The third place.

I slept ten hours last night. And yet? On a Saturday of all days, I'm sitting in my second café of the morning, doing the coffee-consumption equivalent of chain smoking. At breakfast just two hours ago, I drank an unprecedented quantity of Julius Meinl coffee. Between my ham and cheese croissant and some delightful morning conversation with a new friend, it didn't seem like much. The fact that each refill came with an individually wrapped piece of perfect milk chocolate wasn't exactly a deterrent, either.And after I finished my breakfast coffee, I still wanted more. I took the third cup to-go, trudged through the snow back to my apartment to get my laptop and a tote full of weekend work, then grabbed the half-empty cup and made my way up the street to Starbucks. I made jittery, caffeinated conversation with the baristas about Starbucks' new instant coffee as they dispensed another eight ounces of brewed sludge for me. And here I sit, with a banana, two samples of said instant coffee and my tall Pike Place. Wondering whether my first sip of this will send me sliding down a rabbit hole into caffeinated dementia. I know this much concentrated caffeine can't be healthy, but like Stockard Channing's character in Grease, I understand there are worse things I could do. See also: the past nine months of my life. So as long as my coffee is hot and this is the most unfortunate choice I've made so far today, I'm going to keep drinking. And maybe I needed all that coffee to get myself to this point. Liquid courage to get me to the point where I could leave my old blog behind and start fresh. Changing sites and beginning anew, anonymously, won't erase my past, but I hope it can give me a bit more distance from it. Being out like this, enjoying Saturday-morning people watching and the last snow of the season swirling around outside, pumping my bloodstream full of artificial energy, isn't just staining my teeth and making my hands shake. This is more. One sip in, my grasp on reality hasn't faltered — maybe this banana I bought is has laid a potassium screen over that rabbit hole. Regardless, here's to re-embracing my unflagging honesty, tempered by discretion and a newfound need for a bit more…grace. Names omitted to protect the innocent (namely me, so I'd like to think) and somewhat shield the scoundrels from a lifetime of harsh judgment by bookmarked friends and strangers who have simply stumbled here. A new beginning of sorts and an improved me, I hope. We'll see.