Go The Distance
I was always determined not to be a coffee drinker after I watched my mother be coffee’s unapologetic slave my entire childhood. I wasn’t about to let that happen to me. I was above coffee. I planned to get my boost of energy from determination, from inside myself. But during nursing school, I learned that my insides really needed coffee.
There are some who swear that coffee has absolutely no effect on them. They drink it for the taste, or to be social, but don’t notice any change in how the feel. They don’t notice any jitters, any boost of energy, it might as well be juice to them. Now in the eyes of someone like me, these people HAVE to be part alien, because for me, coffee literally alters my mental status. I become freakishly awake, my lips can not keep up with my words, words that are tripping over themselves to get out as it is. Suddenly, everything is so very important, and I, and I alone, am just the person to get it done.
Now most of my friends knew at the time that I began to drink coffee that it really did effect me–strongly. Rather than advise me to slow down, they were thrilled with the results, and, like a group of bad kids on an after school special, introduced me to espresso. I understood the path of the junkie then. Coffee was just the gateway drink to much harder things. After my first shot of espresso, a straight shot, I found myself researching medical schools, because now, with my trusty espresso, I was going to be a doctor. An irrational, and spastic doctor, with beads of sweat on my forehead, but a doctor just the same.
When I told my mother, in Tazmanian-Devil-like fashion, that I was off to a medical school in Missouri, because I could finish it in just 40 months, she just shrugged, and told me to talk to her when the coffee wore off.
“But I haven’t had coffee! I had espresso!” I declared. I wondered what was making her think that I’d had coffee? What was it that had given me away–the involuntary twitching?
After a good night’s sleep, I realized that being a nurse would suit me just fine. It wasn’t long after that, however that in addition to my crack-like energy, I developed rapid, and irregular heartbeats after I’d had a “few too many.” A medical doctor was the one who told me that I was okay, but that I was going to have to take it easy on the coffee, and myself. I wanted to slap him. Didn’t he know that the coffee was my driving force? It was my super-power, and this antagonist was trying to take it away from me?! I wasn’t having it. I decided right there that I was going to go the coffee distance. That even if it meant only drinking coffee at the local hospital, or near a defibrillator, or carrying one of those special alarms that senior citizens get to wear so they can call for an ambulance when they needed it, I was NOT going to stop drinking coffee. I decided that my doctor probably was a spy working for a tea company and this was definitely a conspiracy in which I was NOT about to have any part.
But I’d just had coffee before I went to see him. What did I know?