Caffeine

Caffeine: (n) a crystalline stimulant that is found especially in tea and coffee

I was twenty years old and was thoroughly convinced that every idea that popped into my head was granted by the supreme fairies of genius notions. I was in the midst of the seduction of a particular inspiration, working feverishly, with pen in hand, when I realized I was getting
sleepy.

Successful people don’t sleep, I thought. A budding impresario does not yearn for the pillow.

So I went down to the local drugstore and bought a product called “No Doze. ” I didn’t even read the instructions. (You have to be twenty-five years old to consider such a mature move.)

I just took two. Nothing happened.

So I chased it with two more, waited half and hour and took two more.

Within the span of two hours, I ended up taking eight No Doze, when I finally decided to read the instructions, which explained that each tablet contained the caffeine equivalent to fifteen cups of coffee.

Shortly after reading this warning, my heart started to palpitate. My face blanched, Sweat burst out on every part of my body. I thought I was going to die.

For the first time in my life, I went to the emergency room of the hospital and explained to them what I had done.

The doctor quipped, “You shouldn’t have taken so many.”

True, but not poignant.

By this time my chest was cramping and my legs were twitching. The doctor reached over into his magical cabinet and pulled out a shot of something, which I later learned was a tranquilizer.

I slept in that examination room for six hours. I awoke drained, embarrassed, and desperately trying to explain how I planned to pay for the late-night visit.

So over the years I have convinced myself that I am allergic to caffeine–so as not to accidentally stimulate any reaction similar to the one I had that night so many years ago.

 

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Achernar

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Achernar: (n.) the ninth brightest star in the sky, visible only in the southern hemisphere.

That’s me. Of the eight stars available, I am the ninth brightest.

But you see, here’s the power. Or maybe better phrased, here’s the solution: if you realize you’re the ninth brightest star, it’s a good idea not to get caught up in number envy.

No matter how hard you try to promote that idea, the natural question to those reading your advertising material would have to be: “Hmmm. I wonder where the other eight are…”

I think the key to the whole definition is this: if you’re the ninth brightest star, become important by finding your own southern hemisphere. OK. Maybe you’ll never make it to the northern hemisphere. Maybe you’re stuck below the equator, the Mason Dixon line, the belly button or just underneath the radar.

It doesn’t mean you don’t have light.

The ninth star does not look dim unless it hangs around trying to compete with Numbers Three and Four. Only stubbornness, pride and foolishness would make such a stupid choice.

Things that have “gone south” still need to be “lit up.” And if you’re the ninth brightest star, that’s your job.

I occasionally have people walk up (even though they don’t literally “walk up.” That’s just a phrase authors use to establish perspective) and they ask me, “Don’t you wish you could reach more people? Don’t you wish you were more famous? Don’t you wish …”

“Wishing” is for fairies and lamp rubbers. I stopped wishing a long time ago and now spend my time considering, planning and performing what I can do. Somewhere along the line you have to leave the rest up to time, chance and the whim of God.

So there are only two important things to remember if you’re the ninth brightest star:

  1. Find a darker place–where you look really bright.
  2. Enjoy what you have to bring instead of wishing you had more.

That’s it. If you do that, you can be like our friend, Achernar: you can do a job and have a really difficult name to pronounce …  to further guarantee your obscurity.