The Anatomy of Coffee

I like coffee in theory.

I say “in theory” because in the pretentious headspace that is my mind, drinking coffee is one of the great pillars of the artistic lifestyle. All “true” artist sip coffee while sitting in quaint little cafes, peeling back the layers of their imagination for some ingot of inspiration.

But most days, I find myself questioning whether I should drink it. My mind is in love with the idea but it often comes into conflict with every other part of my body.

My stomach is the first to thunder at these inquiries. Pushing bellicose prose, it reminds the head of coffee’s crimes against the gastrointestinal system. The ravages it wreaks as it charts its course through the system–the acidity and caffeine that puts the body in throes for a good few hours. It reminds the mind of the temples felled, the monuments flushed, the time wasted in recovery.

But my mind didn’t really need a reminder. My temporally conscious brain has kept track of the amount of time spent around toilets after the consumption of a single cup. It’s keenly aware of how much time is used thinking about toilets after a few innocent sips.

But it reminds the stomach that it’s prone to exaggeration. Always tempted by the slightest foul wind. It cannot decide what it likes and what it doesn’t like–determined to be the most temperamental of all the organs.

My tongue chimes in with the stomach. It offers eloquent arguments on why coffee is an ultimate ill due to its astringent taste. It carefully reminds the brain that it has itself compared coffee’s taste to “battery acid” and “cigarette ash.” Neither is fit for consumption yet the head continues to press upon the tongue to endure these constant assaults.

The mind tish toshes the tongue. Is this not proof of coffee’s power?  Does not this constant sting in flavor bring light to the creative recesses of the mind? Aren’t these colorful epithets poetry in the making? Art in the wings?

But the heart! Oh, the heart! It screams into the void when too much of the wicked brew is consumed. It weeps pathetically as it regales the head with tales of its horror. As the evil caffeine rushes through the bloodstream, setting the heart ablaze with its poison. Faster and faster it beats! It’s continually attacked by sharp pangs of energy–setting limbs afire with energy that they just cannot handle. What are fingers and toes supposed to do when compelled to fidget for naught?

But the mind ignores these bodily complaints. It’s elitist in its stance that it’s the aesthetic that matters in the end. Isn’t all true art wrought from suffering? Don’t we need coffee to elevate our art to new creative heights? Mustn’t we try to live up to the artistic standard that no one asked us to uphold?

And so the mind pushes the body to drink, content up high in the bubble of aesthetic. All the while, the body is forced to deal with the reality. The pragmatist dying in the bean purge.

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