Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 205

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

I was in a taco shop watching the waiters with one eye and a bit of football with the other. Sun-bleached, day-dazed. I’d done my time at the office. I’d spent half an hour shopping for coconut milk and oatmeal soap. I didn’t have it in me to focus on just one thing.

A brunette said there’d been a water leak at opening. She was talking to the manager, who I’ve met before. The laughed about it, walked off, problem solved, all dry now, but the image stuck with me. I saw the shop in six inches. The tables were slopped up and the chairs were floating. Tortilla tugboats ran laps in the open waters. There were cliff jumpers diving off the salsa bar.

When the food came, I had to steady myself to keep from slipping. Sometimes, the pictures in your mind are more real than the dry ground under you.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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Sometimes, from beyond the skycrapers, the cry of a tugboat finds you in your insomnia, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island.

Albert Camus

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 175

Hi.

Coffee:  Americano, Crema Coffee; ironically, there was no crema on the coffee

I went to a show with an old friend. Got there at 9:00, left at 11:00. It was noise music, electronic, and I liked it mostly, but by 11:00 I had a headache and this blog to write so I decided to go. Z told me “At least stay for the next set” His partner told me “This is late for everyone, but come on.

Finally, Z said: “Well, you’ve gotta go when you’ve gotta go.”

I spent this afternoon staying inside trying to write. I finished a short story last week and have been trying to drum up new ideas for an old novel. I couldn’t find the beat. So I sat in the kitchen at noon, sat at my desk at 2:00, then lay on my bedroom floor at 4:00, lights out, curtains closed, seeing nothing. I hoped a couple words would come out of the nothing. They didn’t.

Sometimes I use writing as an excuse not to live my life. Less often, it’s the other way around. Words can be that bad friend you see every weekend only to get into arguments over what to do. You can’t please each other but you can’t pull yourself apart.

Z’s partner talked about the music like she knew it, which she probably did since she’d been in a band. She mentioned later that she’s been working on art projects spun off a hand-loom. It made me wonder how many different relationships a person can have with their art.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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

In my Paris apartment, when a neighbor drives nails into the wall at an undue hour, I “naturalize” the noise by imagining that I am in my house in Dijon, where I have a garden. And finding everything I hear quite natural, I say to myself: “That’s my woodpecker at work in the acacia tree.” This is my method for obtaining calm when things disturb me.

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Coffee Log, Day 123

Hi.

Coffee: Venti Americano, Barnes and Noble Cafe; I’ve been avoiding two things: Starbucks (because they’re ethically stagnant); Barnes and Noble (because they laid me off). But a friend was in town and didn’t have much time; he suggested the joint, I agreed. It was remarkably unremarkable. The cafe manager tried to sell me a membership.

I’m a few drinks into the afternoon. In no order, some thoughts:

It’s hard to be an artist in 2018. Well, it’s hard to be a good one. I’ve looked at life as two parts for a long time, the living and the the writing, mutually dependent. You’ve got to live to write and (at least for me) you’ve got to write to live. But 2018 is ten-miles a minute. 2018 is being able to forget about North Korea because kids are in concentration camps a few miles south. There’s a lot of living going on; for me, there’s not a lot of writing.

It’s been too hot. There’s an intersection in transition outside one of the Cary bank branches – they’re widening lanes. I watched men and women work the block last week. The had bright yellow vests. Milk-jugs of sunscreen. On Thursday, a truck ran red and got t-boned. Nobody asked the workers to help, they helped anyway, pushed the cars to the side, called the cops, swept the glass. Their pink skin was grapefruit. I was impressed.

Impressions of being broke in every whisky-topped wine glass; I spilled wine on a white lady yesterday. She wasn’t bothered. I managed not to make eye contact the rest of the night. I talked to two Methodists. A fifty-year marriage, twenty-years in Garner. They drank white wine and offered to pour me more. I took them up on it.

Currently Reading:

History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (2017 Man Booker Prize Shortlist)

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“But who could agree with someone who was so certain you were going to be sober the day after tomorrow?” – Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano
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