Coffee Log, Day 361

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium Dark, Trader Joe’s BrandI was in line behind a couple women at the Old Navy. I was buying underwear, they were buying shorts. One lady’s in and out but the other starts to argue with the cashier. When it’s my turn, these 20-something wage workers are stressed and strung out and I don’t know what to do. I had a second where I wanted to talk to them. I wanted to create some light in a difficult situation. Then I remembered that I’m here buying underwear so I clammed up. No sage advice can come when you’re holding a bag of boxer briefs.

It’s been a slow day. I’ve been waiting for night to fall when an old friend’s coming over. Years ago, he introduced me to D&D and I’ve got a lot of fond memories rolling dice at his parent’s dining table, ordering pizzas, passing out on the couch. Time’s changed the both of us and each time I see him it’s like meeting a different person. But those old days are worth pouring a libation to now and again.

That’s it for me today. My one year anniversary of writing for this site is coming up this week. I still don’t know what I’ll do for it. Maybe nothing. Either way, it’s like watching great big storm clouds on the horizon – something’s coming, all you can do is wait.

Novel Count: 24,810

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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You are not entering this world in the usual manner, for you are setting forth to be a Dungeon Master. Certainly there are stout fighters, mighty magic-users, wily thieves, and courageous clerics who will make their mark in the magical lands of D&D adventure. You however, are above even the greatest of these, for as DM you are to become the Shaper of the Cosmos. It is you who will give form and content to the all the universe. You will breathe life into the stillness, giving meaning and purpose to all the actions which are to follow.

Gary Gygax


Coffee Log, Day 339

Hi.

Coffee: Locomotive Blend, PennyCup Coffee

Some friends came down and we went to Raleigh for dinner. It’s this pizza place by NC State. We’ve been there a bunch of times. Tonight, the roads were full of people. The restaurants were crowded. Hillsborough street was dotted with half-built buildings.

It’s strange how places change. Well, not so strange in the grand scheme of things, but strange to experience. You expect that empty lot to stay empty, or the convenience store to always be owned by the same family from New Jersey. But like a game of hide and seek, it all changes as soon as you take your eyes off it.

Earlier today, I was talking to a friend who said we’ve all been forcing new memories. I think there’s a lot of truth to that.

Novel Count: 19,148

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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Somehow I had entered another world. I’d heard that eating pizza before bedtime can cause nightmares, but I didn’t think it could transport a person.

Rick Riordan


Coffee Log, Day 226

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

I sit out a comfortable mid-evening at a friend’s condo. We watch everything but the big things, big news. Nothing we can do about the news so we might as well sit. Sit and drink. Everyone who wants to fight you will hold their fists for tomorrow.

I had lunch with my family, dinner with friends. In between i killed time and took a drive. I’d brought a book. I was in Burlington. The only open cafe on this side of town is a Starbucks. I thought about it. I haven’t bought a drink from the company since their tepid response to kicking out two black men for existing earlier this year. But I wanted to sit, wanted a drink, I drove past the store two times. Eventually, I sat in a parking lot and read ‘Cherry.’ I rolled the windows down. Cool, but they paved the road and the lot smelled like asphalt. I choked a few times. But I didn’t spend a dirty dime.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

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WARNING: Flip-cap cover contains small parts and poses a CHOKING HAZARD for young children. – warning label on a Deer Park water bottle

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Coffee Log, Day 175

Hi.

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

College, summer, we filmed shorts, me and a few guys. One of them’s still in film, the other’s a rockstar.

We dug a hole in my surrogate-aunt’s backyard. We’d been hired by the fiction but the labor was real. Hours, hot, NC sweat lodge. It took a week but we did it. ‘Dig,’ he named the film.

I go back there. I’m in that hole. My muscles are younger. Hair thicker. I haven’t lost patches of my pigment to vitiligo. Brown dirt, careful not to hit the worms.

I liked it, working toward something with all of you.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.” – George Bernard Shaw

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Coffee Log, Day 136

Hi.

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

I wore a pair of socks with octopus on them, each arm holding a different liquor, but they were calf-high so no-one saw. Then I went home and kicked the socks in a hamper and closed the closet and called L and he came over and we ate this and that until two hours were gone, gone, forever to the trenches, so we drove to the corner store. I bought a six-pack in the walk in freezer but I’m the only drinker so L waited for me in the car.

Nighttime in July, hiding with friends.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“Just as an octopus may have his den in some ocean cave, and come floating out a silent image of horror to attack a swimmer, so I picture such a spirit lurking in the dark of the house which he curses by his presence, and ready to float out upon all whom he can injure.” – Arthur Conan Doyle

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Coffee Log, Day 129

Hi.

Coffee: Fair Trade Ethiopian Medium Dark, Harris Teeter Brand

I spell ‘summer’ a little different: c-u-c-u-m-b-e-r. At five I watched ‘My Neighbor Totoro.’ Satsuki and Mei made cucumbers look like everything you could want. Icebergs in an Arabian heatwave; solace, your first love’s fingers.

I bought two English and chopped them up. There’s a site I recommend, omnivorescookbook.com. Following Maggie Zhu, I made a sauce with rice vinegar. Tossed, sauced, I tasted twelth grade, eighth grade, second. I remembered cooking meatloaf with my mother; chili with my dad. He just turned 70. A big year. Happy birthday Dad.

Food’s intimate. Bourdain knew that. The hot plates and summer sweat evaporate drama from your pores, you can’t hide anything. Some notable meals: S made Kraft macaroni and introduced me to reality television. TT gets La Fiesta with me every time he’s in town. In Fukuoka, around 11, I ate pig guts dipped in stomach bile, MI laughed, I learned her language for the night. A stirred deer-meat in her spaghetti and we watched horror movies, felt a little less horror on the couch together. M mixed mushrooms in everything, even the late Spring sunlight, a hot kitchen caught in hair, curtains, shirts, skin, portabella flesh.

My fingers smell like salt and garlic. You could spin an Aegean cruise out of me. I’m ten feet above the blue water, watching Miyazaki, hearing Mei’s teeth, cucumber – click click! – cooking until the sweat slips out, un-hidden, all of you right beside me.

Currently Reading:

History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (2017 Man Booker Prize Shortlist) (FINISHED!!! Unforgettable; will post a review this weekend)

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“Is your cucumber bitter? Throw it away. Are there briars in your path? Turn aside. That is enough. Do not go on and say, “Why were things of this sort ever brought into this world?”” – Marcus Aurelius

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