Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 294

Hi.

Coffee: Organic Dark Roast, Don Pablo’s

Somebody I don’t know donated a couple dollars to my Ko-fi account. I’m a little embarrassed, like it’s Christmas but I didn’t get you anything. Mostly though I’m flattered. Anyway, thanks.

I went driving across town. I had the windows up because it was blustery. I was listening to that new Drake and Future drop. Most of the drive was sunny, even though most of the day was cloudy. But it got cloudy again around the old Kroger that Harris Teeter bought. It’s only ever cloudy when I’m around there. I don’t know what it is. Secret magic; un-understood science.

At the light, stopped, on the corner of High House where the lights are always long, I checked the news. There were stories on Iran. How they shot that plane down accidentally and now they’re owning up to it. So I was thinking about Iran the way I have been most of the week. I was thinking about how little I know of the country. I was thinking about that story from last century where we coordinated the coup against their democratic government and re-installed the Shah. A lot of stray thoughts that I don’t have enough room in my house for.

I fell asleep last night while M was still up. She tells me she’s up til two feeling restless, or kept up by the cat. Meanwhile I’m out. It’s funny how we share the world. How some of us are up, some of us asleep. It’s like there’s not enough room for everyone so we’ve got to take turns. A raft ride at a water park, sleepwalking toward the drop. And so much of it is scary but when I think about M up at odd ours, or opening her eyes when I’m clean out, it seems like things are in good hands. That’s peace, I guess.

Currently Reading: Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin

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Workin’ on a weekend like usual
Way off in the deep end like usual

Future feat. Drake, Life is Good

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 292

Hi.

Coffee: Organic Dark Roast, Don Pablo’s

I wanted to make a pasta sauce so I looked up local kitchen supply stores. There’s this place called Whisk, and it’s only ten minutes away from me, so I went there. Whisk is in Waverly, a shopping center, on the second floor, overlooking an outdoor playplace. It was busy because they were having a sale.

In the end, though, I couldn’t afford to buy local, because the cheapest saute pans they had were $150. I had this half-second binge of being bougie, walking along the aisles with well-off professionals, feeling well-off myself. There was a a woman ten years older than me checking Le Creuset’s off her list. A cadre of retirees cooked pasta at a paid lesson in the back. But I don’t make that kind of money, though I do make a decent living, and I had to leave empty-handed.

In the end, I bought my pan from Wal-Mart. It was even busier, Sunday blues singing through everyone’s day-old pajamas. There were teen couples int he freezer aisle and hair curlers picking up prescriptions. A Portugese family had to ask for help finding a second set of oven mitts. And I felt too well-off to be there, like I’d lost a bit of the struggle I used to feel, and thinking so turned circles in my stomach.

Currently Reading: Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin

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How do I like to spend my day off? I like to hit up the juice bar, the bookstore, tan, and then flirt with the pharmacy tech at Walmart.

Crystal Woods, Write like no-one is reading

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 217

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

It helps to remember the moments you can’t live without – that afternoon in Hiroshima where we dropped stones off the bridge and watched the riverside come alive with a thousand crabs. I need to believe that if I shake things enough, something will happen.

I had dinner at Bocci. The last time I ate there was eight years ago. Compared to then, a lot has changed, but the restaurant looked just like it did back then. It’s an Italian place tucked in the back of a small shopping center off Lochmere, one of the wealthier neighborhoods in Cary. The bricks are red and the bar is full of old men watching.

We were there to give our goodbyes and congratulations – a coworker got a job in the back office, she won’t be around as often. There were eight of us in all so the staff put together two tables. There were only two people working the floor. Our waiter was older. He had lanky legs and an Italian accent. Anytime he said ‘please’ it sounded like an interrogation. N, who worked for two years teaching for the Peace Corps, whispered this: “Everyone else thinks he’s being mean but I love it. The last thing you learn in a language is inflection.” After that, I saw the guy in a different light.

After dinner, I drove home with the window down. I thought about eight years ago, the way we count our time. I was at the back of Bocci by a window, an ex on my right and her father across from us. He was buying. I never knew how to talk to him. I didn’t like taking favors. I ordered chicken and it was bitter. My arm was on fire – back then, I had a nine-to-five doing data entry and it had gotten me over with carpal tunnel. By the bathrooms, my ex asked me to try harder. I told her that pissed me off. Years passed, now I understand what she was saying.

Tonight smelled like hot dogs, chicory, and parked cars.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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Thinking about spaghetti that boils eternally but is never done is a sad, sad thing.

Haruki Murakami, The Year of Spaghetti

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 182

Hi.

Coffee: Pike Place, Apartment Lounge Brew

I got up early to go walking. I ran into a woman and her dog. The dog’s name was ‘Spock.’ I asked if he was an intergalactic traveler. She said ‘Yes.’ Spock licked my shoes.

It was a nice morning. People were out. Quite a bit cooler, overcast, waiting to rain. Later, after lunchtime, I went with E to Lazy Days in downtown Cary. It’s an art walk, a craft walk, a reason for the city to come together, and it happens each year but this is the first time I’d attended. Downtown was packed with people. There were only a few places to park. We walked by the old buildings swinging our umbrella and then we crossed the train-tracks and heard a proselytizer. He had a loudspeaker. He said ‘Give up your life of sin and reclaim your life of God.’

The food was alright. I had yuca fries for the first time. They were sweeter and softer than potatoes. After an hour, I had plans, so I left E with some friends and walked back across the train tracks on my own. I saw lots of people. Five women wearing pink on a Southern porch. A man in a Trump hat. Two college kids talking about oppression.

Next to my car were four more proselytizers, only these were buttoned up like Sunday and speaking Spanish. I don’t know if there’s a God. If you put my life on the line for it, I’d bet there isn’t. But today felt holy because everyone was out in the open – together – waiting for the rain.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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But I need to feel beautiful and holy things around me, always: music, mystery cults, symbols, myths. I need it, and I refuse to give it up… That’s my fatal flaw.

Herman Hesse, Demian

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 69

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

I got dinner at a Subway run by an Ethiopian. He asked me if I was vegetarian.

“Yep,” I said.

He told me he’d tried going vegetarian but got tempted working at a deli. I told him that made sense.

We talked a little about home-cooking. He said it must be hard to not fix meat. “Where do you get your proteins?” He had his hands full with all my vegetables.

Halfway down the line, he tells me that vegetarians live longer. I think that’s a nice idea so I say it. I’ve felt better, physically, since I cut out meat. He asks if I’d considered going vegan and I say I’ve considered it but can’t pull the plug. Four obtuse triangles of pepper-jack cheese, toasted. He says I should try eating Ethiopian because it’s half meat, half vegetables, nothing else.

I left the place with a recommendation: Awaze, an Ethiopian place in Cary. I tell him I’ll try to check it out. And after the recommendation, I shook his hand, got his name. I’ll call him S, for short. S always works there. He might be the manager, or the franchisee. He’s got grey hair and square glasses. He wears steel rings. His hands don’t fit well in he small plastic gloves. He does the microwave first, then the cutter, then the toaster, then the veggies. It’s a quiet Subway, he keeps it that way. Whenever I’m there in a rainstorm, he seems at peace.

Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

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It is the stale breath of Death on his open and vulnerable neck that immortalizes the hero, that lends a fireside story its luster.

Nega Mezlekia, The God Who Begat a Jackal: A Novel