Countdown to my reading as featured author at the Third Wednesday Open Mic: WHERE:Fig Raleigh, Raleigh NC WHEN: 04/17/19; 6:30p.m. (open mic sign-ups start at 6:00p.m.) DAYS REMAINING: 6 Come out and support the Coffee Log!
I walked up a hill after work today. It wasn’t very big. A kid came roller-blading down the hill. She lives in my neighborhood and said ‘Hi!’ At the top, I said hello to a couple couples and their dogs. The sun was out but low enough that it didn’t burn. Then I got in my car and went to the store.
Driving. I kept the radio up and the windows down. The college station was playing grimy electronica. I liked the music. I took an extra loop through a neighborhood before stopping at the quick shop. The guy at the quick shop knows me. Not by name, and we never say anything to each other, but he’s always there and I’m there often enough. So he didn’t card me when I bought a six-pack.
I don’t know why I bought the beer. I thought it over the whole way home. It’s a Thursday. At home, I put the beer in the refrigerator. I looked at it in it’s plastic bag. Earlier in the day, I got a call from a coworker who was in a traffic accident. She was distraught. I pulled the plastic bag a bit to look at the bottles. They were starting to condensate. I closed the refrigerator door.
On the way back down the hill – driving home – I saw that kid again. She said “All these cars, I keep having to move out of the way.” I said “Yeah that’s no fair.” Now it’s late at night. The lights are still on. Even in the kitchen. Not a lot of things are fair.
Novel Count: 37,459
Currently Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
Coffee: Colombian, Starbucks Brand (grocery store bought, a gift)
Whenever I remember taking nighttime walks around Duke’s campus it’s always cold, even if I took the walk in August. Here are a few examples:
A breezy Spring Semester romp through the Engineering campus. I’m bored, lonely, talking on the phone. It’s a weekend, maybe, because there aren’t any students. I see cars come and go from the Divinity school. This part of campus is steep; clean; new. The cafes are closed and I’m disappointed because I’d like to visit. Everything is new to me. I’m a Philosophy major, nobody needs me over here.
The week before my Sophomore or Junior year, I’m passing back and forth over a ditch cut between two dorm buildings. I’m waiting on a woman I’ll often wait for, even many years later and well after she’s no longer waiting for me. We haven’t seen each other since last year and there’s a whole summer’s worth of conversation. We circle Old Chem, pass Perkins library, and spend time admiring the statuary on the Chapel. It’s hot and balmy, but the memory’s like freezer frost. I like to transport myself to that time before some of my most important questions had answers.
This time it’s actually winter. We’ve had a snow. I’m walking late in good company. Couples throwing snowballs, kids taking pictures on second-gen iphones. I’m talking to a friend who’s going to school in Charlotte. We’re both intoxicated on a mutual distaste for parties and alcohol. Underneath me, snow melts like modern glaciers. My hot body, raging at all the wrong parts of the world, but breathing that cold air brilliantly.
I took a walk tonight and before I did I put on a sweater. The first sweater since March. The apartments had gotten dark and I made my usual circuit. Bewitched by the lights of the clubhouse, I took a detour. Our community espresso machine can make a hot chocolate; I hadn’t had one, now I have. It seemed right to baptize the night in unnecessary sweetness. The first Fall evening only happens once a year.
Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker
“Some days you get up and you already know that things aren’t going to go well. They’re the type of days when you should just give in, put your pajamas back on, make some hot chocolate and read comic books in bed with the covers up until the world looks more encouraging. Of course, they never let you do that.” – Bill Watterson
Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark Roast, Trader Joe’s brand
Walking in the parking lot: girl in purple jogs by, seen her a few times; crickets; last ditch birds holding that daysong; every light’s on at the apartments; the moon is woebegone.
I left home to make home out of nothing. A high-pitched air conditioner; it’s all still following me.
Currently Reading: Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson
Even so, there were times I saw freshness and beauty. I could smell the air, and I really loved rock ‘n’ roll. Tears were warm, and girls were beautiful, like dreams. I liked movie theaters, the darkness and intimacy, and I liked the deep, sad summer nights. – Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance