The Thrill is Gone

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My affair with coffee started in earnest during my working years. As an accountant, I was married to my desk. My computer and I could finish each other’s sentences. Week days were nothing but debits and credits and budgets, oh my!

To divert the monotony, I began to visit the break-room for coffee. One cup became two, two became three – you see where this is going? It used to be just a morning thing, then I decided why not drink coffee all day long? To make the infatuation even worse, my place of employment installed one of those fancy little machines where you could make whatever flavor you wanted! Mocha, Hazelnut, and Butter Pecan were my favorites! When I retired nearly five years ago, I’m sure the line item amount budgeted for coffee was significantly reduced.

Retirement came with considerable changes in routine, but the amount of coffee I drank was not one of them. I still spent hours on the computer, but instead of plugging numbers into spreadsheets, I would string words together to make a story or a poem. Coffee continued to be a reason to get up, take a break and refocus. My affair with coffee lived on!

Soon, I began to rely on coffee to co-author my writing. Some mornings, words awoke with the first cup and sometimes they didn’t appear until after the third. I was convinced there was a direct connection between the number of paragraphs on the page and the amount of coffee I consumed. I remember one chilly morning trying to come up with just the perfect word to fill the void in a poem I was working on. I struggled to find a compromise between the expected word and one with an abstract meaning. I lifted my cup and there it was, mingled in the black liquid magic! The perfect word! Would I have found it were it not for coffee?

Unfortunately, coffee and I will have to part ways! On a completely innocent visit to my doctor, he discovered the truth about my romance with caffeine. For assorted reasons, he suggested I drastically ease my fling with coffee or he wouldn’t allow it at all! Imagine my grief!

The good news is that we don’t have to break-up completely, coffee and me. We can still see each other two times a day. But now, when I go into the kitchen to drain the pot; when the last drop of motivation is in my cup, I wonder where I’ll find the words if they don’t show up before the cup is empty!

My response to today’s one-word prompt: Sympathy (because it is with great sympathy that I end my affair with coffee!)


  1. I used to make the same association between between writing and smoking. And I’m sure more than one Irish writer will tell you that great writing can only be seen through the bottom of an empty shot glass. Happily I’m slave to neither of those. But woe to anyone who even SUGGESTS I cut back on the Joe. Good luck. I’m almost rooting for you!

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  2. I am a realist and a coffee drinker so I will just say it as it is ….that is awful!!! Truth is, I have been given the word too, so we are in this together. Writing is often like sitting with a friend and having that cup of coffee so if would make sense that we could love it here, but ….yes. there is decal, and wine at 5, thank goodness. Have a good rest of your week.

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  3. Many years ago I had to break my diet coke fixation. My well read and health conscious friends gave me a hard time whenever they saw one in my hand. Finally, it was a video on FB of someone cleaning rust off their car that did the trick for me. I could only imagine what it was doing to my stomach! Any way…. you have my SYMPATHY, I am not sure I could do it!

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  4. Loved this! Sorry you won’t be able to have your wonderful coffee’s so often, but happy you don’t have to stop completely!! I will not try to tempt you with just one more cup at any time! Love U! ckh

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  5. Reading this, I was trying to remember the term “sympathy ” so that I could try and discover where it’s incorporated in this.. Honestly, though, the more I read on, the less I cared, as his was really entertaining. By the way, I am sympathetic to your situation. Sorry you had to cut back so much on the beloved beverage! (Personally, I love it hot too.) At least you don’t have to give it up completely.


  6. hmmm, there is a long tradition of looking into liquid (also crystal as a stand-in for liquid) and seeing something. It’s a way of focusing the mind, bringing the unconscious a little closer to the surface. So if coffee is disallowed, maybe water in a black or coffee brown cup? or a black or earth brown crystal/crystal ball? A large piece of shiny obsidian with it’s natural curves like waves–now I want one, lol. Of course, you might not want the aide any more because you’ve done it often enough, you can imagine the coffee and focus at will. Anyways, just a thought.

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