Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Commute

I am not a fan of multitasking. Especially not of drinking and driving. However, I have had to revise that opinion a bit, seeing as I really do look forward to my first morning cup of tea in the car while commuting to work. This rather questionable behavior on my part has evolved over time, borne of necessity. I would have liked to leisurely savor that first morning brew, ensconced in the warm kitchen, cats ambling nearby drowsily, with the cup tingling warm in my hands. But often, my penchant for sneaking in those several minutes of sleep upon hearing the blare of the alarm clock prevents that scene of domestic tranquility from occuring . Instead, I find myself, minutes later, in the car with the travel mug at my side and the cold steering wheel in my hands.

I usually choose an invigorating black tea for this drive. It often is Keemun, with its assertive notes of the cacao plant, that makes its way into the car. As I take the first draught of the liquor, inhaling with pleasure, the car winds its way towards the lake. It is always with excitement that I greet the first sighting of the promontory overlooking the water, a sweeping vista of the lake. What will the mercurial lake look like today? This morning, it was overlapping shards of shades of slate blue under a pellucid sky. The trees on the bluff, sparsely numbered, were like stalwart soldiers standing at attention, denuded of their uniforms.

A large truck laden with stacks of wooden boards planted itself athwart the avenue, obstructing the traffic. A wave of annoyance passed over me as I looked at the clock, and I sipped the still warm tea from my mug. I gazed at the trees flanking the road, the highest branches fuzzy with dead brown leaves, spiring into the clear sky.
Many minutes later, heartened by the tea and the drive, I was ready for work.

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