature to drink.

I had a small, yet over-flowing, box of papers, report cards, and graded work, as well as that amazing cup of coffee, to juggle all the way back to the classroom. I sat the box on the hood, placing the cardboard cup with the easy pop-off plastic cap next to the box, and shut the door.

The laws of physics will not be denied. There are no exceptions to these laws for teachers who are running behind schedule, who have been smelling a perfect blend of coffee, sugar, and cream for over thirty minutes, who have been up late the night before on the computer fretting over the comments section of report cards, or who just wanted to have a few minutes of quiet and caffeine before the long day began. The movement created by the shutting of the door caused the papers to shift ever so slightly in the box, hitting the side of the cup which was on a slight incline (damn that aero-dynamic design). Like slow motion, I watched as the cup tipped and tumbled over the edge, began a beautifully executed somersault, and landed at a flawless thirty degree angle. This popped the lid off, allowing the coffee to puddle around the cup onto the parking lot. Steaming creamed-and-sugared coffee. All of it. On the asphalt. Taunting me with its rich scent.

I believe I stood next to it saying "no, no, no" for several moments. I can't be sure. Shock is a funny thing. I entertained the possibility of sucking the teaspoon of liquid still remaining in the cup and the lid, but I have "issues" with germs and public surfaces. I picked up the cardboard cup and useless lid, throwing them in the trash. Periodically throughout the day I thought of that coffee, the aroma, what it would have tasted like. From now on, I will keep a back-up stainless steel to-go cup with a screw-on lid in my vehicle.

1 comment:

Diane said...

Ugh. That is a sad, sad story. If I were there I would call you up and take you out for a nice delicious cream and sugared up coffee today!!