In Small World Coffee this morning, I ordered decaf

because regular coffee makes me terribly anxious

and I must avoid it at all costs;

But then I felt embarrassed when the barista shouted

“decaf Americano”

because who comes to Small World and drinks decaf

because this place is a celebration of caffeine addiction

because it’s too obvious that I’m only here to consume

the vibes;


one man is wearing a crimson cap with an R on it

and another man is wearing a maroon cap with a P on it

and a third man just asked me

to keep an eye on his things

so I asked to borrow his laptop charger

and this is the café barter system;

A woman in shiny white boots is spinning on her heels

as she scans for a table to eat her bagel

to no avail;

I must confess

I have been sitting at this corner table for two whole hours

writing my Senior Thesis™

but I was just pretending

so naturally nothing was written

so I have disappointed myself

so I am writing this instead;

I bet

if I hadn’t opted wimpishly for decaf coffee

and had imbibed instead a potent dose of caffeine

then it would have ignited some manic ingenuity

and right now magic words would be streaming

from my neurons to my google drive

and a glorious Senior Thesis™ would materialize

and nevermind the inevitable side effects of that caffeine

nevermind the gripping I would feel in my chest

nevermind that familiar sense of impending doom

nevermind the dread that would swallow me in the afternoon

because at least

with caffeine

I would have made some progress on my Senior Thesis™

and aren’t I supposed to think that is




some of these people look happy and well-adjusted and isn’t that nice;

The woman across the room

is demolishing a glazed pastry

and the lenses of her glasses glow lilac

in the glare of her laptop screen

and now she is typing in a hurry

and she is being very productive

and she is not the kind of person

who would order decaf in Small World when there is work to be done

is she.

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