As I’ve stated before, I don’t drink coffee. I wake up on an average workday and am ready to go with no need for caffeine or artificial stimulants. I also don’t drink on weeknights, so I usually get a respectable seven hours of REM sleep and don’t wake up feeling like someone is prying my brain open with a crowbar. Tuesday night was different. I went on a date with a girl who we’ll call Gretchen, because that is her name. Gretchen is a cute girl who I had been texting for about two weeks, and for our date, I chose a nice Mexican restaurant because I figure if girl that can watch me slaughter a burrito and still want to hang out with me, she’s a keeper.
As we started looking at the menu, the topic of how different liquors cause different drunks came up, and she claimed she wasn’t used to drinking tequila and that it made her into a really weird drunk. Caught up in the moment, I decided that my “no weeknight drinking” rule was really more of a guideline and ordered us a pitched of margaritas to split. Immediately after taking my first sip I realized that this restaurant was not fucking around with their pours, and I understood why the waitress warned me that the pitchers were usually split by “four or five people…not two.” The date pretty much went off the rails at that point, and while I’m somewhat hazy of most of the following events, I do remember checking my phone and seeing that it was 4 a.m., also known as three hours before my alarm goes off. By the time my 45-minute train commute from hell had ended the next morning, I had surpassed the “I’m going to throw up on a stranger” stage of my hangover and was well into the “I have five remaining brain cells and I don’t know how to interact with other humans” stage. I decided there was only one way to salvage my day and actually be a productive employee: drink coffee for the first time. I asked my boss to show me how to work the Keurig (it’s way less complicated than I thought, I looked like an idiot), and chugged a steaming cup of something called Salted Caramel Brew. Here is how the rest of my day went.
8:01 a.m. – Wow, that tasted like shit. Oh well, nothing can be worse than the tequila burps I’ve been tossing out there all morning. I’m pretty sure my coworker visibly recoiled when I wished her a good morning. This better work because I have a shit ton to do today.
8:15 a.m. – This is bullshit. I’m not any more awake, and now I’m sweating from this hot ass drink I just chugged. I could not look more like I’m a crack addict going through withdrawals. Maybe if Theresa in accounting didn’t have the blood circulation of an eighty-year-old diabetic, the office thermostat wouldn’t be set at 71 fucking degrees. This is a place of business Theresa, not a Mumbai telemarketer center.
8:18 a.m. – Fuck. I thought this would barely affect me considering the amount of Red Bulls (cocaine) I’ve ingested in the past. Boy, was I wrong. My hands are twitchier than a meth head trying to crochet, and I can barely read my excel sheet because I think my eyeballs are vibrating in my skull.
9:00 a.m. – I legit think I’m going to die. My coworker has been glaring at me because my foot is twitching and shaking our shared desk, but I could not stop moving if I wanted to. I’m hammering away at the keyboard at an unprecedented rate, but I’m only hitting the correct keys like 40% of the time. I should preemptively email my boy in IT and have him hook me up with a new keyboard. Why is my stomach making that noise?
9:45 a.m. – I’ve been on the toilet so long that my legs have gone completely numb. I need to change my diet. Do I eat nothing but corn? I’ve beaten every game on my phone and the motion sensor lights have been off for the past ten minutes. It’s like I’m in a sensory deprivation chamber, except I very clearly still have my sense of smell. God, I hope the janitor doesn’t come in here. I would literally have to kill him to save both of us a lot of shame.
10:35 a.m. – I can see sounds and hear colors. I’m bouncing off the walls and I’ve stress tested my chair into oblivion. It was brand new a month ago and now it’s as squeaky and saggy as my old 1989 Volvo station wagon (nickname: Victor Von Volvmeister). My ADD is in full throttle, and I have not completed a single actual piece of work in the last two hours. I have reached an almost savant-like state of productivity when it comes to dicking around on the internet, though. I reread the entire Things Girls Do After Graduation series in like 20 minutes. Man, I hate the protagonist of that story. Christ, my stomach is in shambles.
11:00 a.m. – I somehow am back in the bathroom. I don’t even understand how I have anything left to push out. I’m pretty sure I just passed a jar of mashed carrots I was fed when I was eight months old. My phone is already at 60% due to the amount of YouTube videos I’ve been watching in here.
11:45 a.m. – If I don’t eat something in the next five minutes, I’m going to implode. I skipped breakfast because I’m an idiot and the only things in my stomach are margaritas and fucking coffee. God, that would make the world’s worst drink. Glad I have my shitty packed lunch of chicken and roasted veggies to look forward to. I should go out to eat and not be a broken man.
12:30 p.m. – I think I’m going to survive. That lunch helped absorb some of the tequila lingering in my stomach, and the caffeine is doing what it should now. I’m actually being really productive; my boss even gave me a “good job” on my last project. Maybe all those coffee drinkers are on to something.
2:30 p.m. – Never mind. That two-hour meeting was a fucking nightmare. I’m pretty sure my boss noticed I was head bobbing in an attempt to stay awake. The sweet jolt of caffeine has left my veins, and I am returned to a shell of my former self. I’m about to take a Costanza and nap under my desk; open space office layout be damned.
3:30 p.m. – Close enough. I’m calling it for the day before anyone tries to send me a “happy hour?’ text and I fold like clean laundry. My hands are still jittery and I fear they will never return to normal. There goes my skill at bar Jenga. Damn you coffee, what won’t you take from me? .
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