If there is anything I must have to get me started writing in the morning, it’s a cup of strong black coffee. Years ago, when I first moved into an apartment after moving out of my house, I had not yet purchased a coffee maker and was drinking—pardon the expression—instant coffee. But instant is better than none at all I told myself each morning.
One morning I was groggier than usual and stumbled around my tiny kitchen going through my daily ritual of coffee making. The ritual was simple—fill the mug with tap water and add several teaspoons of instant coffee granules then pop the mug into the microwave. My big, dark brown mug was a Christmas gift from a friend who had made it for me in a college ceramics class. For some reason I became quite attached to that mug and had to have my coffee in that particular one.
That morning when the microwave dinged I took out the cup and began to sip the coffee slowly. I couldn’t believe how good it tasted. That was the best cup of instant coffee I had ever had. I continued to sip slowly, relishing the hot liquid as it went down. Then for some reason I glanced down into the dark mug and noticed that the liquid didn’t look as dark as it usually did.
Suddenly, it hit me—I had forgotten to add the coffee granules. I had been enjoying a mug of hot water!
But I wonder--what if I had not noticed I was drinking hot water? Would I still feel that jolt of energy that coffee gives me and start writing with renewed energy? I'll never know because I immediately added coffee granules to the water.