Last week I consulted Dr. Google, who advised me that I ought to give up caffeine, so I decided to give it a go. I started out with two cups of decaf Monday morning, or more accurately one and a half because my innards were not fooled and I couldn’t finish the second one. By the time I got to work I was in full withdrawal, headache, shakes, sweats, the-world-is-ending-why-not-flush-your-head-in-the-toilet attitude. But I’ve been through this before, I got this, man, suck it up, buttercup.
Tuesday was worse. I couldn’t get to sleep but I couldn’t stay awake either and my motivation completely evaporated. Building’s on fire? Why you telling me? I look like a fireman to you? Get the hell out of my office.
By Wednesday I’m dying. And when I’m not dying, I wanna kill someone. Driving has now become a challenge, because if commuting is a blood sport, why play if you’re not playing to win? I’m in a tight crush of traffic rolling up the Bronx River Parkway, we’re all doing about eighty until some schmuck in an SUV about four cars in the left lane ahead of me decides he has to slow down to forty-five and all of a sudden the rest of us become pinballs as we try to get around the guy without any fatalities. I get up next to the guy, I’m on his right, I can’t even flip the guy off because his passenger has his head out the window, he’s ralphing all over the side of the guy’s ride. Yeah, buddy, I know exactly how you feel, one more cup of that effing decaf and I’m right there with you.
Thursday is a blur, I can’t really tell you how I got through Thursday, I don’t remember much about it. I seem to recall a Bronx alley cat eating a mouse off a glue pad I had just inside the door to one of my mechanical rooms and after that he wouldn’t go away, he’s hanging around the door like, ‘Yo, buddy, you got any more of them gray things in there?’ I should have taken a picture of the mouse’s feet and tail the cat left behind, I would have eaten them myself if I thought they had any caffeine in them…
This morning I cracked, four days turned out to be the best I could do. I drank one cup of Melitta Hazelnut and it was magical, and glorious. All of a sudden I’m smiling, life is good, I get to the Cross Bronx Expressway and it is completely fubared but I don’t care, I tune in the traffic guy and he tells me the right lane is getting through, next thing you know I’m sitting in a (free!) parking spot right in front of my building, I get inside and I’m in full attack mode, man, how can one cup of real coffee do that?
But it did.
Dr. Google also advises me to give up gluten. I don’t know what gluten is but quitting it can’t suck as bad as the coffee thing. And I’m already thinking, okay, I got away with one, one cup is good. Two cups, man, I can probably do two…
Some things never change.