I recently ended a 20 year love affair. It's been an open, shameless, torrid thing. We would meet any time of day; mornings, evenings, afternoons, sometimes multiple times a day. There were times when I would go to bed thinking only of her, times when I would jealously guard her against anyone, refusing to talk to people or look at them until I saw her. She is my crutch, my addiction. She is my sweet, smooth lover. She is Coffee.
The first time we met I was 14. I was manning the donut and coffee table at my junior high school's basketball tournament. I drank a pot of Coffee and despite the sweats, the constant running to the bathroom and nervous jitters, I really liked her. It was just a passionate one day stand though. We didn’t get hot and heavy until I was 18. That summer I had a job as an office go-fer. Being an office bitch is, at its very best, mind-numbing. At its worst it's soul sucking. Coffee was the perfect distraction. She was a cheap whore in a Folgers can who would dress up real slutty in heaping spoonfuls of Coffee Mate and sugar. We’d slink off to my desk and she’d get me all overheated and pepped up while ensuring a constant need for bathroom breaks.
In college we became the perfect couple. She effortlessly teased me into wakefulness through all four years of college and together we ventured into the steamy, aromatic world of Coffee Houses. Our tastes started to change. We dated baristas and fraternized with coffee people who introduced us to sexy, worldly ladies like Espresso Maker and Roasting Techniques. I was becoming more discriminating in my choice of venues for her services and she was becoming more refined and expensive. She no longer tolerated sugar or Coffee Mate, demanding that everything should be organic, fresh pressed or at the very least, it shouldn’t cost less than $9.99 a pound.
By the time I left college she was my mistress. Someone I couldn’t imagine living without and never imagined giving up. I’d bought her a penthouse in my body and I was going to continue to enjoy her aroma until I died.
Then I had a week of debilitating migraines. Now, I’ve had headaches all my life. I’ve had headaches that last a week many times. There was technically nothing different about this week of headaches than any other week of headaches I've had before. The only thing different was that I’d finally had enough. I’ve known for years that Coffee wasn’t serving me. I knew she was draining me. She’s horrible for my skin, terrible for my head and causes me more problems than she solves, but I could never cut the addiction because I never wanted to.
Now I want to. I want to because even though I love Coffee, like really, really love her, I hate my headaches more. I simply hate my pain more than I love my Coffee. And that’s it. If Coffee didn’t give me headaches or cysts I would be all over her. Every. Day. But, she does so I am out.
Happily, kicking Coffee out of my body has been pretty easy. I started off by allowing her mother, Decaf, to move in. I made them share a room for awhile. Then I invited the healthy, super stable Cafix, to come over and let him share a room with Coffee and Decaf. He’s not as sexy as Coffee and doesn't smell nearly as good, but he's respectful and quiet and I never feel jittery or crabby after hanging out with him. Plus, he's been great about cleaning house. He pretty much did all the work of moving both Decaf and Coffee out for me.