Kick-start My Heart

October 2, 2007 at 12:08 pm (The Easy Chair)

I’ve always been a slow starter. I like rising at the crack of noon, surf the ‘net a bit, take a shower, get my mellow on for the day. Crashing out of bed at 6 AM is only fun when road trips and days off are involved. I’m a night owl. Dawn is what tells you it’s time to go to bed.

A big part of getting the day rolling is the morning beverage. I only do breakfast on Sundays, or days when I can crawl right back into bed. I much prefer a shot of meth’s distant cousin, caffeine.

I drank coffee as a teenager, because that’s what grownups do. My dad used to pour coffee with cream and sugar over toast, and eat it like cereal. (He had a lot of interesting dining habits. Let’s just say that if you have a thing about separate foods touching each other, he would make you apoplectic.) While I tried that, and didn’t much care for the toast mix, I did like the coffee.

As I got older, I stopped drinking coffee. From my late teens to early thirties, beer was the breakfast of choice. Not all-day-long beer, just one or two to get the blood flowing, and to kill the previous night’s hangover. There’s something about an ice-cold Rainier pounder when your mouth feels like the Arizona desert. Fizzy, refreshing and it chases away the shakes and demons.

When that became a problem, I spent a short time addicted to Dr Pepper. I had a three-liter a day habit. I was spending about as much on soda as I was on beer. There had to be something else.

In the late ’80s, I spent a lot of time in Seattle’s University District. The ex-wife moved up there for a couple of years, and I would take the train up every once in a while and spend a week or two. One of her hangouts was a coffee shop. This wasn’t Denny’s. It was filled with college students, nose-deep in books and term papers. Added bonus! There were no chubby waitresses named Marge giving you the bum’s rush.

The Ex said, “You have to try this. Two Cafe Lattes please.”

“Four dollars,” said non-Marge.

I turned to the Ex, and scream-whispered, “Two bucks for a cup of coffee? Are you fucking crazy?” (She was, but I digress.)

“Just try it…”

And I did. It was good, but two dollars? there has to be a cheaper way. Then I factored in how much I spent on booze every day, and suddenly it seemed like a bargain.

Of course, everyone knows the coffee story from there. Starbucks came along and got the world hooked on four-dollar cups of coffee. If it didn’t have a twelve word description, it wasn’t good enough.

Well, I’m still cheap. Through trial and error, I figured out how to make a bastardized mocha at home. I have been living on them for the last ten years. They are sugary, chocolaty, and probably not that good for you.

In light of recent medical discoveries, it’s been suggested I cut back on sugar intake. Between my home concoction and the super-sugary stuff at work, I am probably ODing on glucose. So I’ve had to make some changes.

This morning’s coffee is much simpler. Black with a shot of 2% milk, just to take the edge off. I immediately craved a cigarette when I took that first hit. Black coffee and cigarettes were a big part of the morning routine when I was married. The ciggy craving went away quickly, but it’s funny how the triggers in your brain snap to attention after all these years.

So I’m cutting off the sugary coffee, but I will still relax with a 16-oz serving of Wild Cherry Pepsi after work. (Tastes better than beer, and I don’t miss work the next day.) I refuse to completely give up Ben & Jerry’s, but I’m down to about a pint a week.

Peer pressure helps. ThatGirl took me shopping the other day, and as much as I wanted to take advantage of the $3 package of gourmet cookies, I could feel the daggers shooting out of her eyes. (I did score a pint of B & J, though. I’m not totally ‘whipped’.)

She’s helped other ways. Dinner was healthy and delicious! And there was a box sitting next to my backpack when I was ready to go.

A 60-day supply of multi-vitamins, formulated for diabetics.

It’s time to shower up and head for work. The newer, blander coffee concoction tastes pretty good, and my mouth isn’t sticky.

But I still want a cigarette.

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1 Comment

  1. gee........no said,

    I aM tHe BAstArD cHiLd oF jUaN VALdeZ aNd mRS. oLSeN…..@(;>))_

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