Decaf coffee is what doctors sentence a person to when they have no more medical hope or advice for them. “Start drinking decaf.” It means “I’ve gone to 15 extra years of medical school and I have no idea about your problem. I have nothing else to tell you.”
Instead of saying that, they look you right in the eye and say “drink decaf” with a look of conviction as clear as if Jesus Christ himself was staring you down to cure blindness. I’ve been looking for solutions for migraines forever. This past month being particularly hellish, I wound up in the walls of various medical establishments enough that they were quite sick of looking at my “yeah, but that didn’t work” face. Modern medicine’s supposed to be able to cure anything as long as a person walks in sporting the correct copay. I’ve stumped my good docs though. I feel bad for them–they want to tell me something comforting.
I’m a fairly holistic person. I studied Eastern medicine myself for a couple of years, but never got more than a cursory foundation and deep appreciation. Eventually, though, I migrated to the Motrin and caffeine aisles, and did the best I could as a quasi-western holistic fake with a touch of Eastern poser.
“I need you to detox,” said the doctor. Detox? Me? I looked over my shoulder thinking we had some kind of cost-saving HMO group appointment. I don’t even drink.
“Excuse me?” Maybe he forgot I’m the one who refuses all narcotics, plants my own herbs for medicinal tea, and grows half of the vegetables I eat until I overplant and the garden attacks me.
“Detox,” he said. “You’ve been taking far too much of this stuff.” This stuff, apparently, is all the harmless OTC drugs I take to avoid the Big Guns… the things the street corner pharma guys will give me if I simply look like I might cry.
“Well,” I said, “I found this migraine diet that you add the foods back in one by one until cured…”
He assured me that a diet of brown rice and fresh beans would get me nowhere. “Detox.”
So, here I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I confessed to friends that I bought a bag of decaf and now sit with a cup of decaf lotus tea. I’m certain it’s karma. How many times has a waitress asked me “Decaf or regular?” and I replied, “I’m not nearly old enough for decaf.” I’m insulted. Decaf is for people who set their white hair in rollers on the way to bingo. And take the leftover sugar from the packet holder. Do I look like a sugar-stealing roller-setting white-haired early bird special eater? Gosh!
I’m ashamed. I can’t go out to an early dinner again. I’ll have to look at Everywaitress in the eye. She’ll be thinking, “Here’s a coupon. The special ends at 4:30.”
And in the mean time, I wonder how much time I wasted in life–taking care of myself, being healthy, exercising, growing my own organic food, avoiding drugs and alcohol. All garbage. None of it worked. I’ll need a new strategy…The most I can do is get up and have the balls to buy myself a bag of good old processed food filled with MSG and eat it every day until I cure myself. And then go to several parties drug seeking like an A-list Hollywood actor with twenty lives.
But instead, I sit here, obedient. Drinking decaf coffee and lotus tea. Waiting for my hair to turn white and someone to pass the rollers.
Alas. It’s almost four. Time to leave for the blue plate special.