Coffee Log, Day 205

Hi.

Coffee: French Roast, Trader Joe’s

I don’t write particularly well when I’m drunk. I don’t do much of anything particularly well when I’m drunk. That said, I’m drunk.

I sat on the porch and re-read ‘Hear the Wind Sing,’ Haruki Murakami’s first novel. The storm was raging, my neighbors were chatting on the deck below me, and for a short while a latina in a gray tee bounced happily up-and-down on the third floor across from my apartment. She was pretty. She waved at someone else. All of us watched the creek surging like a well-fed boar.

In such circumstances it felt unconscionable not to have a drink. I drove to the nearest gas station. Far as I could tell, no trees were down, but the road was messy with leaves. It was warm, I listened to a collection of leaked Young Thug b-sides. What traffic there was was moving fast and with a purpose.

At the gas station, I bought a six-pack of Negra Modelo and the guy recognized me so I wasn’t carded. A few weeks ago, I told a Tinder date that the first beer I drank was Negra Modelo.

“Wow, pretty extreme for a first beer,” she said.

She was a pretty girl, sociologist, almost-professor, who spent the date talking over me and looking at a point somewhere on my forehead, never in the eye. There was no chemistry but I asked her out again anyway. “There was no chemistry,” she said. Hard to argue.

In all honesty, I gagged on Negra Modelo the first time I tried it. I was a Junior in college. I’d just turned 21. I went to the Armadillo Grill on campus – the only place with a bar – and ordered the drink with dinner. They gave me an open bottle. You weren’t supposed to take alcohol out of the bar but I was so nervous – so wrapped up in dreams of what the beer might do to me – that I tore foil off my chicken tacos and capped the drink. I stuffed it in a hoodie pocket and walked out, sweating the whole way home. Afterward, I played Call of Duty and drank half the beer. I called my girlfriend at the time – a short social worker who’d go on to get drunk one December years after we’d broken up and invite me over – and said I hated it. She was disappointed. S liked to drink.

‘Hear the Wind Sing’ holds up on a second pass, just as I’m sure it holds up on a third. It reminds me of The Tatami Galaxy – light, short, funny, heartbroken – it’s no surprise I’m in love.

When the latina waved I almost waved back. I would have liked to have invited her over, given her some of this six-pack to help me finish it. In a storm, anything’s possible. When the rain stopped, though, she disappeared.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith

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“The Rat’s novel had two good things about it. First, there were no sex scenes; second, no one died. Guys don’t need any encouragement – left to themselves, they still die and sleep with girls. That’s just the way it is.” – Haruki Murakami, Hear the Wind Sing

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Coffee Log, Day 115

Hi.

Coffee: Organic Sumatra Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

I walked into my apartment last night and the TV was on, the kitchen cooking, a friend on the couch. “Hey,” I said.

“Well hello,” he said.

A couple months ago, I’d clapped for his wedding. Today, though, L was laid-off.

We sprung for Chinese and I bought brandy. I was the only one who had any, but I needed a drink. It had been a hard week for all of us. We watched shows, played games, lived loosely, I was happy L was over. In between the happy, he told me how they sent him home early, wouldn’t pay out his scheduled shifts. He told me that just two days ago his dad was also laid-off, and we don’t know if it was the stress or other demons but his father was admitted to the ER after the news. Diabetes; a family thing; I watch L and think of my own father, my own health, his health, the Southern tan that men get on their bellies and women on their forearms, we’ve got to eat – a lot – to love ourselves.

Night grew on and I kept drinking. It was cheap, warm, mellow. I thought about four months ago when I lost my bookstore job. I thought about three months ago when I finished the best draft of my first novel. I thought about two months ago when I asked a woman to marry me right before she moved out of the state, knowing she’d say no, loving her all the same. I thought about one month ago when I was inducted to a strange financial world that’s got one foot in small-town community, one foot in digital predation.

I thought about a lot of things. One thing I didn’t think about, though, was this blog. I didn’t post.

Sometimes I feel like sugar tacky. A rolling pin, a marble table, I’m spread four corners thin. For the first time since February, I missed a day posting my Coffee Log. This morning, that’s been a bit of a wake-up, even though I got up late. It’s easy to let the mechanics of life get in front of your dreams.

So what does that mean for Livesay Writing? Well, probably not much. I’m dropping my current reads. I’m going to commit myself to a schedule of reading the best regarded, best selling, award winning fiction books published last year. If I’m going to join that market someday, I need to know it. Besides that, we’ll see.

L spread his big arms on our couch. He spat breath at the ceiling fan. “What’s that look for?”

“I’ve been through a lot this week,” he said.

I felt that like it was my own marrow. I gotta remember to remind him to keep his dreams in focus when everything else is falling apart.

Currently Reading:

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

Fund the Coffee Log 🙂 – https://ko-fi.com/livesaywriting

“Hell is full of musical amateurs: music is the brandy of the damned. May not one lost soul be permitted to abstain?” – George Bernard Shaw

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