Alex Larose introduced me to the fine art of java 1994, in a squat rat-infested student house in Ottawa’s Sandy Hill neighbourhood, at the edge of the University of Ottawa.
Alex was a professional clown with great accessories and appliances. There was a ’74 Caddy hearse in the driveway, two helium balloon tanks beside the tarantula cage, and an intimidating stainless steel coffee machine on the counter. The household was made up of a quirky German exchange student engineer, my obsessive little sister, and a hairdresser in the closet.
I had moved in temporarily on a cot by the furnace in the basement, steps from the grow-op, pending my departure for a three month solo backpacking trip through the Middle East. There was peace then. And we roommates led relatively carefree lives (though we didn’t think so at the time).
The coffee was always freshly ground, measured carefully, and perked at just the right temperature. It was our rite of Saturday on prayer mats of flyers and comics.
I’m 35 now, living in a rodent-free home (unless you count the precocious three year old). Alex still comes over sometimes to save me from my basic Braun. He scoffs at Tim’s. These days he arrives with flyers, wife and baby. (Lately Claudette makes a better cuppa, but she’d slap me if I said she’d learned it from her hub).