Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Coffee Talk

While logged in on my computer, the IT guy at work mentioned a news segment he watched about caffeinated pantyhose. A quick search by a cube-neighbor turned up several sites selling lingerie promised to render your bottom half firm, supple, youthful and fat free by leaching caffeine directly into your leg veins.

I feel qualified to comment on the efficacy of this particular weight loss method because I've once again swapped lunch for coffee, which has so far made none of me firm, supple, youthful, or fat free. It has made me briefly nervous, hungry, irritable and exactly as overweight, followed by a much longer period of being tired, hungry, irritable and exactly as overweight. I am all but injecting the stuff directly into my veins and detect no benefit beyond frequent urination, which is a benefit only in that I do not have to sit at my desk while I do it. It is difficult, therefore, to believe that cappucinhose are a viable path to hotness. Especially at two hundred smackers a pair.

I'm not saying I wouldn't present you with the entire contents of my wallet if you could show me one shred of scientific evidence that caffeine pantyhose worked. I'd get a whole bodysuit made out of that shit and walk around like the world's most committed bank robber. I'd one-up you and build myself a plastic bubble filled with French roast.

I spent a while yesterday researching colleges for my brother, who was supposed to be visiting potential schools all summer. He' s opted to employ the very adventurous tactic of doing absolutely nothing about his impending graduation. I spent my entire junior year memorizing the Princeton Review college guide. College searching, for me, was much more than just picking the place where I'd get a degree. The brochures that came in bunches to my mailbox were catalogs of different identities, and accordingly, I was shopping for the best possible version of me I could imagine. Listen to Counting Crows at the prepster college upstate? Dark tortoiseshell glasses at NYU or tie-dye in Maine?

Despite the fact that I'm doing it for someone else, looking through college admissions material again got my heart going like I'm at the end of an advent calendar. All the deadlines combined with all the endless choice leaves me with this sense that I've reached the end of a countdown, but don't know what happens when time runs out.

Maybe there's something wired wrong in my brain. I can't ever remember how old I am, and I'm not entirely convinced that just because I didn't live one of my many alternate realities doesn't mean that it won't happen at some point. I mean, I'm pretty sure I won't wake up tomorrow sixteen again and decide to send an application to Oxford instead of Oberlin and major in medieval art restoration.

Pretty sure.

At one point all of my many imagined outcomes were equally correct, and there's some fold in my cerebrum in which the unlived ones haven't yet been ruled out. Maybe it's because for each me I tried on I unraveled a whole life that always culminated in finding an imaginary, complementary boyfriend. He took many shapes and sizes, tailored to the version of my life I'd taken into the dressing room that time. My real reality has never once produced such a guy, which is why it's hard to give up on the permutations that provided me my (however fictional) other half, whether he was playing lacrosse or carrying tiny espressos back to our table in a coffee shop in the Village.

And maybe it's also why I can't let go of this whole caffeine diet.


Blogger B-rad said...

why don't you just beat on, a boat against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past?

8:59 AM  
Anonymous anonymous mom said...

kathy, give me a call when you have about an hour... that's how long i figure it will take me to undo the damage.

really like the alternative universe in your head, though.

1:44 PM  

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