I'm embarrassed to say I've been going to Starbucks just about every morning. It's convenient and quick and the coffee is better than the weak stuff the street vendor sells. I prefer Stumptown, which is just across 5th Avenue, where the staff is attractive and artsy, and the coffee is expensive but flavorful. But no matter when I go I have to wait for fifteen minutes, and I'm usually just about to be late for work becuase I can't seem to make myself get out of bed before 7:45 (or 7:50, or 8:00). This inability to wake up in the morning is also the reason I don't just make my own coffee, because I know that's what you were about to ask. I don't have a coffee pot, so making coffee involves boiling water and preparing the little filter and plastic percolator-thingy and, usually, cleaning a cup, and when I wake up at 7:45, 7:50, 8:00 I just don't have time for that.
So, hence, therefore: the Starbucks cup on my desk.
What's the problem here? Is it laziness, is it my addiction to caffeine, is it this whole notion of living on a schedule and being "on time" to work. The answer, of course, is yes (why even pretend I could narrow it down to one problem?). There's my own laziness, especially when it comes to food and drink. Sometimes, when my life feels a little like it's being flipped over like a giant pancake, I take some of the attention I was directing toward my food and direct it toward being anxious, and revert to eating peanut butter and jelly or pickles and slices of cheese for dinner. Food is not at the top of the list of the things I naturally care about, though I know it's important and should be.
Also, there's this caffeine addiction, exacerbated by the classes I'm taking that end at 10:30 at night on Mondays and Wednesdays. I usually need an extra cup of coffee to remain more or less coherent throughout class.
And then there's time. Time, or standardized time, is a modern problem and, in some respects, a modern invention and one that I'm not completely reconciled with. Ironically, trains are the cause of standardized time and also the reason I can never seem to get to work "on time," (well, that and the sleeping in too late). Radiolab had a great show on time, check it out here, which explained that before people needed to catch the train there wasn't much of a need to have standardized time. But even though modern transportation taught us live by the clock, it also regularly messes with out schedules. The R, the subway route I take to work, is an unpredictable train, usually meandering under the East River then lurching from station to station, sometimes nearly empty, sometimes packed so full I can't hold my book in front of me without poking someone in the spine. I leave my house at 8:15 or I leave at 8:25 - doesn't seem to matter, I'm still just barely on time for work, and sometimes late.
I live by minutes, those glowing green numbers on my alarm clock that burn my nights away and the ticking, blinking timepieces that tell me when I can go home or when I'm late, again, and the clock in my own head berating me for all the seconds, minutes, and hours I've wasted. My life, chopped up this way, packed full between the hours, sometimes feels as artificial as the numbers on my digital clock.
And so I stay up too late, and I drink too much coffee, and I run through Starbucks for my coffee even though I'd rather brew a cup of something better at home or stand in Stumptown for awhile and enjoy the indie music and the company of people who care about their coffee, but I just can't make the time.