Monday, July 24, 2006

Off the Wagon (written on Friday)

A few months ago, I stopped drinking coffee. Heck, I stopped liking it at all. I thought that maybe I'd never really liked the stuff, but that I had convinced myself otherwise in an effort to be more cosmopolitan.

I had really never liked coffee before my '97 tour of Europe. I always loved the smell, but the mixture of having experienced coffee breath on others (Joe Butler always drank a pot of nastiness and smoked about 3 cigarettes before coming to my desk and talking to me) and having tasted weak blends turned me off. In Paris, however, I figured that I'd do as the Parisians and try some espresso. I don't really remember if I actually liked it, but it didn't offend me, and I found that drinking 3 stiff beers and an espresso made me feel high (legally), and the feeling would last an hour or so.

I came back to the States and didn't think a thing of coffee until one night when Amanda and I went out for drinks at Avalon. She ordered a cup, and before she could get to it, I reached over and took a sip. She was flabbergasted, since I'd always made scornful faces and icky noises when she drank coffee.

Later, when we moved in together, I started having the occasional morning cup. Then occasionally became daily, and daily sometimes became twice a day. I started with black coffee, then began (over time) adding milk and sugar.

In 2000, I had a spell of about a month where I was drinking cream that had gone bad. I figured I had lost the taste for coffee, so I stopped drinking it for a while. The headaches were unbearable, so I went back to drinking it black. That worked until some time in 2005, when I decided that I needed to kick the caffeine addiction.

I switched to tea, since most teas have about 50% the caffeine level of coffee, and was set. The few times I did drink a cup of coffee, I found the taste revolting, as if I'd never actually liked it in the first place. I couldn't figure out how I'd become addicted to something so awful.

I never quite made it to breaking the caffeine habit, but I've stuck with my morning cup of tea for almost a year now. But recently, I've been drawn back to coffee, and now I've made things worse by having coffee almost every day, in addition to the tea. I get drowsy if I don't have my double-dose, and I'm loving the taste again.

There's just something about flavored coffees that just has me really happy right now, bladder be damned.

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