Me and my coffee

A love story, a sob story, a horror story, and a cry for help

Meagan Fisher
May 24 · 11 min read
Honestly just looking at this gets me excited in a way that’s probably not appropriate. Photo by Ronaldo Arthur Vidal on Unsplash


I recently got pneumonia, and yesterday I woke up with the most blinding headache of my life. I thought I was having a brain aneurysm, on top of the pneumonia. I was lying on the couch trying to meditate through the agony when I sensed my husband approaching me very slowly. He fearfully whispered “are you sleeping?” because (as he later admitted) he thought maybe I had actually died.

The love story

I never ever ever want to break up with coffee, for the record. I love it body and soul. Being a coffee fanatic is a huge part of my identity; I don’t know who I’d be without it. It’s probably one of the first things I’d tell you about me if we met.

Mmm delicious fuel of the gods how I love you! From Blue Bottle in Los Angeles, by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

The sob story

We spent our last day in Kyoto exploring the picture-perfect Gion district, and in the late afternoon we wandered into a cafe for a quick pick-me-up to help us power through our last few hours of daylight. There we spotted a drink on the English menu that included cold brew and sweet condensed milk. It seemed to be a house specialty, so we went for it. The baristas lovingly prepared something that was part potion, part artwork — the coffee and milk were perfectly balanced, separated by science and skill, with the cold brew floating just on top of a thin layer of syrup which sat lightly on the milk like a sunset. This was presented to me in a delicate long-stemmed wine glass.

Looking down a street at the Hokanji temple in Kyoto, photo by Sorasak on Unsplash

The horror story

The ugly side of this story is that when we were planning this trip, I was so paranoid that I wouldn’t have consistent access to coffee that right before we left I made a special trip to Target (even though I didn’t have the time) to buy Vivarin “caffeine alertness aid” pills. I was in a panic when they were sold out, and made a miserable teenage boy check the back to see if they had any more in stock (he did eventually find some).

Japanese drink machines in the snow, photo by Steven Su on Unsplash

The cry for help

As I’m piecing this article together, I am cringing at all the signs that I might have A Slight Problem when it comes to caffeine. I’m also rationalizing the whole time: “but EVERYONE drinks coffee!” “But that one article said the thing about antioxidants!” “But literally the only reason you’re able to write this article is because you’re drinking coffee RIGHT THIS MOMENT and without it you wouldn’t be able to form a sentence!” (It’s true I wouldn’t have been able to write this without coffee, but I am technically supposed to be resting right now, as I am still rocking a pretty solid case of pneumonia, probably not helped by the 40,000 cups of coffee I had last week.)

Meagan Fisher

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Web designer and developer. Known for a love of owls, but also crazy about typography, cats, coffee, and pastels. See more at: