Sadly, I recently found out that my beloved – coffee – has been doing me wrong. Heartbreaking. I didn’t even see it coming. Everything was fine for several years, so I thought, No! It can’t be. Coffee was my best friend and trusted companion. Coffee came to work with me, walked to school with me through many chilling Chicago winters, even came to class and stayed up with me on late nights as I studied. More recently, coffee clocked in long hours of writing, revising, and obsessing over a very involved project.
Yet, I’m left with no choice but to come to grips with the fact that coffee is doing weird things to me, and sadly, can no longer be trusted. Of course I went through a phase of denial and thought that maybe gluten was sneaking into my body without me somehow knowing it. Gluten, for me is particularly deleterious. But no, that wasn’t it. I was too diligent. So I had to start the very difficult process of eliminating foods systematically to find the culprit. Of course I continued to drink coffee because it surely couldn’t be that. However, it quickly became very obvious that despite my back stroke down the deep sea of denial, coffee was in fact the culprit. I frantically started to do research hoping that someone would tell me it wasn’t so. Maybe I’d even find that coffee helps the digestive system function more optimally (see, that back stroke again). Except the only thing I found time and time again related to the digestive system was this:
Coffee can be misunderstood as gluten or other invasive substances in the body, and therefore, the body reacts adversely to it. I’ve included a couple of articles that support this absurdly tragic news:
NOOOOOOO!!! I didn’t want to find research that confirmed my suspicion. But here I am, now attempting to find suitable alternatives for my beloved friend and comforter, the coffee bean. Of course, there is tea, matcha and mate, the latter possibly being closest to coffee in consistency. But, the reality is that I’m not ready for this relationship to be over and I’m surely not ready for a rebound. So, in my tormenting sadness, the only thing I can do is this:
Ode to Coffee
Coffee, oh coffee, where art thou, coffee?
I thought you’d never, ever forsake me.
But you changed, and we can no longer be together.
In fact, separate, I suppose, would be better.
You did me wrong, or was it I that was changing all along?
Despite this conundrum, I shall continue to sing this song,
Because you were there when I needed you,
Unwavering, bold and strong.
Although it is now time for us to part,
You will always and forever have my heart.
Although you sometimes gave my stomach great pains,
And sometimes gave my heartbeat a terrible start and disdain.
Coffee, oh coffee,
I shall always wish that you hadn’t left me,
Yet for my own good, I must refrain from your lure,
In spite of my yearning heart and your aromatic overtures.
Breaking up is oh, so hard to do. I suppose this isn’t a Happy Ending, because I have to sacrifice an old friend, nor is it thoroughly sad, because I feel liberated from its effects. It is instead bittersweet, just as I loved my coffee.