Coffee Log, Day 326


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

There were rumors of snow on the forecast but we only got rain. C’est la vie.

A cold day. I woke up by knocking over the glass of water on my nightstand. It landed on the carpet and soaked an old laptop, thankfully one I’ve backed up most everything I need from. I haven’t yet turned the thing on to see if it still works. I don’t know that I need to. Let the old dog sleep.

I’ve felt a change in myself lately. It’s surprised me, but it’s also safe to say the change was pre-meditated. After so much banging against this or that wall, I knew I had to throw a wrench in what I’d been doing. Most of my life has been one high speed chase toward complex, specific, largely unattainable goals.

For the past few weeks – since the start of December – I’ve been spending weekends looking out the dining room window. I don’t watch the clock and I’m careful not to stay in my room. I have a book to read and my laptop for when I feel like writing and I plug my phone into the speakers so that I can’t touch it. I listen to music. I drink coffee and barley tea.

It was hard at first. Empty time, and me with a bucket full of stresses to fill it up. But I’ve gotten better at the habit and I think it’s seeped in. It’s not just the weekends anymore. I don’t feel as much pressure to board the next plane and arrive somewhere. That’s not to say I’m not working – hell, I’m putting in more hours professionally and with writing than I have at any point prior – but i feel more relaxed while I’m doing it.

This is starting to sound like one of those new-agey posts. Stressless moments and mental peace aren’t options for everyone. When you’re staring at a spreadsheet of expenses trying to factor gas vs. food, you’re in combat with a world that won’t let go of you. Calm is a privilege. All that said, it’s a healthy step if you can afford to take it.

I look in the mirror in the mornings and don’t know myself. It’s all I ever wanted, but I had to let go of all those feverish loves to get here.

Novel Count: 14,971

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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Whoever’s calm and sensible is insane!


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

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


Coffee Log, Day 171


Coffee: Fair Trade Five County Espresso Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

M tells me he got a job at the camera shop operating equipment. He’s been working ten years through film school, MFA’s, gigs in LA. The job won’t pay great, he’ll have to take a second. As a screenwriter and director, it’s far from what he wants to do. But it’s a step in the door. M played it down when he was talking about it but I could hear the gymnastics in his voice. I was ecstatic, didn’t try to hide it. I poured brandy and took a toast. Nothing better than working toward something.

Summer rages on. We sit in the shade and listen to cicadas. I learned how to say ‘cicada’ in Japanese – semi – from a teacher in Koga. One year my junior, many years wiser, though I don’t know if she’d agree. She kept having to remind me of the word because I kept forgetting. We stood on the beach. Green algae. Clean water. She pointed to the path you’d take to get to her elementary school. There were trees up the coast where the sand died. “Semi,” I said. “You remember,” she said. You could hear the bugs.

I read somewhere that cicadas crawl from the ground once every few years, sing a little, make love, lay eggs, die. I admire that singularity of purpose. Some days, I’d like to crawl out of the breadcrumb soil, sing a little, make love, set my roots, and die. Other days, though, I just get drunk.

Congrats, M. Thank you, A. You both inspire me.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“Dog-day cicadas are very dark with greenish markings and spend four to seven years underground before emerging in July and August.” – Quote on the National Geographic Kids entry about Cicadas