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oh coffee, oh sweet coffee, why have you forsaken me?

This is the way I usually do things: I embraced coffee. I wasn't half-ass about it. I didn't say, "I'm really cutting down now."

I got into blends, I got into varietals (non-blended coffees) like my favorites: Guatemalen Antigua, Etheopian Harrar, Sumatra Gayoland, Mocha Java. There is a chi-chi grocery store near my house that only serves the best, and I have greatly enjoyed walking down there a few times a week to get a hot cup...something full bodied that will take whole milk and not become a big mouthful of acidic, watery milk.

I got a cone brewer for my house, and kept myself well-stocked with small batches of the freshest beans. Just so I could wake up, boil water, and within seconds feel that familiar buzz at the crown of my head and the warm focus spreading through my eyes and head. Like a jocular old friend, even when it's the worst morning, it can be made workable with a decent coffee.

Oh, but the law of diminishing returns. Eventually I had to admit that I was deeply dependant on the chemicals wrapped up in that smooth little package, that velvet hammer, that brewed beehive. I was starting to feel dehydrated all the time. Too high a percentage of my money was going to it. Most of all, I wasn't really able to just step back from it and see what my relationship to coffee really is.

So, as I was watching my dishes last night, in a moment's descision, I reached over and grabbed the little brown bag with the built-in wire closer...and threw it in the trash. This morning the familiar voice of addiction began to speak its sweet words.

"Well, Daniel...that was a bit hasty now wasn't it? Look, you're passing Victrola Espresso and you have change in your pocket. Surely you weren't serious! Why, you could just go home and pull that Antigua out of the trash and I bet it didn't even get damp. What were you thinking? It hurts to quit. You don't like to hurt, do you?"

That was how I knew I made the right descision, but I AM hurting. Every headache I've ever had is converging on me. So heavy...so thick. Everything is a little too much of an effort. My stomach is unstable. I just want to lay down....

oooh. Nothing a good cup of coffee wouldn't fix.