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Coffee and I

One of the most vivid mem­o­ries of my late child­hood was when my fa­ther fi­nal­ly let me to stay at his ta­ble in the Gran Do­ria café, when it was still lo­cat­ed in the dark bow­els of a galería in San­ta Fe's San Martín street.

I was maybe 12, and I had seen him sit there with a cor­ta­do while my moth­er went shop­ping with us, or while I went to one of those things kids go to (artis­tic ex­pres­sion class­es? Pup­petry work­shop?) and it was such a mis­tery. It was like a three hour hole in my dad's life of which I had no in­for­ma­tion.

What would he do there? Who did he talk to? Did he read some­thing? And al­ways there, at the ta­ble when I came back was an emp­ty small cor­ta­do cup.

I sus­pect that's when I start­ed lik­ing the idea of cof­fee. I was, of course, an in­vet­er­ate hot choco­late drinker (El Quil­lá brand, un­known be­yond that city, yet su­pe­ri­or in my mind to any oth­er­s), af­ter a long, long time of drink­ing warm sweet­ened milk. And I know I had tried cof­fee be­fore and hat­ed it, but of course, sit­ting there, I said "un cor­ta­do, por fa­vor". And boy was that thing aw­ful. I did not drink cof­fee again for twen­ty years.

I did learn to like tea, or at least tea with milk, and learned, in col­lege, to drink mate like a sponge. Bit­ter and strong as hel­l, the clos­est caf­feine de­liv­ery mech­a­nism to an IV drip, slow, weak and con­stant over hours. You have not re­al­ly been awake un­til it's 5 AM, you are on your third ther­mos, and it feels like 2P­M. It's like the wrong kind of pill in the Ma­trix.

But then I moved to Buenos Aires and I was alone. And drink­ing mate alone is like drink­ing Vod­ka alone, de­press­ing and dirty, so I start­ed go­ing to cafés and or­der­ing lá­gri­mas. A lá­gri­ma es like a back­wards cor­ta­do. If you get a big cup and put a lá­gri­ma and a cor­ta­do in it you will get a de­cent café con leche. It's a pa­thet­ic bev­er­age, on­ly fit for the emo­tion­al wreck I was at the time.

But it's a gate­way drink. And by 2002 I was drink­ing cor­ta­dos. And by 2006 I had my own espres­so ma­chine and was some sort of caf­feine Kei­th Richard­s, do­ing maybe 10 strong cups a day, buy­ing ex­pen­sive blend­s... and then I had to stop.

On Jan­u­ary 1st 2008 I woke up at 4AM with in­tense chest pain. I thought I was hav­ing a heart at­tack. I walked to the hos­pi­tal and it turned out to be gas­tri­tis. This hap­pened again. And again. Not of­ten, but once ev­ery year, then ev­ery six month­s, then ev­ery mon­th, then four days in a row. And I had to give up cof­fee.

It was hel­l. I was asleep all day and awake all night, not hav­ing my crutch to mod­u­late my sleep. I was grouchy, and an­noy­ing. I cheat­ed. But then I stopped.

Sor­ry dad.

edvm / 2012-01-04 15:08:

Respirar profundo, mirar el sol, yoga, comer frutas que no jodan el estomago,
etc ... hay banda de cosas para agarrar energia :)

edvm / 2012-01-04 15:09:

igual decirle a los demas que hacer es mucho mas facil que hacerlo uno mismo ... hoy a la matina me clave un yogurt con frutillas y ahora tengo alta acides ;_;

jjconti / 2012-01-04 15:33:

 El Quilla es lo mejor.

Roberto Alsina / 2012-01-04 15:37:

yo vivía en Balcarce y Las Heras, a la vuelta de la fábrica. El olor a chocolate se sentía a la madrugada...

Leonardo Mario Martinez / 2012-01-18 21:32:

Cuando llegué a Santa Fe descubrí el verdadero sabor del chocolate instantáneo.

Una aclaración: el bar que estaba en la galería San Martín se llamaba "Doria" el que mencionás, el "Gran Doria" estaba en la esquina de la peatonal San Martín y Mendoza.

Roberto Alsina / 2012-01-18 21:42:

Así voy a aprender a no confiar en mi memoria :-)

marianoguerra / 2012-01-04 23:24:

lo de el quilla te delata como santafesino, me equivoco?

novia santafesina que lleva el quilla hasta alemania :D

Roberto Alsina / 2012-01-18 21:43:

Si consiguiera Quillá y jugo Frescor acá en buenos aires, mi calidad de vida mejoraría un 23%. (El Frescor se consigue a veces en Coto)

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