Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 176

Hi.

Coffee: Bottled Cold Brew Coffee, Trader Joe’s Brand; for bottled coffee it had a good taste; hell, it had a good taste to cupped coffee too; quick like late nights you spend on the town; full-bodied as a stranger’s bed

I got in a drinking contest with a two-year old. He had a fizzy water and I had a beer. Every time he drank, he made this face that said ‘what is this,’ squinted eyes, wrinkled nose. Then he’d point at me and I’d take a swig of pale ale, doing my best impression of him. This went on a while. Finally, though, the kid beat me. I had to put the can down. When he saw I was finished, he pointed at me again, only this time he was laughing. Fair game, buddy – you won.

We went in the woods this morning, me and E. She was hunting mushrooms. I tried to be her spotter but all the ones I picked out were wrinkled with white maggots. It made me think I might be haunted – drawn to the dead decomposers, the ghosts of ghosts. It was hot in the morning but not too hot. There were other families in the woods. I watched a dad strap his daughter in a backpack and take off running. She bounced like a dropped coin all caught in the bar lights, bright and happy, two white teeth, no older than my drinking buddy.

At a table under a black locust tree you showed me videos of the two-year-old playing ‘freeze.’ He watched over your shoulder and smiled at himself. It made me wonder what it must be like to grow up knowing your moments are there to dance with at the press of play – that the slippery little details of who you are have been saved to record. His eyes went wide to shots of himself splashing in a tub. You held the phone like the suds might slip out.

Where’s all the heat go when nights rolls in? Does it board a train headed southbound, knock on crisp red doors in Florida suburbs, lounge around with a TV dinner drinking hot coffee? Does it stay awake in Caribbean state bedrooms, red-eyed and frustrated, seeing itself in a thousand stars that are too far to get in touch with? I don’t know.

Midnight comes in, old dead bark, growing mushrooms.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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

Like locusts shall they gather themselves together, the servants of the Star and the Snake, and they shall eat up everything that is upon the earth.

Aleister Crowley

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 161

Hi.

Coffee: Pike Place, Apartment Lounge Blend; the coffee came out so hot I burned my mouth on it; that’s one way to wake up; out the window, there was the aftermath of thunderstorms; I thought about lighting striking, trees catching fire, the energy in my blood; one morning to another, daily breaking bonds like ATP; when my taste came back, the roast was a bit too bitter, but mostly good

I caught a two-year old chasing a yellow butterfly outside my apartment. A hallmark card, but without all the saccharine additives. She was barefooted and in a colorful bathing suit. She walked behind the butterfly, more curious than anything, while the bug swept this and that way between blades of grass. Still, it didn’t fly away. It was leading her somewhere. Her parents were in the gazebo, a hundred feet away, not watching their daughter wholly captivated by the yellow-black bug. But when I came by and said “What a pretty butterfly!” the two-year old’s eyes went wide and she wandered closer to her family. Broken spells.

All of us are still dying a little inside, hoping to be bewitched.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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

…and when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful.

Ruskin Bond, Scene’s from a Writer’s Life

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 49

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

Countdown to my reading as featured author at the Third Wednesday Open Mic:
WHERE: Fig Raleigh, Raleigh NC
WHEN: 04/17/19; 6:30p.m. (open mic sign-ups start at 6:00p.m.)
DAYS REMAINING: 5
Come out and support the Coffee Log!

I was talking to a friend about old TV shows. Very old, cartoons. She made a joke that turned into a reference that turned into twenty minutes of wiki searches. We shared our nostalgia and felt that nice tingle you get from calling up old names. Evey generation says this – ‘Back in my day’ – but the repetition doesn’t make the feelings any less real.

There was a kid in the bank today. She was two years old, barely walking. She had a big blue pacifier and followed her mom to the teller line. When she looked at me, I waved. No reaction. She was busy with secret somethings – all those events happening a couple feet off the ground – that only a two-year-old can know.

Nine years ago, I had a flash-fire feeling I could become a father. It was early on in a love affair and our protection fell through. I remember falling asleep beside her with blurry amber fantasies. I was in and out of sleep that night. The next morning, we rushed to the CVS and got a morning-after. I was giddy when she took the pill. We went to ihop and I bought us both endless rounds of pancakes. I wasn’t thinking about what had happened, or what kind of racking the pill might have on her body. I didn’t ask. I was only thinking about myself, my own future – bright, sunny, hopelessly clear.

I think all of us are hardwired to push and pull against passing ourselves on to another generation. Everyone ends up on a different side of the tug-o-war. There’s no right, no wrong, just a frightening sense of ‘life isn’t just about me.’ You can give yourself wholly over or be in various stages of walking away. No matter what, though, you’re afraid to lose something special – slick nostalgia, saturday morning cartoons. ‘Back in my day’ only lasts until tomorrow.

Novel Count: 37,459

Currently Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes

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

Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.

Dr. Seuss

Coffee Log, Day 306

Hi.

Coffee: Bolivian Medium-Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand; I found a stash; it was enough for one more cup before heading home for the holidays; tastes like it always does, a little earthy, rich, welcoming, but not giving up any secrets.

Can’t sleep on Christmas Eve. I’ve been up since 3:00, had hardly slept before that. Maybe my body remembers that old anticipation of being a kid on Christmas. Or maybe I should work out more, eat healthier, drink less caffeine, etc etc…

There was this tradition in my house where we’d get up super early on Christmas. It was my Mom’s idea. We started at 7:00, then as the years went by it crept back toward 5:00. I didn’t care, I was young and on vacation and couldn’t sleep anyway. But I think it was a bit of brinksmanship between my parents – who’s going to miss the alarm first?

My family wasn’t religious. Christmas wasn’t about thanking anyone but the people around you. We’d get up before the sun and light the whole house with candles. My mother had an incense spinner that would push these fan blades around and make little wooden figures dance. There was the incandescent tree (this was back before LED bulbs were all the rage).

My favorite decoration was the Christmas village. I’d spend afternoons in December setting up scenes in fake plastic snow. There would be the people dancing on the ice rink, the caroling peddlers, little lit storefronts selling sweets or violins. I saw myself walking in a perpetual holiday haze. It doesn’t snow on a Southern Christmas, so that little town had to do.

As everyone gets older, the decorations scale back. I’ll go home and help them set out the last ornaments on the tree. And that’s okay – tiny plastic houses are numbers in a checkbook now; there’s bigger, warmer ways to spend time with your family. But in the end we all lose a little magic. It’s hard to get lost in the corners of an old home when you’re busy trying to build a new one.

Novel Count: 5,846 (though if you’re counting drafted chapters, it’s probably closer to 25,000 by now

Currently Reading: Nothing! Will pick a new book after the holidays.

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

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.

Laura Ingalls Wilder