From Comatose To Fetal Position: A Coffee Drinker’s Daily Journey


I have a beautiful relationship with coffee. It always keeps me up and never lets me down. It doesn’t ask silly questions or judge me for wearing sweatpants. It’s the best part of waking up and the friend I can turn to at any time.

But every relationship has its ups and downs, and my relationship with coffee is no different. We have to work through our struggles and I admit, there have been times I’ve walked out on it, thinking I was done with it [hangs head in shame].

But coffee has never given up on me.

So what does our daily relationship look like? Generally speaking, it’s a progression from comatose to fetal position.

CUP #1: Totally Comatose and Unable To Function

My alarm goes off, shrieking at me like some sort of bun wearing British schoolmarm, informing that the good times are over and that the drudgery must begin. I stumble out of bed, trying to determine whether my dream about riding bareback on a dolphin had some connection to reality.

I flick on the coffee pot and it purrs to life, informing that help is on the way, that it will all be okay soon, and that it’s going to be a good day. I sit on the couch and stare at the wall blankly, waiting for the blessed juice to finish brewing.

I take my first sip of the black gold, savoring the warm hug it gives my soul and the life it puts into my veins. Today will be a decent day.

CUP #2: Mostly Dead

Much like Wesley in The Princess Bride, I am still mostly dead. The coffee has defibrillated my body into working, but I’m like a cell phone that has been dropped into a toilet: glitchy (I can neither confirm nor deny that I’ve done this).

What do I need to revive my mostly dead body, soul, and mind? A second cup of coffee.

Hello, darkness, my old friend. As the nectar of the gods courses through my veins, I feel the synapses in my brain exchanging high fives and side hugs. Like Dr. Frankenstein’s misunderstood monster, I am coming to life.


CUP #3: I Am Invincible

I have reached superhuman levels of productivity and energy. I can simultaneously solve complex calculus problems and diagram sentences. The possibility of writing the next Great American Novel is distinctly within my reach. I am literally answering emails before they are sent and I sign up to run 4 different marathons.

This is what heaven feels like. This is the new body. I don’t need to wait until the rapture, I have it now.

CUP #4: Warning Signs

Something is wrong. My left eyelid is twitching uncontrollably. Has someone injected novocaine into my lips? Why are my legs moving independently of my mind?

My heart is racing uncomfortably fast and I’m beginning to think I should have stopped at three cups. What was that noise? Is someone in the house? Someone is definitely in the house. Crap, I don’t have a weapon. Maybe this video game controller will work.

I need something to calm me down. Another cup of coffee will do the trick.

CUP #5: A Mission From The CIA

I am beginning to receive secret brain transmissions from the CIA. They have a mission for me, a world-saving mission that only I can perform.

I begin clipping headlines from newspapers and sticking them on a cork board. Everything suddenly makes sense. It’s all connected. The Gulf War, the moon landing, the mysterious ending in Inception, that piece of chicken I ate for lunch. Of course. How could I not have seen this earlier? The sheeple must be warned.

I pack a go bag, quickly print out a passport in Microsoft Word (they’ll understand at the airport once I show them my ID), and get into my 2003 Honda Odyssey (after checking for tracking devices, of course).

I need one last thing to ensure my mission is a success: another cup of coffee.

CUP #6: Fetal Position

I’m on the floor curled tightly into an armadillo-like ball. It’s cold…so cold. Darkness all around me. This is the end. The final curtain call.

My life flashes before my eyes, like the most boring documentary ever made.

Curse you, coffee! You have been my undoing, my Delilah, my Trojan Horse. I trusted you and you took advantage of me!

If I survive this nightmare I will never again imbibe in that wicked beverage. That devil’s spawn. That bile from the pit of hell. We’re through. I’m done.

I drift to sleep…and awake 8 hours later from my slumber.

I’m so tired. I need coffee.

Stephen Altrogge

I'm a husband, dad, writer. I drink too much coffee and know too much about Star Wars. I created The Blazing Center. I've also written some books which people seem to like. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook