Meet decaffeinated Lorna

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(I understand that people aren't perfect and that we all screw up, but I have more sympathy for the surgeon who amputates the wrong leg than I do for the Dunkin' Donuts employee who gives a person decaf by mistake.)


Once I came to terms the fact that I was in the middle of the everglades, a solid hour away from the closest cup of lousy gas station coffee, I decided to make the best of my plight. I began keeping a log of the brief and bizarre thoughts that seeped in and out of my foggy, throbbing brain. I couldn't have formulated an explanation as to why I was doing it at the time, but I had an inkling that it would be really interesting to look back and learn what a decaffeinated Lorna is like. Here's a transcript of my notes:


"Keith Urban sings country music.


There are a lot of really good songs about women murdering men.


I wish I was Biggie Smalls.


Guns are arrogant.


Vaginal Rejuvenation?"


I'll let you make your own judgments, but in my estimation this little experiment that I, God willing, will never repeat yields the following conclusions: 1) decaffeinated Lorna is really weird and; 2) coffee is a mystical substance that should be revered. Through some inscrutable alchemy, it makes consciousness bearable. It enables us to imbue experience with meaning and then, most importantly, it quickens in us a desire and an ability to share that meaning. It turns brains into discotheques and goats into ballerinas. I'm going to post this, go drink a cup and then reread this to see if any of it makes sense.

Coffee, like written language, is a vital and definitive element of human civilization. From the foxholes of Bastogne during WWII to the Starbucks that stood for seven years in China's 587-year-old imperial palace, wherever there are people, there is coffee nearby.

According to legend, 9th Century Ethiopian shepherds were the first to observe coffee's benevolent power. When their goats happened upon some wild coffee berries, they ate them and began to dance. No myth has ever resonated with me as powerfully as this one. Coffee makes my brain dance just like it did those Ethiopian goats. I drink a cup and my brain becomes a pulsating discotheque with millions of little neurons holding synapses and twirling around my cerebral cortex.

If you're still reading, you're probably wondering why I'm extolling coffee's virtues. You may be thinking it's because I've had too much today. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I dragged myself out of bed at five this morning to drive to Miami. On my way to 275-S, I swung by Dunkin' Donuts for, of course, a cup of coffee. By the time I was over the Skyway, it was cool enough to sip. By the time I got to Naples, I'd killed it. Half-way across Alligator Alley, I felt like I needed to die. My skin was clammy, my back, head and hair ached and I could hardly keep my eyes open. That's when it hit me: Decaf.

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