Coffee Log, Day 324


Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

There was a wreck on the way home. Not involving me, except by voyeurism. We all drove by the dead car. We drove slow – it had got a streetlight, cut the cord, sheriffs were directing traffic because the light was out – so we had a good look. The hood was ripped up like a poet’s notebook. There was glass on the ground, and in the sunset it sparkled pretty.

I’ve been in three bad wrecks. All of them left me pretty much intact, but each one took something from someone else. The first was ten years ago on Christmas Eve. I was riding with my mother delivering Christmas gifts. A guy runs an intersection and tears up the car. He should have hit me head-on. I shouldn’t have come out the other side. But my mom swerved and he hit her instead. Now she’s had multiple surgeries and spends most days in pain. You wouldn’t know it though. She mostly smiles.

The second wreck was the first day I drove alone. I’d just got my license. I was young and nervous. I stopped at a redlight close to home and suddenly I was in the middle of the intersection. Then, a bit after, I was across the road and up the curb. It took me time to figure out what had happened – I’d been rear-ended. I checked myself out, was mostly okay (though I still have issues from the way the crash re-adjusted my spine), and ran over to the other car. There were two ladies in the car. I talked to the passenger because the driver was hysterical. “Do I need to call an ambulance?” She said no, just that this was her mother’s car, her mother was the driver, her mother was too old, and her mother would now lose her license. The old lady looked like a life sentence. I walked back to my wrecked car to wait for the cops.

And finally, a few years ago, I hit a deer on the highway going 70mph. I was in the fast lane and the deer came from my left. It jumped over the median and landed on the windshield. Because of that, it never tripped the airbags. I have a seared image of a deer hoof breaking through the glass and tearing about six inches from my face. I was briefly unconscious. Thankfully, I kept control and pulled over, spitting out glass I thought for the longest time were my own teeth. I waited for an officer to pick me up (I’ve never had AAA) and he was kind enough to take me to wait at a Cracker Barrel while my family came to give me a ride. On the way, he told me this crazy story: “The saw your deer running around downtown Durham.”

“So it’s ok?”

“Well, yes, but it’s missing one leg.”

Novel Count: 13,732

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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“You’re a rotten driver,” I protested. “Either you ought to be more careful, or you oughtn’t drive at all.”
“I am careful.”
“No you’re not.”
“Well, other people are,” she said lightly.
“What’s that got to do with it?”
“They’ll keep out of my way,” she insisted. “It takes two to make an accident.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Coffee Log, Day 198


CoffeeTea: Bigelow’s Earl Grey, pre-packed (still need to buy a new coffeepot)

She talked about her dead brother like he was still breathing so I did too. She had wild hair. Sometimes, she walks outside in her nightgown. When I check the ID I see a birthday in the 1920’s. A rager baby, booming in the A.M. of modern America, partying now in it’s dusk.

The brother worked gov’t and made good money. I’ve heard this one before: “He was a banker, you know.” She says it word for word. Doesn’t remember telling me the last time, the last last time, the time before that. We dance.

“Oh yeah?”

“Yes, yes. Did you know that the USA paid him $300/hr to fix some messes from the local banks?”

“Wow! That so?”

When she left, the room smelled like cigarettes and other fond memories. Old NC: she’ll surely soon pass to meet her brother, leaving love or nothing. A few dozen years from now, I’ll walk into wherever I’m a regular and say: “Did you know I used to know this lady whose brother was a banker?”

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith

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“There’s only one lesson to be learned form life, anyway,” interrupted Gloria, not in contradiction but in a sort of melancholy agreement.
“What’s that?” demanded Maury sharply.
“That there’s no lesson to be learned from life.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned


Coffee Log, Day 35


Coffee: Honduras, Cooperativa Raos; the last cup. I didn’t love this coffee, but I appreciated it. It woke me up. It worked out my pecs, it was hard to grind. A prom date in high school: magically convenient, immediately forgotten.

I didn’t set an alarm so I got up late. 10 am, I shoot for 6. My body thanks me but my head’s fuzz. Lately, life seems to happen in the mornings, drag in the afternoon, and settle at night like a chaser. The strong stuff is up front. Today, I’m sipping a weak cocktail.

Once, on a cruise, I drank pina coladas from dawn to dusk. We stopped at Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The boat was white and so was everyone on it. I got uncomfortable on the islands. Drunk days doing nothing feel a lot more romantic on borrowed blue oceans.

Currently Reading:
Tar Baby, Toni Morrison

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“I was enjoying myself now. I had taken two finger bowls of champagne and the scene had changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental and profound.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby