Bad Coffee in the Middle of the Ozarks

As far as settings are concerned, this might be the best place I have ever sat to write something. I’m sitting in a room of some giant house with a scenic overlook of Table Rock Lake on the Missouri/Arkansas border. It’s the kind of scenery with which I could get a lot of writing work done, if I were a professional writer. I drove all day yesterday with a man I never met just to get here.

But I’m not going to write about the trip, which was long, or about meeting some guy for the first time. I want to tell you about my coffee this morning. I am an early riser, and I strongly prefer to have caffeine in the morning. Usually for me, a Mountain Dew or a cup of tea will suffice, but not this crisp autumn morning in the Ozarks; today I need coffee.

I am not familiar with this place I’m staying at all. I don’t even know any of the people here. They have been nice to me, but they are all strangers. The guy here I know best I literally met 24 hours and 39 minutes ago. Being offered the run of a downstairs kitchen and instructed to make myself at home, I plugged in the coffeemaker and scoured the kitchen for all other necessary implements and ingredients for coffee making.

I found what I needed, put an arbitrary number of scoops in the filter, knowing full-well that odds are I’ll make it either too strong or too weak, given that every coffeemaker is as unique and special as a snowflake, and away I brew.

Christ, this coffee smells awful! Probably the crud that stains the top of the decanter heating up… or it could be that this coffee I found in this unlabeled vacuum container has seen more than its share of presidential administrations. Or maybe my nose and smell receptors are adjusting to this fresh mountain air…I hope so anyway.

Shit! All they have in here is Splenda! Looks like I’m going to drink this rank-smelling coffee black…black as death. But as it turns out, I am a master of coffee makers, and I brewed it to the correct strength. Still… this will not be a memorable cup of coffee.

So here I sit in Eagle Rock, Missouri, overlooking Table Rock Lake, and drinking really bad coffee. I can’t remember the last time I saw a body of water this large; Table Rock Lake has more coastline than any other lake in the United States. It’s true, look it up!

It’s nice to be out of Federal Heights for a while.