Coffee Log, Day 197


CoffeeTea: Bigelow’s Earl Grey, pre-packed; fragrant like a rest home, bitter like all the missed opportunities that got you there.

My coffee pot broke – again. I bought it to replace one that had lasted me four years; this pot barely got three months of use. I didn’t have time to pick up coffee on the morning drive so I settled for making black tea. It was alright. The pack was old. That doesn’t make much difference to the flavor, but knowing I’d had this tea since a different zip code piqued an uncomfortable aroma.

It wasn’t a bad day; wasn’t a long day; I couldn’t connect to it. People came and went. The bank was busy for a while then it wasn’t. I heard stories from my coworkers – real rough shit about their families. I ate my lunch with a plastic knife and no fork because I forget to pack cutlery. Outside, August still nuzzled September. Inside, it was ice-water cold.

I’ve been having old dreams. Well, they’re new dreams about old places, old people. I’ll be sitting in a desk in an empty college classroom; I’ll talk on the phone with you. In the dreams, it’s always stormy. The sky’s cobalt and somewhere close is thunder. I wake up at midnight, then at 3:30, and then a little late for my alarm clock. Each time, I’m sweating. It’s not fear. A long day on baseball bleachers watching the game, no shade, just sun. I wash my sheets regularly because I’m convinced they smell. I wouldn’t know, though. The older I get, I’m losing my sense of smell.

I took a walk tonight, not very far, saw some kids, talked to a neighbor. Cicadas made noise in the trees. I looked up. I wanted to join their party. Unfortunately, I never could find them.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith

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“… it is one thing to desire, another to be in capacity fit for what we desire.” – Thomas Hobbes

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