Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 243


Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s; yesterday, I cleaned out the coffee machine; I filled the pot with half water and half white vinegar, ran it for two cycles, then two more with just water; I washed my mugs; I wiped down the coffee grinder; this morning, just past 8am, I sat at my kitchen table and ground new beans; I used to do this every morning, waking up at earlier hours, getting ready for work; I got out of the habit, but I’m trying to bring it back; necromancy; two days from Halloween, sipping black coffee

I skipped the Coffee Log yesterday. That makes two missed Mondays in a row. I’m one of those downtown diners that shuts up after the weekend, food gone, money spent, not really wanting the rest but can’t afford to keep working. The worst sort of breaks are the ones you weren’t looking for.

It’s important to me to point out where I slip up. It’s important to normalize the hard things. I’ve been on vacation five days but don’t feel it. I’m fortunate, but don’t feel it. There’s complacency in success. The thing the world is working you toward isn’t some great meaning, just the blank stare of not having to look at anything. That’s capitalism. It’s a lot of things, maybe it’s human. I was talking to a friend the other day who said the thing she finds most beautiful about people is the way they’re also animals, messy. And I’d said the thing I find most beautiful about people is the way they can choose to be something else. I still believe that, but I’ve got no illusions that the choosing usually means closing the curtains on the outside, curling up with things that make you feel safe.

I met a man the other day who needed $4.50 to get the bus to Raleigh. I had a couple dollars cash in the car so I went and got it for him. While he was waiting for me, he had this look like ‘don’t pity me.’ And it was complicated because I did kind of pity him, but also I just wanted someone new to talk to, and this was a way to buy a bit of his time. We exchanged names and shook hands and I went back to reading James Baldwin at the cafe. ‘Another Country’, and I couldn’t stop questioning which country I was trying to put myself in.

Here’s another thing my friend said: ‘All those country songs about hometown happiness were written when the singers had already moved to Nashville.’ I thought that was really something.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller (FINISHED! Will have thoughts posted soon)

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border  – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

He did not seem to know enough about the people in his novel. They did not seem to trust him. They were all named, more or less, all more or less destined, the pattern he wished them to describe was clear to him. But it did not seem clear to them.

James Baldwin, Another Country

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