A Caffeinated Breakup

Nothing beats waking up early on a Saturday morning and brewing that oh-so-delicious first cup of coffee. I love the quiet, a chance to indulge in some Me Time. I know the coffee’s ready when I hear the distinctive bubbling sound from the espresso pot. I carefully measure out three shots into my Saturday Morning mug and dilute it with hot water for a classic Americano. Next comes my favorite part. I pour in the cream and watch it bloom in the black liquid, trying to decipher the mysteries of the universe held within the undulating cream. When the cream is done dancing, I take that first sip of pure possibility. For that’s what coffee’s bittersweet taste heralds — the magic that is to come in the day. I love coffee.

So naturally, I was dejected when I was told that I had to temporarily cut it out of my life for health reasons. It happens. The older we get, the less we’re able to hang onto the bad habits of our youth — binge drinking, staying up all night, eating junk food. But surely coffee would be spared, right? Not when its oils and tannins increase your triglyceride levels. And so the other day I dumped all the coffee in the house into the trash and poured all the cream down the sink. Each time I opened the trashcan, I saw the coffee grounds staring at me, “Why, Ronan? Why?”

I wanted to tell Coffee that this isn’t a permanent breakup. Just a temporary separation while I worked things out. The classic “It’s not you, but me” situation, except no one ever believes you when you say that because it’s bullshit. It’s always the other person. Always.

I didn’t want to insult Coffee with my lies, so I just closed the lid on the trashcan without saying a word. I guess it’s not as bad as breaking up with someone via Post-It note, but it’s definitely up there. Hopefully, Coffee won’t hold it against me when I show up to its house in a few months with a boombox over my head playing some sappy tune and begging for forgiveness. Although, if it can’t find it in its heart to take me back, well, there’s always tea.

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