Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 209

Hi.

Coffee: Americano, Caribou Coffee; I walked to the clubhouse to use the free machine this morning but it was out of filters; so I walked back to my apartment with an empty thermos, ate a quick lunch at the dining room table, then drove a couple minutes to the closest Caribou; the weather was late-summer fireworks and the sun made pin-head incisions in my skin; open window, laid out arm; the guy in the drive-through had puberty on his cheeks; his voice cracked when he handed me the coffee; oh, it’s flavor? like a walnut, but one you’ve left sitting one day too long in backyard soil

A friend came over to bake a focaccia in our oven. He got here at 5pm, left the bread outside to rise, then sprinkled it with salt and oil before loading it in the oven. As it baked, we caught up. The sun got in our eyes so we moved to the living room. Later, while the bread was cooling, we went out to buy cucumbers and tomatoes to make fresh sandwiches.

It was a nice day. Lazy in the best sort of way. No-one needing anything that wasn’t right here.

At 10pm, our friend left, I spent some time cleaning. I brushed all the breadcrumbs in the trashcan. I washed the cutting board clean of cucumber juice. The kitchen’s sleeping like it’s been on a pilgrimage. It’s motionless, peaceful, waiting for the next time it’s put to use.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller (life hasn’t had much time for reading lately, but I’m almost to the end; more thoughts soon)

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To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread. It will be a great day for America, incidentally, when we begin to eat bread again, instead of the blasphemous and tasteless foam rubber that we have substituted for it. And I am not being frivolous here, either.

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Coffee Log, Day 129

Hi.

Coffee: Fair Trade Ethiopian Medium Dark, Harris Teeter Brand

I spell ‘summer’ a little different: c-u-c-u-m-b-e-r. At five I watched ‘My Neighbor Totoro.’ Satsuki and Mei made cucumbers look like everything you could want. Icebergs in an Arabian heatwave; solace, your first love’s fingers.

I bought two English and chopped them up. There’s a site I recommend, omnivorescookbook.com. Following Maggie Zhu, I made a sauce with rice vinegar. Tossed, sauced, I tasted twelth grade, eighth grade, second. I remembered cooking meatloaf with my mother; chili with my dad. He just turned 70. A big year. Happy birthday Dad.

Food’s intimate. Bourdain knew that. The hot plates and summer sweat evaporate drama from your pores, you can’t hide anything. Some notable meals: S made Kraft macaroni and introduced me to reality television. TT gets La Fiesta with me every time he’s in town. In Fukuoka, around 11, I ate pig guts dipped in stomach bile, MI laughed, I learned her language for the night. A stirred deer-meat in her spaghetti and we watched horror movies, felt a little less horror on the couch together. M mixed mushrooms in everything, even the late Spring sunlight, a hot kitchen caught in hair, curtains, shirts, skin, portabella flesh.

My fingers smell like salt and garlic. You could spin an Aegean cruise out of me. I’m ten feet above the blue water, watching Miyazaki, hearing Mei’s teeth, cucumber – click click! – cooking until the sweat slips out, un-hidden, all of you right beside me.

Currently Reading:

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

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“Is your cucumber bitter? Throw it away. Are there briars in your path? Turn aside. That is enough. Do not go on and say, “Why were things of this sort ever brought into this world?”” – Marcus Aurelius

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