I could still remember the first time I had coffee. Everyday was a school day, seven in the morning with november’s new air, jeepney music to my ears, sweet soy drinks sold on the street coalescing to form somnolent rhapsody and ambiance. Nothing was keeping me from nodding my head off and drifting away in the ho hum of cold room. Life seemed to have lost the tintinnabulation that it must have for it to be worthwhile.
One somnolent morning while professor yakked on, weary eyes turned towards the titanium tumbler gleaming in fluorescent lights. Professor bent and sipped, sweet aroma proliferating through AC unit dancing seductively in my nostrils, the aroma of a morning spent with freshly baked bread, freshly delivered and printed newspapers, freshly squeezed orange juice, freshly roused spouse. The aroma that defined freshness for it signified a brand new start. The aroma of coffee
I didn’t start drinking coffee until two days after first smelling it in the room. I was always worried about coffee jitters, insomnia and paranoia. Of course, I would much rather deal with all these than to have to muscle through classes snoring and drooling so I gave it a shot. Oh boy that shot. That shot that launched a thousand gulps. My first cup of coffee was a lot like someone’s first love or first fuck. You simply can’t forget it.
Coffee has become my one true love, my passion. Besides writing I think this is the only thing I can stay committed to.
Coffee like all great loves comes with the price of pain, insomnia was the first from the bag of ghouls to haunt me. Countless nights I lie in bed eyes wide open, mind in full bloom, straining at the darkness seeing flashes of white dancing and falling like snow and I know I’d remain awake for all my nights as long as coffee and I stick tight.
Partnering insomnia of course is anxiety. Sleeplessness and strange thoughts go together like paper and pen and in those hours trapped in the den of doubt and dreamlessness, fear finds a way in, sneaks and creeps into your brain’s narrowest, smallest crevices and tickling its most sensitive spots, triggering a slew of bizarre, irrational ideas harassing your mind, the oddest out of the seemingly mundane “did I turn off the light switch?’ “was the stove left one?” “did I wipe my ass?’ questions ranging from petty and silly to borderline psychotic creatively seeing all the sides of a picture, zoning in on the unsightly angles.
Paranoia and insomnia are a part of your daily routine and you know very well they come from coffee and you could very well cleanse yourself of them if you drop the habit altogether but like a junkie for any kinda drug you don’t get off the only thing in life that gives you the kicks. You try surely with minimum success so you put up with the endless rattling of the extremities fading of the rationality while tossing and turning frustratingly.
It’s been a steady three years yet it feels like an eternity. I never thought that every fabric of my being would be dependent on a drink as common and ordinary as good ol’ coffee