I’ve turned the kettle on for coffee. It’s instant.
I drink instant because I don’t care how it tastes, all I want is the kick. And I don’t want to wait for perking or dripping. I don’t want machinery that might go wrong. I don’t want to hear the loud impatient sound of grinding beans, or find that the machine has jammed, or whatever coffee machines do. I also don’t want to discover that I’ve run out of granola. The worst case is running out of coffee or half-and-half. I can make substitutions for granola (toast), but not for them. There is no substitute for coffee, and I can’t drink it black. I’m careful never to run out.
I don’t read the paper or listen to the news. One glance at the headlines, the apprehension of the dire straits of the world, and it would all be over. The membrane will be pierced; it will shrivel and turn to damp shreds. I will find myself thrust into the outside world, my opinions required on unfaithful politicians and the precarious Middle East and the threat of global warming: I should really take action. The voices of the outside world are urgent and demanding.
So I don’t read the news or listen to it. Nor do I make a single phone call, not even to find out if the plumber is actually coming that day to fix the sink, which he has failed to do now for five days in a row. One call and I’m done for. Entering into the daily world, where everything is complicated and requires decisions and conversation, means the end of everything. It means not getting to write.
This is fantastic advice for morning writers, like myself. I do my best work between 6 and 10am with a gigantic cup of completely generic coffee—if I can refrain from peeking at Twitter or Facebook that is. My brain’s at its freshest during those hours (it’s at its worst between about 2:30 and 5pm, which I assume is familiar to a lot of people).