I have Ironic Memory. I remember I don’t have my keys at the exact moment I pull the locked door shut behind me. I remember I was supposed to bring wine to the party the minute I arrive. This morning I remembered, at about the time I knew my coffee would be finished brewing, that I hadn’t yet put a cup under the spout.
My coffee maker wrenches one cup of espresso out of about two tablespoons of beans. The result is black and intense, the consistency of Pennzoil. Coffee is supposed to sharpen your focus, and the snag to making it right is that you haven’t had it yet. A week ago I spent a half hour cleaning up an inky mess because I had forgotten to put the mug in the maker. Now I faced repeating the same agony: sopping up and dumping out what I was dying to be drinking.
I shuffled grimly to inspect the damage. I had indeed forgotten the mug again, but as it turned out I had also forgotten to load the coffee maker with water.
Once, I forgot that big thimble thing that holds the grounds and has tiny holes in the bottom through which the coffee strains. Somehow I managed not to notice as I firmly patted the grounds down into the spout, causing a nice firm clog that made an impressive effort to hold back the building steam until it burst through like chewing tobacco from a shotgun. It wasn’t pretty, but I still was. I was in another room at the time. It took me a minute to figure out what exactly was different about my decorating.
All this coffee talk made me want some. I made it right on the first try! But then, of course, it was my second cup.