Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Grinds Me

I should probably own a Keurig by now.

Most mornings I wake up dazed and confused roused by my insistent alarm clock. Like a zombie I shuffle towards the coffee pot, palming my way around the kitchen island. Not sure why it works but if I close one eye and squint with the other, I can typically find the filters and ground coffee in 4.26 minutes flat. Sometimes absent-minded staring is required because I simply cannot remember what the hell im doing in front of the pantry.

4 or 5 heaping spoonfuls of coffee in a filter and a pot of water later I fat finger the big 'ON' button, and rest my head on the counter as perculating sounds start popping.

Sometimes I wait for it to finish, but days like today I dont. Cream and sugar already in my mug, I take the coffee pot off its base and pour.

There is an astounding congregation of black specs surfacing in my coffee. As coffee continues to drip onto the hot plate, I lift the lid and find that the filter folded over on itself and the coffee and grinds have flooded the reservoir. Now theres coffee spilling from the hot plate on to my counter so I return the pot and the hot plate hisses wildly.

From previous experience I know I just wont like the coffee grounds in my coffe and spooning them out wont save me from those that have already drowned and will ruin my last sip. What I need is to filter this sucker. Yea.

To be honest, Im spoiled. Usually this was Iris's morning routine. The kid once asked me if she could help make coffee for me and I let her. She makes a mean mug. Like, 3 spoonfuls too many per cup of water mean. But it perks me right up after growing in some chest hair.

Lately I have had to learn to do this all by myself.

If you have been reading me for a little while, you might have guessed that I share my kids with their father. What you may not know about was the 2 and a half year long custody battle I was fighting until just recently.

By recently I mean almost 3 months ago. I started this entry almost that long ago and then sat staring at the screen, shook my head and walked away. 
Sometimes my muse just doesn't want to talk to me. Sometimes I just don't want to talk to myself about this shit so I let it marinate.

This coffee however...wont be helped by marination. Is that a word? Marination? I cautiously placed a filter over a clean mug so as to re-filter the grinds out of my cuppa. I poured slowly, cautiously....all over the effing counter. and the side of the filter slipped and fell into my mug. Grinds man. Grinds in my coffee. AGAIN.

You know, divorce is hard. Wether amiable or not, its not an easy feat. Its not enjoyable and im pretty sure it will haunt me a good long while. But custody disputes? Those are traumatizing. For you, for your kids, for your wallet. Judges are not impatial. Money DOES dictate quality of defense. People hold grudges. Mean, deep, damaging grudges.

I started off the case as best as I could, but I am human. I have emotions and a demanding job and no sick days left sometimes. Ok...all the time. I literally have not had vacation time used for anything other than court or sick children in 3 YEARS. I let that frustration get the best of me. 
Worst part? It all haunted me in that court room for 3 long greuling days (3s not my number!) Nothing illegal. Nothing crazy. Just...nothing that resembled whom I am. Whom I wanted to be. 
Back when I had my accident, while I learned to walk again and hoped that I entire life replayed itself. I vowed never to take health and life for granted again. 
In that court room, I saw the me that was Momma Bear. ANGRY Momma Bear. Fearful momma bear. The Defeated Momma Bear throwing punches wildly in her grief. That was not grace or poise or role model material. I stood at that fork in the road and decided...this is not whom I will ever be again. I won't allow a situation to take away from me. I could start over again. I don't NEED these grinds in my life. 

I have this handy little app on my phone that tells me just how much crap I eat every day. How bad it is for me and how I'll never lose weight this way. 
What I mean is, it's a calorie counter. For a while there everyday I'd go over my caloric allowance and it would shine all red and angry. So the next day I start again. Somedays id meet my allowance. Somedays I'd go over. Lately, I'm right on track. Until I remember the icecream bars in my fridge. Little red specks all over that app. I've quit trying on weekends. Far as I know, weekends don't exist to your metabolism. They're like free shots. If free shots mean anything resembling 'no points against'. But what the fuck do I know about sports to be making baseball references. Seriously. I guessed my march madness bracket. I'm just not a football fan! Every Monday though, I start again. 

At this point I'm just staring at my coffee mug. 
You ever just stared hard at something and willed it to FIX itself magically? That was me and that mug. I stood there, hands on opposite sides of this thing, leaning over, nose to rim. Willing it. To dissolve the grinds. It's right there. The sweet nectar of the Gods. Right. Beneath. The. Surface. 
I grab a spoon and try to fish out the specks but in goes the spoon and SCATTER goes the grounds. 
Fuck me. I just want java! The more I viciously scoop, the more coffee I'm dumping in the sink. I'm going to be late and this mug is defeating me at an alarming rate. 

In this world I have no idea what the future holds. 10 years ago I never imagined that I would be in Maryland, fighting a coffee cup, living alone in an apartment with part-time children, working in a produce company, nursing a bionic hip. 
I didn't want this. Still don't. But there's no plausible alternative I could want. I tried every avenue possible to stave off the inevitable. I lost patience. I started treading water. Frantically attempting to stay afloat a situation that just wasn't viable. I never wanted to make it this far in life only to start over again. To share my children and know that they live two lives in two households because that new-normal is in their best interest. Even if it grinds me, I can learn that something's aren't salvageable and that we can always start anew. 

I dumped the coffee full of grinds I couldn't filter out. I couldn't fix my error. Or what it did to my mug of joe. 

There's grinds in that coffee but it's not the coffee I HAVE to drink. 

New filter in the machine. 4 scoops. Not 3. Water. On. 

I can always start anew.