Bitter Or Not, I Love That Taste
It’s one of the few things that gives me utter gratification whenever I get it in my mouth. I get a high from the very first taste, savoring it as it hits the back of my throat and I take that swallow. Then, I briefly close my eyes in the afterglow. Mmmmm, just writing about it now makes me crave for it. Yes, I am addicted to it.
For many years, I kept my addiction a secret. I used to think that people would deem me a freak if they knew how much I was into this thing. So when guys I dated inevitably found out, it was comforting to know that they had no complaints at all. In fact, my passion for this thing is so infectious that I’ve been able to convert a couple of boyfriends who weren’t into it. To the extent that sometimes, no matter what I was busy doing, once they were in the mood for it, they’d interrupt me to give them a hand with this satisfying treat. I’m flattered that they’ve all said they especially enjoyed it with me.
I’m unsure of when I became hooked. But I recall in my earlier years, that I reluctantly indulged. I remember it being bitter and how I felt compelled to spit it out. But I was told not to; that it was best not to let any of it go to waste. I was advised that it would do my body good; that there were all types of health benefits in store. Apparently, it was the cure for everything from a headache, to helping me sleep well. One guy who was a huge fan of it even told me that the more often I did it, the happier I would be and that there was something in it that makes people wiser. Oh well, I was young, naïve and willing to please, so I bought into this “promise.”
As the years went by, my addiction grew. I experimented more and more, fascinated by the variation in taste ranging from the very bitter to the mild, watery, to the occasionally rich and sweet. But no matter the flavor, I challenged myself to gulp it all down – naturally, despite hearing how some women added “condiments”; even whipped cream, to jazz up the experience! I couldn’t get enough of it. I remember occasions where I did it on an average of three to five times a day. It got to the point where one of my boyfriends of many years – as much as he too loved it – suggested that I give it a break. This prompted me to seek “help” on the matter. I needed to find out if I were the only one with this seemingly odd obsession.
Hesitant to broach the subject with anyone, I went online to do some research. As I dug into the history of this thing, I discovered that both men and women had been doing it for centuries. It’s one of the world’s most practised acts – from young lovers, to business professionals, even the religious and the aristocracy. I also found out that in some societies it was considered a cause for superstition, a source of medicine and in one or two instances had such a powerful effect on those involved that it was linked to political upheaval. I was especially thrilled to learn that like me, all these people also did this thing several times a day! Interestingly enough, most of them seemed to have had an affinity for doing it in the latter half of the day or often at my favorite time to do it – in those early morning hours. I can’t think of a better way to help one get up, to awake.
Nowadays, I am not so shy to discuss my addiction. Perhaps, it’s because I’m more grown now and I’ve recognized how popular a phenomenon it is. Several of my girlfriends also share my love for this thing. We often exchange stories on the subject, trade secrets about our methods and generally offer tips to enhance our respective experiences. I also have a few girlfriends who really don’t care for it; they admit they don’t have a palate for the taste, no matter the source. That’s their loss. I relish everything involved in doing this thing: from that first stroke to ignite the heat; to the sounds that emit to cue me on my next move; to it reaching its full potential; to extracting all that goodness and consuming every drop; and its distinctive scent lingering on my lips, hands and in the air.
Even if you don’t believe the hype, there’s no doubt that this thing is indeed beneficial to me. I’m convinced that it protects my body from the ravages of aging, among other ailments. I’ll argue that just like water, it helps to keep me hydrated, it’s great for my teeth, calorie-free and even increases my metabolism. I have very few vices, but I’m proud of this one. And the fact that my mother also does it, makes me less ashamed to continue doing it.
As I conclude this piece, rays of sunlight seep through my blinds beckoning the start of a new day. I couldn’t think of a more perfect time to again get that taste in my mouth. So I’m going to light the stove, put that squealing kettle on, pour the water out and after a few minutes of seeping, I’ll give into my addiction and do that thing – drink a lovely cup of tea.
~ I Keep it Irie ~