Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 46

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

Since it’s Spring, and cool, and a little cloudy, I took a short walk after work today. Nothing special, just a circuit around the apartment complex. There were weeks last summer where I would take a walk like this every day, but with winter and rampant rain for the last few months my strolls had tapered off.

Here’s what I saw:

Two kids were swinging on the swing set. They were both wearing blue, though not the same shade, and they were both talking loudly about school, though with different pitched voices. Isn’t it nice how kids become each other when they’re playing together? It’s easy to slip together with someone when you’re still learning who you are.

I saw a lot of crushed flowers on the creek banks. It rained so hard yesterday that trees were coming down. The creek flooded. The wind walloped. The brightest spring colors were washed into the mud. This means we’re close to summer. Another couple weeks and the heat-stink will be back. Oh well. Spring’s mostly beautiful because it doesn’t last.

A family of four was walking with their dog, a big black German shepherd, and the dad had to reign the dog in when it saw me. It started barking and slobbering. It was trying to protect it’s family. It looked very young. It hasn’t been around long enough to know I spend just about every day choosing to not be a threat. That’s what being human’s all about, right? The choice to avoid violence? Puppies can’t do that without a leash and a firm hand.

Two geese went by as I got home. They shared a long, sad honk. They looked like they were headed somewhere, maybe farther north for summer. I don’t know what they were sad about, what they were missing.

Novel Count: 37,208

Currently Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes

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A sound like a big crowd a good way off, excited and shouting, getting closer. We stand up and scan the empty sky. Suddenly there they are (the geese), a wavering V headed directly over the hilltop, quite low, beating southward down the central flyway and talking as they pass. We stay quiet suspending our human conversation until their garulity fades and their wavering lines are invisible in the sky.
They have passed over us like an eraser over a blackboard, wiping away whatever was there before they came.

Wallace Stegner


Coffee Log, Day 350

Hi.

Coffee: Locomotive Blend, PennyCup Coffee; my second to last batch if I’m judging the amount of beans. I’ve liked this coffee. It was a gift, which always helps, but I would have liked it if I’d come across it on my own. It’s direct with it’s flavors but still a little complicated, especially if you drink it like I do – big mouthfuls lounging on the back of your tongue. Makes me want to get up and do something, but doesn’t guilt me when I’m only sitting down.

I was having a conversation with a co-worker about her dogs. She treats them like children. They go with her everywhere. She won’t board them, says it’s cruel. And maybe it is – if you can give something a good life, why wouldn’t you?

I used to know a woman who had two cats. One was gray, one was brown. They had dramatic personalities. The gray could would wake you at 3:00 am to show you it’s shadow. The brown cat would hiss if you got too close. Once, brown cat ate a piece of plastic. She was real sick. So I took the morning off to drive her to the vet. She was in a tiny plastic carry-on. She made the most pitiful sounds. The vets took her in for surgery and I waited a couple hours, then she was better. Afterwards, she’d sometimes come to sit with me when I was reading in bed or working on something.

There’s a lot of emotion in the world, even if there’s not much intelligence. But intelligence tends to produce things like McDonald’s and plastic bottles, so maybe it’s overrated.

Novel Count: 20,399

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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Name the different kinds of people,’ said Miss Lupescu. ‘Now.’

Bod thought for a moment. ‘The living,’ he said. ‘Er. The dead.’ He stopped. Then, ‘… Cats?’ he offered, uncertainly.

Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

Coffee Log, Day 134

Hi.

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

For a long time the most foreign place in the world was the Asheboro, NC Zoo. I went there on school trips and with my parents. The trips with my parents were better; we told safari stories.

There’s lots of problems in the world and somewhere about the lower-middle of the list is humanity’s treatment of animals. Zoos are a part of that. For its measure, Asheboro does well enough. It gives more land to its animals than any other zoo in the US. It funds conservation.

It wasn’t always so good…

In the African exhibit there’s a big glass building that used to smell like monkey. These days it’s where they have tanks of fish, creeping spiders, scant birds. Back then, the center was a walled-off, indoor meshed tower fifty feet high. It had a giant concrete tree. It was home to apes and monkeys.

I remember their screaming. Excited, angry, glad, the whole gamut. The monkeys were a loud bunch. They’d swing broad and give a show – for each other, really, but we observed. The ceiling was so high and the skylight was frosted so the room was always this bright, tropical gray. That and the artificial humidity, the monkey’s screams, the stink that was so close to sweat between a man or woman’s legs, but still a little foreign, a little violent – to me, that pavilion was the most foreign place in the world.

On my daily walk around the apartments a thunderstorm takes. Blue’s gone, sweaty smooth clouds; every tree goes this-that way, the bark creaking, leaves screaming, braced for the confines of a heavy storm; I walk fast to avoid the rain.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“Catch him down bad, beat him with a bat, hashtag that (yeah).” – Young Thug, Harambe

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