Caffeine and I never really got along well. I guess I’m lucky that I am not one of those people who are paralyzed if they don’t have their caffeine fix in the morning. I often say that I don’t need the jumpstart. What caffeine does to people, I proudly claim to do to myself. I worry that if I start drinking caffeine, I might literally start bouncing off the walls and might need to be strapped in a straightjacket.
At a not so recent raffle at work, I won a $25 gift card to Starbucks and it’s taking me around 10 weeks to deplete the store credit. I find it ironic that I won this card at a health fair. They’re trying to make the non-caffeine drinker to start loading up on the joes. It’s hilarious. I keep telling myself to just give the card to someone else, but I somehow find myself at the drive-thru again and again, ordering light caramel Crapuccinos some afternoons. Why do I keep doing this?!?! I do not like artificially induced-anythings. I think it’s cheating, like having fake boobs (with all due respect to those who do have them!). On the days that I do end up with a Starbucks plastic cup in hand back from lunch, I get clammy hands, quicker heartbeats, and some headiness. It's funny how that's probably the same sensations one feels when caught cheating. I feel like a jack in the box that’s trapped in the box under lock and key. I don’t like it.
The Italian has a potent coffee addiction. He would down a double shot espresso at 10 PM, would be yawning two hours later, and sleep deliciously and effortlessly that night. He displays his Italian espresso machine at home as if it were a trophy. One time while standing in line at Starbucks, he googles the brand of THEIR espresso machine. Who does that?!
It's been a while since I have spoken to the Italian and tonight, I was reminded of what I saw in this guy. He is someone who challenges the shit out of me and calls me out on things that would fly under the radar of most people. He is not someone I can manipulate. Believe me, I've tried. Repeatedly. :) If I start talking with excitement like a blithering idiot about existentialist shit, he surprises my by getting on the same trip. I underestimate him. He underestimates me. It's fascinating. Tonight, he spoke of Dante Alighieri's Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso from a consciousness that has obviously immersed and gotten intimate with Dante's own. We talked about Vegas, Mike Tyson, Harley Davidson, running, and light switches. Then the conversation drifted to Nirvana, God-in-everyone, and heaven on earth. Then he astounds me with two questions. On the subject of trying to really live better lives, he mutters, "Am I being loving enough? Am I compassionate to others enough?"
Score for Italy.