“We were bad for one another, but we were good at havin’ fun.” -Robert Earl Keen
Today is the day that I swore would never come. Today is the day that I say goodbye to my longtime partner, coffee. For years, I’ve considered the beautiful black nectar of the gods to be a close friend that I could never live without. It was always there for me in the morning to help push me out the door and during all of those mid afternoon slumps. Coffee is what got me through it all and allowed me to actually stay up to go out with friends, occasionally. I thought this relationship was one that could never die and was worthy of the history books, but during all of this time, I was in denial of one major betrayal: while I thought coffee was helping me, it was actually stabbing me in the back(side) the entire time.
My beloved coffee was giving me a daily bout of the good old fashioned shits. If we were in the third world, I would probably be dead by now. I even tried to blame everything other than coffee for these attempted murders by stomach explosion. Maybe I’m eating too much fiber? My body just naturally, explosively cleans itself out four times before noon every day. It could be that new multi-vitamin I’m taking, right? Finally, I considered the seemingly blasphemous possibility that it was my beloved coffee. I couldn’t deny the connection any longer since that first rumble always came just minutes after my first sip in the morning. I went three days without coffee and I switched to tea to test this theory that I prayed to God was wrong. While the tea kept away the debilitating headaches, it did not give me that same rush of energy and power that make the world seem conquerable like my beloved coffee. On the other hand, it didn’t give me though was the urge to run to the bathroom every twenty minutes.
Even after proving my beloved coffee’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, I was still not convinced that I should give it up. I started reasoning with myself about how I could continue living in this abusive relationship. Daily explosions aren’t so bad. I might have to go more often, but that means more time on my phone in the stall. Plus, if I am in a hurry, the explosive quality of it means I can get in and out of there quicker. All of these desperate rationalizations were from the part of me that wasn’t ready to give up the love that I felt from coffee. Coffee was always warm, delicious, and ready to help me through the worst parts of the day. Coffee never asked anything of me, and it never judged me. Coffee was only there to pick me up when I was down.
Then it dawned on me: coffee was actually controlling my life. I was completely dependent on it. I had to plan my entire morning around the ability to get to a bathroom in under a minute, and it gave me terrible, skull splitting headaches every time I tried to spend a day without it. I realized the relationship wasn’t a healthy one, and I was just too afraid to move on. Would I ever find a beverage that could give me the same comfort and energy that was socially acceptable to drink at 7 a.m.? That question has yet to be answered, but I can’t stay with coffee because of this fear of being drinkless. So today was my last cup of coffee, and even though I know it did not always treat me right, a large part of me will miss it.
Coffee has been there through thick and thin. It has been the muse for every paper I’ve ever written and every mindless task I’ve completed. I know I owe a lot to coffee, and even though my relationship with it wasn’t healthy, I can’t hate it. To those of you who can drink this beautiful, strong drink without the negative effect, I am happy for you and maybe a little jealous of you. I must stay strong though and make this my final farewell. Goodbye coffee, my old friend, you will be missed..
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