Sunday, April 30, 2023

The coffee machine in the hotel room doesn't work

It's sort of the same kind I have at home, so I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. I added the water. I popped the little coffee pod into the correct slot. Is this thing on? Is it plugged in? 

It doesn't help that I haven't had my coffee yet. I am bleary-eyed and groggy. And I'm feeling anxious. I'm supposed to be leaving the hotel for a writing event soon. I'm slated to teach writing classes to middle school students. Trust me when I tell you I need coffee for this. 

At least from what I remember, I do. The last time I did a school visit was February 2020. Driving up the day before--(only a two hour drive but still)--I am also anxious. It's a mixture of driving alone (never been a huge fan), wanting to do a good job with my writing lesson, and a residual worry leftover from the major surgery my loved one went through several weeks ago. He's got a follow up appointment today. While I am teaching the middle school students. 

But okay. I can do this. Leave him for the night. Drive two hours. Teach writing classes. Make a cup of coffee... That first week in the hospital, a friend told me I could do hard things. But what if I can't do easy things? 

I trace the coffee cord. Unplug it and plug it back in. Squatting in front of the machine, I notice there's a graphic on the bottom. Directions! 

I have to put on my reading glasses to decipher it. Ha! Apparently, there's an order of operations to this device. 

1. Insert the coffee pod. 

2. Add water. 

3. Set your coffee cup under the Where the Coffee Will Come Out thingy

4. Press the On button.

I feel like I've summited Mt. Everest when I hear the familiar gurgle emanating from the machine, see that first welcome shot of coffee sputtering into the cup. The writing classes go well. What I want to say comes back to me. The kids are sweet. 

But I hit another snafu on the way home. Before I leave the event center parking lot, I plug in my phone GPS and the sound doesn't pick up on my car. What is wrong with this thing? I run through every possibility I can think of, and then, just let it go. 

If I want to get out of here, I'll need to do it old school, by paying attention to the road signs. 

Everything was fine at the follow-up appointment. But a few days later we are back in the hospital. That first drive in the dark to the emergency room, the walk past the ridiculous Chihuly glass, I think I might lose my mind. 

I don't know how things work anymore. And what the hell is the order of operations? 

I have no idea. All I know is somehow the coffee got made. And twenty miles into the trip, the GPS flicked itself on loudly, its calm, steady voice leading me the rest of the way home.   

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