Saturday, November 3

Having a coffee


Walking into the kitchen Sally headed straight to the coffee machine. There wasn't much that coffee couldn't fix and Sally was certain it would once again be her magic fix. Popping the pod into the slot she pulled the handle down till she heard the crunch of the pod's seal being pierced. Taking a deep breath she tried to wait patiently for the little blue light to flash at her and indicate that it was now time to press the button. Some days, actually most days, waiting for that little flashing light was like waiting for eternally.

There was no doubt about it, Sally was a coffee girl. Sally found it hard to believe some days, just how badly she wanted, if not needed, a cup of the hot steamy liquid that she was certain could bring world peace if everyone just sat down and had one with some cake. She would often happily quip that she thought there was nothing that a good coffee and some cake couldn't fix.

As good as she knew them to be though deep down she knew that there were some problems that the old cake and coffee just couldn't fix. Problems that cut her to the core and would never leave her be. Problems that she was certain would haunt her for the rest of her life. Problems that while coffee didn't fix it did make them bearable. Some days Sally was positive she only made it through the day thanks to the coffee.

She was unable to pinpoint when this caffeine addiction was actually formed. She suspected that it slowly evolved. A natural progression in life that is really just part and parcel of growing up. Wasn't it the drink of adults?

Noticing the light finally flashing Sally pressed the required button. The delicious smell of the fresh coffee beans wafting through the poky little kitchen as a light steam from the machine quickly dissipated into the air. Her nostrils greedily inhaling the the aroma, tantalising her taste buds and kicking her impatience for her fix into over drive.

Opening the fridge door she enjoyed the cold blast that came with it. Now more than ever she was thankful she stood in that awful checkout line last night so she could have milk in her coffee. Yesterday, pouring curdled milk into her fresh brew was not a start she wanted to repeat again any time soon. On the upside, because Sally believed there always was an upside, at least the milk fiasco hadn't happened on a morning where she felt like she did today.

Placing the milk into the froth creating jug and switching it on the buzz of the machines began to drone in her already tender ears. She just kept telling herself it would be worth it in the end. The glorious first sip would gently seep into her soul and spread it's wonder through her. By the end of the cup she would feel ready and set for the day.

Or at least that was the plan. The way it was supposed to go. On many days it was that way, but whether or not today was one of those days remained to be seen. Sally felt she was yet to determine the fate of the day that still lay before. Saturday was one of the few days where Sally felt the was her own. There was no entitlement for her to think any needs save for her own. It was one of the things she loved most about her little shanty style country life.

From Monday to Friday she worked twelve to fifteen hour days that saw her constantly interacting with a range of people. From truck drivers, to geologists, managers, door operators and everything in between. None of them were people that she really had a chance to connect with. If by chance she actually had such a desire. Which for the most part she didn't. Not that it mattered, given the transient nature of most in the industry the turnover of staff was exceptional high. With just over six months of service under her belt Sally was virtually considered a long term employee. Most tended to say for three months. Few could stand it much longer than that, given the toughness of the conditions that were continually faced.

Unlike most of the workers at the mine who flew in and out on a regular basis, Sally actually lived in township that co existed with the mine. She found it easier that way. She had no one to fly home to every week or two. Or at all. There was no where else she needed to be and there wasn't anyone that needed her to be anywhere for them either. Besides she didn't need to regularly go to an airport. They were her most hated place on earth. Or one of. There was no way she could cope with all that regular flying, regardless of the size of the plane or anything else. It was just easier to live near the mine.

The upside to not having a fly in and out position was Sally only had to work Monday to Friday. The shift crews could work for ten to eight days straight. Sally wasn't interested in that kind of life. After five days she needed a break. In fact some weeks she needed that break after only a day or two. There was no way she could last longer than five days with out a break, and if there was then she didn't want to know about it.

Picking up her coffee cup she hoped to find at least one last mouthful left. She nearly felt like she could face the day. Not wanting the fate of the day to be determined by coffee dregs Sally took a deep breath and peered down into her coffee cup.

Oh sweet joy. It looked like there was at least one good mouthful. There was hope for the day after all.