19 October 2009

RIP Coffee: A Sad Tale

"A man should go out swinging an axe. Instead, I shall go out in a coffee shop."
-Ethan Canin
At least, this is the way I always imagined I would go out. I'm 20, and I have imagined for years now that my life would be spent intellectually stimulated in a warm coffee shop, sipping caffeine and gorging on the words of classic authors. I have spent so many years of my life doing this (See also: my last posting). It's not a sad existence. I love nothing more than a good book, a comfy mismatched chair, and a venti Americano (not sweet, but creamy).

My 6th grade teacher once warned us 11 year olds never to become addicted to coffee. She told us it was one of the worst things you can be addicted to because it's not socially unacceptable like smoking or excessive drinking. In fact, coffee seems to be one of the most social activities a person can engage in. "Just consider yourselves warned," she said. Why didn't I listen? And even worse, why do I still remember those words now, when it's too late?

I've been sick for a few weeks now. I won't go into details. But I will ask this: What's a girl who has spent the past 6 years drinking 2 cups of coffee every morning to do when her doctor tells her she cannot drink coffee any longer? I'm trying to figure this out. I've been 5 days without coffee. 5 days out of the 2,190 past days that I have spent drinking it in like air. And already I have the urge to punch a hole through someone.

"Cassandra, if you want to live forever, you need to stop drinking coffee," she (the doctor) said. Okay, so maybe those weren't her exact words or reasonings, but she did essentially tell me that coffee is going to cause serious health problems for me if I continue to consume it the way I do.

It's been 5 days, and last night I had my first true anti-caffeinated meltdown. My roommate can vouch for you. The day before I went to the doctor I purchased an expensive Hawaiian Hazelnut roast. Last night I found it in it's glory, just sitting there in the dark pantry, taunting me. My coffee pot too. It just sits there, empty, barren, clean (when is a coffee pot ever truly clean?), unplugged. I started crying for the sake of coffee, for the sake of my body rejecting the one thing it craves. I started hyperventilating, looking too far forward, trying to picture tea in my favorite cup instead of coffee. I already am having withdrawals from the companionship of my mug next to my straightener, I used have it by my side as I got ready.

I was telling my sad tale to someone in class today. They suggested DECAF. I refuse to drink something so futile. I refuse to drink an impostor. And the worst part is, I still have hope that maybe I can have coffee someday. I can't get rid of my coffee pot, I don't have the heart. My heart used to beat because of coffee. Now it beats of its own free will, un-stimulated, un-jittery, un-anything but lonely.

So maybe, on second thought, I will go out swinging an axe. Swinging an axe right through every coffee shop that smells so delicious and lures me in. And then right through my own brain whenever it decides to remember what I can no longer have. RIP Coffee.

[*Please note: This is Day 5 in my quest to be Coffee-Free. Please excuse the crazy talk, I'm just a person with an addiction.]


  1. Why why why?! I need a deeper explanation of why you must quit coffee. Story time: I once didn't drink coffee for a whole weekend... bad idea. Me and my parents went to pick my brother up from the airport that Sunday night and I made my Dad pull over so I could get out of the car and walk around the airport until my brother came out of customs because I was having such bad withdrawals. I was nauseous and drooling and almost barfed. I have not gone a day without coffee since and never plan to. I am more willing to die young than quit coffee.

  2. Oh Michelle, such a long story awaits you at The Kettle.

  3. Coffee left behind a wife and three children...how sad...hehehe


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