I would like to dedicate the following account from my life to my late friend Rolls…
One summer, several years ago, I had fought off my 3rd bladder/kidney infection in under a year, when my doctor advised me, “Stop drinking brown drinks, specifically caffeinated drinks.”
Horror upon horrors! At this point in my life I was a six-pack-o-cola a day man, usually starting my morning off with an espresso, and here was this, this QUACK! telling me to cut out the joys of the java bean?!? Well, what could I do? I was sick of peeing blood and grassburs, so I said what the heck, I’ll do this thing, and I grabbed the proverbial bull by the horns and launched into a change of lifestyle, eschewing anything and everything caffeine, save for an occasional candy bar.
The first two weeks were horrible. The shakes and the headaches had nothing on the cold sweats in the middle of the night, not to mention the frequent trips to the bathroom because I was nearing water-poisoning in an attempt to quench the thirst that only colas and coffee could fill. I was jonesing for a cuppa like nobody’s bidness. But I prevailed.
Having conquered the DT’s, the next month and a half was a breeze. I settled into a pattern of drinking water, treating myself to an occasional decaffienated root beer or carbonated water (Clearly Canadian Blackberry was my weapon of choice) and otherwise resisting the urge to buy a coke with great fervor.
Then one morning, about 2 months in, I awoke with a craving. This was the kind of craving that drives men to do stupid things. The kind of craving that, when given in to, gets your face on the 5 o’clock news. I wanted some coffee. I was confident in my ability to drink “just one cup” and move on about my day. I glanced at the clock and saw that I was probably going to be late for my first class any way, so I might as well take the time to brew myself a cuppa joe. I loaded up the cappuccino machine, taking careful measure to double up on the coffee I packed into the little cup. That’s right, I’d be having a double-esspresso today! That should give me just enough buzz to get through lunch.
I totally underestimated what 2 months of no caffeine had done to my tolerance for the drug.
Gulping down the equivalent to 4 cups of strong coffee, I headed out the door, noting the time. I had 25 minutes if I wanted to make it to class on time.
Three stoplights, 35 miles of morning traffic, a half-mile uphill hike, and two flights of stairs stood between me and my first class of the day.
What happened next, I can barely remember. It was literally a blur. I recall valleys at 110 miles an hour, afraid to try to push my 305 Chevy Silverado any harder, letting off the gas and coasting up the next hill (slowing to somewhere around 90), scanning the horizon, seeing no cops, and gunning it again.
To be honest, I’m not sure if, by some miracle, I caught every light on green, or if I just flew through them so fast that the red light from them had shifted to the green end of spectrum.
As I slid my butt into my seat, I glanced at my watch. I had 8 minutes to spare before class started. I had run the guantlet in under 18 minutes!
Fast forward to 10 o’clock that night. As my mind finally started to slow down from the days activities, I found myself sitting in a chair in my living room, knees drawn to my chest, rocking back and forth muttering to myself, “never gonna drink coffee again, never, never, never…”
2 days later, thankfully a Saturday, around noon, my body let out a scream of “I GIVE UP” and I barely made it to the bed before every muscle in my body finally said, “screw sleep, let’s just lie down.”
I woke up Sunday morning around 10, eyed the cappuccino machine, and thought, “Mmmmm, breakfast…”