And — fuck man. Coffee is good.
All it took was one quintuple-shot-Americano. And, after nearly three months without coffee or caffeine, one sip was all I needed. GAME FUCKING ON. Caffeinate me. More. MORE! And, there it is, right in front of me. I’ve still got it, baby. After all this time, it remains — all or nothing. And, I concede; moderation is something that I just can’t do. I stand face to face with the thing I’ve known for years, but, I still want to ignore. — I’m an addict.
But, really, addiction is just the squeaky wheel. Pretty soon, what was an innocent squeak sends the car flying off the road, and then, everything gets stuck. Before anyone knows what happened — I’m back in a rut. But, it wasn’t the coffee. I swear.
And, we allow this. Our drinks and our drugs and our sex and our coffee and our food and our sugar to literally halt us, to pick us up, and to force us to try and hold on to something that can’t be held. But, not just anything — it’s this one thing. This. We break from everything — for this. There is solace in obsession. And, here, in my coffee cup, I can taste it. Yup. I’ve still got it.
Sometimes, I forget that the obsession was the cure. It wasn’t the bourbon or the bong or the fuck or the soy latte or the entire bag of Oreos or the handful of jelly beans. — It was the planning and the ritual. It was the reward. The supply and demand. Addiction offers something else — it hoists us up just long enough for us to see what we’re missing before letting us go — dropping us back into the mud. Addiction plows elaborate paths that lead nowhere. And, trudging back to the open road is exhausting. It can take everything you have. Frustration will ooze from old, muddy wounds and things will begin to spill over the sides of our ditches. It’s inevitable, our unattended ruts will flood.
Sometimes you’ll get stuck for so long, that you’ll forget what it felt like when you weren’t crawling through the sludge. Ruts hold us in a steady cycle. But stability is misleading. — Sometimes, it’s nothing more than limbo. Doldrums. Drudgery. Dread. — It goes a step beyond pessimism, because you are an active participant in the attempted escape from your rut. But, the same motion that’s needed to set yourself free can sometimes make you feel that you’ve lost yourself in an unstoppable flow. There is an actual rhythm in this kind of being. — It’s battle. And, as an addict, I know it. — I once felt that the only way to return to normalcy was to let my addiction take the wheel. Everyone gets tired of driving.
But, there has to be a moment where we finally see clearly. We learn to steady the wheel. Sometimes we find that moment in sobriety. Or, that moment is the one that gets us sober. Or, it’s an even smaller happening, one we can’t put our finger on. But, however we’re made to see it — it’s the way out — a point in time that’s absolutely pivotal to our awakening. It’s the place we must reach if we’re to keep moving forward. It’s the only way to get un-stuck.
So, we learn to harness our Chi and we stop treading water — we begin to throw our proverbial sandbags into the trenches and let the process of sopping up the excess begin. And, somehow, here, we find the tools we didn’t know we had.
Maybe, some afternoon, you’ll find yourself ordering a quintuple-shot-Americano and your hands will shake with anticipation at the end of the coffee bar as the barista pulls the espresso. And, while you’re waiting to receive your hot-paper-cup in its smooth-cardboard-sleeve, maybe, you’ll suddenly understand where you’re going and where you’ve been.
And, as you drop your empty coffee cup in trash can, you feel the caffeine hit you. — ZING!
Yeah. — You’ve still got it, baby.