Friday, October 21, 2011

A Little Bit Zippy

Everyone says green tea is good for you. That it puts extra oomph in your day and, in general, improves almost every aspect of your life, both physical and psychological. Except maybe there’s nothing in it to stop you from worrying. But I don’t expect that from a tea. I’ve taken to drinking a cup of green tea every morning. If I make it too strong I get jumpy instead of just a little bit zippy. 

So I make it weak. I put the tea bag in a mug, fill the mug half-way with boiling water and leave the tea bag in for exactly one minute. If I count slowly to ten, seven times, it's one minute. Then I fill the cup to the brim with cold water so I won’t burn my tongue. I’m not the sort of person who lets a cup of tea cool on its own. That’s just not my way. 

On the few occasions when I forgot to drink my green tea in the morning I had a headache by noon. This seems a lot like an addiction to me. Which doesn’t make me happy. But it’s a price I’m willing to pay for all the other great things the green tea is doing for me.

This morning, as usual, I was working hard at being relaxed, counting to myself: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Waiting for the water to boil. Tearing open the little paper pouch that houses the tea bag. Placing the bag in the mug. Still waiting for the water to boil. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Now lifting the kettle and pouring the boiling water into the mug. 1-2-3-4 — WAIT. What is that? 

A hissing sound from the stove-top. I turn my head quickly to the right, just in time to see a tiny bead dancing on top of the burner. A slightly-yellowed pearl, exactly the same size as the Chinese pills I take to help me think better. The pills I call my orange pills because they come out of a bottle with an orange label. Even though they are really brown pills. This bead is spinning like mad right there in the very center of the burner. And then it explodes. 

Or maybe evaporates is a more accurate description. But it wasn’t a quiet occurrence, the way you’d think evaporation would be. It was definitely more like a silent explosion. 

Afterwards, nothing was left but a minuscule speck of black dust. You could say it was a bead of water that rolled off the tea kettle. Or you could say it was magic. I am inclined towards magic. It was a beautiful sight. When the explosion happened I went Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. 

And then I counted some more: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Until it was time to pluck my tea bag from the mug.