Cold case: coffee

Despite our cognitive understanding that multitasking is often the antagonist to productivity, we all find our attention fractured and divided more frequently than we’d like. The obvious effect of this is that we’re not fully focused on the simultaneity of tasks we undertake on a daily, if not hourly, basis, compromising singular functionality in favor of spreading our energies thinly over a multiplicity of tasks. This habitual practice has led countless people to misplace countless cups of coffee, and in our house we call these lost mugs “Daddy coffees” because Brian suffers more from the conundrum than I do (maybe because he drinks more coffee, or maybe because he’s not as natural a multitasker as I am, or maybe because, being more chipper than I am in the morning, he doesn’t clutch the handle of his mug with white-knuckled tenacity, as if for dear life).

I’ve lost mugs in the house many times, too, the most memorable of which ended up being found by Liam on top of the dryer after I’d levied a cash reward for its safe return several days after the search began. Daddy coffees routinely turn up in the microwave, in a kid’s bedroom, on a windowsill, or sometimes on the floor after our post-dinner game time. Maybe when we’re older and more in control of our faculties, we’ll possess a less fragmented frame of mind while enjoying a steaming mug of fresh coffee, all in one sitting, interrupted by no one, least of all ourselves. Maybe then we’ll remember fondly the process of scrubbing that familiar brown circle off the ceramic inside of a mug before putting it in the dishwasher, that telltale ring demarcating the upward edge of eight ounces of pristine caffeine abandoned amidst the uproar of life, grown cold in the wasteland of forgotten things, orphaned by our inability to be fully present with it still heating our hands.

One night, Brian poured himself a petite glass of Port after dinner (ah, the romance of a digestif! Sipping on a heady glass of fortified wine, perhaps while gazing at a sunset while comfortably reclined and engaged in an act as sinfully indulgent as, say, reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle or even taking in a film! Quelle fantaisies!). He put the dainty little port glass on the counter near’s Arlo’s spot at the kitchen island and then got distracted by who knows what sequence of events until Arlo sat down and noticed it. “Is this for me?” he asked, to which I said, “No, that’s a Daddy drink. Not for kids.” Brian overheard this conversation from the other room and added, “Yeah, that really IS a Daddy drink! It’s an adult beverage, but it’s also a drink I knew I’d put down somewhere and then couldn’t find it. A Daddy drink is like a Daddy coffee: I haven’t drunk it yet, but I port it!”

Well, at least it seems that he’d kept track of his coffee that day.

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