Excerpt: Page Six of Eleven

01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 - PAGE06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10 - 11

Three days in Austin aboard the Obama/Clinton Press Show


by Ethan Persoff, http://www.ep.tc

The following is an eleven page excerpt from a larger work in progress
focusing on the upcoming Presidential election, with an emphasis on Texas and the upcoming brokered National Convention in Denver.

- 06 -

Reporter Coffee

Press isn't allowed in the Debate Space, but we're pretty much offered use of the entire lower level below. There's also a very nice selection of beverages. I go to fill up a cup of coffee, which is not necessarily needed as I just came from breakfast. But hell, what are you going to do now other than situate yourself with a drink and write for a while.

I'm filling up my coffee when a foreign correspondent comes up to pick a small can of cranberry cocktail. "You can barely taste the gin in there, it's really subtle, very well blended" I tell him. Unfortunately he believes me and says "oh really, that is so great, excellent" I have to make sure he knows I'm joking. But it's a nice idea that the beverage counter would have real cranberry cocktails. I predict a long day. A friend got turned away at the door by security for having a green apple in her purse. So with that as a yardstick, I'm pretty sure genuine combustibles like whiskey-filled flasks would also be included on the no-fly list. So all I have for my free time right now is four options: 1) Water 2) Writing 3) Voyeurism 4) Coffee.

I promise myself at least an equal share of each and choose the one guaranteed drug on the list. Properly doctor with a light amount of cream and sugar and HOLY CRAP THIS IS GOOD FUCKING COFFEE. I feel like a meth chemist on his first rush. This is not normal coffee. I can't even taste it. This must be Reporter Coffee. Made for the chain-smoking walking dead. YES IT HAS TO BE. CRAP. Why no warning on the decanter? This shit has me soaring! I'm literally buzzing. Ha. Very funny. Nice prank there, CNN. But I'm suddenly ridiculously chatty. What the fuck is in this stuff? Look back at the bathroom. Can't tell if that one mustached guy's still in there -- I didn't see him leave -- but I kind of want to go back in for a little privacy. Man, it must be my nerves but I am high off this fucking coffee. How nuts! And then I walk around and notice. My deodorant is failing me. My crappy deodorant is failing me. Shit, I must actually be pretty wound up about TODAY, because I'm over-reacting to this fucking GREAT coffee and ALSO my deodorant is failing me. JESUS.

Back in the restroom. Now I'm the guy with his shirt off, laughing to himself using the handsoap to shower his armpits. I'm not sure what happened. I did take a shower this morning but must have skipped deodorant or applied incorrectly due to my hurry. Anyway, Hello World Press, how are you? About four or five guys come in during this time and none of em really care, but I'm pretty amused, covered in soapy suds, sink overflowing somewhat on the CNN Political Basin. FINE COFFEE I tell one of them. And this soap doubles great as DETERGENT! I tell another, joking dishonestly that I had been on the road all night and had just cleaned my shirt and socks, too. Anyway, my armpits felt INCREDIBLE after this soap and paper towel treatment. And then with fresh deodorant thickly applied I walk out. Phew, one crisis narrowly avoided. Still a half a cup of this incredible Reporter Coffee in my hand. Trust me, if you're ever offered the stuff give it a shot.

Back to my desk in the Press room. Tap out a few pages of completely useless garbage. Drink some of my water to try and balance out. I feel the sinking caffeine collapse coming on very soon. What has this been, not even 45 minutes? More dumb key clacking (all unsalvagable) and then continue drinking the coffee and water, alternating to try and ride the snake out and not crash. Somewhat of a balance figured out I walk around a little bit more. Ah... Okay, The place is starting to fill up nicely with other people, too. And I can overhear from some others that some asshole tried to take a bath in the men's room.

After a few hours I look back upstairs to ongoing security. Would like to leave for some fresh air but am not especially interested in repeating this drill just yet.

The immaculate John King gesticulates to Spanish television.