Coffee Log, Day 222

Hi.

Coffee: French Roast, Trader Joe’s Brand

A dog-walk day.

I took a stroll. Sundown, 2nd of October. My mouth was still wet from dinner. I started on the second floor landing, thought about the book I wrote that started on a second floor landing. Kids on the playground; parents at the picnic tables. I crossed the creek and sidled the first floor apartment that’s got a screen door. The TV was going. A courtroom drama. Objection!

It wasn’t until I passed the pool that I started to see them: bipedallers puttering around with leashes leading every size of furball into the first comfortable day of Autumn. I think I counted five in all, about four more than most days. They fell to two categories: guys in cargo shorts looking bored as toy poodles pulled them around; women in athletic wear talking to their cell phones. That dogs yipped and bapped at each other, yipped and bapped at me, made up for every lack of interest in their owners. To them, it was Christmas. To them it was the fifteen-hundred down on a new car, new wheels, broad October, open roads, wild nights. For five to ten minutes, the dogs got to remember that their paws once clawed beds of dirt, hunted woods and fields. For the same amount of time, the people got to think about what show to watch when they got home.

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

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.” – Aldous Huxley

image_6483441 (2)

Coffee Log, Day 192

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium-Dark Roast, Trader Joe’s

An afternoon thunderstorm chased summer away. It was cool for a second, porch weather. I sat on the outside. The water went sideways, some got on me. Trees looked like port authority waving in ships; the gutters spewed like ballast water.

I tried to read a book, Ali Smith’s Autumn. Couldn’t get into it. It’s cheeky. It’s playful. The writing is impressive but in a self-aware way that turns me off. I put the book down and tried writing. I had a yellow legal pad and cheap pen. My father would scrawl notes on endless reams of yellow paper at his law practice. They’d take on their own lives. Late afternoons, playing in office corners while my parents finished work, I’d fence with envelope openers and follow the legal pad fairies into this or that crevice. I tried writing, but nothing came to me today.

Neighbors threw a party in the rain. I heard their umbrellas: ‘pat-pat-pat!’ They brought their kids and camped the gazebo. Kids played in puddles, pink and blue bathing suits. It was nice and busy. Their sounds went well with the storm.

It’s late now. The storm’s gone. I’m full of good food. I’ve had a few beers. Night sticks to me like a messy spiderweb.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“A little self-knowledge is a dangerous thing.” – Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano

IMG_1599

Coffee Log, Day 184

Hi.

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

There goes August: running fast enough to trip itself.

I read an article about the ‘A-Team’ on NPR. Not the TV series, but rather the short-lived 1970’s experiment dreamed up to answer widespread migrant worker protests. It happened in California, mostly, and involved granting crop-picking jobs to white high schoolers for the summer. The act passed Congress on the heels of ‘They’re taking our jobs!’ It singled out the best and brightest, the most active white boys for the honor. Within three days of the first year, 200 kids had quit. Those who stuck out the six-day weeks at minimum wage talked about it like an earthbound Hell.

The privilege to walk away.

Not much has changed. Farm labor is still largely migrant labor; or, if you’re in Eastern NC tobacco farms, it’s seven or eight year-olds who pick all day and sometimes miss school. Regardless, it’s hard, unloved work given to people who are most desperate. Five centimeters past slavery, in other words. No wonder our country can’t stomach loading it on well-to-do white boys.

I sit in the shade. Cold tea, new book. September mentions herself in a nice breeze, we exchange calendars and contacts. Autumn ease, there’s not a cloud in sight. Somewhere west of here, another 28-yr-old man bakes until his skin comes off, blood on knuckles, only knowing the sadistic love of burrs and melon seed.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich; FINISHED!! Will have a review soon

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.” – Cesar Chavez
IMG_1559