In the wee hours of the morning today while you were fast asleep, I was at work drinking another cup of coffee to try to keep myself awake, and as the vile liquid seeped down my throat I realized that it had a rather familiar taste. I couldn't quite place it. Then I remembered that it's the same thing I taste when I'm eating a bag of peanuts and I grab a rotten one. That's it! I am forced to drink hot liquid rotten peanuts with cream and sugar in order to stay awake all night at work. This is truly disgusting.
My history as a coffee drinker (if you can call me that) began back in 2001 when I was in Seattle. Upon arriving, I soon noticed that anyone who did not
drink love coffee was considered a social lepper. So one day I gave into peer pressure and decided to walk into a Starbuck's and purchase a cup. I walked in and was overwhelmed by the menu as the girl behind the counter waited for me to make up my mind, perhaps wondering if I had just gotten out of my time machine that sent me here from the 1930s. Unable to pronounce anything on the menu, I admitted that I was a coffee virgin and asked her to recommend something while trying my best to hide my Minnesota accent. She said I should try a mochaspressochinofrappazappaalpacino or something like that. I said, "that sounds good," and reached into my pocket to see if I had any spare change. "That'll be $4.50," she said as I looked around to see if I was on one of those hidden camera shows. "Thanks, next time I wanna get mugged I'll just go out on the street," I said as I carefully took hold of my purchase, put my credit card back in my pocket, smiled, and walked out the door with my very expensive beverage eagerly anticiping to find out what a four and a half dollar non-alcoholic drink tastes like.
Rotten peanuts, that's what it tasted like. But I persisted, thinking that if I could just convince myself that it was as good as everyone said it was then I would no longer be scoffed at and ridiculed. I did my best to get used to it, but it was no use.
That may have been what drove me to leave Seattle and head back home. I couldn't get away from it there. Coffee shops on every block. And not only that, but they have these little coffee stands on every street corner where people drive up and order their coffee right from their car. They even have a Starbucks right in the grocery store. Not off to the corner, but right there where you walk in. They have little cupholders on the shopping carts too. It's insane.
Now I only drink coffee when I have to. Working the night shift requires you to be one of two things -- a caffeine addict or a cocaine addict. I don't care how much sleep you get during the day or how many years you've been working nights, there comes a time every night where your body finds out that everyone else is sleeping and it starts to get jealous. For me this is usually around 3:00 a.m. I chug as many Mountain Dews as I can, but the coffee is free so I usually have a cup or two when I start to feel like checking my eyelids for leaks.
All this is just to say that there are rumors flying around the campfire that my days on the graveyard shift may be numbered. No details to share yet, but if it is true, then that wretched dark liquid will never pass over these lips again.