Friday, May 26, 2006

“My name is Jeff and I’m a coffaholic.”

As a young adult, I began living two completely different lives. Look at me now and you’ll see a spiritual, fun-loving man. My life is full and my career is fine. But my life wasn’t always this way, though. I used to drink so much I could not pass out. “My name is Jeff and I’m a coffaholic.”

My coffaholism began in my mid 20’s because of a “friend.” James was a coffaholic.

James was always around, and he was usually drinking coffee. Although he never poured it down my throat, his never-ending barrage of coffee words terrified me. He was always wide-eyed and bushy tailed in the morning and would stand over the sink looking so content with a mug in his hand. That scene will forever be etched in my mind.

As a minister I always felt different from the rest of the world, in part because of my calling. I didn’t want to be in the spotlight. I wanted to be invisible, but I wanted love and attention at the same time. I felt confused, alone, and lost.

When I moved to New England, I started to sneak my friend’s coffee. Being buzzed gave me some relief from the demons in my head. A month later I had my first full cup and with it, I found another way to escape reality.

Even though I knew what I was doing was dangerous, I quickly became a daily coffee drinker.

Later on my friend, James, gave me my own coffee maker for my birthday. I made coffee with abandon. Irish cream, mocha mint and French roast!

For a while, I had a blast. I became popular, and was invited to Pepperdine. I was the designated coffee drinker at Preacher’s Meetings; a title I held proudly.

The problem was that I could never predict what would happen after I took my first drink. I never could recall where the last hour went. I would hear the ugly details from my friends, which usually involved some kind of hyper-activity.

My taste for coffee grew more extravagant - first it was just coffee with cream, then lattes, vanilla lattes, cappuccino, then mochas – the wonderful mochas – and then eventually - the hard stuff, espresso or “X” by its street name. I was and am a coffaholic.

A few months back the old coffee maker that James gave me finally bit the dust after almost 20 years. I thought to myself – now is my chance to break free!

But before the day was over another “friend” had replaced it with a real coffeemaker from Starbucks. It seems that I will forever be enslaved to the black gold.

I will be out of pocket for a couple of weeks - check back the end of June...

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