Monday, September 17, 2012

New Addiction


Up until a couple of months ago, I never understood the attraction to coffee.  I'd had what people call "good" coffee and found it nasty.  I'd had what people call "bad" coffee and found it nasty. I tried it with sugar or cream or both or black or mixed with chocolate or cinnamon.  Still nasty.  It was a mystery why anyone would drink this bitter stuff.

And then I started falling asleep while writing.  At first it was every once in a while.  But by the end of the summer, all I had to do was sit at a keyboard and I'd start snoozing.

My first worry was:  My God, is my writing THAT boring?

My second worry was:  No, really, is it that bad???

"Pfftt," said my friend, Paula.  "Your writing's fine.  What you need is a half-hour nap or a hefty cup of coffee."

I've always had a hard time with naps.  It feels like cheating somehow -- an irrational idea that's stuck with me from God only knows where.  But it's stuck.  If I nap, I do it in secret where no one can see me. (Okay.  Yes. I may need therapy.)

Coffee, however, is not only a drink but a social event.  It'd be good, I thought, to be invited to coffee and not have to say, "Oh, but I only drink tea."

 If only it didn't taste so bad.

I started off soft; I bought a cheap package of instant coffee and put a teaspoon of it in a cup of hot water every morning.  When I was able to tolerate that, I moved onto two teaspoons and two cups. Teaspoon by teaspoon, I forced myself into a new addiction.  And it worked.  My coffee addiction is on almost equal par with my popcorn addiction or my licorice problem or even my love/hate relationship with Diet Coke.  I'm toting around ten ounces of terrible coffee wherever I go.  And I like it.  I look forward to it.  Awful, bitter taste and all.

Easing oneself into addiction is twisted, I admit it.  But it's made a difference.  I now drink coffee before I write. While I write.  And I've stopped using the keyboard as a pillow.

In fact, I've almost stopped using any kind of pillow.

 All that coffee's got me up at night.


 
 


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