Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 227


Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

After getting home from a long workday, and doing some simple workouts, and sitting in my desk-chair for forty minutes as the sun crept down, I left the house to pick up Taco Bell. Here’s my order: spicy potato taco, spicy tostada, and bean burrito. Mm.

Anyway, that got me thinking: Taco Bell is the best representation of America. Cheap, easy, no pretensions. Pumping out junk food by the liter, a web of corporate partnerships, but it still manages to surprise you – vegan options, culinary creativity, a thousand different ways to serve a tortilla. NASA’s best scientists couldn’t beat the chemical tweakers tinkering taste on the crunchwrap supreme.

Some of you might stop me here to talk about cultural appropriation. How there’s a cheapened sort of Tex-Mex over everything, how the commercials used to lean into latinx stereotypes. You wouldn’t be wrong, and I think there’s something hopelessly American in this too. We see things in the boldest colors, no room for nuance, no time to sit down and think. The big beast of a country eats up all the cultures that come to it and spits out something a little simpler. And I’m conflicted because there’s so many problems, such a long history of trauma in ignoring the value of identities outside the mainstream, but at the same time, there’s breezy kind of beauty in stuffing beans and cheese and lettuce in a hard shell and calling it a taco. As much as America is a constant tearing down of the marginalized and different, it’s also a mess of cultures coming together to create something new.

I finished eating around 7. The food sat with me awhile.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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

Wait… we’re at the Pizza Hut (What?)
We’re at the Taco Bell (What?)
We’re at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell

Das Racist, Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 15


Coffee: Sumatra Medium Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

What’s the smallest thing I could talk about? I’m out of energy for the big things. For fifteen minutes tonight, my life was in orbit around a Burger King.

Work let out late and it was dark and raining. I’d been planning to get gas on the way home. Confronted with a seven o’clock storm, those plans seemed like they could wait. Instead, I decided to get dinner. I had this dilemma – my tank was almost empty, I couldn’t go very far. Across the road from work is a Burger King. I’d never been there. Tonight it was my north star.

Every time I end up at the intercom to one of these joints I ask the same question: “Do you still have the veggie burger?” So far, every time I’ve asked that (which, admittedly, I could count on one hand) the answer’s been ‘yes.’ So I placed the order and pulled around and kept the window down while I waited to give my card. The drive-thru was empty except for me. The window was bright and white and green inside. I looked inside.

There was a young girl at the window, an older guy in the back. They were laughing apart from each other. They seemed to be having two separate conversations with the same third person, someone I couldn’t see. They’d take turns throwing up their arms or clutching their chests. But they’d be doing it so out of sync it was like they were in different rooms.

Eventually the food came. I checked the bag. It was small and full of fries. Somewhere in there must be a burger but I had to take it on faith. I thanked the girl and rolled up my window. The rain had gotten thicker and the night had gotten darker. My car started to smell like grease.

There’s my small thing: the only fifteen minutes that felt calm today. My stomach’s full and I’m crashing off the added sugars. Work again tomorrow. Then a long weekend. Who knows where the next calm minutes might find me?

Novel Count: 29,897

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami; FINISHED!

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

He settles back with a small handful of cashews; dry-roasted, they have a little acid sting to them, the tang of poison that he likes.

John Updike, Rabbit at Rest

Coffee Log, Day 55


Coffee: Organic Sumatra Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

I drove to North Hills for a new job at 8:30. Orientation was in the same conference room as my interview. A pretty woman my age talked about the papers and her three cats and then we were both surprised when a raven landed on the window sill and started knocking. “Another new hire?” I said. The raven didn’t stick around to discuss benefits.

After the morning, work took me training in Fuquay-Varina. It was my first time in the city and everything was fast food. At lunch, when I asked for good spots to go, my coworkers said “Wendys-BurgerKing-Bojangles-Chickfila” then got super pumped when they remembered we’ve got a Sheetz. It made me like them all a lot.

Driving home, strip-malls broken by the Recession gave way to greenhouses and affluent orchards. Pretty, insignificant places.

Currently Reading:
The Pardoner’s Tale, by John Wain; The book came from a friend’s fast-packed apartment before she moved. It found its way to me so I guess I better read it.

Fund the Coffee Log 🙂 –  

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”- J.R.R. Tolkien