Most of my poor life choices follow the same simple recipe:
And this story is no different. One morning, about a week after moving from Georgia to Florida, I was staring at all of the packed boxes, the unclean corners and the near-post-apocalyptic state of my house when I decided to do something very stupid.
While drinking coffee may not be a bad idea for some, for me it is the Hindenburg of bad ideas–a giant, exploding ball of “And now we’re all on fire”–because as a general rule, I don’t drink coffee. Not even decaf.
I did drink coffee once, about 10 years ago, but that special occasion ended about 11 sips after it began with me rushing to the bathroom to curl into a tight, tiny ball and cry for several hours. Incidentally, my 18-year-old body lacked the constitution required to turn coffee into energy and jumped directly to the violently-expelling-it part. (Don’t worry. That is the last mention of bathrooms in this post and possibly ever.)
But that was ten years ago, I thought, surrounded by boxes and overwhelming exhaustion. I’m different, now, and there are so many chores to do, and it doesn’t look like my dog is going to do ANY OF THEM (asshole.) Boxes need unpacking and the air conditioner filter needs replacing and someone has to go buy a shower curtain…And as the chores piled up in my mind, a vision of me drinking coffee and finishing all of the errands and unpacking in mere seconds grew larger and larger.
As someone who does not drink much caffeine at all, I can only imagine what coffee does to people, and after years of fantasizing the results, I’ve pretty much come to believe that the effect is exactly like that part in Super Mario games where Mario finds a star, and he gets to be sparkly and invincible for a brief but fantastic moment in time. Deciding that the reward would be nothing short of glorious and that there was no way I was going to get anything done without some low-grade crack in my system, I prepared a very small cup of coffee with a very large amount of milk and began drinking.
Even when, about halfway through the cup, I began to fear that this was going to end so so badly, I continued to sip.
By the time I really regretted drinking the coffee, it was too late. The coffee had consumed me.
And then…I was caffeinated.
Alternately exhilarated and terrified, I tried to decide what I would focus my super-charged energy on first.
It was a little hard to concentrate, because I felt like my hands were laughing and my heart was trying to beat out of my chest and down the street and into a nearby water reserve to chill the fuck out. But even though I was a weird, shaky, alien version of myself, I couldn’t lose track of my reason for being so. Somewhere in my brain, I remembered I had chores to do.
My coffee-bean-broken mind became fixated on the things I was supposed to buy, namely air conditioning filters and a shower curtain.
So I drove myself to Home Depot.
Trying to hide my caffeine high as I wandered into the store, I kept thinking how security would have been wise to subdue me with tranquilizer darts, but when they didn’t, I started to feel inappropriately comfortable with the space.
It was around this time that I made contact with another human being for the first time since marinating myself in coffee.
I knew I was supposed to say something, but all I could think about was how close we were standing and how fast my heart was beating and how fragile and mortal I was and how Home Depot was the absolute wrong place to be when you’re paranoid and high on your first cup of coffee.
And so I did the only thing I could think of.
I mumbled something unintelligible, ran out of the store and went home to hide under my covers until the coffee was gone–which was around 2 a.m.
And THIS is the story I make anyone that offers me a cup of coffee sit through. Incidentally, I’m pretty sure I’m not welcome at the Starbucks down the street from my house.
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