Posts Tagged ‘playing russian roulette with my digestive system — and winning!’

NTKOG #26: The kind of girl who can’t make it through her morning without that extra-hot, ultra-strong black cup o’ java.

I am: both immune to caffeine and hyper-sensitive to acidity in food. I’m talking “can’t even smell a tomato without my eyes watering” sensitive.

I am not: able to vow with certainty that coffee is a scientifically proven toxin. But I drank half a cup of it at a church function once when I was twelve and spent the next fifty-odd hours doubled over in pain. Guess I should have mixed in a little holy water.

The Scene: Corporate America. Thursday morning. There are doughnuts in the breakroom, everyone’s already made the requisite morning non-jokes. Yes, we have hit the dreaded mid-morning lull. Maybe it is my sense of adventure, or maybe just the fact that I haven’t slept a full night since August, but I decide the time has come for my first-ever cup of coffee. Mock-casually I saunter to the breakroom. Who, me? What, I drink the stuff all the time! Coffee, you know, java, joe — damnit, TKOG, keep cool!

The office I work in is roughly seven hundred and fifty times nicer than my apartment. Each office is the size of a $900/month city-outskirt studio; the art on the walls has do-not-touch barricades; for a staff of thirty people, there are THREE top-of-the-line coffee/espresso machiens — the space-age kind that single-brew cups or shots out of those futuristic little pods. And oh god the walls of coffee, in every flavor you could imagine. It is a barista brothel.

I skim through the pods and select the ultra-minimalist Double Fudge Walnut Ripple (no, sadly, the pod did not come with a complimentary pink-sequined mug or whipped cream dispenser) and, with careful nonchalance, brew a cup. Walked it to my desk and sit there, pointedly ignoring it through all fifty entries on my google reader. Don’t want it to burn my tongue, I think. Don’t want it to burn my heart.

Once the situation was cooled down to, y’know, approximately human core temperature, I lifted it up. And wouldn’t you know it — it actually smelled kind of okay. Kind of great, even. Didn’t singe my nose hair at all! Tilted back my first sip and .. nothing. I mean, okay, rich buttery top notes witha  relentless pound of chalky bitterness underneath. But it did not feel, as I always assumed it would based on my long-ago experience, like a giant gulp of battery acid.

I ended up more or less chugging the cup, and, as of press time, am barely dead.

The Verdict: Hey coffee! I’m not afraid of you anymore! I didn’t love the taste and still don’t understand why every dang dude on the T murmurs sweet nothings into his morning cuppa, but nor do I any longer look on coffee addicts with pity and curiosity.

At last count: No apocalyptic gastro-intestinal meltdown (whew. I feared this would turn into a TMI Thursday); no spacey caffeine-high jitters; no chance I have been converted into a lifetime coffee drinker. But this does give credence to my theory that I should retaste all the foods I think I dislike at least once a year to keep expanding my palate.


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