Coffee helps most people stay awake and alert, but for me, coffee takes me to a different dimension. Now, it’s a very subtle thing, changing the dimension you’re in. It’s the same thing as moving slowly, or watching the passage of time: it’s so slow, you almost feel like nothing changed at all. And yet, you can feel somewhere deep inside that something has changed.
It doesn’t matter where I have it or if it’s homemade or from a café. As soon as it slides down my throat, my head feels a little heavy, like it’s too heavy to be supported by my neck. When I was younger, I’d almost faint, but now it’s a lot more under control. Once the initial sip is down, the rest of the coffee doesn’t seem to change much.
And just then, I see the visions of what could have been. At first, I never really understood what I was seeing, and assumed it was just idle imagination. The more I drank coffee, however, the more I realised that these visions followed a pattern. Sometimes, they’d be mundane, like the kind of pizza I ordered would be different. Other times, I could see the horrid beings claw their way in through the doors and windows, shadows spreading across wherever they stalked.
There were always different visions. A coup, a crash, a lottery win, a new job, a friend’s death: the list goes on and on. No two visions repeated, which gave me the impression that my movement through the dimensions was strictly in one direction. I could not return to a previous world. This also meant that my original life could only have been possible if I had never drank coffee at all. Was it worth it?
The next question was, naturally, whether coffee was saving me. To be sure, I’d be saved from a lot of incredible things: alien invasions, wars, shootouts. So many deaths and injuries averted. This opinion became so common that I started drinking coffee every moment I could. I craved it, like an actual addiction, but not because of the caffeine—coffee didn’t seem to have any physiological effect on me, unlike most people. No, I craved it because every time I drank it, I could see something horrible that I’d just saved myself from.
Ultimately, a realisation came to dawn on me. Coffee was my medicine. I was taking it just to keep staying alive, and that all this time, I was dying. I was dying dimensionally. I was fated to die, and every time I drank coffee, I was averting that fate. But why was I granted this ability?
The question has never been answered. All I know is that I hate the taste of coffee. I hate the smell of it. I hate how it feels in my mouth. I hate how much of it I have to keep drinking just to stay sane, and alive.
Maybe I was meant to be dead after all.
Today’s throwback story is about an imaginary friend who is an astronaut.