Ah, young one, your older friend is correct: there will come a time. The problem is, you will still crave coffee's delicious bitterness, its inimitable aroma, its uncanny affinity for cream. And yet, once you've spent several nights with your eyes wide open and drying out while you think of so many stupid things so very quickly, and feel like you've been dragged through a knothole backwards the next day -- once you admit it's the caffeine -- then you will be faced with a hideous quandary. Give up the black brew altogether, or switch to, yes, decaf? I chose decaf. If I spend absurd amounts on artisanal coffee, it tastes just as good. And I assure you, I do not judge. I merely envy.

Writer & educator. The Startup, Writing Cooperative, P.S. I Love You, The Ascent, more. Award-winning short fiction. Visit me at www.JanMFlynn.net.

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