No coffee today

CHICAGO — I had intended to actually try drinking coffee for once.

I’ve never been a coffee guy. Grew up in a family with no coffee drinkers, never got into coffee beyond a Frappucino at Starbucks with friends in high school. I thought it wasn’t my thing.

Then I grew up. I drank gallons of Diet Coke to power through college newspaper deadline nights and stressful study times. No matter how stressed or how tired I got, I never got into tea (not a flavor I liked), energy drinks (warmed-over urine), or coffee. My friend Aaron used to judge the stress of my evening by counting the empty Diet Coke cans sitting on my desk in my fraternity house room.

Then I graduated, moved to my first job, and continued to drink a can or three of Diet Coke, but after two years of that I began to try to stop this summer. I made large progress and fell back, meaning I still grab a Diet Coke when I’m stressed or tired (both of which describe me this week).

So I figured I would try coffee. But life got in the way. I’m in Chicago at a friend’s apartment right now, in town to go to a funeral for a college friend.

Instead of coffee, what I’m trying that’s new today is the funeral of a peer. Christine’s grandmother died this August, so this is my second funeral this year.

But this time it’s a funeral for someone my age, a happy, great man, a fraternity brother, a guy who just turns 25. It is so, so sad. Heartbreaking and difficult for all of us. I hope it is a survivable two days, one that gets us to process what happened.

I will write more about Chris, who died of complications from his leukemia, later this weekend. For now, I’m trying to make this day tolerable and press on.

[“Trying new things” is the prompt for #ThinkKit number 12.]

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