Coffee Log, Day 360

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

I’m sitting back in my chair with the keyboard on my lap (it’s wireless). I’ve been sitting like this for fifteen minutes. I’m trying to think about what to write.

Some days get rolled out like dough. A strong-armed woman in the sky slaps you up with a rolling pin. That is, time just kind of passes.

I woke up on time. I skipped breakfast but still read a book in the kitchen and did a little writing on my own novel, my morning ritual. At noon I took a shower and went grocery shopping. Through the afternoon, I alternated reading, dozing, and preparing things for a D&D game. Oh, and I did my taxes. Like I said – not much happened. Now it’s 8:00 and I’m here.

I read this article once that talked about the perception of time: it’s not constant. You’ll have moments that last your whole life and days that are gone before you’re blinking. New Age gurus tell you to be more present. Capitalist mongers tell you to work more. In the end, though, I’m not convinced you can control it – that hidden hand of time.

As I write this, my eyes are going lower. I’m tired. It was a long week. So goes another Saturday – eaten up like a mouse’s cheese. Oh well. There’s always tomorrow.

Novel Count: 23,970

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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Eternity is in love with the productions of time.

William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


Coffee Log, Day 359

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House, Office drip

I woke up remembering the one time I knew this girl to have short hair. That was a while ago – 2009. Since then, she’s grown it out to wear with gowns shown off on Miss America. Before then, I knew her to have the perky ponytail every white girl in high school has.

What a heady time.

In 2009 I was a college Freshman. I had a single dorm with a window that looked down on the gym. It was always fuzzy behind a mosquito net. Years away from knowing how to read, write, do my taxes, or much at all about who I am, that perforated magic; missing thoughts; open questions; swiss cheese.

That night was cold if I remember. Hell, it might have been February. She’d been staying at UNC so we took the bus back to Duke. That might have been the problem, turning everything a darker shade of blue. We snuck through the weekend and upstairs to my tiny room. We closed the blinds so the gym rats couldn’t see us. And we sat down. I only had one chair, we took the floor. She was in the drabbest gray sweatshirt. She had a boyfriend back in Maryland. Halfway through the movie though, our hands couldn’t stop each other.

Next morning, winter was broken. Sun came down like mimosas. ‘Oh well,’ I thought, ‘Some good things are also bad.’

But the thing that stuck with me – after we got past the guilt of something surreptitious and on with our separate lives – was that her hair was short. She had this light brown hair. She’d play with it the summer I met her. And in current pictures it’s long and highlighted. That night, though, it was cut in a rough bob just below her ears. Almost like she’d hacked it off herself.

What was she missing? And did she find it in me?

Novel Count: 23,904

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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And I’m feelin’ like we should d-d-duck away
Netflix and Dusse

Smino, Neflix & Dusse


Coffee Log, Day 358

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

I know a lady that had to get her cat shaved because he was too large to clean the better half of his fur. She sent me pictures. The cat looked like a rockstar, though not too happy. An interesting way to spend a Valentine’s Day.

I saw someone post on Insta that Valentines is their favorite holiday. She’s got a penchant for vintage dresses and posts pics that fit your mental image of a starving artist that still manages to live in New York. I only knew her for a summer, never knew her favorite holiday, but it fits.

There’s this guy who got divorced under uncertain circumstances. He used to travel all around the country in an old van. Now he’s figuring out custody for his kids.

R and I went to taco bell to try their Mexican Pizzas. Neither of us had had them before. We got home, opened up the boxes, and slopped our way through the cheap food as the couch devoured us. The pizza was sweet and sticky. It was like the kind of kitchen monsters you make as a child.

Anyway, that’s all to say I love you. Even if you don’t love me (and, well, even if you do). Thanks for reading. Thanks for taking your time. Happy Valentines day. I didn’t know what to get you, so here’s a blurry photo of a cat.

Novel Count: 23,683

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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“Me & U”

Every fourth Candy Heart in the box


Coffee Log, Day 357

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House, Office drip; the stronger you brew it the less it tastes like grass but the more it tastes like construction paper. What do you want to remember: soccer practice or kindergarten crafts?

Grammar: good, bad, or ugly? Ugly-bad, I’d say.

I’ve been swiping pictures like a fiend on Tinder. Internet dating never goes much of anywhere, but it’s an interesting addiction, like peeking in the metro windows during morning commute. Everyone’s dolled up and trying to impress each other. Or actively NOT trying, but that’s just another type of effort. I’m doing it too. We’re all peacocks. Anyway…

A lot of people put ‘good grammar = important’ on their profiles. They’re looking for people that can ‘talk,’ ‘spell,’ or ‘write’ right. I find that a little fascinating, that how you put your words together can be a metric for your desirability and worth. The same people usually use words like ‘looking for someone stable, who has their shit together.’ Ok, at least you know what you want.

I used to be someone who cared about Grammar. I’d be the kid in elementary who corrected your sentences if you said them wrong. Not a lot of people liked me, that’s for sure. I didn’t realize at the time that I was a product of something sinister: hundreds of years of history written by a ruling class.

What is ‘good’ language? In the textbooks, it’s well defined: it’s and its mean two different things, ‘good’ ain’t ‘well,’ etc. But when we’re talking under the blue February sky and you say ‘he did real good on his spelling test,’ I know exactly what you mean. So why should I care what word you used?

If you want to oppress someone, keep them away from books. Take out their tools to match an expectation of society. Don’t talk southern. Don’t talk mountain. Don’t talk black, or latin, or anything but rich white. If you say ‘y’all’ you’re ignorant. It’s selective understanding – we tell you it’s not good enough to get your point across, you’ve got to do it the right way. It’s bred in you to love yourself if you know how to comma and hate yourself if you don’t.

What a crummy view of language.

A thin black box to cram the whole world inside – no room, no air, no breath for different colors.

So anyway, I don’t judge those guys and gals that say they’re looking for a good grammared partner. I get the force of history clenching it’s fist around them. But I do swipe left.

Novel Count: 23,930

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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All my [people] talk like yo cotton picking ancestors
That don’t make us stupid, we just deeply rooted

Doctur Dot, Earthgang, Momma Said

Coffee Log, Day 356

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

I read an article in the News & Observer about an art exhibit at the Cary Senior’s Center. Not exactly the Guggenheim, but no less important.

Anyway, here’s the short of it: Bing Weng is an artist from China. She comes to Cary last October to visit her daughter. While here, she gets a gig to show 38 paintings at the Senior Center. A couple weeks before the show, the center pulls three of the paintings. They display Xi Jinping with a dark hand over Asia. They are political, overtly. The rest of her work is mostly floral. It’s apolitical, overtly. The director says the works weren’t ‘consistent’ with her other pieces. And of course there were two public complaints.

America, right? Land of Freedom. You can say anything as long as it doesn’t say anything. But life’s not all roses. It’s the sun, the soil, the bugs that eat the roses, too. And why would you want to think about that?

It’s a popular line to say we’re too politically correct in 2019. And the opposite’s got some traction too, that our rhetoric is vile. I think those sentiments come from the same place: fear. We’ve been sitting comfortably for some time (those on the fortunate fringes, anyway). No need to worry about crushing poverty or oppression or global war. Those things happen where you can’t see them. And our culture wants to keep them there, because the minute you’re made to see the wretched green animals stalking around your garden, you’re damned with cowardice or apathy if you don’t stand up to do something about them.

But what do I know? I’m just another flower-painter.

Novel Count: 23,930

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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“When I am in China, I have no freedom of speech, so I couldn’t paint political work,” she said.

Bing Weng, quoted by Joe Johnson, ‘Chinese artist’s exhibit in Cary is missing 3 paintings. The town says they’re too political.’

Coffee Log, Day 355

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

The rain turned our city to a salt lick. All that urban runoff. Wet tar, natural gas heaters. Mother of pearl pools full of oil. I wonder what the rain looked like ten thousand years ago? I bet it was sweeter – nothing but the plants to soak it up.

You and I are killing our world. But it’s not really our fault. When you’re born in a world where the only comfort is consumable, you consume it. And when it’s gone you look for more. Nothing wrong with turning on the heater on a cold February day. Nothing wrong with washing more paper down the toilet. It’s the world you know. It’s an edifice carefully crafted by your grandfather. All of our grandfather’s were woodworkers, tinkering away in converted closets on spare time, trying to build a world where their grandchildren wouldn’t have to think or hurt or dream ever again.

My mother was talking about this sunspot that’s going to save us. It’s a grand cooling, where the sun will lower it’s radiation mercifully for a few hundred years. And maybe it will happen, maybe it will counteract the industrial glut we choke on daily, but to what end? So those of us with money and power can go on digging graves of dinosaurs and burning them to take trips to the beach, or our daughter’s to prom, or our ailing parents to that closest hospital that’s still a dozen miles away? Sure, because those are all nice things. Meanwhile, the people truly left behind will watch their crops shake and shatter at a change of a few degrees. One way or the other, whether the temperature goes up or down, we push off our consequences on the least fortunate.

A lovely electric glow on this computer screen. Burning time so I can write this tiny letter to you all. It’s all I know how to do.

Novel Count: 23,882

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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[I]f I can be sure of any aspect of your character, it is that you are not as I. Since all I can do here is imagine you in my image, of course I have failed. I was as fossil fuels made me. They kept my lights on. Hence I who imagine myself to be open-minded will appear to you as deservedly dead, fossilized in the stratum of my own period’s prejudices.

William T. Vollmann, No Good Alternative: Volume Two of Carbon Ideologies


Coffee Log, Day 354

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

The clouds looked like down caught in the lint trap. A little dirty, but you know they’ll be soft. A cold, remorseful sky. The trees have already started blooming flowers.

I went to The Remedy diner in Raleigh as a belated Christmas present to my mother. She’s been vegetarian my whole life and I wanted to buy her an impossible burger. The restaurant is one of those places that’s right on the verge of trying too hard to impress you with it’s apathy. The art’s all edgy and every third waitress has a bull-ring. But the food was good and everyone was nice enough. It was a fine afternoon.

And now it’s nighttime. I’ve been getting into this routine where I’m afraid to go to sleep. Once or twice a week, I’ll wake up after a couple hours in a hot panic – heart racing, head throbbing, a pudding of sweat – and then I’ll sit in that directionless terror for a while before finally falling back to sleep. I’m not sure what’s causing it. I’ve tried monitoring my diet, sticking to an exercise routine, but I can’t find a connection. And so the midnight terror has sprinkled outward like a lawn hose and I’m strung out for a few hours before bed.

But it’s not all bad. I listen to music. I talk to friends. I might wake up wasted but I’m getting extra time in the evenings. The great trick to life is to realize that nothing bad is so bad as to damn you, or if it that you probably won’t last long enough to realize it.

I’ve got a youtube channel playing calming rain sounds. I might make some tea. See you on the other side.

Novel Count: 23,209

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.

Werner Herzog