Don’t Kill My Buzz, Man!
As you may have noticed from the audio of the monologue at the end of my previous post, I’m a fan of caffeine.
The problem, though, is that the further I creep into that thing which, for the sake of argument, we’ll call my thirties, I find that I’m becoming more a fan of the IDEA of caffeine than the actual caffeine itself. As I get older I notice that caffeine has a much subtler but more pronounced effect on me than it did in the past.
Back in the good old days when I was ridiculously young and agile and crazy like a jackalope, I would guzzle down caffeinated beverages like there was no tomorrow. Back then the only real work I did was for a theatre company and the rest of the time I was a professional wastrel. I’d usually stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning regardless of what I’d been drinking that day. Even so, I’d be able to go to bed mere seconds after I’d had caffeine and not have the least bit of trouble getting to sleep.
While cola, tea and the like were staples for me, they seemed to have little or no effect. But coffee was a different story. One sip of java and I’d be bouncing off the walls.
Nowadays, if I drink ordinary caffeinated beverages, I seem to get very little in the way of an energy boost from it. To all appearances, nothing significant happens… until I try to go to bed. If I’ve had more than, say, a couple of thimblefuls of caffeine in the last few hours, sleep is utterly IMPOSSIBLE.
But one thing has remained consistent, and that’s my reaction to coffee. One sip of java and I’m bouncing off the walls. Okay, maybe it takes TWO sips these days, but the effect is the same.
This is how I eventually came to admit to myself that my reaction to coffee is probably a placebo effect. I came to this realization not too long ago when I guzzled two frappucinos in preparation for participating in the morning show that’s produced at my broadcasting school’s radio station. The idea that coffee can turn me into a wired and witty cartoon character is so powerful to me that when I drink the coffee, that’s what happens.
But sadly, it’s naught but an illusion. The truth is that caffeine doesn’t really GIVE me energy. It just changes WHEN I have it.
Does it matter, though? We do all kinds of crazy things to motivate ourselves – you only need to see footage of any random sports rally to confirm that. So why not let me have my fantasy of a magical concoction that throws my personality into overdrive? If it amuses me and helps me get things done at the same time, I call that a victory.
What this really means is that while I’m not drinking nearly as much caffeine as I did in the old days, I’m more determined than ever to harness my power of self-delusion and use the resulting tide of caffeine-inspired wackiness for the greater good.
Er… or words to that effect.