Robert Frost was a bit conflicted about how the world would end. He wrote the following poem to express this sentiment:
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
I agree with both of his visions of the end of everything. But I think he is missing something: it’s not going to be ice or fire, per se. It’s going to be iced or hot coffee. Yup, I am of the mind that this will be the true end of the world, with one last caffeinated gasp.
I mean, it’s no surprise that the world is truly addicted to their cup of coffee or tea in the morning. That’s easy to see on your commute, watching car after car pull through the drive-thru at Dunkin or Starbucks. But what’s really surprising to me is how much we crave that caffeine boost. It’s as if we can’t have a day where we aren’t completely productive from 9 to 5. It’s completely unacceptable to feel sleepy at any point of the day because we aren’t performing at our best.
And still, I didn’t realize this until I went off caffeine. And yes, that is how I refer to it, because it really is a drug. Okay, okay, there’s no caffeine pills in glassine baggies, and you won’t find some shady person creep out of an alley and ask if you want some of his/her freshest stock, but it’s completely and irrevocably addicting.
For example, when I went on a clean diet to determine my food allergy, I had to give up caffeine. I occasionally drank soda but I loved tea, so this was a huge undertaking. After a few days, it felt as if someone took an axe to my head, repeatedly. My body was not interested in withdrawal from caffeine, and it voiced its complaints in such a way that I couldn’t ignore. But, as with all wounds, I healed and as time went on, I found myself feeling better without caffeine. Sure, I was tired at about 3:00 PM, but I rebounded. And for awhile, things were good.
Enter a couple 12-hour days, and I realized that I would need help staying awake. So, I tried some coffee for the first time in my life. And I found with enough rice milk to drown a football field and enough sugar to fill a dump truck, I I loved coffee. And coffee loved me. I received a caffeine high that paled in comparison to that of my chai tea. I felt like I could leap tall buildings in a single bound (or at least stay awake for a long time) when I drank coffee.
The only problem is that I started to notice that coffee doesn’t actually keep you entirely awake. While your body is moving through the motions, your mind can still get tired. So, you stay up late at night, and your mind is tugging you along into dreamland but then your body wants to run a marathon. Really, it is the very definition of being a zombie. And if you think about how many people are drinking three or four cups a day, you could say that we have a zombie apocalypse on our hands. What’s to say that everyone won’t simply inject caffeine into their veins in a few years and our minds check out completely? What if caffeine actually robs us of sleep altogether, and we just keep moving and working without thought? Forget The Walking Dead. This is The Waking Dead.
In the end, I am here to say that it’s natural to be tired and to take a nap when necessary. But if you need caffeine, it’s possible you won’t sleep until your dead, and you may become undead in the process.
Let’s all try to moderate the apocalypse, shall we?