The iPod was freshly programmed, the trailer hitch and accessories were installed. All that remained was for H to arrive. The plan was for her to come to my place on Wednesday evening and spend the night so we could get an early start on Thursday.
I don't drink coffee. I don't particularly like the smell or taste, and I've never grown to need it to get up in the morning. I'll drink a cup of tea to be sociable, and I occasionally like a can of diet soda in the middle of the day. That's the extent of my caffeine consumption.
My coffee aversion dates back to the time that my folks took me to Disneyland. It seemed to me that they stopped every half hour in order to have a cup of coffee. In retrospect, it's clear that the kids were running around and they were using frequent coffee stops as an excuse to keep us still for a while. But the conclusion I drew when I was a young kid is that coffee was something that kept you from having fun.
So I never drank coffee. To this day, for me it's just a foul-smelling liquid or powder, or some unpleasant flavor they add to ice cream.
H needs coffee. She is an acknowledged caffeine addict. It's almost impossible for her to get started before noon unless there's some coffee available.
From time to time I've had other friends complain that there was no coffee to be had when they visited my apartment. So I offered to buy some coffee for H, so she could use it to jump-start her mind on Thursday morning. After all, I reasoned, I'd have the coffee around in case of my other friends wanted some. And coffee couldn't cost all that much, could it?
I asked H what kind of coffee to get. She said, "Starbucks Dark Roast." I dutifully wrote this down.
It turns out that this is not enough. In order to brew or sautee or boil or deep-fry or whatever it is that you do with coffee, she needed something called a "French press." I had never heard of such a thing. If something mentioned the term "French press" to me, I probably would have assumed that it something to do with dry cleaning.
Why have coffee in the house if there was no way to cook it? I decided to get a French press as well.
It took some shopping. I finally found what seemed to be a reasonably-priced French press at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. (This was a week before my extravagant shopping spree that I detailed in my entry on Tuesday. After that, the term "reasonably-priced" took on a new meaning.)
Then I went to a Starbucks to get the coffee: Starbucks Dark Roast. It turns out that Starbucks sells fifty-seven or so varieties of dark roast coffee. I had no idea which one to get. I knew that H was picky about coffee (she described the coffee available at hotels as "muddy water") and I feared for the consequences of purchasing the wrong kind.
Finally I disclaimed responsibility and asked the salesman behind the Starbucks counter. After listening to my dilemma, he suggested "Starbucks Gold Coast Extra Bold." (I just checked the name on the coffee bag as I am typing this; otherwise I never would have remembered.) There's no point in asking for a recommendation unless you're going to follow it, so that's what I got.
I'm glad I mentioned to him that it was going to be brewed or sauteed or boiled or deep-fried in a French press. It turns out that coffee destined for a French press has to be specially ground. Fortunately, the folks at Starbucks knew how to do this; otherwise I would have handed the raw beans to H on Thursday morning and asked her to figure out what to do.
So by Wednesday, I was as prepared as I knew how to be: iPod, hitch, coffee. H told me she would get the directions from Mapquest.
The first snag: H arrived about two-and-a-half hours later than we had planned. There were severe thunderstorms that night, and she didn't want to risk driving late at night in the driving rain. It was a sensible decision. She tried to call me, and when that failed, she tried to send text messages. The signal never got through due to the storm. I was pretty worried by the time she arrived.
But all was well. We hung out, I made dinner (my home-made vegetarian thick-and-hearty hot-and-sour soup), we watched "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog" and went to bed.
"Hey, what about a nookie scene? Come on, what happened?"
You want me to make up something? All right, I'll give it a try:
As I finished doing the dishes, I felt the intensity of H's gaze on my body. I turned and beheld a fair vision of heaven, alight with the fires of desire. My spirit stirred within me as I walked towards her, each step bolder than the last, my eyes locked with hers. I could barely speak the words, "Dare I... dare I... hope?" Her parting lips and warm, firm, gentle hands answered me far more eloquently than words could have. I reached for her radiant fruits of passion --
Hmm. I suppose if I'm going to parody a genre, I should be more familiar with it. Anyway, sorry to disappoint you, but there will be no nookie scene. Apart from some fifty-nine, nothing of the sort happened.
Most of the bowdlerized versions of the Kama Sutra available in this country don't describe the position known as fifty-nine. I'd better explain: it's when you massage someone's feet at the same time the other person massages yours.
It only becomes sixty-nine if you add the sixth toe.
Next: Thursday, July 24 (part 1).