How I succumbed to the call of the java.

I swore I would never become one of them, but I’ve betrayed myself.

I … am a coffee drinker.

All the way through high school, I loathed the stuff. It probably doesn’t help that my only teenage coffee experience was downing a cup at McDonald’s before my SATs. And, um, not realizing that milk and sugar might not be a bad idea. So not only was it fast food java, it was black and bitter fast food java.

A few summers ago, I interned with a theater group called PlayPenn. Every morning, one of our main duties was to put on a massive pot of coffee to keep the actors and directors happy. It was only a matter of time before I, as a result of working 14 hour shifts, decided to indulge in a cup.

And another.

And another.

By lunchtime, I was a wreck. I had become a coffee addict in a mere matter of hours. My heart was thumping in my chest, my hands and eyes were twitching at an alarming rate, and I needed moremoremore before I went into withdrawal. For lunch, I downed another cup to appease my jittery body and started the whole cycle anew.

Not particularly enjoying the twitchy feeling that caffeine had jolted into me, I resolved to quit. After battling headaches and shakes the rest of the day, I managed to kick the drink before it became a habit. I didn’t touch the stuff again for several years.

And then I became an adult, or something like one. Suddenly, the brewing coffee pot in my parents’ kitchen smelled tempting, and I found myself seriously considering it. Finally, after waking up with yet another tension headache (I’m a chronic sufferer), my mom forced me to drink a cup of her coffee because she thought the caffeine would make me feel better. It actually did, and after proving to be an effective headache cure on a few other occasions, I was hooked.

Now, mostly thanks to the glory of my new pumpkin pie coffee creamer, I drink a cup every morning. For me, the beginning of my real adulthood wasn’t marked by the tax forms or the college graduation or being in my 20s.

It was all about the coffee, baby.

Article © 2007 by Molly E. Weeks