Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 249

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

Two Greeks walked into my office. Old, retired, they used to live in Thessaloniki. They needed some help setting up ownership, planning for probate, one was the daughter, one was her father, her mother had died. She sounded like peanut butter when she said it, ‘Mom’s gone.’ On their way out, I dug up an old travel memory and said ‘thank you,’ efharisto.

An older woman sat down across from me and raised her hands. “I’m bringing you trouble,” she said, drawing out the ‘t.’ Jewish. She was having issues operating her online banking. I talked to the woman for half an hour and thought we had the problem solved then she came back. We called the hotline and tried different things. She said she’s bad with technology. She said she’s bad with computers. She said she doesn’t understand why something so simple gets complicated, and I remembered all the times I ever said ‘this is easy,’ and felt bad. Later, when the day was done, packing up, she calls, I answer, and she says its working, and that she was so excited she had to tell me. She said I must be happy to be through with her and I tell her I’d be happy helping anytime. I meant it.

I talked to an Indian doctor who tells dry jokes. I ask him how he’s doing, he says awful, as always. He tells me about all the relatives coming down. Then we get to business and I help him send a wire. It’s international. It goes out, It comes back. Our bank needs clarification on the address. So I call him, the doctor, and try to get the address. He talks so soft and fast it’s hard to understand. I have to ask him to repeat it and by the end we’re both laughing. I don’t know why I’m laughing, I don’t know if he knows. Everything works out in the end.

America sounds best in many accents.

I have never lived anywhere but New York or New England, but there are times when I’m talking to you and I hit a Southern vowel, or a word gets caught in a Southern truncation, and I know it’s because I’m swimming in your cadences, that you permeate my very language.

David Levithan, The Lover’s Dictionary

Coffee Log, Day 97

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark Roast, Trader Joe’s brand

I stood on the bridge in the rain and thought about smoking something (I didn’t) then I thought about drinking something (I didn’t) then I thought about writing something (I did).

I’ve only smoked four cigars. Tobacco has been in my blood since birth. Well, probably before birth. I’m a North Carolina boy. The pride and prejudice of tobacco leaf grew my home. Pride in the gaunt Southern swagger of smoking something strong on a hot summer porch; prejudice in the bloody hands my ancestors forced to pick it.

Fire’s in my blood.

I think that being Southern means being the most proud, arrogant bastard standing below the sun; I think that being white Southern means an unreachable sin, a wretching guilt, and the knowledge that the day you’re born your heart is already six-feet deep below black-brown soil.

And we smoke that fear away.

Currently Reading:
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

“I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.”- Flannery O’Connor

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