I sat outside last night on the cement steps of the front porch of my new home. It finally cooled down enough to sit out there and, not having any outdoor furniture with the exception of a bench I made out of 2x4's 15 years ago, I sat on the cool paving of the 1930s between hulking, stucco-ensconced, bulbous columns that look like cocoons about to hatch a million giant monarchs. I sat with a nice, delicate, crystal wine glass I bought at Goodwill for fifty cents, a pour of a Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley of California, and a 700-page, seemingly unabridged story of the history of Australia. I've been exploring the Pinots of cooler climates in California because I think it is interesting to taste a wine made from such a transparent grape grown in conditions that allow the winemaker to step out of the way and present the effects of terroir on a beverage, all the influences of its upbringing apparent at one instant upon my nose and my palate.
A so-called '"cold front" moved in' and the hot, sunny, mid-90s afternoon of late summer brought dusk and a chrysalis of weather, wind blowing big limbs, leaves chattering like paper chimes, high lightning above the shroud of cumulonimbus, striking the night like flint and steel on a cold, dark pile of sticks. Thunder rumbling like my stomach growling just an hour before, pasta-starved, satiated with bread and beef. Content. Occasional mist dampening the right-hand page of my book, and the frayed pant leg of my jeans and scratched, weathered, stitched leather of square-toed boots. A grey cat scurried down the sidewalk, disappearing behind a small tree, fleeing from the torrents of rain which now came in sheets- rugs shaken out the front door, of dust and dirt, which prevailed on the wind and into my awareness through my nose. The sound of glass breaking. It's like a dramatic scene from a movie and I'm in it, the storm, the cat, the glass, and now I wait for a woman to scream but it never comes. And so I went back to my book, briefly, until the drama taking place outside my wine glass eclipses my interest in either the Russian River Valley or England's petty criminals being shipped across the world to Botany Bay. It was one of those moments where I was present and I felt like I had been traveling or planning and I was out in distant galaxies on strange planets meeting stranger aliens and Scotty had suddenly beamed me up to the starship Enterprise. The starship ME. The astral projection was over and I was back at home inside my body, inside my head. And I realized that for, what seems like, my entire life I've been preparing. For something. For life, itself. Preparing myself for what lay ahead, for finding the type of woman I wanted to live my life with, by educating myself in the arts and sciences and mathematics that allowed me to run my business and be innovative and feel cultured, and by learning history so I could know what lay behind and how we got here and where we might be going, and for races, which got longer and longer and became a means for the expeditions in my mind that may lie ahead in emergencies and effigies, should anyone care to carve the marble from around the protuberance in my torn hamstring. It is all over. Mark Brown says when you stop preparing, it means you have arrived. So here I am. And everything I do becomes who I am. Every day when I tie the Sioux bison bone choker around my neck, it becomes who I am, and these frayed jeans and boots, and going to the gym and riding my bike and the things I read and listen to and not having a tv or watching movies: it's who I am. Maybe it's always been like this. But suddenly I realize THIS is who I am, not who I'm becoming or striving to be or do.
And the same thing goes with the DoubleShot. Every day the drinks we make and the way we present ourselves and the way I roast and the Greater Kudu silhouette stenciled on the wall, it all becomes who we are. The coffees I have right now. The coffees I have RIGHT NOW. Are the coffees that define us. And you, our customers, when you walk in the door and sit down at a red oak table that my dad and I made from joists of a 100 year old barn in Claremore, you are the DoubleShot. You have no choice but to be enveloped by us and you become us and we become you, even when you leave, white-and-black cup in hand or even empty-handed, you take with you the experiences of the DoubleShot and spread who we are and leave behind a bit of yourself on our pourover counter. We are ever-changing, and the amazing coffees we have today, the Natural Sidamo that is so overpoweringly sweet and fruity, will be gone like our beloved San Rafael and the washed Yirgacheffes and the MAO Horses, and tomorrow your americano will taste different. But that's tomorrow. Come and enjoy who we are today.