The shrill bleeping of the cell phone interrupted the interlude between me and my lover. I jerked alert and blinked at the hallway which was in my immediate range of sight. Nighttime noises, snoring and the dog lifting his head, greeted me. I fumbled to silence the phone. I fell out of the bed, as my coordination had not caught up with the adrenal rush of the alarm and made it to the bathroom relatively unharmed. I glared at the image in the mirror.
I do not look good at four thirty in the morning. I showered and cleaned most of my body. It is funny how when you are half-awake you decide which bits really need cleaned and which bits are unimportant. Or at least which bits you don't give a darned about because if you don't clean them you are pretty sure they won't stink.
I crawled back out of the shower and rubbed vigorously with a towel, crept gingerly into my clothes as my skin was super sensitive as it would rather be tucked into bed and went to jar my children to life.
They awoke and off we went. There was a minor incident with David. For sake of his pride, which is sensitive at ten, we won't go into it. Needless to say, eleven was nearly not seen.
We made it to the sitter where my elder two collapsed and immediately went back to sleep. Ash proceeded to play his Guitar Hero Air Guitar (with Amp) at full blast. The babysitter, clutching her coffee, was defended by me when I explained that no one wants to hear Iron Man at 5am. No one. Please, although you got it for your birthday, do not play it till the sun comes up. Ash, grudgingly, agreed, and I trudged off again to work.
But the scene with Ash had me too late to go the way that would swing me past Starbucks. And when I tried to run through Mickey Dees the line was too darned long.
Coffee-less. Oh, yeah. Ba-a-d choice. And I forgot cash. So credit card and no coffee in hand, I got to the office.
There is a strange, unearthly stillness to an office first thing in the morning. I have never been there that early. The phones had not started going yet. People were talking amongst themselves. They all had coffee. I shuffled to my cubicle and logged on to my station.
I logged onto my phone.
It did not ring.
It rang maybe three times that first hour.
I eventually began stabbing myself with a pen to stay awake. I tried pulling out my hairs one by one. I tried slapping myself but this drew attention so I went back to the stabbing as it was more quiet and efficient.
I wished for a stapler. A nice Swingline. Staples would have kept me awake.
Finally it was time for my break and coffee mug in hand I ran to the new coffee machine that accepted credit.
There was a page of instructions on how to use it. I read them. Swipe card. I obediently swiped. Make selection. I selected. Coffee. Strong beautiful coffee.
I waited. The machine beeped. It turned blue and nothing came out. I growled at it and swiped again.
Beep! It turned blue.
I growled at the machine. I was smarter than a coffee machine. I read further in the directions with my coffee-less, sleep deprived, desperate brain.
Something about a five dollar hold on my credit card... whatever! I don't care! Take five hundred! Give me coffee!
Blah, blah, press complete. Okay, swipe, select, press complete... wait.
Nothing. Growl. Punch machine.
People are beginning to gather and stare.
Read again. Whatever. I don't want to read the damned directions. I can't read anymore. I need coffee to read.
I smack the machine. I open the plastic door by force and stick my mug in and smack the machine again for emphasis. I order it, "Give me coffee!"
I swipe. I make my selection. It closes its door. I wait. Nothing. I smack, swipe, select and kick it and yell, "NOW!"
Apparently this time the machine was afraid or had gotten enough money off my card to send a Colombian family on vacation because sweet dark heaven poured into my mug. Applause broke out.
I chugged half of it and stumbled back to my cubicle.
The rest of the day was a blur really.
But it was fueled by coffee.
Really, really expensive coffee.