The alarm goes off. My eyes open, but I see nothing. With a flip of my hand, my beanie is gone and I am immediately aware of three things: I have crust in my eyes; it is time to get up; and it is frigid. Ah, the trailer life.
Today might be the day after a rest day, and the conditions are going to be perfect for boulder crushing. Today might be a filming day, and we’ll be humping cameras and gear around. Today might be one of those housekeeping days, which we’ll spend in a public library or café staring at screens. I don’t care what day it is. What in the world could ever get me to throw the covers aside and forsake the only parcel of three-dimensional space in the known vicinity that is above freezing?
You might think that classic boulder problems are motivation enough. Not so. If you can remember back to high school chemistry, you may remember a concept called “activation energy.” Before a reaction can commence, there must be an initial energy input above a certain threshold. Put simply, a fire needs a spark.
Every morning I wonder what on our solar system’s green Earth could coax me from the cozy down cocoon, where I cuddle a tiny heater I like to call Vikki. And every morning, I need only turn my head to the right to see the answer to this vital quandary. Shining bright like a diamond, it sits proudly upon our trailer’s counter, promising much and asking little in return. It is at this moment, every morning, that I know I will be able to catch everything the world throws at me, and throw it right back like an existential game of jai alai.
There is comfort in routine. Fill the pot–the big one–to the brim. Turn on the gas and be quick with the lighter. Place the lid. Beans in the hopper; turn the crank. Switch hands often, to prevent overuse injury. Unscrew. Breathe deeply. Anticipation. Yes, today is going to be a good day.
Water’s almost ready. Is the stove on all the way? Sure? Okay, water’s ready. Pour it in over the grounds. Swirl, stir, mix. Lid. Won’t be long now. Swirl some more. We want full immersion. Ready to press? One more minute. Okay, do it.