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March 30, 2017

29 of 40

I have not had coffee in 10 days.

Not a Lenten Ritual. Not a cleanse. Not an ego-fulfilling denial. Not even a medical necessity.

“Yes, of course” coolly responded the Yale doc when I asked her about the plausibility of continuing my two most obvious extralegal consumptions (the other being alcohol). I was surprised.

The reason I was completely cross-referenced by her and a scuttling covy of fellow brilliants was that I had all the motor coordination of imbibing 3 cocktails in an hour or 2. I know this because I have done that. I was here because it had not changed in 12 hours.

All else AOK: no other anything, including the absence of buzz.

Her advice was to prepare for hell: the source of insufficient balance would get worse, then better, and I would leave their ministrations. Next day there was a 2.5 drink imposition, then 2, 1.5, then 1. No badness, ever: go home.

I did, and after a 10 days there remains some portion of one drink somewhere, but my cortex seems to be sobering up. In this period, I have had a blissful drink, but eschewed caffeine.


I had one or 2 of the Dark, Large Starbucks almost every day. It was pricey. It tasted good. It kept some bodily expectation alive. It felt just a little evil – which was good. No more.

There seems no appeal to caffeinization. It says that caffeine merely prevents the dumber natural drouseys from slowing you down. For me sleep was not affected, I seemed to need it, but it seems not good for a complete detox of that last drink that yet makes some movements tentative.

Why is caffeine so nice to so many? Why has it become so necessary to so many? I am sure there are physical thrills and comforts. But more, I think there is a need to feel supported by something beyond you. That’s me.

My body did not, does not, want that support.

It’s not denial to not to want something. It’s not noble to opt away from a thing that was central, if not necessary. In Lent there is Character or Faithfulness attached to denial. It assumes that the Trivial distracts you from the Important. If you deny access to those sweet delusions you see more clearly: but the denial itself becomes more important than the seeing.

So I ingest no caffeination. I think you have to see more clearly everyday in this Last Call.

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