Coffee: Black Drip, Sweet Hut Bakery; it was the second time I went here, an East Asian bakery on Peachtree selling all kinds of bean buns and glazed kringles; we went for breakfast, took our tray to the counter, watched people walking dogs up and down the road under a crisp blue sky; I tried the ones you tried; we each had our own coffees; unlike the bean-buns, the coffee wasn’t sweet, wasn’t savory; it was weak as old beetles clinging to trees in a rainstorm, and tasted more like dishwater than brewed beans; still, I enjoyed it, because it was what I needed before a long day, a last day, plane flights, some caffeine, a little perk to sustain me
I came back from Atlanta. It was a full plane and crowded airports. We’re in the season where everyone’s going, going, going, trying hard to find somewhere to be. I saw a man in a button up rushing back and forth to ticket counters trying to check what flight he was on, a woman in a red cap and black shawl and crooked knees, two brown dogs and one white one, frustrated day-workers, a baggage loader doing jump-ups on the conveyor belt, and my own two tired feet in new socks and new shoes standing around waiting for a plane in the company of pleasant memories.
It was my third trip to the city. Isn’t it funny how the more you see of a place the smaller it’s getting? Like an erector set, only every time you add so many buildings you move down a scale, cutting off a few inches, cramming more and more into the same fixed space. I saw a lot more of Atlanta over the past four days. We went walking, driving, took a few trains. We ended up in Five Points where the wind was blowing ten degrees out of us and all the shops were closed while the Georgia State kids were on winter break. We took a trip to a district thirty-minutes outside the city where the buildings were emptying out to lay-offs and a long black turkey chased trucks out of the parking lot.
And now I’m back. Cary creeps around me like a missionary, handing out it’s pamphlets and hoping to win me over. But my heads still knocking around the Atlanta streetcorners, shaping up the city, and I think it’ll be there for a while.
Currently Reading: Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin
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You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities