Writers Quote Wednesday Obsession


Well, as the challenge this week is OBSESSION (singular) I feel compelled to choose…  But what to choose…


True, I am totally obsessed with HAIKU (thanks for that one, Ronovan). I honestly think in syllables now and have worn out my fingers counting them.  Each and every time I consider writing a poem, the FIRST THING I CONSIDER is… can this be a HAIKU!  Of course, since being introduced to this style of writing, barely a year ago, I have published 3 books of haiku poetry and am working on another to be released this autumn. Obsessed with HAIKU? You got a problem with that?  Who, me? Heck no, I’m good.


Okay, so I am completely a java-junkie!  Not as bad as I once was but still as devoted as ever. I actually got my first coffee house job by offering to trade out my services as a barista for free coffee and tips (oh, they never knew what hit them). Once I showed them that I could make Sunday, the only day of the week they were closed, more profitable than Monday, which was their slowest day of the week, they put me on the payroll and closed on Mondays.  I ended up with nearly 40 hours a week there and had ALL the coffee my heart could desire.

My second coffee house job came many years later after volunteering to bus tables and wash dishes for the sheer pleasure of helping them stay open. They were sinking fast, I had two hands and it was my day off so why not!  Once the place was sold, the man who bought it (happened to be another customer who had observed me doing my “community service”) hired me to be the assistant manager.  Now, while I never worked the coffee bar there, except to help out in a pinch, I was surrounded by amazing coffee and drank my share, let me tell you what!

Cannot even recall the first cup I ever had but I do remember getting up at the crack of dark with my dad and we’d go through 2, count ‘em 2 full pots before we strolled out in to the waiting morning. See, he worked in downtown Detroit and I went to a college-prep high school in downtown Detroit, so coffee time was our time to fortify ourselves for the rigorous schedules each of us faced.  And I don’t recall anyone else in the family drinking it actually.

Once I was downtown, I hooked up with my fellow drinkers at the near-by Majestic Cafe, where we sat smoking our parent’s cigarettes, stuffing our faces with chocolate covered, yellow cake donuts and slogging back gallons of hot, black joeLife was GOOD!  I doubt anyone knew each other’s names, it didn’t matter, we were the hyped-up, gifted and talented who could spend their first hour class time in the café 3 out of 5 days a week and still manage to pull straight A’s in whatever that subject was.  For us, it was a match made in faux-grown up heaven.  All was rolling along great, until the day that shall remain forever, as my most embarrassing moment.

My father never finished school. He was the youngest of 13 children, raised by his sisters and ailing mother here in the states or by his maternal grandfather in Canada, depending on the country he was living in at the time. He was 16 when his mother passed and decided to quit school, become a U.S. citizen and joined the Navy.  It wasn’t until later that he received his GED and felt he had come full circle in his education. To him it was paramount that his children make the most of every opportunity for free education so I when the chance to test for this special high school was offered, both he and my mother convinced me this was the best way.  For three years I was studied by whomever it was that kept a watchful eye on us and upon graduation from 9th grade, I was accepted into the prestigious Cass Technical High School.  Once you completed your senior year, you not only had your State of Michigan diploma but 2 years of junior college under your belt.  Side note, we relocated in the middle of my junior year and I did not complete my education there… 

 I told you that, to tell you this…

  At the Majestic, the cream for our coffee came in these absolutely adorable little glass bottles shaped like milk bottles, but they only held two tablespoons worth each.  As there were as many as 10 and as few as 5 of us class-cutters there on any given day, we would amass quite the collection of empties. Now, what would you expect a gang of gifted and talented to do with those bottles?  That’s right, we treated them like building blocks and we’d create structures that would have gained us entrance to the future architects of America club. Naturally, just like their wooden predecessors, their moment in the sun were temporary and out of nowhere you were likely to hear, CRASH, followed immediately by the riotous laughter of the hard working building crew. (some things never change)

This one day, we had just saluted another creation with our laughter when in that precious moment of after-glow, an unexpected growl of disapproval filled the vacant air space. “Annette Rochelle Parent, come here right now!”

 Of course, no one in my immediate circle of nearest and dearest knew my full name.  And of course no one except my parents ever used it…  Poor Alice, when she was just small…. Looking up into the eyes of my dad was about as bad as it got. But how in hell did he know I was there?  Naturally, I was given the lecture of lectures about disappointment, expectations and lack of appreciation. I had to take my lumps because not only was I caught skipping school, but I had in my possession, a package of HIS smokes (didn’t think he’d notice the occasional package of Kents missing from the cigarette drawer).  I must have given all the right answers to the tough questions which included solemnly swearing to n-e-v-e-r frequent that place again because he hugged me and told me to get back to school at once.  Don’t think I didn’t know that I had dodged a bullet that day.

Right, I never did tell you how he found me, sorry. My dad delivered meat to restaurants…

Dad and I laugh about that memory nowadays.  He tells me that while he hated to yell at me like that, he hated, even more, the thought that I was throwing my away my life. I have convinced him that it wasn’t like that at all, it was all about the coffee, which HE introduced me to way back when.  Pull up a chair, dad, I’m pouring.

Dark roast, espresso

Rich, liquid gold fills my cup

Nectar of the gods

Greeting me mornings

The afternoon pick-me-up

Drink it over ice

Add the almond milk

Don’t forget the stevia

Caffeine keeps me sane

And now, for the musical portion of our show…

(c) 2016 Annette Rochelle Aben

15 responses to “Writers Quote Wednesday Obsession

  1. Silver Threading

    OH Wow! I loved this story from your life, Annette! I first had coffee the way my Foster Mom would fix it in her old electric percolator in Milwaukee, WI where I grew up. She would crack an egg and put it in with the grounds! It was some of the best coffee I ever had until I found Starbucks Sumatra! I drink my coffee black nowadays too. I love coffee, but tea is an indulgence I really enjoy. What a great story! LOVED it! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Colleen. I was all of 15 and wired for sound. I am a tea chica too, so it is a wonder I don’t float away, eh? We have lots to look forward to, once we meet in person. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Silver Threading

        I agree. I think we have much in common especially the fact of where we grew up. It really does form a person and you instantly know the other person because of how and where they grew up. I have seen this time and time again in my travels through the country. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • That makes sense, Colleen. The midwest energy is its own give away… Once when my husband and I were in California on vacation, we noticed that we could tell the people who were from Michigan right away (I mean that as a compliment).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Silver Threading

        I agree. I can tell a Midwestern right off! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post! I savored it along with my second cup of coffee this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a fascinating story, Annette. Those carefree mornings at the Majestic sounded wonderful (until you got caught by your dad)! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those coffee quotes are hilarious, especially the one by Lewis Black. I loved the story, Annette. I had my first cup of coffee at my first job since my parents rarely drank coffee at home. The head doctor asked me to make him coffee and I stared at him as if he had 3 heads. First of all, I didn’t know how to make coffee and secondly I felt that although I was the youngest employee in that office it wasn’t in my job description to make coffee for anyone. I must have been making some kind of face because he chuckled, took me by the hand, asked me to sit at a small table in the kitchen, and made a pot of coffee himself. Then he went on to serve me a cup of coffee and sat down with me to drink his. He turned out to be a very sweet man and I learned a lot from him, but he never asked me to make coffee again, although I never had said anything to him. I began drinking coffee every morning at work and if I was the first to arrive I’d make the pot of coffee for everyone. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to hear you were trained up proper there. What a nice boss! Glad I could bring a smile. Stop by anytime, I’ll be happy to make YOU coffee. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aww. That’s so sweet of you. Under different circumstances I would gladly make someone a cup of coffee or tea, milkshake . . . but when you’re at the start of a career in a new job you have to set precedence (in a good way). He was a great boss. We still stay in touch, although it has been a while since I’ve worked there. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You got off pretty light. Do you still love your coffee?

    Liked by 1 person

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