Coffee: Cafe Pajaro, Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand
I drove home at 11:00 am. Not ‘current home,’ but ‘grew-up home.’ Burlington, NC – a squashed sort of town taking space between Chapel Hill and Greensboro. It’s everything American – diverse, suburban, stratified. The building’s are concrete, even the nice ones. The weather looks good from the west end and frightening on the east. Train tracks divide it like the sign outside the country club: “Proper attire, no loitering.”
I had to take my car to the shop. Nothing but family or necessity brings me back here. I have a lot of love for what the place made me and a lot of fear for the chippings left behind. I went to the old bookstore I worked at and some of the faces were the same. I drove Huffman Mill like it was 2008 and wished the country had grown up with me. Or maybe it has grown up – the way the snot-nosed kid on the playground grows, knowing better ways to hit you, more vocabulary for his prejudice.
It’s not all bad. I ate lunch at La Fiesta – a Burlington institution – and the salsa was good as I remember.
Tar Baby, Toni Morrison
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“I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.” – Maya Angelou