the place in my heart for vice

I love espresso as a painter - I am not a barista - I am in it for the aesthetic

the reasons for my passion are as complex as the substance itself - as complex as the one hundred and eighty (at least) volatile compounds found in the coffea bean

sometimes I catch an expert shot of my shots - twenty four times, to be precise - and I need them all in once place

I captured the image above at High Five Coffee House on Rankin Avenue in Asheville - it is the prettiest shot I've ever snapped

apparently Voltaire drank seventy - two cups of coffee a day

I max out at three sips of espresso, requiring the engagement of my creative problem solving skills so as not to waste

why do I love you, espresso? it's in the essence, the tattva; espresso is a distilled expression of the ephemeral coffea plant - our world's most infamous drug

in a quality shot, nothing remains except the thing itself

sugar and milk adulterate - this is why I cannot barista - I worship the bittersweet, brutal thing itself

and, with the tasting required to serve coffea well, I find myself a fairy on cocaine 

it's the ritual, the public meeting place, I am not addicted to coffee, I am addicted to the coffee house - this public forum where all are equal when we cross over that threshold of the glowing neon open sign

.love affair for the lonesome. 

I titled the above photo, and it is like that - when life is uncomfortable, harsh but starkly gorgeous, you find other things like yourself, to share yourself with - find friendship with a plant

this stunning shot was pulled in Charleston, South Carolina at City Lights Coffee - it was the most delicious espresso I have ever enjoyed

it's the simple elegance, the crystal bubbling water to cleanse the palate and open the mucous membranes for all that flavor and alkaloid to rush the blood and the tongue and the brain

see that crescent moon in the spro? I did not plan that. dark side and light side, like the moon, like this plant, enslaving and delighting the entire human race

the above shot is grossly over-extracted, but I couldn't resist the composition of my skirt with the light and the play of my hand and the glowing cup 

a bad shot is bad pigment, a dull muted pergo in my kindergarten day care house - a good shot sparkles in the sunlight like dust from another world and the soft shades of browns from a doe's pelt measure in numbers myriad as her volatile oils

this is the place in my heart for vice

espresso, why do I love you so!? this one ounce lasting seconds of pleasure passes through a multitude of hands, a handful of countries and centuries of our history - this one plant shaping our culture in mysterious ways uncountable and I taste it all, and that I cannot discern it's countless notes renders it all the more tantalizing to my mind, relaxed in the unknowing

I recognize the privilege of this delicacy, the ecological debt, and I prepare to pay back my portion

but I may be wrong, this may be unforgivable - how many suffer for my pleasure? agriculture and distribution of the coffea plant yields great suffering indeed, though perhaps not intrinsically. folks like Counter Culture Coffee Roasters in Durham, North Carolina and High Five Coffee House in Asheville are changing that norm - and not through corporate structure and PR campaigns - but with one relationship at a time

a stimulant shared between friends, the picture above is myself and Mae years ago enjoying Italian food and chianti with espresso - may there be many more to come and may we find ways to pay it all back and double fold our portion to the future

contrast the joy and the cost, black and white, rich and poor, woman and man - distilled into a demitasse cup

thanks, coffea, for making us who we are - what would our culture look like without you? what if you did not inhabit this water world beside us? and why do you smell so damn fine?

your elegance proceeds you

our hands shape your future and under your influence, our own.

cheers, eve.

Eve Star