I Should Switch to Decaf | Teen Ink

I Should Switch to Decaf MAG

July 18, 2009
By mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments

I want to like coffee for you.

I hate coffee. I hate the taste, I hate the smell, I hate the way people get artificially addicted to it, like it's a trend. People joke about needing coffee to function. It's stupid until you see them without coffee – then it's ugly.

But for you, I'm going to try. I've obviously tasted coffee, but I've never sat down and just drunk it. I'm going to. I'm going to brave the nasty smell and bitter taste and silly stereotypes. Just for you! I'm not sure why. I barely know you. In fact, I've never actually met you. We're meeting for coffee. I've never met someone for coffee. It's so normal and casual. It's so wild and strange. Everyone meets people for coffee. It's nothing extraordinary. Nobody meets people for a chai or an iced tea or something silly like that. Just coffee. So that's what I'm going to do for you. It's new. It's exciting.

Let's not start this off with illusions or lies. I'm not sure what to think of coffee. A lot of people like it, but a lot of people like smoking or heroin. It doesn't make those things healthy. Maybe a lot of people like you, too, but I'm not sure what to think of you either. Are you too bitter, too strong? Are you unhealthy? I want you to be healthy. I want you to be sweet, even if it's bittersweet. I want to like you. Maybe I do. Maybe it's just coffee I'm not sure of. Maybe it's me I'm not sure of. All my thoughts and feelings are mixed up with the past and the present and the smell of coffee in my mind. Please don't hate me.

In a way, this scares me, this meeting for coffee. In a way, coffee weirds me out. I don't want to be one of those people who needs tons of flavors and sweeteners with their coffee. I don't want people to look at me with my coffee and laugh and say, “You want a little coffee with your cream and sugar?” Of course there should be some sweetness. Life needs flavor. It needs cream and sugar. But the point of drinking coffee is to drink coffee. It shouldn't be all hidden, like you're ashamed. If you like coffee and you want to drink it, then go for it! Don't water it down. I don't want to feel like a wuss, like a coffee fraud. I don't want people to look at me and think, Oh, look at that stupid girl drinking coffee just to impress that boy. How pathetic. That's just a sad, ridiculous situation to be caught in.

I'm an honest person. So that's why I'm telling you from the start that I'm not sure about coffee. That's why I'm telling you I'll try it just for you. That's why I want to like coffee for you. So, here we go.

I look down at my lap in the car. I check my reflection in the side mirror. My hair looks decent, but is it good enough? Should I really be wearing this outfit? Is there time to turn around? No. It'll have to do. Funny how much better it looked in the safety of my room, away from this pressure, the pressure of going out for coffee. I'm nervous. I shift my feet and rhythmically move my legs, as I have a habit of doing.

I wonder for a moment if you have nervous habits, or any habits. Do you talk with your hands like me? Are you as clumsy as me? Oh, God, I'm going to spill the coffee on myself. I can see it coming. I take a deep breath so I won't forget. Sometimes I panic and forget to breathe. Honestly.

I can almost smell the coffee already. I wonder if you'll like me, if you'll be impressed by me. Will you find me boring? I think about the way my grammar mysteriously becomes awful when I talk to you, and I wonder if I'm going to embarrass myself.

Now I'm scared to talk at all. Will I be too bitter, too strong? And there's definitely no time to turn back? No, it's just coffee. What if I hate it? Will you hate me? It's just coffee. Hot, steaming, bittersweet coffee. There's no turning back.

I arrive, barely on time, where I promised to meet you. To meet you for coffee. I get out of the car with a sense of growing up, of being incredibly old and yet monumentally young. I'm a silly girl, meeting a boy for coffee for the first time. If I don't like it, I could be stranded here, in Vineland, New Jersey.

I go inside, trying to put some confidence in my step. I'm telling my legs, “Be strong. Don't be clumsy or shy. Be strong. Strong like coffee!”

I see you, I recognize you from your photos, and you recognize me. You know it's me. You come over to say hi. You're smiling, my heart's racing and I'm nervous, I'm scared, oh, I'm so alone, but, God, it's so good to see you smile, to finally see you at all, to hear your voice, to meet you for coffee. I smile back and I know it's going to be all right.

We're two writers, two nervous, silly, like-minded people, pushing our way through a common ritual, meeting for coffee. We shake by with all the wrong verbs and stutter in and out of vibrant, dramatic adjectives. We're putting color in black and white and we're adding flavor with sideways glances. We're accustomed to this, to the frightening mix of hormones, caffeine, and words. We're just young and the same. It's just another conversation – Hi, how are you? Good, you? Good. Wonderful. Cream and sugar. We look around us like tourists, like we've never seen a coffee shop. I decide to be natural and confident. I decide to be strong.

So I look you in the eyes, even though I never look people in the eyes, even though I have self-esteem problems and I'm nervous and I think you'll hate me, even though I wear glasses and I'm terribly self-conscious. I look right into your eyes and say the line I've been writing, rearranging, editing, and rehearsing in my mind the whole way here.

“Let's get some coffee.”



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This article has 199 comments.


on Apr. 8 2011 at 3:18 pm
Untouchable-Summer SILVER, Cranford, New Jersey
6 articles 0 photos 86 comments

Favorite Quote:
Even the best fall down sometimes

*clicks add as favorite*

Love this!! :)


on Apr. 8 2011 at 2:24 pm
Come-n-Gone GOLD, Unionville, Missouri
10 articles 0 photos 41 comments

Favorite Quote:
Isn't it funny how it only takes a few seconds to say hi, but forever to say goodbye?

I agree! It's super cute  and it's totally something that would happen to me (:

on Apr. 8 2011 at 2:15 am
RadiahMariaBelak BRONZE, Singapore, Other
1 article 3 photos 63 comments
 COFFEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! I LLLOOO..... HATE THEM!

on Mar. 17 2011 at 6:47 pm
PaRaNoRmAl627 GOLD, Mountainside, New Jersey
15 articles 0 photos 297 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do what you want. If it's something you'll regret in the morning, sleep late."

hah. this comment struck me as very cutee lol. just thought id sharee

reesha SILVER said...
on Mar. 17 2011 at 12:23 pm
reesha SILVER, Rawalpindi, Other
6 articles 15 photos 124 comments

Favorite Quote:
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."
Walt Disney

"Hakuna Matata!"
Lion King

"The British policy was 'unite and conquer'. But I say 'unite and conquer'."
Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea)

I love how you managed to capture the sundry feelings that hit a person during the most normal time of the day. Amazing job.

Madeleine said...
on Feb. 28 2011 at 7:59 pm
This was just like a recent meeting I had was for me...only I got stressed and had tea.  Although my relationship has become platonic, your story wasn't.  : )

on Feb. 23 2011 at 7:35 pm
IWillDream54 GOLD, Amarillo, Texas
10 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Look out, they're coming after us with big guns,
They're only gonna tell you all the bad things I've done
Even if they words they say aren't true they've won,
Now I'm left here dying in the sun..."

I'm not really sure what to say because you've probably heard this too many times to count, but this is amazing. I love the imagery and the way you wrote it. Keep writing!! :)

on Feb. 20 2011 at 11:04 am
SongAway BRONZE, Burton-Upon-trent, Other
1 article 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I need to find me a quote"??

I love how you've captured the slightly weird and silly feelings people have over seemingly normal objects and how they are percieved. I love the theme of it, it's funny and you can totally understand it. The coffee idea is genius. I'd like to know your inspiaration, I really do. Haha, good job!

got love?<3 said...
on Jan. 28 2011 at 5:22 pm
Super fantastic! I love this, its so relatable and funny and sooo soo sooooo great! wow, you have talent! write more

on Jan. 24 2011 at 11:01 am
jennee21_ann GOLD, Helper, Utah
17 articles 0 photos 568 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't gain the world and lose your soul....wisdom is better than silver or gold."

"You can always close a book, but you can never close the mind of a writer."

first off, i must say this piece is pure genious :) it's real and SOO true and honest. this is thee kind of romance writing i love! secondly, i loved this piece so much, i chose to do this as a monologue in my drama class :) i still have this memorized!! it gave me the highest grade in the class, and this story is one i will NEVER EVER forget :) i love it sooo much! your writing is amazing :)

on Jan. 14 2011 at 12:03 am
kmarie14 PLATINUM, Hyrum, Utah
22 articles 5 photos 246 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is either an adventure...or nothing" -Helen Keller

for the record.. ILOVECOFFEE :) haha but I really do like this story it made me smile :) great job!

on Jan. 11 2011 at 2:30 pm
nascar48jj SILVER, Cicero, New York
6 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?""-Ferris Bueller

this is such an awesme story. Totally awesome idea! <3

on Jan. 11 2011 at 2:29 pm
nascar48jj SILVER, Cicero, New York
6 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?""-Ferris Bueller

this is totally awesome! great story

MRose911 GOLD said...
on Dec. 19 2010 at 7:39 pm
MRose911 GOLD, Paradise, Utah
17 articles 10 photos 107 comments

Favorite Quote:
"No boy is worth crying over and the one who is won't make you cry." - Sarah Kane

This is probably my most favorite piece I have ever read on this website :) Wow! this is freakin amazing!! :) this is one of those pieces of work you just smile and relate and laugh and are just awed with when your done reading! Wow! Amazing! :)

on Dec. 19 2010 at 7:08 pm
BlossomC BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
2 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
A pencil and paper is the road to success.~Blossom =)

this is awesome!

on Dec. 19 2010 at 2:32 pm
dolphin13 BRONZE, North St. Paul, Minnesota
1 article 0 photos 125 comments
WOW! I love this! It is a great story! Keep up the great work!

on Dec. 19 2010 at 1:08 pm
Kailey_H424 PLATINUM, Portland, Maine
30 articles 27 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Treat others the way you want to be treated. (my mother)
I am, I am, I am (Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar)

Forst if all, I loved this piece! Second of all, it's nice to see some talent from Maine! I'm also from Maine (Portland) and I don't think I've seen a fellow Mainah until now! :D

Ariadne said...
on Dec. 19 2010 at 12:21 pm
Ariadne, Berkeley, California
0 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If we don't tell strange stories, when something strange happens we won't believe it." ~Shannon Hale

I loved this.  The imagery and metaphors were so powerful and I really wanted to keep reading it.  I also liked the way you kept the buildup going and carried it through to the very last line. Keep writing!

on Dec. 19 2010 at 12:09 am
Krikette BRONZE, Sunnyvale, California
3 articles 0 photos 22 comments
Very well done. You have infused so much thought and depth into this story.

on Nov. 27 2010 at 9:40 pm
Eer320 PLATINUM, S. China, Maine
20 articles 4 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8-color boxes, but what you're really looking for are the 64-color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. I fancy myself to be a 64-color box, though I've got a few missing. It's ok though, because I've got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8-color boxes. Does anyone else have that problem? I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation.. so when I meet someone who's an 8-color type.. I'm like, hey girl, magenta! and she's like, oh, you mean purple! and she goes off on her purple thing, and I'm like, no - I want magenta!"

Thats was REALLY good.  I love how you write!  It's great to see some popular writing from Maine!  ;)