It is nearly 7 a.m. on this Sunday morning. I have been up for close to ninety minutes. This is my schedule. I have come to the conclusion that sleeping in is overrated. This is my day off and one hears a lot about how others relish the chance to “sleep in” on their off days. I can’t, even if I try, I can’t. So, I get up and make coffee. Or, I simply warm up the leftovers from the day before and get to work. I always, always, always have a cup of coffee near me when I write.
This brings me to Stephen Fry. I read once that when he was working on a screenplay for Peter Jackson he could not get going on it to save his skin. It took him awhile to find the reason but it struck him that at the time he was working on the screenplay his was trying to give up smoking. Smoking energized his mind while at the same time the ritual calmed and rewarded him. I feel almost exactly the same about my cups of coffee. This morning, I am wondering if I could have written Tripio without coffee?
One indisputable answer is no. No coffee, no Starbucks. No Starbucks, no Tripio. Starbucks did not invent coffee of course and I drank plenty of coffee before Starbucks was available. In Tripio, Jay even refers to a coffee house where he was working before he moved to Chicago, the long gone Oregon Street Coffee House in Dayton, Ohio. Even after Jay is working at Starbucks he often goes to favorite coffee house that “sat on an alley under the El tracks”. As you can see, I come by my love of coffee honestly. Hey, I loved coffee before it was trendy and pricey.
The point here, however, isn’t how cool I am. I was thinking as I started this post that it could be a bad thing that I believe I have to have a cup of coffee within arm’s reach anytime I write. I sometimes know that I will not drink the contents of the mug but that I have to have it close regardless. If I were feeling somehow inadequate about myself for not be able to write without coffee near, I arrived at the conclusion to stop it. One reason is that I am in good company with Stephen Fry. The second is that I would have never responded to the Starbucks want ad if I hadn’t already loved coffee. For proof I refer again to Tripio and Jay thinking to himself as he prepares to answer the want ad for Starbucks, “about the only real qualification I have is that I’m a coffee lover.”
And I am not alone! The spectacular growth of Starbucks and the interest in a coffee culture it begat, confirms this. If you are reading this blog with a cup of coffee nearby, then drink up! If you are reading this and nodding your head in agreement, then I have done my job with this post.
“May I help who’s next?”