Saturday, March 17, 2007

257. loneliness and a $11,000 cup of coffee

It's been almost six months since I've made the move to Seattle. And I don't know if it's the seasonal affective disorder syndrome or if it's just taken me this long to get settled enough to feel it, but lately I've been noticing a mild sort of lonely melancholy affecting me from time to time. It's not regular enough to detect any kind of pattern, but it seems to set in around Thursday and Friday - as the weekend approaches.

I suppose this has to do with not having as many friends available for weekend fun, but I've always been one who's been fine with hanging out by myself so that doesn't account for all of it. The bigger, deeper part of it has to do with what I can only describe as a lack of intellectual stimulation.

Now that sounds terribly elitist so let me refine that a bit to say that what I think I'm lacking is access to a circle of friends who share the same taste in books and movies.

But that's not it either.

Maybe it is as simple as a minor case of homesickness.

But I don't think that's it exactly because the only thing I really miss from Hawaii is the food. Although I've found a couple local (Hawaiian) style restaurants, there's nothing like a Sanoya Rahmen (or any other rahmen shops) or Rainbow Drive Inn or even Zippy's.

Maybe it's just a plain ol' spell of the blues.

But you know what I'm afraid of?

What if...

What if my respite from the angst of singleness is over?

For the past year or so, I've been one hundred percent content as a single person. This was a new experience for me because prior to that, the ache and want of singleness weighed on me from waking to waning. It tainted every moment, kept me up at night and made me want to stay in bed in the morning. There was a vacuum, a void within me as if there were a hole where one of my lungs should have been.

But then 2006 rolled around and somehow the emptiness wasn't there anymore. It's not that the old emptiness was filled with some new endeavor or sense of meaning, it just up and disappeared without fanfare or fuss. And it was nice to feel free from the cloud over my head.

I always thought it odd that the loneliness that used to so saturate me just went away. I wondered where it went, what sent it away, would it be back or was it gone for good?

And now I'm wondering it's come out of remission. A few months ago, I wrote an entry where I wrote about a girl who I began referring to as Quest Girl. I titled that entry "oh no, not again" because I suspected that crushing on a girl again might be just the thing that would trigger a loneliness relapse. And maybe that's exactly what happened.

Luckily, even though I'm writing about how some of the old loneliness and longing is back, it's nowhere near as debilitating as it used to be. I hope I never end up as bent and lost as I was at the worst of it (which honestly was almost all the time back then) but honestly, it's odd but it's nice to be feeling something because sometimes the numb of not feeling alone was, well, numbing (sorry, words are utterly failing me here).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that in a way it's nice to be feeling something, muted as it is, rather than the featureless grey of nothing. Does that make any sense?

Maybe my trouble with words has to do with the fact that I've got too much caffeine running through my system right now. See earlier today I read about a new, state of the art coffee brewing machine called the Clover. It retails for $11,000 and it's supposed to bring the precise, repeatable control of the best espresso machines to the brewed coffee process. Now while I enjoy a good cup of coffee (black please - cream and sugar are for deserts recipes), I'm no coffee snob but I just had to see what an $11,000 cup of coffee tasted like so I found a coffee shop nearby that uses the machine and I've been sipping away at it while writing this entry (like most coffee joints in Seattle, Zoka has free Wi-Fi). Actually it only cost me about $4 for 16oz of brew and while it was tasty and nice, it wasn't earth-shattering.

Turns out, I may have just ordered the wrong bean. While walking by, the barista asked me about how I liked the coffee and when I told her I thought it was pretty mild tasting, she suggested I try the Sumatra Lake Tawar next time instead of the Hacienda Alsacia Peaberry that I was drinking. Turns out the Hacienda is their mildest coffee whereas the Sumatra is the boldest and most popular among those who order from the Clover-brewed menu. I probably should have asked her about the choices before I ordered, but I'd always wanted to try a peaberry coffee so I went straight for that one. She actually offered to brew me a free cup of Sumatra since it was slow but I told her I had too much of a caffeine buzz going already.

Seattle is such a cool city.

Don't tell my parents, but a part of me's thinking I might stay up here even if the band thing doesn't work out.

1 comment:

Tony said...

Sorry that the "lonelies" have kicked in for you. Spring Break just started here yesterday and I'm afraid I'm about to go mad from the solitude. Like you, I used to be fine with solitude. These last few years, though, have not been like that. Press on. And don't be afraid to share that need with those who love you.