25¢ Coffee

I usually prepare the coffee maker at home the night before, and set it to go off about 15-20 minutes before I need to leave for work. Some nights I stay up so late that by the time I come up from the basement I just say “fuck it” and go upstairs to crash in bed. In the morning I usually hate myself for doing this, because most days I sleep as late as I possibly can get away with, skipping a shower, and most days even brushing my teeth or fixing my hair. I purposely got a really short haircut so “fixing” my hair is as easy as wearing a winter cap in the car on the way to work. But i digress.
So this morning I stopped by Quik Check and purchased a coffee there. I used to buy QC coffee all the time before I was married, and I thought it was the greatest coffee of all time. Now I know that I was sorely mistaken. At least by my house, the QC coffee tastes awful, and my homemade cheapo coffee is the bomb. But by the time 9am rolls around I have already finished my coffee, and due to my leisurely attitude towards my coffee responsibilities last night, I was still tired. So this afternoon I purchased a coffee from the automatic machine at work. Coffee here costs 25¢, and soda is 55¢. I feel like the kitchen here is trapped in some kind of early nineties time warp, when those prices would be more prevalent. It was a hard decision to pick from soda or coffee, especially since I usually get a Coke around 3pm everyday. But since my indigestion was acting up, I decided to go with the coffee-maker. I have no idea how this machine works.
When you first approach it, the front looks completely opaque. You put your money in, select “single cup”, “colombian” (the other options are “50/50”, “decaf”, and “hot chocolate”), “strong”, and “start”. Suddenly, the machine comes to life, and the opaque front becomes a tinted window into a mechanism I can’t wrap my head around. There is a large cylinder which first moves downward, then as it moves back upwards it fills with the black stuff. I can see the rubber O-ring which creates the vacuum seal, but the origination of the liquid is a mystery. There is a smaller cylinder which allows the liquid to travel from the larger cylinder into my empty cup. For the life of me I cannot see how the two cylinders connect. The large cylinder travels southward again, and the small cylinder accepts and carrys the liquid out of the machine. It is magic. I cannot see the way these two pieces of plastic connect, and as soon as the coffee is dispensed the lights go off, leaving me to stare vacantly at the opaque surface again.

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Author: jayholler

A technology lover living in California with my wife and two children.

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