Coffee Log, Day 231

Hi.

Coffee: Colombian, Starbucks Brand (grocery store bought); I’ve been boycotting Starbucks since their bad showing discriminating against black businessmen earlier this year, but one of the bank managers gave me a bag of Starbucks ground coffee as an employee appreciation gift. No use fighting fights to the point of fanaticism, I appreciated the gesture and brewed a pot. It stank like sweat; tasted like dry leaves; I’ll drink it all.

I talked to a guy who’s had two divorces. He just moved. He had a home with his second wife in Fuquay. It was a big house, a ‘waste of money’ (his words). Every week, his ex would have a project. She’d build additions, fix the floors. He was fed up but also heartbroken.

He said he was dating. He said most of the women were dating at least five other guys at the same time. “I’m just sitting there, checking the watch, then she’s an hour late and says ‘Oh, well Fred needed me a bit longer.'” He’d been in the rain, the hurricane. His face was red. He wore work clothes. He lives in an apartment now.

I read something later that said the only certain thing about love was that it predicted a loss. I couldn’t help but wonder what the losses looked like from his ex-wife’s side.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” – John Steinbeck, The Winter of our Discontent

IMG_1719

Coffee Log, Day 230

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

All eyes on the sky as a second Hurricane mumbles toward North Carolina. We’re not getting the brunt of it. Florida’s uprooted. Still, our ground’s so wet that any rain will be like more wine in Aunt Marilyn’s glass and we all know she’s a lush.

Haruki Murakami’s new book is out. I’ll buy it soon. I’ve been excited to read it but then I saw a note on Variety saying it’s got a central fascination with an elder businessman’s feverish pursuit of a 13-yr-old girl. I’m tired of books about men chasing women. I wrote a book about a man chasing a woman, though it was also about how often art becomes about a man chasing a woman. The whole mess scares me. What space is left for love when you’re breakneaking towards Midas’s touch, turning people into golden objects?

I cooked dinner. The onions were glassy, perfect. I’m so damn proud of myself. There’s enough for five people. I’ll end up eating the whole meal myself, spread over a few days.

My roommate’s filled the house with company. I’m a hair-raised badger spitting dirt from his hole. That is to say, I’ve got the door locked and I’m playing music. A perfectly contained room. I’m not a curmudgeon. Well, not usually. But I’ve never known how to handle a room full of people I half-know. I’m happy they’re happy. Now shove off as I dig this loam.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“Step aside? I step aside for nobeast, whether it be a hallowed hedgehog, an officious otter, a seasoned squirrel, a mutterin’ mole or a befuddled badger!” – Brian Jacques, Taggerung

image_6483441 (3)

Coffee Log, Day 229

Hi.

Coffee: Americano, Java Jive Cary; tasted like two dollars spent on losing lottery tickets.

It’s been a grey day and that’s a-okay with me. The sun came late this morning. It’s still stuck behind clouds.
#
I’ve been having elaborate dreams. Two of them, Sunday and last night:
1) She’s wearing dark makeup. I’m uncomfortable, she leads me by the hand. We’re in a giant walk-in shower. She undresses. She’s got black tattoos up and down her arms. I like them. I can’t stop touching them.

2) It’s winter. I’m wearing four coats, no shirt. I’m in a mall parking lot, standing by the car. You walk by with your parents. I follow, get their attention. You’re wearing my shirt. We hug. I ask for the shirt back. You look disgusted, say: “Don’t you have anything more important to think about?” You walk away. The wind blows like birthday candles. I’m very cold.

#

I bought lunch at a Subway from a woman with a cut on her hand. It was taped up but you could see the blood. I watched her work. She wore gloves. I kept looking at her finger. When she finished, I paid her and ate in the store. I had red onions on the sub. I took a few of them off. Red onions, white paper, cut blood glove.
#
I’m traveling tonight, one city over, leaving soon. Night’s been coming quicker and lasting longer. Bad traffic; congestion. I’m a dot on the ant-line interstate. What dreams will all this give me?

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” – Victor Hugo

IMG_1711

Coffee Log, Day 228

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

I didn’t take a shower until 4:00pm but when I did I lay down and let the water tell me about its day.

I didn’t work today; the banks are closed; it’s Columbus Day. A perfect celebration for modern America: wealthy white man who gets lost, screws up, loses half his fortune then makes it back on the backs of brown-skinned bystanders. Reminds me of a certain president.

But personally, it was a good day. I slept well. I dreamt of reconciliation; dreams are as close as you get sometimes. I spent the morning working on projects, the afternoon drinking ice water and submitting short fiction. For dinner, I went with a roommate to Remedy Diner in Raleigh. They serve the Impossible Burger, she wanted me to try it on account of my meatless-ness. I tried it. It was good. Had the tang like something had died for me, but nothing did, nothing with a head full of thoughts anyway, and so it was guiltless. Outside, NC State students paraded to this or that bar like they’d never know another summer.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.” – Haruki Murakami, After Dark

image_123923953 (5)

Coffee Log, Day 227

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

I sat in a Chinese takeout joint and watched a young white guy wearing a bathrobe and bath slippers open and close the door to the drink cooler then run behind the counter at a breakneak, past the stoves, out the back of the store. For one quick second everyone was watching and then he was gone. An older guy followed him. The staff acted like it happened all the time.

Later, I led some friends in a Dungeons and Dragons game. Someone else wrote the world but I’d made changes and then my friends made changes and by the end of it we’d ended up somewhere other than I’d been expecting. It was fun. When I was fifteen I wanted to be in a band. I played cello and a friend played electric bass, another played electric guitar, we tried jamming but I was always in my head. I couldn’t do it. My cheeks were pink. I was embarrassed. I wanted things to sound a certain perfect way that I seldom heard on my own time, sure couldn’t find with other people playing.

Tonight, though, it stuck. We told the story together. I’d like to think that means I’m getting somewhere. It’s easy to slip into a manic auteurship as an author. You and the keyboard, pen-pals. But writing is telling stories and you can’t tell much of anything to an empty room. We’ll continue the D&D campaign next week. Can’t wait to see where the story goes.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don’t need any rules.” – Gary Gygax

IMG_1715

Coffee Log, Day 226

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

I sit out a comfortable mid-evening at a friend’s condo. We watch everything but the big things, big news. Nothing we can do about the news so we might as well sit. Sit and drink. Everyone who wants to fight you will hold their fists for tomorrow.

I had lunch with my family, dinner with friends. In between i killed time and took a drive. I’d brought a book. I was in Burlington. The only open cafe on this side of town is a Starbucks. I thought about it. I haven’t bought a drink from the company since their tepid response to kicking out two black men for existing earlier this year. But I wanted to sit, wanted a drink, I drove past the store two times. Eventually, I sat in a parking lot and read ‘Cherry.’ I rolled the windows down. Cool, but they paved the road and the lot smelled like asphalt. I choked a few times. But I didn’t spend a dirty dime.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

WARNING: Flip-cap cover contains small parts and poses a CHOKING HAZARD for young children. – warning label on a Deer Park water bottle

2872223A-9238-499F-9F47-542A7E98EB27

Coffee Log, Day 225

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

Friday pushes hard brakes. The week smashes the median and things fly out: stress, joy, muddles, that clean feeling of starting something new. Now there’s just the curb and the smoking engine. It’s a busy road but no-one’s stopping. All the other cars have their own wrecks to meet.

I’m working tomorrow. I’m also driving home. I’m also, surely, going to be glued to the news, both at work and at home, to see the country put on it’s best dress as it swears in 30-40 more years of patriarchy. People will gnash teeth. Protesters will be arrested. By all indications, Kavanaugh still takes the post. Here’s a guy who spent his precious hours allotted to advocating for his competency and composure by mocking alcoholics and ranting about beer. If you cut the Capitol out of the image you could imagine him in a blue or red jersey, laughing at the tail-gate, waiting for the opposing team to leave the stands so he could smash a bottle in someone’s face. And yet we treat him like a victim, like someone owed the most prestigious legal position in the nation.

And of course he is owed. It’s his birthright: rich, straight, white man, the bleak dragon that devours us all.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“After luncheon the sun, conscious that it was Saturday, would blaze an hour longer in the zenith,…” – Marcel Proust

image_123923953 (4)