“You have a lot left in you,” said the bartender as I left. “I can tell.”
It was a nice parting gift from someone who’d been a stranger an hour or so before. I’m not in the habit of frequenting bars but, needing to fill in a couple of hours before a book launch and accompanying poetry reading, and also needing to sit down, I’d pushed open the door with some trepidation and asked whether I could get a cup of coffee.
“Sure,” came the friendly response. When I requested only one shot of coffee in the Americano he commented that he hadn’t made a one-shot coffee for a while. My explanation about needing to keep my potassium levels low struck a chord with him and we went on to exchange some medical history. He’d had a bad concussion and caffeine was now contraindicated. Like me he loved coffee, however he could only allow himself one cup a week. I was fortunate in being allowed one cup a day, but rarely had ‘real’ coffee as I believed it to be higher in potassium. My restrictions resulted from kidney impairment.