Today it is nice and windy in Southern Los Angeles as I write this. It’s afternoon – I got to wake up late, as it is my day off. This was good. I read for a bit in bed. I’m reading Ray Bradbury’s SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES and it is awesome. After a time I rose and brewed some coffee and had a light lunch. Then I sat down to write. I opened the big windows in my meager rented townhome and found the most spectacular breeze coming in off the Pacific Ocean, which is not visible from my place but also is not more than five or six blocks away. After writing for a while I ran some errands and stopped for another cup of joe at starfuckers. Sad but true – I have no Dunkin’ Donuts here in LA so I’ve learned that in a pinch I can order an Americano at starfuckers and it almost tastes like good black coffee.
Almost. Starfuckers is brewed with burnt beans (thanks for the info Marc) and only tastes good to people who drink it doctored with cream and sugar. When it comes to coffee I grew up influenced by my Dad and David Lynch – make it black please.
After returning home and I brewed another pot of coffee*. I started to write again. After barely two cups I found my appetite had waned from my daytime fixation with liquid stimulants to my evening preference for Ale. I prepared a small repast of peppered salami, sharp cheddar cheese and an apple. Then I poured the rest of my coffee down the drain and opened my first beer of the day.
There are times when I can scarcely believe how much I enjoy beer. Sometimes my first drink is medicinal – almost dutiful and without the deep appreciation I usually experience. This is usually true of that first beer after work. That drink is occasionally more needed than enjoyed**.
Sometimes the first sip is hesitant, like when I am trying something new that I am not quite sure of.
And sometimes that first sip is special – the reaffirmation of a love affair begun long ago and forecast to last as long as I draw breath. This was the case today.
The sip was lively – the carbonation perfect and snappy, not like the carbonation of soda which I abhor. It was… festive. Soda tastes to me like condemnation – that high fructose corn syrup is a heavy weight on the body. And yes, I suppose too much alcohol is also.
But I’m not talking about too much.
Sure it might turn into too much. We’ll have to wait and see how the evening progresses. But right now it’s just that first sip and everything is right with the world. There’s the almost musty back end to the body of this, a fine Pale Ale by the Sierra Nevada brewing company. I know this beer so well and yet it’s times like this that there’s still some surprise, some spark of that original feeling I had the first time I tasted a pale ale and it gelled with my palette. I’ve blogged extensively elsewhere about my theories on our senses as time machines and taste is no different. At this moment I’m sipping on a beach in Michigan at Midnight with friends I no longer see; I’m in a barn in Fall City Washington watching my roommate threaten one of the actors from the tv series Twin Peaks; I’m talking to my wife on one of our first dates, eating spicy food and admiring her smile.
My god, I love beer.
* The stuff at home is D&D – not quite the same when you make it at home but a hell of a lot better than the alternative.
** Or at least that is often my perception of things.