Is it the taste? Is it the jolt? Or is it simply the familiar? Ever since I was a kid, I've been caffeinated. Coca-Cola, iced tea, espresso in the morning.That's right, a demitasse of sugared espresso in the morning to accompany my giant bowl of Frosted Flakes. No child was more psyched to hit the second grade than I. Multiplication tables? BRING IT ON! I had my coffee this morning! Keep in mind that this was in the mid to late seventies, when kids where still riding in the front seat on the laps of their unseatbelted mothers, so the effects of sugar and caffeine on children were not generally considered. Also, I'm Cuban and espresso is the Cuban people's regular coffee. Some parents would water down their child's coffee with a hefty dose of milk, but not my mother. This might explain why I measure of all of five feet two inches (who am I kidding? My people are a tiny people, the coffee had nothing to do with it).
Lately, I've fallen back into Coke is it! mode. I'd been really good about drinking water, cranberry juice and the occasional beer (or four) for a while. I was limiting my caffeine intake to one cup of coffee or tea in the morning and maybe a Snapple with lunch. But suddenly, well, Coke is it. There is nothing like an ice cold fountain Coke (yeah, I said a FOUNTAIN Coke) to accompany my three Doodle Burgers. That will turn your day around like nothing else.
Sometimes I try to fool myself into believing that caffeine has no effect me. " I've been drinking coffee and soda all my life, I've developed an immunity." Utter foolishness, I know. I'll brazenly order a cup of coffee (or espresso, if I'm feeling like an especially fancy pompous ass) to accompany my chocolate lava cake at the end of a huge meal, thinking that I'll be able to sleep without issue. Fast forward to 1am, and me rereading back issues of Real Simple magazine, wondering why I can't sleep. My body may be tired, but my brain needs to look at articles about how to organize my bathroom vanity in order to calm down enough to sleep. Otherwise, I'll be up all night, organizing my bathroom vanity or some such nonsense just to wear myself out. I think Homer Simpson said it best when he said, "I love you too, Pepsi." But only if there's no Coke.