I admire the love and admiration people have for coffee. That’s a lie, a big fat lie. It is probably one of the biggest lies I’m personally capable of telling. I am not a fan. I can’t stand it for even as little as a second. Its smell – I would have said odor, but out of respect – is registered permanently in my head as offensive. I would rather choke on fumes from a rundown Danfo bus… Alright, maybe that was quite extreme, but you get my point, right?
My disgust for coffee is not something I keep a secret, I don’t even try to. I unashamedly bring it up whenever need be. I mentioned it as one of the random facts about me in this post. So, for those who have gone through that list, I expect this is coming as no surprise. And, to those who had no clue before now, you’re welcome. Of course, there is a story behind my dislike for this much-loved drink. It’s only right there is. But, before I go into that, allow me reemphasize, I’m put off by the general admiration for coffee. Why? That popular support means more people to explain my opposing stance to.
Let it be known that I wasn’t always anti-coffee. For a sizeable number of years in my life, I indulged occasionally in coffee drinking. I was indifferent about the drink, but I did Indulge. Dad used to be a stan. I assume I must have mindlessly drunk in tow due to that. I wasn’t particularly sold. However, unlike now, I could stand it, but now, the thought of it alone nauseates me. So, what changed?
I really can’t ascertain the exact year of my life this event I’m about to narrate occurred. What I’m quite certain about, however, is I was still in primary school. Like I mentioned earlier, my dad used to be a staunch lover of coffee. Looking back now, I feel he was addicted. But, I digress.
What my Dad’s love for coffee meant was that we always had coffee around the house. And this was what would eventually end my coffee phase. I remember it wasn’t so long after breakfast on that fateful day that I made my way furtively towards the dining table to get – read steal – me a spoonful of Milo. I really couldn’t tell the difference between Nescafe and Milo back then. Say whatever it is you like, they do look alike. What I craved was a mouthful of chocolate. Instead, I ended up with was a tablespoonful of black undiluted coffee in my mouth. Now, take a pause and imagine what that must have felt like.
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The dislike for coffee is one of those things I doubt I will ever overcome. Just the other day, I was at Spur at Ikeja City Mall for a meeting. I remembered I had heard someone rave about their cappuccino. I decided to see if I had overcome this intolerance for coffee with nicely made coffee. The waiter barely had to drop the cappuccino for me to realize my error. I immediately started feeling nauseous. I almost ran away from the building. But for the meeting I was attending, I would have exited the whole of Ikeja, even Lagos, that afternoon.
Now, you understand that my dislike for coffee is psychological. Every sighting or perceiving of coffee takes me back to that day. It’s trauma. Nausea. Guilt. Shame. Horror. I was just an innocent young boy craving a mouthful of chocolate. It turned out life had other plans for me, and I’m okay with that, perfectly okay. I have been living with the consequence of my action ever since. Do I wish this had never happened? Not really. I mean, it’s just coffee. I can live without it, at least, I have for some twenty-something years of my life.