My pounding head drowns out the hum of inane mid-morning chatter.
Teenagers sporting expensive laptops and phony spectacles sip their drug of choice, tapping away at plastic keys to their own chaotic beat.
Despite the unsavory company, I enjoy waltzing into local coffeehouses, their humble fare untarnished by the empty showmanship of corporations.
I stride towards the worn mahogany counter, my fingers rummaging for the change that will fuel my addiction.
A familiar, rich fragrance wafts up to me, engulfing me in lingering tendrils of earthy ecstasy.Mmm. Dark and doomed as a hollow soul; saccharine as the honeyed kiss of death.
My new medication.I no longer scramble to gulp Dr. Coleman’s bitter pills each morning. I refuse to swallow any of the old quack’s sanctimonious bullshit anymore.
Nor, for that matter, will anybody else – not for a while, at least. My sanity now leans on a different drug.
As I wait in line for my regular triple-shot, the cashier squints up at me, chewing noisily on bubblegum.“That all?” she demands.
I nod, wondering just how much this establishment would miss – I peer at her name-tag – Janice P. if she were gone. Perhaps old Coleman wouldn’t have to be so lonely, after all.
A twisted smile lifts my lips at the realisation that gum-chomping Janice’s very life depends on supporting my addiction,
for the dark substance she guards is all that restrains me from feeding on a more dangerous, scarlet obsession.
It is the promise of caffeine that keeps me from wrapping my hands around the cash register now and pounding it against her empty skull.“Thank you, come again,” Janice P.
mumbles, her jaded eyes already fixed on the next customer in line.“Oh, I will,” I grin effortlessly for the first time in weeks. “I will.”