Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kapag Tumibok Ang Puso (Or maybe I can call it, "Be Still My Heart")

It’s not love. It’s palpitation.

It happens when a non-regular coffee drinker gulps a glass of strong ice-cold brewed coffee in one sitting, carries and swings a baby around, takes a stroll, and then goes down and up and down again to a series of steep flights of stairs (that is, minus the baby).

Of course the non-regular coffee drinker I am talking about is me. And the rest is part of today’s story.

Back to the palpitation, I felt every vein (or artery) in my body beat like crazy, my fingers where even trembling because of it. It was scary. I’m just lucky nothing burst. But I have to say the unflushed caffeine in my blood made me want to jump all around and it is keeping me alert up until now.

As a kid, I wasn’t allowed to drink coffee. It’s for adults, my parents would say. And I didn’t mind, anyway I’d rather have Ovaltine or Milo. It was only in college that I took flavored coffee—toffee, java, hazel nut, cappuccino, chocolate. But it was reserved for special occasions, all-nighters to be exact. It resulted in accomplished papers good enough to beat my deadlines. Coffee shops were starting to bloom in the small town of Los Baños then but since I was no coffee addict, I didn’t really visit those places. I did get one invite at KA (Kofiholics Anonymous) but I ordered juice.

At work, I drank coffee to save my extremely sleepy days. But I usually limited myself to half a mug of flavored instant coffee in those extremely sleepy days. (For the normal sleepy days, I just chat with my seatmates to stay awake.) I have never gotten over the bitterness of plain coffee so I remained loyal to the flavored ones. Plus plain coffee, including the instant kind, gave me headaches.

I am not a frequenter of commercial coffee shops populated by customers who, more often than not, may think of themselves as cool. It really isn’t easy for me to dish out P150 for a tall glass of frappe—one, because I am perennially on a tight budget, and two, because I’d rather spend that much money on regular food. I occasionally hang out at those shala coffee joints because they were secured establishments that kept me and my friends in even when it was past midnight.

Given my preferences, I never had the opportunity to become a coffee connoisseur. I don’t even think I will ever get mixing instant coffee, cream and sugar right. Therefore, memorizing those coffee jargons that flow smoothly out of some people’s mouth is close to impossible for me. For those instances when I seem to crave for “coffee,” I really am craving for sugar and whipped cream; the coffee itself may not be there and I wouldn’t even know it.

But today, I downed a glass of strong ice-cold brewed coffee in one sitting. It was probably one of the most bitter servings of coffee I’ve had in my life. Obviously it didn’t have the amount of sugar I normally prefer and there were no whipped cream on top either. But amazingly I liked that glass of Kopi-C mainly because of the ice. I didn’t lay it to rest until I finished the darn thing.

Of course it came with a price. My heart went palpitating as if I’ve found my true love. Lesson learned.

Note to self: Lie low from Kopi-C’s to avoid scary palpitations. Reserve the crazy heart throb for love.

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