|My morning cup 'o joe . . . or whatever it is now.|
Deep in the darkest throes of cancer treatment, I found myself with a totally foreign problem. I lost interest in food. I lost an enormous amount of weight. I wore the same size jeans I had at age 20 -- which are no longer as flattering at age 60. Considering my body to be thinner than he believed to be healthy my oncologist suggested that I eat something preposterously fattening every day, like cheesecake, he suggested. Ugh, I said, not even on a good day! So just what does taste good to you? he asked. Coffee with Faux Cream. You know - the stuff they advertise on TV commercials with healthy-looking couples sharing steaming mugs of coffee, heavily doused with faux cream -- just like in a sophisticated coffee shop! I love that stuff! I told him. So drink lots of that, he said. Surely it’s full of calories.
Suddenly Faux Cream was available everywhere! At the supermarket, of course, but also at CVS and Walgreen's, and even at the hospital where I spent four weeks having chemo infusions. My friend Brigitte, a secretary, regularly delivered to me large styrofoam cups of coffee laced with Faux Cream. They served it in the hospital cafeteria! For many weeks it was the only thing I could swallow.
|Flowers in a Nescafe jar|
Over a restaurant lunch one day, after I’d ordered my second cup of black coffee, a friend who is a doctor told me that he’d read that black coffee is believed by some to have a toxic effect on the tissues of the throat. Considering what my throat tissues have been through, it was a short trip back to my beloved Faux Cream, which comes in nonfat or non-sugared versions. Now my place of work features a great stainless steel box called the “Cow”, with three udder-like spouts, each delivering a different flavor of Faux Cream. Because of the exploding popularity of Faux Cream, the cow is often dry, particularly since it was discovered that the vanilla flavor is wonderful on instant oatmeal. Which led me to reason that instant coffee might serve as a cheap and flavorful conduit for the real deal, Faux Cream. Did you know Cafe Bustelo comes in instant? Yummy. Nescafe, I discovered online, is considered by instant coffee connoisseurs to be the best instant and I’ve found that the empty jar makes a dandy flower vase.
|Celebrating my birthday with black coffee|
|He's the cream in my coffee|
Yesterday was my birthday, a special occasion. We went out for breakfast. The day was bright and hot. The crepe was fine. But the coffee, brewed strong and swallowed black, while gazing into the sky-blue eyes of my lover—that was perfection.
Check this out. Copy and paste this address in your browser for the coffee song that put Marlene Dietrich in the movies.