Guilty Pleasure

By Beacon Staff

There are 1,679,925 drive-thru coffee shacks in Flathead County.

OK, that’s not true, but there are more in this valley than I knew possible. If the amount of cars lined up at the hut near my house in the mornings is any indication of supply and demand, we need a few more.

I love coffee and I love driving, but it never occurred to me that a city would need a hut on every corner.

So I tried one out today and found that guilt was served with my latte. I felt lazy for not exiting my car. I felt rushed, and even though I was on time for work, I felt late. I imagined the amount of exhaust permeating from my car violently ripping another hole in the ozone. Not to mention how much money I could have saved if I brewed it at home.

Coffee is supposed to be a kind of affordable luxury item, not something that is so easily obtained through a drive-thru window.

So I sat in my car Wednesday, waiting for my triple-short-vanilla-latte, and remembered sitting around a monumental wooden table at Break Espresso in Missoula with a dozen friends, sharing our thoughts and wisdom. I remembered how good the first sip of java was in the morning, on the couch with breakfast, and how it warmed me on cold days.

Then I remembered winter. I remembered those times walking in the snow, the wind out of the canyons tearing me to shreds, and the only solace in the gray icicle encircling my soul is the black coffee I clung to with my frozen fingers. How the unbearable pain of walking 16 steps from my car to the coffee house door seemed somehow inhuman.

So it occurred to me; I can’t wait to be sitting in my car this next winter, with the heat blasting, my tunes set to Rock, waiting for that good-ol’ cup of joe.

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