Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 128

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

There’s a market in Asheville that sells arts and crafts. It’s on a streetcorner beside a big old building that houses an indoor mall. The stalls are bright-colored and both times I visited they smelled like incense. Now that the city’s burning up it’s oil for weekend go-getters, I’m sure the stalls are selling more; vacationers are the kind of people who need to bring things home with them. But the way I remember, it, the market was lonely.

I once watched a movie about a Japanese woman who’d gone to give humanitarian aid to Afghanistan during the early years of the American war. When she came home, she was shunned by her family, scoffed at by the townsmen, and had trouble finding a job. I had to read the liner to figure out why they were so harsh with her. The notes said it had something to do with a prejudice against external involvement, particularly related to war. I don’t know if this is true. But I liked my first viewing a bit better, where a woman comes home to bleak streets the color of squid ink, and where anyone who passes pulls their baseball cap down around the eyes.

I like drifting back to the lonely spaces; the frost-choked feeling of somewhere too forgotten to grow, too proud to putter out completely.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border  – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

…so too, her glazed ceramics and her macramé are interchangeable with those executed by her women friends in the area, who take courses at the Mill Brook Valley Arts Co-op and whose houses are gradually filling with their creations, like ships gradually sinking beneath the weight of ever-more cargo.

Joyce Carol Oates, Jack of Spades

Coffee Log, Day 332

Hi.

Coffee: Locomotive Blend, PennyCup Coffee; This blend was sent to me generously by a friend in Asheville. Because of that, I’m going to spend this post talking about it. A coffee log that’s actually about coffee. I know – I’m just as surprised as you are.

The last time I was in Asheville, I was at an Escape Room that A runs. It was my first time doing anything like that and it was a fun experience. Collectively getting lost in a daytime fantasy by locking yourself up. There’s maybe some deeper metaphors about human nature in that.

So anyway, I’m not that up on Asheville – this was a couple years ago – and PennyCup is new to me. Boy, was it a pleasant surprise.

I’m used to drinking mass-packaged store roasts. I spend a little more for fair trade, and a tiny bit on quality, and I’m mostly satisfied with that, but drinking the Locomotive was like having a homemade meal after a year at sea. It had a couple decks to it’s flavor. The first thing you get is this strong tang – something of a lighter roast quality – but after that all the flavors are pulling out stops to richly seduce you, which totally caught me off guard. Lighter roasts don’t usually have that depth.

Halfway through the first cup I was tasting chocolate. Then it was something closer to barley. I was reading Murakami. Then I was working on my novel. The coffee kept up with my changing moods.

I remember this time A and I walked to an old, abandoned house in the woods. There were beer cans in overturned tires and ravens making nests in the rafters. Someone had been living there – you could see matches and bedstuffs – and I was terrified. I kept up with her as best I could, but we turned around before exploring too far inside. I was embarrassed. A could have kept going, I felt like a coward. When I told her all that she said it was okay, made me feel fine for having that limit.

The Locomotive blend was much like that: taking you by the hand to unexpected places, dropping you off somewhere comfortable along the way.

Novel Count: 15,954

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

Coffee is a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to your older self.

Terry Pratchett