Coffee is hell, but oh, how I love it so

Having proceeded through years of undergraduate and graduate education, I developed a certain fondness for coffee, no doubt compounded by my predilection for late nights. It gets you going in the morning. In first year, I used to think it was ok to have a cup of coffee to wake up in the morning, as long as you didn’t start drinking it for fun. Imagine an alcoholic making the same argument and you’ll have some idea of the trouble in store.

By grad school, the morning cup was supplemented by the afternoon cup. With Tim Horton’s only a short walk away from my grad student office, it was hard to say no to the afternoon double-double.

Lately, having started a new job and undergone a life transition, I looked forward to using the disconnect to mend my coffee drinking ways. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

The first day of work on a new job is always slow. You aren’t in the swing of activity, and you end up spending your time reviewing company policies or similar sundry activities. In the early afternoon I inquired about whether there was coffee anywhere. I was informed that with it being a small company, only 2 of the 15 employees drank coffee, and they supplied the grind themselves. I paused for a moment to pick up my mandible from the floor and remount it in its proper location.

Going without that day, I nonetheless shortly joined this coffee cabal. Soon, I was enjoying a Styrofoam cup full of brew each morning. Not a large dose, by any means. My two collaborators enjoyed starbucks bold coffee, and brewed a pot each morning. It was damn strong coffee. But a small Styrofoam cup is such a small volume. Surely, it is harmless.

I have a long commute to reach this land of bold coffee. Thus, I sometimes ended up bringing a thermos cup in the car for my safety. Upon getting to work, who could refuse an additional small Styrofoam cup, filled with unassuming but tasty, sugary, caffeinated coffee.

Some time went by, and I began to tire of the waste of Styrofoam cups. The earth was crying. Another coffee lover and I ran across to the big-K and picked up some nice clear glass mug/cups for around $1.50. Now we could enjoy our coffee, and the breathtaking expanse of nature, which we were not doing quite as much to destroy as previously. These new cups were, of course 50% larger than their Styrofoam cousins.

Pretty soon, I was back to downing 2-3 mugs of this espresso strength coffee a day, coincidentally with almost halting all water consumption. My throat was parched in the morning, my dehydrated hands cracking in the winter cold. My joints creaked with age, and my stomach ached. It was eating me up. I say to you, young first year college student. Look at me. Know what you can become, and stay away. Coffee is hell, but oh, how I love it so.