A few weeks ago Kevin and I were at work, studiously typing away on our respective laptops. I was just finishing up an email when I felt my heart try to jump into my right lung. It was a fleeting thing, so I shrugged it off as an isolated incident and kept at my work. Two minutes later, Kevin noticed me clutching at my chest.

"What's wrong?"

"I think my heart just tried to mambo into my lower esophagus."

"Does this happen often?"

"No, I've never felt this before today."

"Are you okay?"

I'm dying. I'm having a heart attack. My chest is going to explode. I want to call 911 and have them Life-Flight me to the nearest ER and begin extraordinary measures. "Yeah, I think so."

Have I updated my will lately? Have I even written a will? Who should get my "Mr. Potato Head picks his nose" t-shirt? Maybe I should just be buried in that shirt, I really like that shirt. Nobody else would appreciate its genius.

"You know, you drink a lot of caffeine. Maybe you should cut back."

My eyes slid sideways to the quad-shot iced espresso on my desk. The dewy condensate on the outside winked at me reassuringly. Cut back?

"I need my espresso, Kevin, otherwise I can't function."

"That statement is exactly why you need to cut back." He smiled at me indulgently.

Kevin is a Buddhist. Buddhists are rarely hyped-up about anything, and apparently can function perfectly well without massive injections of caffeine. Stupid Buddhists.

As if to punctuate his point, my heart took another pogo hop into my trachea. Crap.

"Okay...I'll switch to tea for a while or something."

"Good good...have you given a second thought to meditation as well?"

"Don't push your luck, Buddhist."

The next day I skipped my customary stop into the coffee shop and brought a large bottle of water instead. Halfway through the day, Alison came into the lab and found me with my chair wedged into a corner and my feet up on the countertop, passed out cold and probably drooling on myself. She poked me awake.

"Ugh. Gway."

"Were you out late last night?"

"Mur. No espresso."

"Why not?"

"Ask the Buddhist. Christ, my head hurts."


The tympani section of the Cleveland Orchestra had taken up residence in my head and were setting up for a month-long practice session of their interpretation of the 1812 Overture. I just looked at her, noting that she was blurry around the edges. "Yur."

"You're in caffeine withdrawal."

I muttered something about jumpy hearts and dewy condensate and passed out again.

The first few days would have been hell if I hadn't spent most of them sleeping. Once the withdrawal symptoms cleared up I actually felt pretty damn good. I hadn't drank any coffee through undergraduate school and I survived that just fine. It was only after a few more days, though, that I noticed a bigger problem.

I was standing in the coffee shop watching my sister prep some caramel mocha-frappa-cappa-lattes. "Hey Misha?"

"Yeah?" She started making an americano. It smelled divine.

"I haven't had any, you know, movement...for about four days."


"You know, movement. I haven't had one for four days."

"Movement? What the fuck are you talking about?"

I leaned in close. "I haven't taken a shit for four days."

"You're disgusting. Why do you need to tell me this?"

"Because I think it's due to lack of caffeine."

She banged her grind cup on the bar authoritatively. "Oh, it's definitely due to lack of caffeine."

The manager came out from the back room and looked at me. "What's wrong?"

Misha started grinding some beans. These, too, smelled divine. "She hasn't been able to poop for four days."

The manager blinked. "That's gross. You'd better do something about that, then."

"I already eat a lot of fiber, it's just not working as well as I thought it would."

Misha set a quad-shot iced espresso on the bar. "Do it. You'll thank me later."

Enabled by the lure of free espresso and the promise of gastrointestinal relief, I cradled the beverage to me and savored it. Oh sweet sweet caffeinated ambrosia, mommy has missed you so much. Let us never be parted again!

A half-hour later, I felt a rumble Down Under and made for the commode. Epiphany! I exited the restroom and deposited the key on the counter with the air of a satisfied lover. My sister glanced at me from behind the espresso bar.

"That was the best shit I've ever taken."

"You're still disgusting. Don't tell me these things."

"It was a religious experience."

"I'm not listening."

"Thank you for enabling my relief."

"You're welcome. Now stop talking about it. There's customers in the store."


I may die early of a coronary thrombosis, but at least I'll die unclogged.

1 comment:

Wow, that was awkward said...

Random dude here laughing his ass off over this blog. Funny shit. Heh heh.