1. a whim; notion.
  2. a whimsical or fanciful ornament or contrivance; gimmick.

It was 6:30 AM and already the birds were chirping and the commuters honking, but Eric was feeling good about himself and his life. It was a new year and so far he was doing fantastic with his resolution. Like many others, this year he had decided get fit, to pack on some muscle and trim all the unnecessary fat.  Maybe he’d even run a marathon or something? Or even a triathlon?

If he was doing this well on January 2, then he was sure he could easily be ready to run the Boston Marathon within the next few months.

At 6’4, he wasn’t overweight, but most of his girth came from extra insulation more than muscle. Eric had been adding about five pounds a year since he graduated college 10 years ago, and with his reunion coming up. He wanted to look good.

But instead of just working out, he was going to take it to the next level. Eric had decided to also give up coffee for the year.

This was going to be his best year yet–he could feel it. He had been so excited and his plan so well explained that even his coworker, John Artiz, was convinced of the simplicity of the goal.

Recently promoted into management, John usually downed about seven cups of coffee a day, compared to Eric’s two, but feeling inspired, he signed up and agreed to the year free of coffee and full of exercise.

It was Eric’s week to drive the carpool, he waited in front of John’s feeling a bubbling excitement–or maybe it was some weird nervous energy–as he tapped a sporadic rhythm on the steering wheel of his Puegot.  The desire for coffee was there, but it wasn’t quite overwhelming.

He looked out the driver’s window, wondering if John had overslept, when a disheveled looking man exited John’s doorway and rambled into the car. Eric wanted to greet his friend, but John looked horrible. Instead of talking, Eric endured the

By noon Eric was feeling the pulse of a slight headache at his temples. He quickly downed his tumbler of hot water and lemon and his lunch of leftovers. Even though he had packed hefty portions, the meal didn’t make up for his lack of caffeine.

He had experienced a strong start to his day and he didn’t want to lose it now. Eric got up quickly from his desk and headed toward John’s office to get some accountability going. The door was closed, but with one glance through the glass, he could see John was missing from his desk. Eric headed to the cafeteria, the conference room, the loading dock and then the gym. He even checked the men’s bathroom, to no avail. John seemed to have disappeared.

On a slight whigmaleerie, Eric turned the corner, heading back in the direction of John’s office. The office was still empty, which was often the case when John was in meetings, but he noticed that for some reason the office blinds were drawn.

Eric quietly turned the knob and opened the door to John’s office. The sweet aroma of coffee taunted his nostrils and beckoned him toward John’s desk. A slight humming sound seemed to accompany the smell.

Eric stared down at John who was contorted under his mahogany desk, cuddling with a cup of coffee,  a pint of half & half at his side, a trail of sugar granules at his hip. Wafts of steam surrounded his face. His eyes were closed tightly as he drank in the concoction; his expression was one of pure joy.

“Wha–John, what are you doing? It’s only 1 o’clock?”

“Don’t judge me, Eric.” There was an uncommon edge to his voice.

“I’m not judging you, I just…I thought we were going to do this together.”

“We will, but tomorrow. I’ve got too many meetings and reports today,” John said, nursing his cup like it was the last bit of medicine and he was a dying man. “Just give me today, Eric. Let me wean myself off, please.”

“Okay, John.”

With a sigh Eric straightened himself and headed back to his cubicle, realizing he’d have to find another source of support.



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