Deus ex machina comes to the rescue again. In ancient Greek plays, when the plot was too thick, and a resolution too hard, a god was lowered in a machine and solved all the problems: the god from the machine. The Greeks had it right. Our critics today look and say that you can’t tie up loose ends so neatly, or you can’t introduce new information or characters at the end to solve everything.

I know better. Come what may, Ella breaking a brand new DVD trying to get it out of its case, or pouring juice on the computer, come cranky spouse or dark day, come cold blooded evangelicals with eyebrows of judgment, the god machine comes to my rescue. Either the sculpture of boiler, tubes and steam is more loving and powerful than the God of my heart, or dear machina is his own instrument. For nothing cures the attitudes of the heart or the maladies of the mind than a well-timed espresso.

Resurrection comes in two-ounce shots.


Later that day...



Though perhaps more responsive than the almighty (a shot of espresso is pulled in thirty seconds), machina is also a fickle friend who’s company is enjoyed only a little at a time. Manic days of too much caffeine and my concentration floats and flits like butterfly on the wing. The molecules in my body vibrate at the resonance of espresso. All else is empty – hollow. Food, I think, may fill the void and calm my vibration. My thoughts and humors are as flighty as my liver and pancreas. Heavy and substantive ideas are solid food, and I hunger, not out of need, but emptiness, want of fullness – of balance – of solidity – of depth. Enter the almighty upstage left.

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