Photo: Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images

I made the mistake of cheating on my beloved coffee, and boy did I pay for it.

Going into my 34th birthday, I felt old. My routines had become too routine and I felt myself slipping away from the spontaneous, sort-of-fun person I once was. So, I decided to throw myself a full-on rager at a Korean karaoke joint. I promised myself I would not be leaving my own party to go to bed at 10:30—no matter how much I wanted to.

“How am I going to stay awake past 10?” I whined to my friends prior to the party. I figured I’d hit a Starbucks on my way to dinner and a redeye would do the trick. My mistake was not listening to my gut, nor my heart.

My friend suggested something a little more... powerful. (No, not that. The only coke my friends do is Coke™.) She handed me an Aderal and suggested I give it a go.

What followed was a truly manic four hours of me asking everyone if they were bored every ten minutes as I paced around the room like a lunatic. I was too sober and hyperaware of everything to belt out “You Oughta Know,” and I couldn’t even eat my cake because my appetite had vanished.

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I never, ever want to be that “awake” again.


Recently, a group of tech bros who clearly have not watched iZombie are trying to make “smart pills” to make them function at “super-human levels.” Aside from this being generally terrifying, it’s also been a total failure.

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Well, not financially. CNBC reports that a company called HVMN has been making between $3 and $5 million per year slinging these super-human caffeine pills, but there’s one big problem: coffee is more effective.


I’ve been around. I’ve dipped my toes into bad ideas. Red Bull is disgusting. Five-Hour Energy tastes like chemicals. Creepy “optimal human performance” pills are pricey and don’t even work as well. I kept searching for something better, when my true love was in front of me this entire time.

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Why are we messing with something that has given people a reason to wake up in the morning for centuries? Whose smell evokes feelings of comfort and home? Whose cup warms our hands on the cold train platform in the winter, and refreshes us when poured over ice during hot summers?

Coffee has always been there for us, to keep us awake during a long drive, to power us through boring meetings and brutal hangovers. But again and again, we stray. We don’t see the reliable, delicious, affordable cure to almost every problem that is right in front of us: from our kitchen counter to even the shittiest gas station.

Coffee: I’m just a girl, standing in front of a grande light cream two sugar, asking it to love me. I will never stray from you again.

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