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.

aem312 BRONZE said...
on Feb. 10 2012 at 8:41 pm
aem312 BRONZE, Richmond, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 43 comments
This is really cute. I loved reading it! It kind of reminded me of myself. I get really anxious and I would be worrying about spilling the coffee. Great job. :)

on Feb. 10 2012 at 7:02 pm
someonewhoisme BRONZE, Normandy, Tennessee
3 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You is smart. You is kind. You is important."-Aibileen- The Help

I love it! It's so cute and so honest! I love how you keep comparing him to coffee and how they're both so insecure. P.S. Can you read my story "Society geats what society wants."

Ecouter said...
on Feb. 8 2012 at 4:23 pm
Ecouter, 22, California
0 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Sort of' is such a harmless thing to say... sort of. It's just a filler. Sort of... it doesn't really mean anything. But after certain things, sort of means everything. Like ... after "I love you"... or "You're going to live"... or "It's a boy!"

It's amazing. But...I must admit I love coffee.

on Jan. 19 2012 at 6:02 pm
Jenny1397 BRONZE, Bayamon, Other
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments
Wow, its a really nice story. How you compare everything with coffee, how you write the narrator's emotions and fears, its fantastic. :))

on Jan. 19 2012 at 9:42 am
ArielHardinn. BRONZE, Lake City, Florida
4 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Let your religion be less of a theory, and more of a love affair."

I stumbled across this article a while back, and enjoyed it so much. Funny, now that I've came across it again. This EXACT SAME situation happened to me. I met a boy for coffee, and everything you said in this article applied to my situation. "I want to like coffee for you." My gosh, how incredibly true that statement is. "I barely know you. In fact, I've never actually met you." That's true as well. We go to the same school, but we had only communicated via Text/Twitter. I could go on for hours about how I could relate to basically every line in this poem, but I'll save anyone who's reading this comment. Haha ;) I was nervous, so very nervous. But everything turned out to be so wonderful. I hope the same happened with you. :)

on Dec. 28 2011 at 11:19 pm
writers_revenge BRONZE, Newport News, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
I think that I'm so psychotic and so mentally ill that if I could tap into that I could do something really interesting.
Megan Fox

It's cute. I love how you compare everything to coffee.

on Dec. 28 2011 at 12:10 pm
Pamplemousse SILVER, Gilbert, Arizona
7 articles 1 photo 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To be happy, Don't do whatever you like, Like whatever you do" -James Barrie (author of Peter Pan)

Amazing! Just the simple flow of ideas and words was so perfect. And I love the whole metaphor going on too with the cream and sugar.

Ekf07 GOLD said...
on Dec. 6 2011 at 7:03 pm
Ekf07 GOLD, Huntersville, North Carolina
16 articles 0 photos 27 comments

Favorite Quote:
“The expert at anything was once a beginner.All writers are crazy. So never mind what the editors, your family and your critique group tells you. Submit your manuscripts and keep submitting until you get an offer. Then you can be crazy, with a payc

this is amazing, the smoothly laid plot line is fantastic, the way you describe coffe! I could practacly smell it!

Sayuri97 GOLD said...
on Dec. 6 2011 at 2:38 pm
Sayuri97 GOLD, Gilford, New Hampshire
12 articles 0 photos 49 comments
Fantastic! Probably the best, if not in the top 3, best articles I've read today!

Rhinos SILVER said...
on Dec. 6 2011 at 1:27 am
Rhinos SILVER, Saigon, Other
5 articles 0 photos 8 comments
very good, i can feel a strange tension, the feeling of fake and robot when I think of drinking coffee...not out of passion but for something else. It's just fake...Very nice, coffee is coffee, it's from beans, it's that simple :) very cute

on Nov. 14 2011 at 9:01 pm
StarryRoss GOLD, Albuquerque, New Mexico
19 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Writing is the socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." -E.L. Doctorow

they're definitely right, you had very nice, natural timing and rhythm. Also i like the repitition and analogies of coffee being strong, bittersweet, etc, but you did it in such a way that made it not redundant and repetitive; you knew what you were talking about and how exactly to use repition effectively - nice job

on Nov. 14 2011 at 8:35 pm
clumsyteardropper SILVER, Roslyn, Pennsylvania
8 articles 0 photos 87 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You can't help others, if you yourself need help" -my sister ;) love it!

I loved it! :)  I'm so favoriting this.  this reminds me of the way i think sometimes..... anddd i also hate coffee :P
i really wish i could lay my thoughts out the way that you do.  awesome work! :)

on Nov. 14 2011 at 6:56 pm
its such a cute story:)

on Nov. 14 2011 at 3:44 pm
pageturner PLATINUM, Brooklyn, New York
34 articles 0 photos 94 comments

Favorite Quote:
It's okay to daydream.. just as long as you get to do some of those daydreams.

I love this story. It actually inspired my story: I hate jazz. Hope you check it out

on Nov. 14 2011 at 3:06 pm
rainbowgirl BRONZE, Ijamsville, Maryland
2 articles 3 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
My work has been modified to fit your brains. :)

Cute Sincere Sweet

I love it, no words

ChantelleK. said...
on Nov. 14 2011 at 1:24 pm
ChantelleK., Toronto, Other
0 articles 0 photos 21 comments
I love this piece. It cheers me up every time I read it.

Torch said...
on Nov. 14 2011 at 10:10 am

Wow. I wasn't going to comment on this (I usually don't) but I was just so impressed I had to. The way you played it out so perfectly, showed all those emotions, made it seem real and desperate- just wow. You are really skilled.

I also wanted to comment because I had this exact same experience. You definitely wrote exactly what I felt. Thank you.

This was positively amazing. Keep writing! :)

on Nov. 3 2011 at 4:02 am
Yurriane BRONZE, Tokyo, Other
2 articles 0 photos 13 comments

This is so cute!!

I loved how you can put her mind which is racing with thoughts and emotions.The rhythm of it,beautiful.

on Oct. 23 2011 at 10:12 pm
CraftyCinamatic SILVER, Ponte Vedra, Florida
7 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Fall in love? I'd rather fall in chocolate"

- Me :D

I agree :) I like the metaphor included in the story

annawofle said...
on Oct. 23 2011 at 7:49 pm
annawofle, Lula, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
People come into your life for a reason and a season. So expect the unexpected.

I thought it was great! Iloved how well you decribed her emotions. While reading it I started to get nervous! I also liked how you compared the guy to coffee and made it work!