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
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.