Thursday, May 2, 2013

Coffee Head

I had nothing to worry about. The caffeine in that coffee I drank before bedtime wouldn’t keep me awake. I’d get to sleep in good time and be well rested before a very busy day of work to follow.

As I loaded that single-serving K-Cup canister into the coffee machine, my wife insisted the caffeine would not only keep me awake, but that I’d keep her awake. She had work the next day, too.

“You have nothing to worry about,” I assured her, “If I can’t sleep, I’ll give you one of my famous head rubs.”

For your information, I’m going to patent my head rubs. It’s not your everyday method. It’s the world’s only head rub that offers subtle, yet complete relaxation for a tired, yet stressed-out wife of mine in an era of over-produced head rubs.

That’s my pitch for the patent board. Too wordy?

My wife knows my process is one of a kind. That’s why she gave me the okay and turned in.

She was asleep before I began. Even the thought of my head rubs put her out. However, I was wide-awake. But it wasn’t the coffee. It was everything on my plate the next day that made me anxious.

I had to get my son to school in the morning. I had writing deadlines to meet before going into work. I was stressed, had many mysteries to solve like, Where the heck have I seen that actor from that TV show tonight?

My brain was drowning. I wasn’t going to sleep any time soon. But I had nothing to worry about.

I thought about watching a movie. Or maybe finishing that book I was reading. Maybe I could work on meeting those writing deadlines -- that’d be the smartest way to use my time and energy.

I got out of bed without waking my wife, made my way down the hall toward the office. Then I ignored the office and went to the TV to watch that movie. That’d help me sleep. See, I had the power here.

Watching the movie only stimulated my mind. It was this thing about zombie robots from another dominion. Don’t judge it. It had a very relevant social commentary. In fact, I found uncanny similarities in this book I was reading about the Dust Bowl of 1930s Middle America. Did you know that heavy winds carried dust all the way to the East Coast?

It wasn’t long before I’d switched from the robot movie to the Dust Bowl book. But then the book reminded me of that Dust Bowl documentary I’d recorded on my DVR that I hadn’t seen yet. So I set the book down, returned to my TV and cued up the doc. I couldn’t stick to one activity. I was wasting time.

I had nothing to worry about. I had the power. I decided not to waste more time. I’d work on meeting those writing deadlines.

I went into my home office and fired up the computer. First things first -- I checked my e-mail. I came across some funny videos. Has it occurred to anyone else that people don’t really tell jokes anymore? Current events used to bring out the best joke tellers. Now we just send a link to a funny video.

I turned my efforts to an Internet search for breaking news about the decline of good old-fashioned joke telling in America due to the advent of viral videos. Before I could peruse my Google results, I realized again I was wasting time and, more importantly, not getting sleep. I had to get my son to school in the morning. I had those deadlines to meet before going to work. I had to figure out where the heck I’d seen that actor from that TV show I’d watched earlier that night. Was that guy in the new Bond movie?

Why’d I drink that coffee? What an idiot. I don’t even drink coffee. Not often, anyway. I’d lost the power to sleep. I woke my wife and told her my problem. She wasn’t happy, did the whole told-you-so thing, but said she’d give me a head rub to help me fall asleep.

It only helped her fall asleep. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep.

And then I fell asleep. And then my alarm screamed at me to take in the morning. And I couldn’t wake up.

Everything between my ears throbbed. My mind was in a fog. My wife was up and out the door, which meant I had to get going, too. I had that kid to get to school, those deadlines to meet, that job to work. If I could just get myself out of bed, my feet would do the rest.

I had nothing to worry about.

Two jammed toes later, I found the kitchen. I opened the cupboard and searched for the coffee. But my head hurt so much I couldn’t see. I let my hand do the rest of the work. Please, no mousetraps.

And there it was -- the K-Cup coffee box. And also the answer I desperately needed -- that actor was in a stupid cereal commercial! My mind could finally rest.

But I couldn’t rest, not until I found what I needed. I dug into that K-Cup coffee box for the antidote to my sleepless night . . .

I’d consumed the last cup of coffee last night.

I really had nothing to worry about.

-March 2013

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