Thursday, February 12, 2015

Intangible Beverages - by Allie Burke

I’m not supposed to drink coffee.

That is a thing the universe would have me believe.

Schizophrenia, specifically paranoid schizophrenia—an illness I was diagnosed with when I was twenty-five—is attached to every anxiety disorder there ever was, most commonly by the mentally ill themselves.

They just love to label me with their definition of crazy.

I used to have these panic attacks in the middle of the night, but once my mother found out about them from the babysitter, she was all like oh, that’s weird, here’s your money, and I’ll see you next week. I was twelve years old. I used to wake up in the middle of the night crying, swearing I couldn’t breathe, but I was twelve years old. What the fuck do I know about panic attacks? I was a stupid child and we didn’t have Google. I used to think Wisconsin was its own country.

It could have been, but that issue went away when I started telling my brain that anxiety is not a real thing, so, no panic attacks for this twelve plus fourteen-year-old.

Uppers, in most cases, have an undesirable effect on the souls suffering (I hate that word) from anxiety, and caffeine is the most brutal offender of them all. If you have anxiety don’t fucking drink caffeine. It’s very simple.

If I had a dollar for every person with anxiety who refused to comply with that recommendation when they asked me to fucking help them, I would have a lot of money, but not as much as I would have for every empathy statement shoved down my throat for my “anxiety”.

I know your anxiety is really bad and I’m so sorry you have to go through that.  

Hey, thanks, but I don’t have anxiety. I have schizophrenia. There is a difference, you ignorant dick.

I guess if I perceived coffee to be tangible like a thing you have to put in this cup in the morning in order to not be an asshole, this sentiment of labeling me with the wrong things would not bother me so much. But if it was that tangible thing, I probably wouldn’t drink it because coffee makes me really sleepy and I usually have a cup of it that a friend bought me at two o’clock in the morning on a Saturday just before I’m asked what world peace would look like or whether I think the parallels of the universe are ruled by fate or the choices of the humans taking up residence in it.

(Answer is fate, by the way.)

A friend once told me that masturbation was a need and sex was an experience. Mental fulfillment versus physical euphoria.

Coffee is kind of like that. I mean, yeah, I could make a cup of it in the Keurig every morning (I do do that, but I only drink it about ten percent of the time) (I waste a lot of coffee) or drive through Starbucks, but Starbucks has really shitty coffee. Why go for the vibrator in the drawer when there is a half-naked man on the couch?

The Los Angeles coffee experience is a fantastical exploitation of that article you read claiming people with higher IQs stay up later (I don’t know if that’s true, but the odds are pretty damn telling). It demonstrates that, for all the shit the dumbass hipsters put us through, they actually have the brains to back their shit up.  They will go into the dynamics of explosives and explain the negative connotations associated with diacetyl as a flavor additive in propylene glycol. They will play a song from their iPhones that you have never heard before and they will quote Vonnegut. If you can’t keep up with them, you will never hear from them again. If you don’t drive a Prius, you will never hear from them again. And if the word Starbucks even comes out of your mouth, you will probably never hear from them again after they beat the shit out of you.

Coffee, as I know it, is a world that tastes better than it smells, with dim lights in an old dilapidated building across the street sparkling in your gaze. It’s a girl with a face made of plastic and a shirt advertising feminism over her huge tits, as the words “Ohmygosh I love Bukowski!” break from her lips and you just laugh because she is so stupid she doesn’t even know how stupid she is. It’s good sex. A film that can actually be called a film in this country or a weight lifted off your shoulders that you didn’t even know was there.

There is such a thing called decaf, you idiot.

About the Author

An American novelist, book critic, and magazine editor from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.
Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.
From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.
Visit Allie at  

–J.L. Gentry, Author of Syn: Fin 

About the Book

  From the author of the bestselling genre-defining Enchanters series, comes a new literary tour de force about Emily, a young woman balancing two worlds between her fingertips: the one that is real to her and the one that is real to everyone else…
The question is: which one will she choose?
    Never romanticizing what it means to be a twenty-something schizophrenic in a world broken by normalcy and half-baked fairytales, Allie Burke’s latest novel unites Emily and her world at large spanning from the streets of Russia, to the sheets of her bed, to the idiosyncratic comfort she gets from worlds that don’t exist at all.
          Woven with angst and darkness, bursting with heartache, Paper Souls tells of the irreparably damaged and broken, and how they survive.

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