THE FIRST OF THREE REALLY-KINDA-BIG-ISH OBSERVATIONS:
"Hi. My name is Sonny, and I am a caffeine-aholic."
-- yeah, right. "Big whoop," I hear you saying. "Like that's news to ANYONE." But, y'see, I never knew how insanely true it was until yesterday. Or, rather, approximately 4:30 this morning.
A quick recap for those of you with ADD: I like coffee. A lot. So much so that when I was an undergrad, at one point a friend of mine and I had a drinking contest. Now, whereas others of my age group and limited mental capacity [translation: dumb freshmen boys] were having drinking contests incorporating White Man's Firewater, he and I had a drinking contest over coffee. It seems that this wee bastard thought he could out-drink ME, and, well, my friends weren't going to tolerate this pathetic posturing prat, and so they arranged a drinking contest to see who could ingest the most coffee in a 24-hour period. Armed with a panel of judges, as well as the impartial opinions and verifications of faculty and staff members of our college who really should have known the hell better and not tolerated our shenanigans, we began out contest.
I, of course, kicked his arse. In the course of twenty-four hours, he wussed out after five pots.
Me. Eight. And a half. Do the math, kids: that's theoretically 100 cups of coffee. Due to this one day, I don't think I'll ever have to worry about certain digestive problems that occur with the onset of advanced age. Fortunately,we never tried anything as insane as this while I was still in puberty. Otherwise, I'd have gotten stuck at 5'2" and never grown.
Anyway, in spite of my love of the java, I am NOT the type of person who HAS to have "a cuppa" first thing in the morning, or otherwise I'd eviscerate anyone that comes near me. In fact, I've been told that first thing in the morning, I'm somewhat coherent and moderately tolerable. [Must come from living in mortal terror of having to go to the hospital at all hours of the night...every...evening...of...my...life, and therefore my facilities kick in as soon as my eyelids open. God bless living on campus.] I don't threaten the lives of those around me before I have my 2-3 cups of coffee, and my dog does not run away to hide under the bed when I roll out of bed. All things considered, I'm fairly cuddly.
This past weekend, I spent Friday night and Saturday at The University of Mississippi, to attend RADCoM [the Resident Assistant Drive-In Conference of Mississippi, a little convention for the RA's]. We lodged our little Millsapian butts at the Days Inn of Oxford [big spenders, we are] for Friday evening, rather than drive up to Oxford at the crack of dawn.
As is now the "in style" thing to do, the room came equipped with a coffee pot -- one of those little 4-cup deals. This caused me great joy, as this meant that in the morning, I could have my normal amount of black gold before having to deal with screaming, cheerful, and joyful college students. I love those who love what they do, but damn. They can be a noisy lot.
However, I forgot that the quality of the coffee that comes in-room is...well, bad. It tasted only slightly better than what I imagine drinking water that comes out of a drainpipe in the French Quarter the weekend of Mardi Gras would taste like. The coffee available at the continental breakfast of the hotel was not much better. There's only so much one can do to dress up Folger's. This meant that I would need to either find a decent coffee shop fast, or just go without. And, since Oxford has this "issue" with chain restaurants, my blessed Starbucks was going to be in absentia.
So, Saturday, February 28, 2004, I went without caffeine. ...yeah, okay. I ate a chocolate chip cookie. And had about 6 ounces of a Coke. But that was it.
Surprisingly, my day was not wretched. I was a little sluggish by the end of the day, but other than that? I suffered no ill effects. I wasn't any more bitchy than I usually am, I did not call for the decapitation of anyone around me, and I managed to contribute to the conference in a professional and dignified manner. This thrilled me to no end. Here, I thought was the herald of a new day. A new era in Sonny-dom. No longer would I have to get up and grind the beans everyday. No longer would 37% of my paycheck be direct-deposited to Cups. No longer would I have my hands automatically assume the "I'm-holding-a-hot-mug" position. Yes, I was free. Free, to experience the joys of using my tastebuds again.
...this, of course, all changed when I woke up at 4:30 in the morning with the worst damn splitting headache I could imagine. Oh, this was not a headache set on by my trigeminal neuralgia. No, this was the headache that only a caffeine-swilling, Gen-X cynic can have. It hurt like a beastie. I got up, took three Alleve, and prayed for swift death. After eventually falling back to sleep, the first thing I did when I woke up this morning was make a full 12-cup pot of my Organic Sumatra Mandheling, and drink the whole pot while watching the fourth disc in the Angel Season Three DVD set.
Welcome to my world. We have good coffee, and we're learning our limits. Care for a cuppa?
LESSON ONE: DENY NOT WHAT YOU ARE. IN MY CASE, I LIKE -- AND NEED -- COFFEE. I AM THEREFORE AN ADDICT.