Coffee Log, Day 346

Hi.

Coffee Tea: Black Tea; I got home late last night and didn’t feel like getting the coffee ready. So I didn’t have coffee this morning. I microwaved a cup of water for two minutes and popped in the tea bag. It was sweet, a little nutty. It was just fine.

I had to work today, despite it being Saturday. I spent the morning listening to a young Colombian talk about getting engaged.

My cousin posted a video of him doing a penguin dive in Montana. The lake was frozen so they’d cut a square off the ice by the shore. He walks out in shorts and a tie-dye t-shirt, stands in line with a lesbian couple in matching tu-tu’s, and jumps. He does a cannonball. Spoosh! I’m a little worried when he hits the water, but then again, I don’t really know the guy.

In high school, I used to joke with R that his brother didn’t exist. At that time, his brother was off in college so he didn’t come around too often (at least that I could see). But if anyone had made the same jokes with me – that whatever aunt or uncle wasn’t real – I’d be hard pressed to prove them otherwise.

My family keeps the four corners of America. That’s a busy enough job that no-one ever visits each other. There’s a sliding scale of bad blood between them. And even when the blood’s decent, no-one feels like they have much to share.

The older I get, the more it sticks with me that I don’t have an extended family. Sometimes that’s a sad thought, other times liberating. It makes you feel like there’s just no chance that you’ll walk outside and see someone who shares your DNA. A tourist in your own home town.

I’ve got another cousin who came by last summer. He’s a big guy, friendly, a little drunk on fancy words. He makes movies. Or really, experimental film. He’s been posting snippets of a video he did on cow auctions. They fix the cows in a vice so that they can only face forward. Cattle all around, belting and hollering, but try as you might, you’ll never get your eyes on them.

Novel Count: 21,067

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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What are they, Dad? Cows, son. What are cows, Dad? Cows are cows, son.

Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes


Coffee Log, Day 144

Hi.

Coffee: Drip from Mama Dip’s; my coffee pot broke, so no go on the bag of beans I bought yesterday; the drip made up for it; it was mellow, average, acceptably watered down.

I met up with my cousin who I haven’t seen since I was seven. He came with his wife and his six-year-old daughter. His daughter, Ruby – also my cousin – had the energy of riding lawnmowers in monsoon season. She twisted and twirled. After lunch, we went to an art museum and she drew pictures of the pictures. They were good. Then she asked what she should draw next and I suggested a grumpy pineapple. It was also good.

I rarely feel like I have a family. Well, an extended one anyway. I suppose I felt that way today but the feeling is so rare, so nebulous, that I don’t have the words yet for it. Ruby said she didn’t want to leave because we’d never see each other again. I said “We will, family’s family.” I’ll keep thinking on what I meant by that.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.” – Arthur Conan Doyle

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Coffee Log, Day 127

Hi.

Coffee: Fair Trade Ethiopian Medium Dark, Harris Teeter Brand

I thought a lot about peeling potatoes today. The same old recipes just aren’t cutting it…

There was a customer who only spoke Spanish. We danced, tried to help, not understanding. When he smiled, he had great white teeth. Chomp! Finally, they got the Nicaraguan to translate. I never knew what they said.

A couple weeks ago, a woman passed me her license. Black hair, a teacher barrette, thick Spanish accent. We had a lovely conversation. She wanted to do a lot of things I couldn’t do and then she left like summer’s first storm. I sat in a too-cold bank for two more hours when her cousin showed. She said she’d bring the woman back and work something out. I said we’d do our best.

The day got longer, sun fell down, our drive-through buzzed at every passing bird; the cousins never came back.

Currently Reading:

History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (2017 Man Booker Prize Shortlist) (FINISHED!!! Unforgettable; will post a review this weekend)

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“There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed.” – Gautama Buddha

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