Breakfast: A cup of coffee, and another cup of coffee. And I’m fine with that because I’ve been eating nonstop since last Friday. It’s time to stop. I’ve eaten so much food in the past three days that I’m pretty sure I won’t have to eat again until maybe next week. Oh, wait. My Darling B is cooking a duck this weekend for New Year’s, so I have until Saturday to fast. Better make another pot of coffee.

One of the women I work with was telling me the other day that she used to drink ten pots of coffee a day, and she got a little mad at me when I ran the bullshit flag up the pole. But who wouldn’t? I had to, I really did. So she counted them off on her fingers: She said she drank a pot of coffee at home while she was getting ready for work. I’ve heard a few people say they started their day by drinking a pot of coffee. That seems plausible. Not exactly healthy, but plausible. I wouldn’t do it myself, even though I brew pretty mild coffee. The way my brother brews coffee, a whole pot would kill almost anybody. But if you didn’t do that, I suppose you could drink a whole pot right after getting out of bed.

Then, she said, she started another pot of coffee as soon as she got to work. That was back in the good old days when they used to let people keep coffee makers right on their desks. Just about every desk had a great big ash tray back then, too, with at least one lit cigarette balanced on the edge. She drank the whole pot before her morning break, she said, then started another pot after she came back from her break and drank that off before lunch.

She drank another pot with her lunch. At this point in her story I pictured her with her lips wrapped around the mouth of a beer bong filled with coffee. Would that even work, or would it scald you so bad that no ordinary human being would be able to suck it down? No matter. I wasn’t imagining an ordinary human being. If she had developed a tolerance for that much caffeine, it would probably maker her numb to even the most traumatic injury.

She drank another pot of coffee between lunch and her afternoon break, and on most days she drank another pot of coffee between her afternoon break and quitting time.

“Okay, that’s not ten pots of coffee, that’s really more like seven or eight,” she said, “but I drank a lot of coffee. And then one morning I woke up and I thought about making myself a pot of coffee and I really didn’t want to. And I haven’t drunk coffee since. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t drink it any more.”

“I know why,” I said. “That was your body telling you that you were gonna die if you kept drinking seven pots of coffee a day!”

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