Author: Victor Beigelman

You get out of bed at the same time you always do: 7:45 a.m. Your alarm was actually set for 7:30, but it’s been years since you got up right when it goes off. You putter into the kitchen and fill the water boiler up to .5 liters with cold water from the tap. While it heats up, you take a no. 4 filter and place it in your one-cup drip contraption, grind some whole beans from Ethiopia, and dump the coffee into the filter. You look out the window onto the street. Maybe 15, 20 dogs sprint by at the exact second you look. They’re all dragging leashes behind them, owners nowhere to be found.

The water isn’t boiling yet, so you pull out your phone and start doing the New York Times Saturday mini crossword. You can’t for the life of you remember the last name of the Ed that sang “Shape of You,” but you’re able to get all the intersecting words and quickly realize it’s Sheeran. Ed fucking Sheeran. If you had remembered right away, you might have beaten your personal Saturday record of 46 seconds. Oh, well. The water’s ready.

As you pour it slowly over the coffee grounds, you hear a deep, loud grinding sound. It causes you to set the water boiler down and clap your hands over your ears. The sound lasts for eight or nine seconds and then stops suddenly. You scratch the back of your neck and shrug, then pick up the boiler, finish pouring water over the coffee, and set the lid on the coffee contraption.

30 seconds later, you impatiently pull a clean beige mug from the cupboard over the sink and set it on the counter. On top of it you place the contraption, which does not actually drip unless the rim of a receptacle presses into its bottom. It releases a steady stream of coffee into the mug. Suddenly, the grinding sound returns, twice as deep, twice as loud, seemingly right above you. Your house starts to shake violently and the grinding is compounded by a splintering sound. Your roof is pulled off of your house, replaced not by the sun and the clouds, but a smooth, gray, metallic surface.

You look down at the contraption. It’s done dispensing coffee into the mug. You lift it off and see that the mug is filled perfectly, perhaps a quarter-inch from the top. You’ve done this a million times, but still it brings you satisfaction. You grab the mug of coffee, take a sip, and look up. A blinding white light fills your entire field of view, and for a moment, you feel weightless.