Coffee Log, Day 36


Coffee: Cafe Pajaro, Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand; tastes familiar and expected but a little exciting, like waiting for a train to come in.

I cooked black bean burgers for lunch. It took about an hour, maybe more. I sauteed the onions and garlic and mushrooms and drained the beans from the can. I thought about canned food – how all vegetables came from cans in the 90’s, and how when the fresh food came in it kicked a bit of idyllic Americana out. The sitcoms told me kids didn’t like to eat their mushy broccoli and I saw myself in those kids.

I wonder what kind of lies kids believe these days. Growing up with the internet, it’s easy to find whatever facts or fiction you’re looking for, but all those facts are individual: you look them up, they belong only to you. We don’t sit down by the TV at exactly 8pm every Wednesday alongside big chunks of the rest of the country; instead we binge streams independently.

Of course, all that charming ‘Americana’ was packed and sold with an agenda: ‘this is what life should look like,’ and if your life didn’t fit the label – if you were poor, rural, gay, black, brown – you weren’t a part of the package. I think this is slowly changing. When I was a teacher, the kids I taught could see themselves in their smartphones if they knew where to look. So maybe America is finally realizing it’s beautiful pot of mixed identities, but in doing so it’s moving away from centuries of carefully controlled communal history. No wonder the rich men in congress are scared. Being honest, I’m scared too. But fear’s a good thing – it takes you places you haven’t gone.

Currently Reading:
Tar Baby, Toni Morrison

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“For a moment, or a second, the pinched expressions of the cynical, world-weary, throat-cutting, miserable bastards we’ve all had to become disappears, when we’re confronted with something as simple as a plate of food.” – Anthony Bourdain