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#(58) LE MATIN

Edition of 762 of which 200 copies are signed 1-200, 26 copies are signed A-Z as artist's proofs, and four sets are signed as progressives.

May 13, 1976 Six colors 16-3/4" x 24"

Client: Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Restaurant, 1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley CA 94709. Telephone (510) 548-5525 A-Z: Artist's own use

Along about 1984, sometime after I'd quit smoking, I also gave up coffee. I don't know why, really, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. I drank a lot of coffee at the time, maybe 10 or 15 cups a day, but I noticed that if I didn't drink any coffee at all it made no difference, so I figured, hey, what the heck, and I quit. I missed drinking something hot in the morning, and messed around with decaf and even tea, but decaf tasted like dishwater and there's something about the caffeine in tea that wires me up tight as a drum.

So I went along without coffee for seven years or so and then I got invited to attend a show of my work in Italy. I figured that the Italians could handle my not smoking, because I was an American and we have an international reputation as non-smokers, but that to refuse coffee on some sort of phony excuse like "I don't drink coffee," would just be insulting.

So about three months before I was to leave, I started drinking coffee again. Boy, it sure had an effect. A few cups and I was talking too fast and clenching my teeth and getting an unusual amount of busy work done. But I stuck to it, and by the time I landed in Venice I could handle the very first thing I was offered which was a caffé correto, which is espresso and grappa.

The road up and the road down are one and the same road, as Heraclitus would have said. Cappuccino in the morning, espresso in the early afternoon and caffé correto in the late afternoon. I still hadn't worked myself around to a good cup of espresso at midnight or one a.m. after a three-hour supper. Now I drink coffee again, two or three cappuccinos in the morning and maybe an espresso in the early afternoon. The worst thing about taking it up again is that now I'm miserable when I'm in some place where you can't get a decent cup of coffee, which is most of the United States. Caffé, Café, Coffee, Java, Joe, or Mud?