Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 288

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

I was thinking about this place along the coast in Fukuoka. A paved pier next to a shipping consortium, with tennis courts running up its middle. I don’t know if was was remembering it right. I wrote about the pier ten or twelve times trying to put together my novel and none of the attempts made it to the final cut. Even so, when you write about something often enough it gets stripped of its original colors, paint thinner-like, and you can’t tell if the things you call up are real objects or your own ghosts.

Anyway, I was thinking about this place for no reason other than that it got cloudy, and the clouds often remind me of what it feels like to travel. I saw that pier on the night of Yamakasa. It was past midnight, a few kids were still playing on the tennis courts, and people jogged, back and forth, like waves, or the boats out there past the buoys in the deeper water. You could see a long way across the water. You could spot the Fukuoka Tower and a couple islands, some lit up, some just blotches where the stars got caught. There were lots of sounds, despite it being so late at night, but they were cautious and filled with anxiety, like looking in on your older brother while he’s putting on eyeliner before a date. Thump, thwack, and long, beating waves.

I sat in the memory a long time. It wasn’t real, wasn’t not real, and I liked it, somewhere only I could go on the untidy, cast-over, too warm December day.

Currently Reading: Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin

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Advantage, service, fault, break, love, the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature.

Andre Agassi, Open

Coffee Log, Day 282

Hi.

Coffee: French Roast, Trader Joe’s brand; rich, muddy, and deeply familiar; just like the wet clay soil you had a mudfight in with the neighborhood kids before you were grounded for tracking mud through the house.

It smells like diesel at our apartment. They’ve been re-roofing the building and one of the guys has this gas-powered blower that knocks the old tiling down. They’ve packed up for now, it’s about to rain, but they’ll be back tomorrow. When I opened the curtains this morning there was a ladder in front of me.

As long as I’m not stuck under it, I like a cold rain. There’s a sort of reclamation. The trees give up the last of the year’s leaves, all but the greedy conifers. The dirt gets soaked but it’s so cold that mud is more pudding than a landslide. Grass looks like the washbasin at a hair salon.

I tried to take a walk but got caught by a few drops. My hair smells like ammonia now, which makes me wonder what we’re putting in our water. I read somewhere that acid rain is less of a problem than it once was, so maybe the smell is natural, bits of seafoam carried from the coast containing the relinquished acids and oils from tiny things that die in the thousands without you noticing.

But I might just need a shower.

Novel Count: 14,900 words

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

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The rain lets up. The devil stops beating his wife, but I beat the dashboard, punching it over and over, numb to the pain of it.

Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give


Coffee Log, Day 281

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, single-serve packet; might as well finish the week with this stuff.

I slept with the windows open. It was cold but nice. I like hearing the night. Around 11:00pm the birds stop going. Then, around 4:30am, they start back. We spend a lot of time sequestering ourselves from nature. Even when you’re a hiker, a climber, a camper, you’re someone who’s making nature a special trip. It’s a privilege not to know the cold, uncompromising world, and a privileged thing to choose to flirt with it.

I remember the solar eclipse. The tree outside my window cut moon-shaped shadows on the pavement. I didn’t buy the glasses so those little moons were it for me. R and I walked outside and stayed for fifteen minutes. It got dim then it got brighter. There were all kinds of people out. Lots of kids. There’s always lots of kids. I think I might go a little crazy if not for their constant antics.

It’s been a hard week. On paper, nothing happened. Maybe that’s a part of it. Or maybe it’s the end of the year. Tomorrow’s December. Two weeks and I’ll be 29. My brain’s symbolically predisposed. So is yours. The cold; the wet; the dark bare bark; the pomp that tries to sell you something; the warm fires; the curtained windows you had a chance to peek behind, but that once the year is done you know will stay closed. Symbols.

Happy November. Here comes December. Grab the bottle and toss the cork. Christen your old-body ship into less turbulent times.

Novel Count: 14,711 words

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

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

It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready.

Sarah Kay