You know how some relationships are toxic but you keep being drawn to them like a moth to a flame? Don’t worry, I’m not straying onto Valentine’s turf, I’m just talking about my on and off affair with two old friends, who happen to be related to each other — coffee and a particular caffeinated energy drink that promises wings.
There was a time of my life when my intimacy with these two became so hot and heavy, it had to end and end badly.
Coffee and I would meet at the breakfast table, where the day could not possibly begin until we had consummated our love at least thrice, depending on time and what sort of night it had been. We would then pull apart, only to find ourselves drawn together again mid-morning before a post-luncheon rendezvous with often a tryst in the evening, if I worked late.
All this time, I was in denial about the toxicity of our relationship and refused to see my codependency as the thing that was affecting other areas of my life, such as my once close friendship with calm and sleep.
I was happy to go with the flow, and then I met coffee’s winged cousin and then — as was the case when Jonathan Hart met Jennifer — it was murder.
I convinced myself that I needed our ménage à trois as I worked long and hard during the day and enjoyed partying in the same mode at night. Being deviant that way, I liked my coffee to mingle with two sugars and my wings were best when they collaborated with a liquid of chilled, fermented Russian potatoes.
Things couldn’t have been better until our basic threesome began to tug at my heart via the palpitations, which in turn caused my brain to buzz constantly and further estrange me from my hitherto most significant other, sleep.
It all came to a head on a hard working Friday when I spent the day with my black beauty and half the night winging it with vodka. I literally caught 40 winks before heading back to work, after more coffee and the odd boost from the winged one, minus Vodka (I was at work, remember?).
By the end of the day, I was so wired from all the caffeine I shivered like a fever sufferer, and my heartbeat was as frenzied as a mad drummer.
Later, while trying to sleep, I felt like Fred Flinstone banging at the door that Wilma didn’t want to open. Sleep finally opened his arms to me almost halfway through Sunday. When I eventually awoke on Monday, I knew I had to end this dangerous liaison.
However, old lovers do occasionally meet, and as my sleeplessness last night will testify, weakness leads to reliving old times. In my defence, it had been a cold day, so I had coffee and later, by the time I realised I only had wings as a mixture for my vodka, it was too late to do anything about it.