morning unbroken

Somehow, I’ve become a morning person. I’m not sure how it happened. I’ll get into work at 9:30 and realize I’ve already been awake over three hours, which seems impossible. See, there was a long, long time where I’d set my alarm not a minute too early to accommodate a shower, a quick email check, and little else. On the way to work, I’d pick up a walnut roll from Ken’s and a coffee from Peet’s and spend the first billable hours of the day tabbing through my daily web pages.

Then I began keeping up with someone else’s schedule, and started to enjoy a leisurely ritual of toasting two bagels while coffee was being made. We’d sit down at the table to sprinkle salt over homemade butter, trade urls like sections of the morning paper, and, providing the beans had co-operated, even poured a second cup.

When I left, I was intent on carrying on the morning ritual. In fact, gifted with a French Press, stainless steel thermos, measuring spoon and detailed directions to the best coffee in the Bay Area, I was obligated. And so I did. For months I’d get up early enough to allow for the boiling of the water, to pour it and let it steep for a minute before churning the grounds and letting them soak for exactly three minutes more before depressing the plunger. In these crucial four minutes there’s just time to cut, toast and butter a bagel, shake and pour the cream, set the table and, if the dance is timed just right, stuff Mr. Kitty’s morning pills into Pill Pockets and medicate the old man for the day.

But as I fell into a routine of a.m. spinning classes or late nights out, my breakfast got cut short. In the morning, every minute is slightly more urgent than the last. To sit down to breakfast at 7:56 seems luxurious, while if I settle in at 8:05, I'm going to be picking up the pace to run for the bus. I started brewing tea and only had time to finish half a cup. I’d grab a juice on the way back from the gym and scarf down a clif bar once I settled into my desk. Well, this week, I’ve decided to bring breakfast back.

Weekends are still quiet and I’ve gotten into the habit of sunny Mission Sundays where I procure provisions for the week. First I head down to Ritual to chat up the baristas, determine my coffee for the week, and get a half pound ground for French Press. I delight in the internal rhyme scheme of that phrase, every time. This week, it’s Peaberry Kenya Gethumbwini.

Next stop is Bi-Rite for a thick glass bottle of Strauss half-n-half, a pint of Bi-Rite’s ice cream (post to come), and whatever seasonal, organic produce calls to me. I’ll pick up a few bagels Monday morning on my way back from the gym at Cal-Mart. They get theirs from House of Bagels, a local bagelry, and when they’re fresh (like on Monday mornings) they do just fine.

The morning dance is back. My timing is impeccable, though even if my measuring sometimes isn’t. The coffee isn’t as good as when someone else was making it for me, and I usually pour a little too much cream into the pitcher. The cat seems to know. He’ll offer a few more headbutts while I’m cleaning up, waiting for that moment when I’ll pour the extra in a dish for him. He’s getting quite a sense of entitlement about it.

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