I’m down to half a teaspoon of coffee a day. Tomorrow, it’s a quarter of a teaspoon. The next day, an eighth. The following, a sixteenth. By next week, I’ll just rub a bean on my lips. I’ve essentially quit coffee. I’m just having a hard time letting the beans out of my sight.
My son keeps following me around saying, “Mommy? Are you tired? Mommy, you look tired. You sure you’re not tired?”
Back in the day, when I drank coffee, I would have bitten his head off at the shoulders. Asking someone if they’re tired is the cruelest thing you can say to another person. It’s right up there with calm down. But now I drink chamomile, so I slept through that conversation.
I see now that when I used to drink tons of coffee, about two days ago, it was because I was afraid of missing something. Anything. I was like FOMO personified.
Other people enter rooms by saying “Hello” or “Bonjour” if they are in France. Not me. I use to run into rooms, hopped up on coffee, and yell, “What did I miss? Who did what? Who said something? Was anyone here before me and left already? What did they say? What’s happening after this?!”
Not anymore. Now I walk into rooms and lay on the floor. I don’t care how dirty the floor is. I’m in stage four sleep baby.
People use to suggest meditation for me. They said it was good for my health. That made me really angry. My health was none of their goddamn business. Was I telling them they should start NOON, or get a therapist, or see a dermatologist? No, I was not.
But now I drink herbal tea and I see that I no longer need meditation. I’m meditating right now. I’ve been meditating the whole time I’ve been writing this essay. I’m not angry at those people anymore. Not really.
One reason I was afraid to quit coffee was because of one event, in my past. It made me realize I wasn’t one of those quit coffee people.
It was on my first trip to Guatemala. I stayed with a family who served papaya and chamomile tea for breakfast. The papaya was beautiful, waxy, sweet, and delicious.
The chamomile, on the other hand made me feel like I was Wonderwoman, flying around in my invisible airplane, and then it turned out it wasn’t invisible because there was no damn airplane. I was just up there, in the sky, with no ability to fly. I was a dead woman. No coffee. No airplane. No woman. No fly.
The mother of the house insisted that we start the day relaxed. I’d never heard of that. Who says that? Where the hell was I? Was this forced meditation?
It was as weird as hearing someone say, “Good morning. We start every day here stirring jello with a squirrel.”
What could I do? I was a guest. I drank the tea and fell asleep on the table. I would have barely seen Guatemala, had I not spotted the instant coffee high up on the shelf.
When everyone went to bed at night, I’d sneak into the kitchen and make myself a cup of instant coffee.
The tiny granules of caffeinated, rabbit-turd-like pebbles were an aphrodisiac to sleep. Only then, could I drink the chamomile at breakfast without wanting to stick forks in everyone’s eyes, one juicy eyeball at a time.
I’m good now though. Things are different. I’m different. I’m not supposed to run into rooms filled with people anyway these days, so I’m not worried about missing anything.
But please don’t ask me if I’m tired. I had half a teaspoon of coffee this morning. What am I? A squirrel who stirs jello? Mind your own damn business.
I’m just gonna take a little nap until tomorrow. I’ll be nicer when I wake up and get that quarter teaspoon.