There are a lot of things I've given up. Smoking, drinking, driving too fast, staying up too late, hot young men. Okay, so maybe some things gave me up first. Some were harder adjustments than others, but by far the most painful was caffeine. The great injustice of it all is that I didn't even give it up on purpose.
It was a Sunday, and I realized that I wasn't going to have enough coffee to mainline my regular amount during the day and still have a fix left for breakfast the next morning.
Yes. Coffee is breakfast.
Bell rung, drool collected, I got ready to follow my well ingrained response pattern to the store. It was then that cruel lucidity sunk it's razor sharp reality into my poor defenseless torpor. It occurred to me that coffee was the only thing I was really out of. There was nothing else I was going to need before I'd be able to stop by the store on my way home from work on Monday. No other reason to make a special trip.
That's when I got arrogant. Arrogance is stupidity wearing sequins on a dance floor - something very few people can pull off and an absolute slaughter of dignity when attempted by people who can't. I decided I didn't actually need coffee. I decided to tough it out, and to quit capitulating to my every whim.
By ten am the next day my forehead was hanging inches above my desktop like a water logged Jack-In-The-Box, and I was all but completely incoherent. The only word I was able to articulate was headache. Hm. Articulate might not be the exact right word. I believe I pronounced it something like "eeeeeeeeeeeeruuuuungh". I am confident that it's meaning was adequately conveyed, though.
Arrogance had gotten me that far, I figured, so what could be the harm in seeing how much more it would take to destroy me completely? Again, I'm probably not transcribing things entirely accurately. While I do believe that was the actual evil plan my brain was formulating, it did present a far more seductive sales pitch to my squirming puddle of conscious awareness at the time. Something about how if I never wanted to go through that pain again, I had better not put the crap that hurt so bad leaving my system back into my system. No matter how deliciously, divinely good it feels going in.
It wasn't the drug that made me want to quit, it was the withdrawal.
Fine. Rah rah rah go me. Ouch but okay, I surrender. No more coffee! Come what may! Come sleepless nights, come panicked deadlines, come 7 am - and it does, every single morning 7am shows up as if somebody might actually be glad to see it - I will face them all with courage and conviction, but without caffeine!
What came, the very next day, was the directive from my boss to attend one of the city's finest hotel's meet and greet shmooze fest for industry contacts. One featuring not only some of the most succulent smelling fresh brewed coffee I have ever smelled in my life, but tables - plural - filled with the most opulent display of the finest quality assortment of dark chocolate confections that I will probably ever see in my life, created fresh for the occasion by a gourmet chocolatier. All of it chock full o' caffeine.
That was their theme. Those bastards made expensive chocolate the entire theme of the event. They really wanted me to eat it. I really wanted to eat it. It was right and honorable and good that I should eat it. I couldn't eat it. I didn't eat it.
I was a sad, sad little critter. Standing there. Staring at it. Sucking my sprite through it's tiny little red bar straw.
I prevailed, though. I made it. I detoxed and became caffeine free. There was no way in hell all that suffering was going to waste. Now that I am detoxed I don't make servers brew a special pot of decaf just for me and I definitely haven't cut chocolate out of my diet. I'll have caffeine on an occasional basis and in small amounts, I'm just not letting it build up in my system again.
Technically I'm not an addict anymore. No caffeine? No withdrawal. No problem! And yet, you'd fare better trying to take a bone away from a pit fighting dog than you would laying one greasy paw on my morning decaf. Such a quaint, all consuming little obsession, coffee. Isn't it?
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- ▼ January (12)