June 8, 2000
Delayed Caffeination

[another cranky self-indulgent journal entry all about nothing]

I hate it when we run out of coffee in the mornings.

I especially hate it when I have to wait until I get to the office to have my first caffeine fix of the day. If I haven't *uploaded* at least four ounces of hot black coffee into my system within half an hour of waking, I never completely catch up, energywise. I spend the rest of the day feeling weirdly "underwater" ... like everybody else in the world is up top, jet-skiing, while I'm down here at the bottom of the lake trying to jog in a pair of lead Reeboks.

Fast Lane Tea is a piss-poor substitute. It's fine on those slow sleepy Saturday afternoons when I need a quick infusion of liquid jumpstart. That's why we always keep a box of it in the cupboard. But as an early morning emergency substitute for Foglifter, or Jet Fuel, or Organic Mexican Altura Roast ... it falls pitifully short.

I need coffee.

I need that comforting ritual of grinding the beans, filling the Mr. Krupsmaker with water and pouring that first cup into my "Bitch's Brew" mug just moments after I emerge from the shower.

I need that hot black coffee smell in my face.

I need that primal moment when the caffeine first connects with my bloodstream.

And yes ... I need that caffeine. Preferably already in my system and working its magic at least a full hour before my first *Franz Encounter* of the day.

As it is, I barely had time to slam down one hasty mugful of Peet's, in the Totem Pole lunchroom this morning, before Franz was standing there in the doorway looking wide-awake and dangerously inspired. 

"Meet me in the conference room when you're ready to roll," he said. "I've got a project for you."

I'm going to spend my entire morning photocopying articles from the March/April issue of "Hot Mix Asphalt Technology" ... I just know it.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

And speaking of things being delayed, I am relieved (and annoyed, and embarrassed, but mostly relieved) to announce that the 168 Hours of Hell are finally over for this month.

It's about fricking time.

For the past seven days I have slammed doors, snapped at hapless Travelocity customer service reps on the phone, burst into tears over Cyndi Lauper songs on the radio, swallowed ibuprofen like they were M&Ms (and vice versa) ...

... and basically made life miserable for myself and for everyone within a 24,000 mile radius of me.

Little things that would barely register as a blip on the emotional geiger counter ordinarily  --  like ants on my toothbrush, or stepping onto a bathroom scale for the first time in twelve months, or Franz being here in the office (and in my face) for five relentless days out of five  --  have had me mixing that martini in my head, every day this past week.

The bigger things  --  like my daughter getting sick, long-distance  --  have had me DRINKING that martini in my head.

It's not like this every month. Maybe once or twice a year I get slammed with this kind of prolonged, relentless, gut-twisting pre-menstrual torment ... the kind that drags on and on forever, making me long for the warm and friendly embrace of back-labor. (Or morphine, maybe.)  Pamprin can't touch it. Ibuprofen dials it down from a shriek to a whimper, for a little while, but even so that only relieves the physical discomfort. The only thing that really helps is going to bed and sleeping for fifteen hours.

But even twice a year is twice a year too often, in my opinion. (Note to Menopause Fairy: Forgive me. I take back every nasty thing I've ever ever said about you. I swear.)

Now that the dam has finally, blessedly burst, though, things are probably going to be OK. I'll spend the next two or three days in a sort of gentle, sleepy stupor ... repeating myself a lot, and walking into furniture, and forgetting why I went to the supply closet, and repeating myself a lot, and napping at inappropriate moments. (Especially since this was one of those unfortunate caffeine-delayed mornings.)

But you know what? It will actually be an improvement.

Ask anyone within a 24,000 mile radius of me.

eleven years ago

throw a rock