Hold a portafilter in your hand for a while, and it feels an extension of you. You toss it around, twist and tamp and tap and whatever, and think nothing of any of it. You don't think kung fu; you feel it. I think I heard that somewhere once, and I'm going to apply it here, since I can't kick above my waist anyway.
Change the portafilter, and it's wrong. You drop it and flail about like a complete beginner; it's just all wrong. You may as well have a new set of hands.
I'm typing this on a new keyboard, which is part of a whole new computer. Not new, strictly speaking, but new to me. My venerable laptop is dead, and so now I've got this, which is placed right, and everything is right about it, and yet I'm punching the wrong key like an enraged drunk commenting on a youtube video.
This makes writing hard. Still, I'm doing it. See? You're reading the results right now. It's like we're having a dialogue and everything. How organic.
However, out of respect for that relationship, I feel like I need to tell you something: I might be doing a non-barista job soon. There is some anxiety about that possibility within me; ok, there is quite a lot. A local race director calls me Mr. Barista at the finish of ever race; I'm not even remotely confident that he knows my real name. And it's all the same anyway. This. Is. Who. I. Am.
Or maybe, soon, who I was.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. I've not been offered the job, and certainly not accepted it. But there are parts in motion, things that I have set that cannot be undone. My eyes have wandered, and you can't ever really go home, right?
There is a sense in which this post is a couple weeks early. For the last two years, I've written birthday posts, basically summing up my life, such as it is, was, and will be. I splattered my youthful hipster angst on these pages, and it felt pretty good.
On May 17, I'll turn 25.
I'll have, if nothing else, a new age group to compete in at races.
And maybe actual career prospects.
I'm not looking for well wishes or luck, assurances that everything will be fine and expressions of confidence in my abilities and judgment. Maybe things will work out; maybe they won't. Pretending we know life's trajectory is just false comfort, a curtain over the great uncertainty of it all.
But I'm looking past that, just a bit, peeking around in to what could be. It's pretty cool, I think, and that's what this is. It's not angst. It's not a midway to mid-life crisis either. It's a state of the union, maybe, or just self-indulgent drivel.
It's words, at least. Of that I'm sure. And I like words, even if typing them is presently a bitch.