I wrote this for you. I did! Back in 1997. Some of you may not have even been born by then. It's when blogging was called "having a personal web space" and then you'd go hide in the corner and pray that no one else asked you anything, ever.
I'm working on stuff (STUFF!) so I leave you with this, the very first thing I posted (well, my BF at the time posted, as I didn't understand HTML) at the slack dot com.
Which I wrote for you, Internet. When I was 25 years old. And I thought that I would live a life free of caffeine and red meat. (I drink caffeine, eat red meat, but I also weightlift and run and am in better shape at nearly-40 than I was at 25.) Please laugh at my youth.
(Yes, I've been blogging for nearly FIFTEEN YEARS.)
NOTES ON DECAF
I know that I am truly an adult now. I talk about blood pressure, my cholesterol levels, and checking account fees. I have a savings account and a retirement account (okay, I don't really but I'm getting ready to open one up any day now), I live on a budget but I still buy stupid things at the store in bulk because they're on sale (my grandfather died with four cabinets full of pork & beans, if anyone's interested), I've quit doing hallucinogenic drugs, smoking, eating red meat, pork, chicken, and I drink decaf.
This last item is the only thing that terrifies me.
ORDERING: G. and I hit the Noah's Bagels on Lake before heading into work one morning. He has the blessing of being gleefully unemployed, but others of us have, you know, rent, loans, car payments, and a mangy old pit bull to support.
So of course I paid.
Along with our bagels (toasted egg bagel with cream cheese for him, hello blocked artery, plain salt bagel for me, I have low blood pressure so no finger-pointing) I headed next door to the coffeeshop to pick up our coffee. Standing dumbstruck at the counter when it was my turn to order (why my mind always goes completely blank at these moments and I turn into one of those people I hate) I stammered.
Slowly the words came.
"One regular, one decaf."
"Decaffeinated?" queried the awestruck counter clerk.
The entire shop went silent. Scores of suburban Pasadena mothers stared with mouths agape as they sucked their fully-leaded paper cups in preparation for a day of complaining about her husband to their best friends and complaining about their best friends to their husbands, and wheeling around their impeccably-dressed toddlers to Baby Gap and Guess? kids. (Don't they know that Guess? employs child labor? Don't shop at Guess?! Or patronize Carl's Jr! Or order Domino's! And once and for all, don't eat the grapes!)
The clerk shook his head and went about preparing my order. He filled one large paper cup from a shiny silver canister which rose like an altar from the countertop. It was labelled in careful lettering with some mysterious name like Midnight Ethiopian Blend ("beans hand picked daily by underfed children to satisfy your capitalist musings"). He slowly filled the paper cup with steamy hot caffeinated coffee and inhaled the fresh scent as its mahogany-colored goodness flowed forth from the almighty spigot.
Then for my decaf.
Sighing, he excused himself from his fellow counter-mates, who looked at him with a mixture of pity and disgust as he made his way over to the burnt coffeepot in the corner which was rimmed with a bright orange band and haphazardly filled my cup. He then marked the cup with and angry slash with the nearest red marker. "D!" and placed both orders on the countertop, positioning the regular coffee slightly ahead of his bastard half-brother. ("Bring in the Gimp!")
As I walked outside, I could feel their eyes follow me. G. was out there scribbling in his journal, completely oblivious to how close I had come to being beaten into complicity by a bunch of women in Eddie Bauer casual and carrying Coach backpacks. Of course, he may have joined in, screaming, "Don't ruin the leather!" and "Coffee stains!" whilst getting the lowdown on the latest Pasadena sales from the angry mob.
DRINKING: No, decaf does not taste as good as the real thing.
WHY DECAF? Did you ever take a philosophy course in college and the professor would always open the semester with the anecdote about some other philosophy professor that he knew who's final exam read "why?" Then he would always give a courtly guffaw and say "You will never have that experience in this class." And that would be the old guy's one joke for the rest of the semester. And of course at the final, you're pulling out your hair trying to compare the German to the French Philosophers, silently begging for that one word question, that simple "Why?" Well, I'm going to answer that for you.
SO ONCE AGAIN, WHY DECAF? Caffeine makes me crazy. And I'm weird enough as it is.
THAT'S IT? As my philosophy professor said, sometimes the answer is simple.