Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Project 8

Once upon a time, there were seven deadly sins: gluttony, lust, greed; the sins of wanting things. Sloth or apathy, the sin of wanting nothing. Wrath, envy and pride, the sins of wanting intellectual superiority and triumph. The greatest of these, the source route of all the others, was envy.

Envy, thwarted, discouraged, gave birth to apathy. Envy of property gave rise to the bearing of false witnesses, theft, embezzlement. Envy of relationships resulted in coercion, adultery, rape disguised as seduction. These and myriad variants pepper our world: wanting what isn't yours, what can't be yours, what shouldn't be yours. There are so many ways to try to get around it but unless it's root is killed, it comes back, bigger and meaner.

Was that the real reason she kept secrets, so no one would envy her? Try to take the crumbs she hoarded, the pebbles she used to find her way home? Was that the real reason?

She frowned, turned off the kettle and poured the boiling water over the freeze-dried coffee powder. Convenient, tasteless and still containing the caffeine punch she craved.

She wondered at people who made coffee properly. It was a skill she'd never acquired either by natural born talent or accumulated knowledge and practice, despite its seeming ease. With some people, coffee making was as easy as breathing. Take the pot, measure the beans, boil the water, et voila! Coffee. Grinds, whole, drip, perc, some people had the knack. Even her neighbors's kids knew how, but she preferred living in a state of ignorance, taking the simple solution of purchasing pot, filters and grinds instead of instant to be unnecessary and unworthy of the space it would consume in her brain. It served some purpose in her psyche, keeping this need unfulfilled or gratified in only the most cursory way possible. Some need.

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