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

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

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

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

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