Metaphors and Offerings of Caffeine to the Golden Calf Of Retail

Whine. It’s hard to write something interesting and meaningful every day. But this is a sentiment I’ve heard across the board. Everyone,  even the gods of authorland like Stephen King, says the days come where it’s like pounding your head against a wall to write anything, and everything you write seems like garbage. Not like Shirley Manson Garbage, because nah, that’s talent Garbage. Like a child grabbed a handful of crayons and decided to share their day, having no concept of language, what people find interesting, and no experience to make the events they tell relevant or even descriptive. Kind of like 50 Shades of Grey. (Burrrrrn)

Whatever. Coffee drinkers…did you ever notice the different kind of buzz you get between drinking coffee as opposed to espresso? The difference seems the opposite of what I would imagine it to be. Coffee gives me this urgent, rapid fire, buzz of feeling like I can do anything and I’ve got to do everything within the span of an hour that stretches much longer than it should, but pleasantly. It’s like a prolonged laugh that is often too loud, but not offensive. It’s swell when you have a deadline or have reached that creative wall. It does seem to leave you scooped out afterward though, as if you’ve thought all the thoughts of the day. After it wears off, I’m always worth pretty much nothing mentally. 

Espresso, for which the equivalent translation is one shot equalling one cup of coffee, is a much more extended high that exists as an intense experience that also puts the mind in a mellow sort of thinking. Espresso makes my hands shake and transfers my circulation so that my fingertips are always cold after I’ve had a cup. But it seems to open my mind to ideas and alertness more gradually and at a speed I can process and therefore go deeper into a topic under the influence. Coffee throws a fast pitch, and espresso gives me an underhanded toss right across the plate. I don’t “sports” very often so that metaphor might be a little lacking. Nota Bene: For more information on lacking metaphors see author Maggie Steifvater’s blog for her analysis of the “Dark Horse” song. It’s alternately hilarious and spot-on.

I feel like I can actually get things done on espresso (although I still may struggle creatively), whereas coffee gives me better ideas that I should probably just write down before I see a distracting link for a cat video. I also feel like coffee is probably more cravable because it gives such an intense feeling, similar to that of a drug high. Espresso is nice, but I think the risk of addiction is probably less because it doesn’t pack such a wallop. 

This could all just be my body reacting to espresso and coffee. Every body reacts differently to drugs in the system, and therefore results may vary. If you are just getting around to the knowledge that caffiene is a drug, then I’m sorry I have rocked your naive addict lifestyle. It’s a recreational and accepted drug by society, just like alcohol, and so don’t go flushing all your Red Bull down the toilet. And besides, my body is not exactly the yardstick to measure experiences to with my seemingly arbitrary and random list of allergies. Case in point: I had another recreational drug last night in the form of a glass of wine and my hands broke out in angry red, they burned and itched and I was quite tipsy with a single glass. (I’m looking at you Sulfites)  

I’m sure at this point I could go on about how there are certain drugs, seemingly just as “harmless” as alcohol and caffiene, that are illegal, and the reasons this should or should not be so. But I’m not going there. That horse has been beat enough, and furthermore, I don’t really have a vested interest or care in the matter. If having a glass of wine sends my body into rejection-stupid mode then I can’t and don’t care to imagine what other drugs would do to it. I like to firmly be in control of my own thoughts and actions at least 90% of the time and so that lifestyle just isn’t for me. I have absolutely no problem if that is your lifestyle and drugs (illegal or otherwise) are something you value. We can still be friends. I know you were real worried about that. But I’ll just sit and sip my coffee while you take the pill that makes you smaller. Maybe we can discuss Camus. 

It’s time for the daily dream analysis again. Last night’s dream was quite the allegorical passport, and unfortunately I know that I’ve forgotten one or more of the elements I remember initially upon waking. I do remember the dream dividing into two distinct parts. 

The first dream was not much of a dream at all. It was really more of a snapshot. Indeed, it was me, looking at a photograph of this year’s Dragon Con weekend. The photo showed the Carnegie arch in Atlanta where the DC Comics photoshoot for costuming was held. It was just a picture of the arch, and in the background I stood, Lanks beside me, and I was looking  (rather regally, I might say) at something far off, outside the frame. I don’t remember where Lanks was looking. 

In real life, I did attend Dragon Con this year and was at the DC shoot with Lanks. I don’t remember ever seeing this photo though. I also have a photo in my album of the Carnegie arch from where I’d visited Atlanta as a pre-teen. I think the integration of this past photo with a present person in my life is a wish for this integration to happen in real life. The arch is symbolic to me as a type of alter or gateway. Myself and a crush at a gateway, with me looking at something far away from the gateway says to me that I may not be as committed to the idea of transitioning through the new door with my romantic interest as I think I am. The gateway is there, but I’m keeping my options open for whatever is coming my way from afar. 

Man, that sounds deep. When did I get to be such a dream guru?

Anyhow, the second part of the extended dream sequence took me to a local arts high school, that I’ve been to, but did not attend for my own education. The school looked a lot like the Guggenheim Museum inside. I was sitting by a group of lockers and watched a high school girl pitch her phone over the balcony of the second storey and down onto ground level where I was. She was shouting about how the person who was on the phone, her love interest, didn’t call or text, and therefore she was done looking at her phone for these missing messages. I laughed at her and said something snarky, and the others on the ground floor came up to me and said they recognized me from “my work” and were told about me from teachers that had taught me at the school years before. From there, I stepped up on the platform of the floor I was on and looked at a gigantic statue there that was similar to a Munny figure, but with multiple heads, and it changed colors slowly like a 70’s lamp of some sort. From here, I know there was something more to the dream, but I don’t recall what happened next.

My interpretation of this is that the school, and its similarity to a famous art museum speak to me of my desire to make great art and have it recognized in an institution that specilizes in that area. The fact that I was recognized by current students as a former student and a success with some body of work hopefully speaks to me of how I am happy to a degree with how others support my writing and my stuggle to have it read. It also seems that I am aware that I am still a student when it comes to writing and have not quite mde the leap in my writing to the “teacher” status or being published by a known name. The statue is a harder interpretation. The only place I have seen that statue is at work, and the fact that it was so large, towering over me, could mean that I’m daunted and overwhelmed by this product that represents the retail world of the holiday season. It’s multiple heads and changing colors make it a curiosity that I’m not sure what to do with or how to make it speak to me of relivence. It also makes it seem like a mythical monster of some sort that I’ve been sent to face, and have no idea how to interact with it. Both true of my relationship with retail. Also, the Munny figure is a blank faced figure that you can decorate with whatever you want it to look like or essentially who you want it to be. It could be looking at an outward representation of myself and how I wish to have this image of self viewed and judged by others. A kind of, who am I and how do others see me type of quest on my brain. 

I do wish I would remember the missing piece from this. I have a feeling it has something to do with Lanks. I know that I identify myself and the girl throwing the phone as the same person, different sidess of myself. The one is volitile and destructive because things don’t go my way, and the other laughs at this side as well as the idea of waiting for a call or text from a mere boy. Eh, like I said, my brain knows what’s up before I do. And it’s all about just throwing the offending object aside or laughing it up until they decide to play ball with me. Because, for now, I go my own way and I’m going to allow the pitches to come at me whether espresso or coffee or none of the above delivers. I have found though, if you stand still long enough, something (good bad this that or neither) will come your way. Gotta get my mitt out and ready myself to catch the curve ball or whatever nonsense otherwise comes down the line. That’s enough sports metaphors for a lifetime. Off to battle with the formidable retail statue! More dreams to come, I hope!

-Anna R. Kotopple