By Deborah Haines, Special to The Brutal Times, BALTIMORE – I need my coffee. It’s so hard to focus on all the data that I have to punch into my PC at the office (I’m a data entry professional). The first thing I do when I get into the office at 8:13am every morning is uncork my jumbo Starbucks tumbler (I call him Iron Man) and pour myself out a healthy dollop of swirling burbly black teeth rot.
Ooh! Yummy! Coffee!
If things get hectic in the office (I work in a semi-conductor import/export company head office) my head really starts to spin.
That’s how I know I need my coffee.
Usually by 9:14am I’ve downed 18 carafes or 26.6 litres of light sweet crude. My Iron Man tumbler run dry, I take a little pep-me-up break and run to the Starbucks on the ground floor of our office block and scream, “Fill me up!” at the grad students behind the counter.
Then I can really settle into my work punch punch punching the data into my PC. I know Michelle (my co-worker) wastes hours of paid work time using Google and Hotmail to connect with strangers. She will be fired soon and live in the park. Without coffee.
On my drive home on the highway my brain screams for coffee. I pull over to the KFC road rest station and have one of the grad students working their squirt hot coffee from the KFC’s coffee pump into my mouth. Their coffee is just about the worst on the planet, but I’ve developed a taste for it. Every day at 3:08pm.
At home I boil coffee in a pot in the yard and wait until Hank my husband gets home from his work at Microsoft. After dunking my head in the roiling Starbucks Christmas blend I beat my chest and howl until I fall over into the bushes, exhausted every day at 4:02pm.
When Hank comes home we drink coffee and speak in Japanese so we don’t lose the language. When I tire of this at 4:46pm Hank and I take turns saying the word “coffee” using different voices. One day (February 7, 1983) I said “coffee” 879 times at -7db in the voice of a Swiss film student named Carla Jam Jam.
When the sun sets I’m getting sleepy so I need my coffee to pep me up so I can be rarin’ to go for work punching in my data entries tomorrow. I fill my Starbucks plastic eco-pillow with Nigerian “Apocalyse Now” coffee, and suck on the plastic teat all through the night, keeping myself on the cusp between sleep and so-called sleep, until 3:47am when I break to poop in the latrine, so as not to ruin my bowels.
Then, the next morning, Teddy, a local grad student, delivers my morning Good Housekeeping magazine, I pop up out of bed and bolt downstairs and run screaming all the way to my GM Phero, where I notice Hank has lovingly already placed an extra large flask of coffee in the driver’s side coffee mug holder.
I’m Debbie, and that’s my life, Brutal Times!