Coffee Stains

I toss down another cup of coffee, my 4th for the day. I am anxious and I try to drown my apprehensions in caffeine. My drug of choice: a quick fix of perkiness in a mug. I go through bouts of fear and loathing, like the one I am having now, and they’re usually directed at the future and the unknown, but mostly at my body. I am quite content with the packaging, mind you—I like my hair even if it’s unruly and unpredictable, I don’t want to be whiter or darker, I don’t hate my nose or teeth anymore, and I’ve grown to love and be proud of the calluses on my fingers—but I have a lot of issues with what’s inside, with what my skin is keeping safe and contained.

One of the most hurtful things I ever said to my parents, even if it was in passing and in jest, was that they gave me defective genes. I was strapped in a hospital bed, with tubes coming in and out of me, and, out of frustration and exhaustion, I said those words. Thankfully, they were not listening; they were rushing to get food for guests, to sign some forms or other. I don’t even think it registered in their heads that I spoke to them because at that point I was already getting hysterical in an insanely calm way. I became incredibly introverted as my condition got worse; no sobbing or hair-pulling or tantrum-throwing. All I wanted to do was write and draw and talk to myself in my head. I just wanted to know what was going on so I could move on and walk out of the hospital on my own. I hated waiting and not knowing.

That was a long time ago. I am still in the dark most of the time and I am cursed to wait for the next big one. Who knows if it will come at all? I don’t blame anyone or anything anymore for what happened or what’s been happening to me. Time and experience do help you get perspective on things. Sometimes I just wish, though, that I could exchange my stomach for an acid-free one, return my brain to the manufacturer, have it cleaned and get a fresh start, or purchase off the shelf a higher IQ for my immune system so it would stop attacking the wrong things. I wish things could be easy as getting an injection of botox on your forehead to make a wrinkle disappear. But, my life is not a sci-fi movie so that will never happen.

My fourth cup of java has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I think I should gradually cut down my caffeine intake one of these days; I can’t just stop lest I want to have a migraine fest on my hands. As much as I love these suckers, I sometimes feel as if they have permanently stained me and I have been forever marked by their tart aftertaste. Come to think of it, they don’t really help when I’m in a state like this. I turn into one of the stains they’ve left; I become acerbic and murky on a day like this. There must be another way for me to stay afloat.


As a cowherd with a rod
drives cows to the field,
so aging and death
drive the life
of living beings.

-Dhammapada, 135, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: