A Pot of Brattle 511 words published on February 04, 2023.

Be the morning cold or hot, the pot performs roughly the same.

Today I wake up at exactly 9:00am, later than usual, but earlier than expected. The sun rose two hours ago, but the traffic is light out the front storm windows. It was as cold as -15˚F here in Brattleboro, VT, where I’m up visiting with my Mom. I drove up yesterday along Route 2, through some gusty winds and beside some snow dusted fields. Generally, it looks the same though. I can’t wait to drive up here again, Dunkin’ in hand, during the spring. Tunes on, chatting of young memories and dreaming up old plans.

Today we plan to go touring the area from the comfort of the car. My car, whose key mechanism gets shy in this kind of cold. We’re in no rush though, so we listen to music while I try to let the words flow out of me as effortlessly as the coffee flows into me.

I make a simple pot of coffee. It’s my Mom’s blend of beans and her vanilla almond “creamer”. Well, I may be a snob, a cynic, a joker, and honestly a liar. I’m a liar because I know that this coffee, with it’s unique aroma, will remind me of our time here. Still, I’m curious. Every time you make coffee a new way, you risk setting it in stone deep in your mind. Be it the process, the smell, the taste, or the way the mug holds the liquid. Every drink is an embodiment of it’s environment.

The process is most precious. But more on that another day…

This morning, the scream of the grinder is of little consequence. While, the coffee machine itself makes a wonderful set of noises, almost fitting of a steampunk kitchen. It starts with a bit of a bubbling and crackling sound as the machine heats up. Then as it get’s going, it begins to cough and spit up it’s juice with a calming regularity that is simply begging to be ready. The last drops still click and clack their way to the hot plate even as I pour.

The first sip is always aerosolized, in an effort to cool the scalding heat. Not so much desperate as practiced.

I do what I tend to do with my coffee, I let it sit. It will become saturated by the room and give me a small nudge later. Cold coffee has become part of a tradition. Each sip further from the last. Until, like an animal, I leave a final puddle, rich with sediment I’d rather not think about.

When it’s time to go, my car’s engine begs for the same treatment. Gulping for air as it combusts it’s own juicy fuel. I can almost feel the hard chalkboard-like chill of the metal cylinders as the petroleum rushes through it’s cavities. Much like the caffeine in my blood, the low-octane gasoline brings life to the car. We wait for warmth before we set off for the day. A day of wondering and exploring.