coffee break

I often make the Starbucks runs at work. Not necessarily because I need the caffeine (though that is a secondary impetus), but more often because I need the break from the office, where I rarely take the time to breathe. I usually even work straight through my lunch.

Going for coffee means heading west into the foothills to the Starr Pass Marriott. The desert surrounds the resort, all picturesque saguaros and blooming palo verdes this time of year.

My car door is opened by a valet who knows and calls me by my last name, and the marble underfoot is perpetually shiny and cool. The view out the two-story wall of windows is partially desert, partially the city so dimmed by distance as to be only a curiosity. Twenty-foot-high sheer curtains whisper slightly in the breeze made by the opening and shutting of the massive glass front doors.

I pretend for about five minutes that I am someone whose life moves slowly enough that I could waste several hours doing nothing beyond laying in a deck chair by an impossibly blue pool on a weekday in April.

And by then the coffee is made and I make my way back to the car, down the winding road and back into my job's perpetual crises, breathing slightly easier for the next few hours.

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