Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 81

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

I’ve got a beautiful life. I’ve been thinking about love. Some people love me. There’s a cat I know, she says hello to me most days on my lunch breaks. There’s a man in California that got lost in NYC ten years ago and took me with him. I love some people too. For the most part, those two things line up.

I was at an open mic tonight. I didn’t read. From a corner seat, I listened. I had a beer. It wasn’t very good. I told a few people my name, people I’ve told before. I met a writer who writes about Durham. I told him I write about it too and he says it’s a screwy city. The bar, Fig, is in North-ish Raleigh. It’s tucked in a neighborhood. It’s beside a falafel place. Out back, a woman was teaching tricks to her dog.

There was this other bar I went to three times, The Wooden Nickel. It’s in Hillsborough. It’s screwy. It’s small. There’s not many tables. The third time I went there, I don’t remember much. I remember pouting. The second time I went there, I took pictures in the bathroom. The first time I went there, I fell in love.

I’ve got a beautiful life. I’ve been thinking about love. Some days it’s tap-water. Other days, it’s a well.

Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

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

People in bars are always claiming to be boxers, hoping thereby to ward off attack, like a black snake will vibrate its tail in leaves and try to impersonate a rattlesnake.

William S. Burroughs, And the Hippos were Boiled in their Tanks

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 54

Hi.

Coffee: Breakfast Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand; I’ve been putting off cleaning my coffee pot for a couple weeks but I finally bought white vinegar; I ran the vinegar for two cycles, dumped it, rinsed it, ran the machine with water; the coffee still tastes the same, but it’s got more confidence than before; cleaner; self-assured; that kid in middle school who made all A’s and didn’t even know people were poking fun at her about it; blank paper.

Yesterday’s Coffee Log was live. I read a few selections from the past year at Fig Raleigh. I answered a few questions. “Do you ever worry about alienating the friends and family that you write about?” Yes, but I don’t stop writing about them. I wouldn’t know how to stop. Etc, etc. After the questions, I listened to twelve colleagues read. They read fiction and poetry. I like being an audience for people who’ve got something to say.

I’m driving to Richmond today. I’m excited for the trip. I’m nervous for the trip. I feel like one of those puppies you see in commercials – eyes wide, half-wanting to be adopted, half-scared of everything outside the pen. It’s been five years since I’ve traveled on my own. I used to make a point of traveling – taking off to wherever. Then I thought ‘hey, I need to get to know a place, I need to responsible to the people that feed me with their taxes.’ I’ve been getting to know NC like an old-new friend, someone you lost contact with long enough to forget about them. Now that I kind of know her I’ve forgotten important parts of myself.

Back to the reading: I love listening to people’s voices. The way you say something on stage is different from how you and I are talking. And it’s different from person to person. Z came to watch me. Then we stood in the audience together and listened to the other performers. He said everyone had a different style. They did have different styles. I don’t think there’s anything more honest than putting yourself in a spotlight. It’s not the you that comes naturally, it’s everything you’re aspiring to be.

Tomorrow, I’ll write this blog from a hostel bar. Or a Richmond cafe. Or a bench outside an art museum. Or a street corner. Or the backseat of my car. Who knows? I’m two blades of grass pressed together, stuck between your teeth, anticipating whatever kind of sound is about to blow.

Novel Count: 38,047 (I’ve been so stuck on preparing for the open mic feature, the trip, business at work, that the novel’s gotten stagnant. And now that it’s stagnant I don’t know what to do. I’ll push through, but that might mean surgery. I might cut out some things, change some others. Marriage – hard work to fall in love all over again.)

Currently Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes

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

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets