Monday, April 03, 2006


Last Thursday I ran out of coffee, a bag of strong Seattle's Best the Mrs. brought home from the west coast. Previously I'd been drinking Melita (the only palatable brand my grocery carries) and had finished off a bag of mellow roast picked up in the Yucatan as well. I love coffee, but over the years have whittled down my use to a single cup each morning (by "cup" I mean a 16-ounce mug). As an insomniac I have to watch caffeine intake. If I drink coffee or caffeinated tea after 3pm I'm up all night (and sometimes even without the caffeine).

I don't drink sodas any more and wanted to see what life would be like if I just gave up coffee completely for a while. Today is Day #4, and things aren't pretty.

The alarm went off at 7:15am. I have Arabic class at 8:00. I turned off the alarm and rolled over. Cha shook me 20 minutes later and said "Don't you have class today?" "No," I lied, and didn't wake up until 10:40, and when I finally got out of bed I was disoriented and felt stiff from lying down too long. Sunday all day I felt drained and empty and unable to concentrate, and this gloomy apathy greeted me anew today. I drank a cup of Yerba Mate this morning, which has either much less caffeine than coffee or no caffeine or a xanthine instead of caffeine depending on who you read. At any rate I did my usual weighlifting routine after the mate and felt weak as a baby, and my standard 5.5 mile run around Towson took about 10 minutes longer than usual to finish.

I seriously considered dropping my Arabic class after skipping it, just because I felt so tired and grumpy and unmotivated. Every patron annoys me today. I want to burn something down. I want to punch someone.

I'm glad I tried this experiment. One likes to think "I'm not an addict. I can take coffee or leave it." One is wrong. I have no intention whatsoever of staying off the sauce--coffee is one of life's essential pleasures, after all! But I'm going to try for two decaf weeks just to see what it's like. I might end up incarcerated before then, gleefully drinking bad coffee in the interrogation room, after strangling a Mass Comm major...

No comments: