A Morning Without Coffee Is Like Sleep
The columnist confesses to a blatant caffeine addiction and a propensity for being a bit snippy in the early morning hours.
If it weren't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever.” ~ David Letterman
I’m not a morning person; never have been; probably never will be. The only good thing about the morning is coffee; lots and lots of coffee. Other than that - mornings stink!
My animosity toward the morning hours isn’t grounded in an explicit aversion for getting out of bed. I’m up fairly early every day, even on the weekends I’m up between 5:45 and 6:00. If I happen to sleep until 6:30 on Saturday or Sunday, I consider that sleeping-in.
No, I don’t mind getting out of bed. But I do mind being incoherent for two to three hours after I get up, even after slugging down 32 ounces of coffee.
I don’t get it! Why do I have so much trouble attaining even the slightest semblance of consciousness every morning? I get enough sleep. That’s not the problem. So what is it? It’s not my job. I love my boss [me]!
I feel groggy, as if I hadn’t slept a wink. Every morning I drag my carcass around the house in a fog – comatose! The only perceptible movement I make for two to three hours is schlepping back and forth between the living room and the kitchen to refill my coffee mug.
One would think that ingesting all that java would jumpstart my system, but apparently I’ve built up such a high tolerance to caffeine that even the enormous amount of coffee I drink doesn’t help all that much, although it sure does put the old bladder into action! Who knew caffeine was a diuretic?
Inevitably, there will be someone who will, with all good intentions; tell me to quit drinking coffee. “You’ll feel so much better,” they say. Right! How about if I just stop breathing? That would be easier!
Given the choice between giving up food for a week and missing my coffee for one day, bring on the seven day fast. That’s a no-brainer! Plus, I could stand to lose a couple of pounds. Well, maybe a few pounds. Alight, I should probably drop several pounds!
Okay, that’s enough of that! Let’s get back to the subject at hand. Now if I could only remember what it was!
Oh, yeah - the morning thing!
So I’m sitting on the couch drinking my coffee, staring vacantly at the TV, watching the weather forecast on its third time around, and I’m still not cognizant of what they’re saying. Truthfully, it’s more of a function of remembering than it is understanding.
It’s amazing to me that I can sit there staring directly at the TV and not remember seeing the weather; almost as though the screen were blank. I usually remember the meteorologist coming on, but apparently I regress into my semiconscious stupor at some point and miss the forecast. It’s crazy! Thank God they repeat it over and over again.
My wife still hasn’t learned. Every morning, like clockwork, she walks into the living room, sits down and asks, “So what’s the weather for today?” And I invariably look up and grunt nearly unintelligibly, “I dunno. I didn’t see it.”
Then she always says something like, “You were watching it weren’t you? What did they say?”
You’d think after living with me for more than forty years, she’d know better than to even talk to me in the morning, never mind hit me with a barrage of questions. But no, Chatty Cathy has to make her grand entrance and start yacking up a storm! Her name isn’t really Cathy, but Chatty Berta just doesn’t cut it. I’m fairly certain no one ever had a Chatty Berta doll.
So, just to give her some kind of response, but mostly because I don’t want her driving me out of my mind, I reply; “I told you; I didn’t see it. I’m not here yet!” She knows what that means, though it doesn’t usually deter her from continuing her relentless, yet hopeless quest to get me to engage in conversation.
I just took a short break from writing this because I had a little headache. You’d have no way to know that unless I told you, which I did, but I had a motive for doing so. Telling you allows me to segue smoothly to the next part of my story.
Before sitting down to continue this shining piece of literary gold, I read my colleague, Ross Muscato’s column, Easton And The Super Bowl, in which Ross talks about Easton’s ties to the big game.
Fortunately, for the sake of my column, one of Ross’ readers made a comment regarding Mike Vrabel, former Patriot linebacker and all around nice guy. I’ll let you read the comment for yourself, but I’m going to add a little something about Mike Vrabel that relates to my rather serious problem with caffeine and my nasty morning temperament.
Shortly after Mike joined the Patriots, he bought a big house right off Route 106. I’d run into him at the Dunkin Donuts at Five Corners from time to time when I’d stop in before starting work. There were always people leering at him from across the room; some walked up to him and patted him on the back, telling him what a great game he’d played the previous week.
One thing that struck me was that Mike was always extremely amenable, even before he’d had his coffee! I don’t get that! I don’t get that at all! I suppose it’s like everything else in life. Everyone isn’t the same. Some people are morning people and some aren’t.
Speaking of being different, I heard a news story this morning that blew my mind. A guy in Florida chopped up a homeless man with an axe and ate his eye and part of his brain. According to the story, the killer developed a taste for blood after eating rare steak. He was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Now I don’t claim to be an expert on human behavior, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but even without the benefit of this psychiatric evaluation; I’m guessing there’s a better than average chance this guy is a full-fledged loony tune!
Or maybe he just needs a good cup of coffee.
Make it a great week!
Bob Havey is an Easton, MA-based freelance writer and a consummate trouble-maker.