All the websites say coffee is probably bad. The doctor says tea is probably just as bad or maybe worse. He says spicy foods probably. I tell him no, not really. Still, he says. Spicy foods. He looks at my chart from the time I came into the health center three years ago for antibiotics for a sinus infection. You still drink? Yeah, some. He shakes his head like a fly landed on his nose. Cut that out. Cut out the drinking. You can still do the coffee in the morning, two or three cups to get you going, but no more. I tell him I’ve already quit coffee, and I never drank it in the morning anyway. He says, just a few cups in the morning is probably fine. But cut out the alcohol. Relaxes the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus. So. No more of that.

No more coffee, no more coffee shops, no more writing at coffee shops… no more writing?

No more alcohol, no more bars, no more hanging out with writers… no more fun?

For a guy whose ideal day is waking up, going to a coffee shop, writing until there’s naught left but nonsense in my brain, then going to a bar with writer friends for a celebration of the sudden and comparative lack of mental energy, or until I forget whatever anxiety the writing stirred up, this lifestyle change eliminates both halves of my perfect day.

So now what.

Clearly, the number one option: screw all that noise. And if not for the occasional but poignant sensation of

then I’d be all for that.

Option number two: a reinvention of self. The un-awakening. The grand un-making. The undoing of Aaron.

When I was fourteen I lived like this. Not really since then. Exercising, because dear god something has to get me out of the house. Fruit or other healthy nonsense because that’s what’s in the goddamn refrigerator because that’s apparently what I buy now. Reading because it makes me feel smart. Just to put a bow on the whole package I’m growing my hair out. At this rate I should suffer the ravages of un-puberty in a couple years, I’ll be back in diapers by my early forties, and then, peace out.

Which is why it’s good I have another story due in a week, because if I’ve only got a decade and a half left, I need to get moving. If I don’t publish three novels before I’m gone, well, I’m sure it won’t matter to me at all what with the being dead, but if I can get three out there, the world would be better off. I should think.

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