Death Before Decaf

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When walking into class, a professor of mine once asked, “Joseph, how is your essay coming along? Did you use those references I suggested?”

My first reaction? Muddled panic. When is this due? What is my topic? How am I getting connected with this reference? Which class am I even in right now?

“Um ... yeah, professor. They’re great, and um … yes, it’ll be an interesting read.”

I hadn’t had my coffee that morning. Why hadn’t I had my coffee that morning? I’ll tell you why. I had pulled an all-nighter in the library, well until the library closed, and then I moved over to a group meeting, where Mr. “I’ll Bring the Coffee” messed up and grabbed decaf. DECAF. How does a mistake like that even happen?!

Crunching to meet our deadlines, I was still working that morning before heading over to the class (Government: The History of Modern Political Philosophy with Dr. Alches, in case you were wondering). I didn’t have time to run home beforehand, and there’s no way I was going to waste 35-plus minutes and my hard-earned cash waiting in line at the coffee cart to get an actual cup of power. I just needed to make it through a class that I expected would involve fewer essays and more scantron exams.

But I did learn an important life lesson that day: Never trust Mr. “I’ll Bring the Coffee”. Some things you just have to do by yourself. That’s why this past weekend at a Mardi Gras party, I went the BYOB route. But it’s not what you’re thinking. While everyone else was filling themselves with Bud Light, hurricanes, chips and salsa, I was the smart one who planned ahead and brought along my own Cafe Valet brewer and refills (since I obviously can’t trust anyone else to do it). I knew the day would eventually call for something with more of a boost. And I was right; once the scent was in the air, people came flocking. Reluctantly, I shared.

I need caffeine. I needed it before class then, and I still need it before I get my workout in (if you consider longboarding to work a workout), before I tackle a big project, after meals with my friends and for any activity on the weekend. Some people would say that I have a bit of a coffee fixation, and they’d probably be right. My grandpa has three cups a day and is still dominating life — learn from your elders is the saying, right? I can’t operate without a little jolt. Maybe one day, when I need to wind down before bed, then I'll switch over to decaf. Maybe. For now, I say death before decaf.

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