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 Jul. 18 2010 at 3:30 am
crzybookworm BRONZE, Highland, California
2 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only thing to fear is fear itself."

Hahaha. This is a very different piece of work. I LOVE IT! Coffee. Lol. She is obsessing over the date by worrying about coffee. Lol. And you make your characters very vivid! Awesomeeee!

on Jul. 10 2010 at 1:12 am
MyLifeAsCupid BRONZE, Janesville, Wisconsin
3 articles 0 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
"How could an Alice girl like me,
Love a Hatter as mad as you?"

coffee, coffee, coffee, mMmMmMmM

god i love coffee, lattes, iced coffee, chochalate covered coffee beans, capicinos, ect. oooohhhh all of them are good, especially dunkachino (from dunkin' donuts) mmmmmm it sounds rly good right now. great story i love it

on Jul. 3 2010 at 6:13 pm
ilove2read124 GOLD, Dix Hills, New York
11 articles 0 photos 66 comments
i love this!really good, and i think it really shows the way people feel, like on a first date, the nervousness and the "oh, i hope they like this, oh no, is this good enough" well, thats how i feel haha amazing job =]

on Jun. 26 2010 at 5:16 am
K9_Typical_Islander SILVER, Koror, Other
7 articles 0 photos 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
Hours of boredom followed by moments of excitement (and adrenaline)- that's fishing

Marvelous piece!!!...! Especially with its comparisons of a person's emotions and character to coffee~ so true and well-written. The one thing, though, that coffee does to a person, esp to a teenager, is leave them shaky, hungry, and without energy at the end, after the sugar-rush...I know from obersving my cousin and classmates...~

on Jun. 26 2010 at 3:58 am
musiclover123, ., Other
0 articles 0 photos 63 comments

Favorite Quote:
It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature and everlasting beauty of monotony. <3

aaaaah fantastic!

i hate coffee too!!=P

<3 the comparisions,i feel the same way

on Jun. 4 2010 at 7:07 am
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1752 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Amazing!  Very creative, I absolutely loved your comparisons to coffee, although personally, I like coffee.  However, I'm one of those "Would you like some coffee with your cream and sugar?"

on May. 29 2010 at 3:04 pm
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
Thanks, haha, but I'll be honest, I didn't just come up with it out of the blue.  A guy asked me out for coffee and it was the first time someone had specifically asked me to have coffee with them and I had said yes.  Thus this piece was born.

on May. 27 2010 at 3:37 pm
ashkash95 SILVER, New Hyde Park, New York
9 articles 0 photos 99 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:8

love this story! Love all the comparisons to coffee though i do need milk and occasionally flavored coffee...and i like how the title relates to her feelings without you actually saying it! it's beautiful :)

on May. 20 2010 at 7:58 pm
AnneElliot PLATINUM, Parker, Colorado
22 articles 1 photo 35 comments

Favorite Quote:
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot loose." ~ Jim Elliot

Great, very creative, and fun to read too :)

melone96 said...
on May. 15 2010 at 4:45 pm
melone96, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
0 articles 0 photos 31 comments
i've never had coffee b4...like straight black nothing added coffee..im 1 of those ppl who always add something 2 it or get a latte or some other form of coffee...but i absolutely loved this short story! keep writing!!!

on May. 13 2010 at 10:14 am
NonsensicalMuse PLATINUM, San Anotnio, Texas
22 articles 0 photos 87 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There is nothing wrong with having your head in the clouds as long as you don't get altitude sickness"

"Perhaps you are right,perhaps not. I don't know 110% either way.All I know is that Im in search of truth. If you are too, let us be friends."

wow this good-interesting analogy-I would've never thought-

though I have to disagree on one thing-I LOVE COFFEE!!!!!!!

I'm not addicted though-I just love it.

ElisaH BRONZE said...
on May. 11 2010 at 6:31 pm
ElisaH BRONZE, Los Angeles, California
1 article 0 photos 5 comments
Nice! It really makes me feel like I am inside her thoughts, like I myself am nervous, and finally when I get to the comments is when I realize that I am really sitting on my bed and trying something new, like meeting up for coffee. Really nice!

on Apr. 24 2010 at 1:45 pm
Christmas BRONZE, Orlando, Florida
3 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We move from song to song, from lyric to lyric, from chord to chord. There is no ending here. It's an infinite playlist."

Brilliant. I love the whole parallel between the coffe and the guy, and the constant symbolism with the cream and sugar. Honestly, I don't know how you thought to relate those things together; I never could have come up with that. The whole work feels personal, like an actual flow of thoughts. You can feel the nervousness in the ramblings about the taste of coffee. In short, this is really great. Can't wait for more like it!

(P.S. - Coffee may not be great, but how can you pass on a delicious mocha??)

on Apr. 22 2010 at 4:12 pm
manga_maniac SILVER, Bloomington, Indiana
8 articles 1 photo 79 comments
really great, i look forward to reading more=)

sxb1122 SILVER said...
on Apr. 19 2010 at 11:32 pm
sxb1122 SILVER, Lake Jackson, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Remember what John and Paul said." "The apostles?" "No, the Beatles. All you need is love."

This is a really good piece. You are quite succesfull in your use of second person, which most people can't manage. Good job.

on Apr. 14 2010 at 8:29 am
creativityrules BRONZE, Lucknow, Other
4 articles 0 photos 29 comments
I really like it.....clever piece....yeah, coffee does suck, now coke rocks!!!!

on Apr. 14 2010 at 8:27 am
creativityrules BRONZE, Lucknow, Other
4 articles 0 photos 29 comments

love the whole theme..... a real clever piece!!! and yes... i hate coffee too.....


on Apr. 13 2010 at 8:00 pm
writergirl13 GOLD, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
11 articles 8 photos 261 comments

Favorite Quote:
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce

I love the symbolism of coffee in this piece, it kind of states that you aren't just nervous about having to drink the coffee, but it also states that you are extremely nervous about meeting this boy! Absolutely genious!

on Apr. 1 2010 at 10:21 pm
MyFairyTaleEnding SILVER, Villa Ridge, Missouri
7 articles 0 photos 86 comments
You are an AMAZING writer!! Please keep it up! :)

on Apr. 1 2010 at 8:21 pm
mercantile BRONZE, New Gloucester, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 47 comments
thank you :) and yes it's disgusting haha