Tea by Design

I went firmly back to tea, I did really,
but drank a thermos of coffee anyway
today from midmorning on like a man
possessed by what I don’t know.


The cream and sugar made it worse;
I felt like I was drinking syrup. My
memories of cream and sugar in
coffee were severely shaken.

My tea memories seem to be sweeter
than my coffee memories. How great
tea tasted to me thirty plus years ago
in Germany on those cold mornings!

It may not be the tea or coffee at all.
Since my episode, I’ve been up every
morning no later than four. Then to
bed no earlier than nine.

It is the weariness, anxiety, and no
sleep that only medication could bring
on. Must be the stupid medication
messing with my taste buds. Three
more weeks of medication to go!

Just the same, I’ll reserve Friday
mornings for a cup of my favorite
Swedish coffee. A ritual of mine.
Doesn’t mean I will. Maybe I won’t.

I must remind myself how much I
enjoy tea. Not fancy. Just black tea.
Cream and sugar may have to go.
Can’t believe I said that!


Me thinks medication has made
coffee become an unfaithful lover
who cannot please; a taste of the
metallic that dulls rather than
pleases. Whatever that means.

Sleep mocks me, but I don’t care.
In a few hours, it will be time to
try again. To try to sleep as long
as the night. Wake me! I fear not.

I smirk at little sleep. I smile at my
dawn in the dark; up at four is my
new joy.

The medication will pass and this
illness will dissolve in the morning
light and heat of the day.

These present pains God works
for my good with his healing might.
I will celebrate with tea at five
and not succumb to coffee
without a fight.

Morning came for me at three.
Settled in at my red desk and
started my early morning routine.
Headache rolled in. I’m thankful for
another day.

I was in pain. Next was involuntary;
I dozed in my chair for an hour. Just
enough to recharge. As I put on the
kettle, it came to me.

No mistake here.

I believe I drink tea by design, not by
mistake (and an occasional coffee
by choice or compulsion.)

Not fancy teas. Please don’t take
offense. My choices are not yours.
Mine are basic and unrefined, but
choices nonetheless. I’ve never been
a risk taker in life or with tea.

I love hearing about the exotic tea
adventures of others. But for me, teas
where I can still see the bottom of the
cup are just not my cup of tea.

Sipping “super-thé noir à l’irlandais”
as you read this. With two sugar and
three cream. More tan than brown.
Maybe I’ll risk plain black later today!

Fancier in French? No, it is just my
regular strong black Irish breakfast
tea. Morning faded into lunch. Time
to put the water on again.

Plated a single slice of Mestemacher
whole rye. Some mustard (not yellow).
A few ounces of lunch meat on hand.

By this time, the electric kettle’s done.
Okay, I said I’d do it. I will. Black one
more time. I reach for a regular tea
bag and put it in my favorite 14-ounce
mug. Pour and cover. Four minutes
should do it.

Next, cleaned five or so radishes. Took
out two large green olives. On to the
plate. Tea is done. Bag out, quick stir,
and recover.

With knife and fork in hand, a casual
observer might note that my method
for eating an open sandwich is
somewhat surgical. Accurate. I’m not
a fan of finger food.

The tea smells rich! A sip of tea brings
a sigh. A lovely cup. But the heart is
missing. A cup of tea without cream
and sugar soothes the head, not the
heart. Why am I fighting my destiny?

We are all wired differently, and come
what may, I’m wired more for cream
and sugar then not.

Mistake? Lord, no.

That’s it. A gift from God if you ask me.
Not just the tea. The tea, cream, and
sugar; all gifts from God. Looks like a
package deal to me.

No matter. Fancy teas, strong teas,
fragrant teas, robust teas, delicate teas;
if one drinks tea, it is a taste of the divine.

Another day, up at three again! First cup
about five. Either the morning dragged
on or I was dragging the morning.

It was about mid-morning when my
mobile rang.

[Hi, I’m at the Starbucks in Fry’s on my
way back and thought I’d bring you a
coffee but I can’t remember what
you drink. — Grande hazelnut latte.]

I went firmly back to tea, I did really.

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