I like walking. You can stop and look at menus in restaurant windows and make eye contact with dogs. If you stay vigilant, you can pick up a surprising number of stray quarters. But most walks are not adventures. Most walks are to the grocery store to pick up diced tomatoes. I would like to say I am perpetually enchanted anyway, because I think that would be a testament to my character — She just finds magic everywhere she goes! — but I’m not. That is why I need the coffee.
I tend not to walk with coffee. Just as I tend to horse my popcorn before the movie starts so that I can concentrate on the film, I drink my coffee before I go walking. I find it a distraction from what I want from walking.
However! I enjoyed this article (brought to my attention by McKinley) about the joys of walking with coffee. The author clearly enjoys it as an activity and her enthusiasm is delightful. She also makes nice points about walking and coffee independent of each other. Most importantly, I just like essays about simple things, especially when they’re in the area of “quotidian sensory experiences.” It’s like something from Jerome K. Jerome’s Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow. Just lovely.
Walking doesn’t improve the taste of coffee, but coffee improves the experience of being in the world. It blunts the harsher edges. Without coffee, there is “public space” and “private space.” With coffee, the whole city is your living room.