Fiction. The Ecstasy of Instant Coffee

In my youth, I was both precocious and an over-achiever. So, it was no surprise when I was sent to a reform school for teenaged boys when I was only 11 years old. It was a progressive facility, teaching skills that would be useful when we matriculated to adult prisons.

In one shop class we were being taught to make shivs from toothbrush handles. Mine was roundly praised for being exquisitely sharp while being concealable in body orifices without causing internal damage. It was truly the Mona Lisa of illicit weaponry.

In the informal contest, mine was assumed by all to be the finest.

However, the teacher’s punk was given the highest marks. I was inconsolable. My mates sought to make things right by providing me with a life-changing consolation prize–a sachet of Folgers Instant Crystals coffee.

I will never forget that both the aroma and the taste exceeded any sensory experience I ever had. The subtle froth alone was worth a pack of cigarettes. The taste alone would turn the most devout Mormon into a Jack.

My anticipated career path has not gone as expected, as I have remained outside the prison population. I found myself as a full time advocate of instant coffee. True, I have shared my joy, and gained many new converts along the way. But, not at a certain cost.

Maureen D had spent over A$700 on an espresso machine a week prior to her conversion to instant coffee. At first, she tried to sell the chrome plated disaster. But, the constant reminder of her mistake induced her to throw the machine away. Meanwhile, M Durney discovered that her new found distaste for the pretensions of French Press coffee were hard to give up. What would she do with the drawer full of berets?

The satisfaction of conversion to new and better things has its challenges. However, the rewards far exceed the costs. One must always be willing to go that extra sip on instant coffee’s journey of ecstasy.


Michael T George

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