Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 276


Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

It was a busy week. And it ended a little early, an hour off for a hard-work reward, those sorts of incentives you see for the fishhooks reeling you into a place, but that you appreciate anyway. I walked out with enough light still around to see myself. There were slate-blue clouds, a little rain, congested traffic. So I thought ‘This is perfect,’ even though I never imagined perfect to look like this. And I appreciated the rain for all the stiffness it shook out of me.

I met an old man who looks twenty years younger than his age. He’s 87. “It’s getting to be ridiculous, you know, how the doctors, and my boss, they all pull each other over and say ‘can you believe it? this guy’s really that old!'” He’s proud, and you can see it.

The 87 year old was twice-retired, once from the auto-industry, again from his own business trucking. he got divorced at 80 and lives alone, though is visited often by his family. A few years ago, he started on at a logistics place and met this parapalegic, the owner, who had a bad smoking habit. Now he and the owner are friends. They take lunches together, and are the kind of folks who pose for Christmas pictures.

They’re building two buildings on either side of my office. One is attached to the hospital, another is a five-story doctor’s office. The crews have been working for months now, we all remember watching them sweat out the summer, but now they’re cold, and when I see them standing on the tops of concrete skeletons they’re in puffy orange coats. Sometimes, the crews work around the clock. For the heavy lifting, they use big orange cranes.

You can’t escape it. You’ll find a meaning in working, and if you’re lucky, it’s a meaning you can own.

Currently Reading: Another Country, James Baldwin

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

I don’t like work–no man does–but I like what is in the work–the chance to find yourself. Your own reality–for yourself not for others–what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

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