By Cazey Williams
I’m here to set the record straight: I’m not addicted to coffee.
I’ll admit, I’m like the middle school girl who pines for the most recent teen heartthrob idol and adorns her binder (which is already emblazoned with his face and brand, thanks to Wal-Mart capitalism) with his name and hearts, and she won’t shut up about him – but when it comes down to it, she isn’t even dating Justin Bieber/Zac Efron/Brock from Pokemon.
So I talk about coffee all the time; it doesn’t mean we’re together.
You could call me the emotionally abusive/absent boyfriend. Ask me if I drink coffee, and I’ll say I only drink it twice a week – three times if I’m especially sleep deprived – which is true, but it implies a sort of objectivity and detachment from my mistress. Which is definitely not the case.
In fact, I have nicknamed my fondness “#bae.” And like a misogynistic boyfriend, I have preferences for my #bae: Iced and with soy. (Pause here: Misogyny actually isn’t a joke; I can rant about this at another time. Besides coffee, feminism is a passion of mine.)
My friend recently told me that she found a coffee shop on Yelp “that supposedly has the best iced coffee in Richmond. I knew you’d appreciate this. You’re my only friend who loves iced coffee and not just coffee. It is a separate creature, really.” No kidding; iced coffee is a unicorn compared to just to regular, blah, hot coffee.
I didn’t wait for my friend before I tried the coffee.
So based on this adoration, you must be wondering how am I not addicted? Well, like I said, I limit myself to #bae twice a week. So physically I’m not addicted. But emotionally, it’s a different story. I schedule things around the days I allow myself to overdose on Americano on the rocks (that’s what my friend told me the Europeans call iced coffee, and I like to be pretentious). Here where the problem lies: I want #bae every day.
Like, I wish you could bring iced coffee to cycling class instead of water.
I hail from a family of caffeine junkies. Heck, I hail from a nation full of them; we might have poured tea into the bay, but we run on Dunkin and, Gabriel knows, Starbucks is a millennial mecca. People don’t judge if you waken to the coffee pot and need the black stuff to get through listless afternoons. #bae whispers, “What would be so bad about addiction?”
I remember the first time I unlocked the omnipotence of coffee. Two years ago to this month – the third Wednesday of my senior year at college – I had slept ten hours the night before, but I felt as dead as a patient undergoing open heart surgery, and so being as cheap as a broker who banks in the Caribbean, I sought self-service Starbucks (it’s a college campus thing) where instead of paying full price, I filled a 32 oz. soda cup with straight iced coffee (double brewed if it’s Starbucks!), maybe three ice cubes, and a splash of soy milk. Then I went to work where I casually sipped my bae down in about fifteen minutes.
Your eyes probably just bulged. If they didn’t, they should have. I came that close to cardiac arrest that day.
BUT MY GOD, HOW GOOD IT FELT.
Some people get the spins when they’re drunk. I get the pulses when I’m (over)caffeinated. You are infinite. You can run for hours – physically and metaphorically. You are fearless.
The reason I am afraid of addiction is as messed up as that high I had on September 12, 2012: I don’t want a tolerance. I want to be able to get back to that high whenever I please. And if I’m caffeinated every day, eventually it will be an everyday thing, and it won’t be special.
Am I overthinking this? Obviously. But that’s my trademark.
So I sip my #bae and forget these qualms. And senses awaken. Energy proliferates. Social media abounds (because did you really order #Sbx if you didn’t insta it?). And what’s another coffee tomorrow, the next day, even later today? As long as I’m not addicted.