Once in a great while I have a scandalous desire to wander from my commitment. I long to feel the strange caress of another, to stray just a bit with a sweet alternative. To ride the high of forbidden intimacy while escaping the bonds to which I’ve become accustomed; to soar to new heights of manic passion bordering on a nirvana-like state of mind and body. I am, of course, talking about cheating on coffee.
I love coffee, much in the way a junkie loves heroin - if by love you mean “hopelessly, aimlessly and madly addicted”. That describes my relationship with the bean to a tee, and I am so deeply embedded with the stuff that there’s a pretty good shot that I would rather shave my face with a rusty spoon than go without the joe. And yet. Yet, like all relationships, there comes a time when speedbumps pop up on the superhighway of hopped up jitters. When the dog days of summer get here (like, this past week, thank you very much Satan) it becomes a slightly less appealing to throw steaming hot mud down the pipe – but only slightly. As of late, I’ve tried alternatives (Java Monster, iced McCrap from the golden arches, and, most infamously, The Chinese Rocket Fuel incident). Frankly, little compares to the real deal, and this presents a bit of situation. Regular soda just rots teeth and encourages horizontal expansion of the belt. Not good. I long for that close tango that I do with coffee daily, wherein it scalds my tongue and then rewards me with an ability to perform like a tweaker on a binge. Glorious, gorgeous nectar of the bean, I wonder what can compare? That got me to thinking about the alternatives and then in a divine moment of recall, an old idea finally hit me.
A long, long time ago (somewhere in the early eighties, I believe), we used to frequent a 7-11 convenience store in Santa Barbara when we’d wander around on our BMX bikes. In the time before energy drinks or even the awesome Jolt Cola, we’d look for ways to achieve the ultimate forbidden rush. I can’t remember who stumbled across this idea, but it was revolutionary for it’s time: The Suicide. The idea was to take a hit from each of the soda flavors in your cup, thereby creating the ultimate (and ultimately nasty) concoction. It was the beverage equivalent to theater hopping (another pastime of young idiotic turks like us). You got a little of this, a little of that, something that tasted like carbonated printer ink and you’d earned enough chops to strut like a Bantam rooster.
According to The Wife, there were signs in the roller rink back in the day, just above the soda dispenser that said “No Suicides”. Apparently this phenomenon wasn’t limited to the West Coast, and the fact that it was in a roller rink just further proves that this was not a mild happening. The Suicide. Part of me wants to stroll into my local Kum & Go and glare like a badass at the attendant while, in a macho way, I haphazardly toss various flavors of carbonated delight into a 440z. Styrofoam cup. The moment after I paid for this fine medley of caffeine, I’d take a sip, never letting my eyes lose their lock on the no doubt incredulous clown behind the register. And then I’d probably puke it out all over myself and the counter and lose the coveted macho status I was hoping to acquire. Damn.
Maybe Suicide isn’t the answer. I no longer ride a BMX bike. Too many years have passed since I considered Pop Tarts a reasonable breakfast. Despite all of my immature antics, the fact remains that I’m getting older at an alarming rate; blistering the inside of my mouth with a shot of hot java may well be as close to living like a maniac as I can get. I just can’t get past the fact that I considered stepping out on my beloved mud. One can only hope the coffee maker will still be there on the counter in the morning, when I beg for forgiveness and a cup of scalding love.