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Old as dirt. Twice as gritty.

Life of a carafe

 
Today a star was born. A little glass carafe just moved out of its box and into service. It has waited a long time for this moment. 
 
We’ve been using the French press coffee ‘system’ for decades, long before it became fashionable. In the earlier years it was next to impossible to find a replacement carafe when the current one broke, something that happened on a regular basis during the murky goings-on of  the running dishwasher. I never knew whether it was the dishwasher committing carafeicide or whether the carafes themselves, aware that they were hard to replace, broke on purpose, sacrificing their lives in order to make us suffer. Either way, suffer we did, because we had grown to like only French press coffee, nothing else pleased our delicate constitutions in quite the same way. We’re just that way about coffee. Besides, French press is as easy to make as instant coffee, which works well with our lazy approach to such things. The only difference between French press and instant is that French press coffee tastes like actual coffee instead of poison-sludge. 
 
As I say, the jars would break a lot, for no apparent reason. I’d oh so carefully place the carafe into the dishwasher, at which point I have to assume it would start moshing around as soon as I left the room, effectively killing itself, like some kind of lemming. A glass lemming, driven mad by too much caffeine. I’d open the dishwasher, and there it would lie, dead, cracked like an bad egg, but with a kind of smirk still visible in the crack. I am not imagining things, I’m sure the carafes did it on purpose, dishwashers are wicked but not THAT wicked. Every few months we’d be in the market for a new carafe, and they weren’t particularly easy to come by, or cheap, either. 
 
That’s what the carafes did, they’d break . . . until the day I bought a spare one.
 
It was a bold move, a savvy military maneuver, a perfect checkmate, although I didn’t realize it at the time. I only bought the spare because there is no pain quite like the pain of coffee-withdrawal. The old carafe watched warily as we placed the new carafe, still in its box, on the top shelf in the kitchen, at the ready for the following month at which time the old carafe would almost certainly have committed suicide. Except the suicide didn’t happen. We waited, and waited, as did the new carafe. Everybody was waiting, nobody was willing to make the next move, especially the old carafe, which saw no advantage in committing suicide if it wasn’t going to inconvenience anybody. I think the spare carafe weighed heavily on its mind, what little was left of its mind after so much coffee-infusion.
 
The years passed, and the shiny new carafe stayed shiny new while the box in which it was packed grew dusty then yellow with age. Still the old carafe continued on. We started to be careless with the handling of it, we’d open the dishwasher door and fling the jar in the general direction of the top shelf. Not so much as a chip developed. It looked as pristine as the day it came home to us. Seemingly nothing would ever kill this carafe, and so we all grew old together; two coffee drinkers along with a carafe-in-waiting and a carafe-that-wouldn’t-die. We moved. The old carafe didn’t break during the move. We went through many of life’s dramas and changes. The old carafe was indifferent, and continued on, growing older and, one would think, more frail. Still, no break.
 
Then today, I opened the dishwasher and there it was, on the shelf, a cold dead jar, a large crack running right through it. Pulling it out of the French press holder, it broke in two, a shattered creature, its days of serving coffee to the desperate forever over. All that remained was the ceremony of opening the box for the new carafe to be welcomed into the world after so many years in the dark. Is it grateful? Time will tell, because now, of course, we don’t have a replacement carafe. I give it a week, tops. 
 
So RIP, little carafe, you served desperate coffee addicts so well for so many years. You have earned your rest. And I know there’s a place for you at the Coffee Bean Bridge.


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About the Author

This bio was written by Jo Slade. As you can see she has written about herself in the third person. What normal person would do that? They just wouldn't. Who knows how many other persons might be involved in this thing, a second person? Another third? I worry about it. I - she - we - can't even keep it straight, this paragraph is a damn mess, there are persons all over the place. Round 'em up and shoot 'em. That's what I'd do, and by golly I think that's what Jo Slade would do as well.

Biographic nutshell: Jo has been messing around with words for a long time. Sometimes she'll just say words instead of writing them, it saves on paper.

This column: The columns that will appear here are of a highly serious and scholarly nature, therefore it is advised that you keep a dictionary and ponderous thoughts nearby.

If, after reading the column, you find yourself tossing and turning at night, burning with the need to email me, just do it. I answer to [email protected]







The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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