Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 202

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

Sitting at home on a gray day on my lunch break writing a Coffee Log early because I’ll be driving this evening. Weather calls for thunderstorms. Open highways, greased lightning.

Last night was spent packing. I’ll be living the weekend away. I haven’t gone too far lately, this will be the farthest. I like long drives. Here’s one I remember:

Ten years ago, headed back from the beach with a full car. We’d gone to a concert, Bomb the Music Industry! It was a good concert and let out at midnight but none of use felt like staying in New Bern (or had the money to). E was driving. He took us home through the early morning. We listened to more music, but softer because all our ears were blown. Just past Raleigh, I fell asleep. There were guys to either side of me. Warmer than a blanket, people I still know.

I’m not taking today’s trip alone. A different E’s coming with me, though we part ways when we get there. Sometimes it’s nice to take stock of what you’ve got, the people who won’t lose you, no matter what kinds of storm winds blow.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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

God have pity on the smell of gasoline
which finds its way like an arm
through a car window,
more human than kerosene,
more unctuous, more manly.

S. Jane Sloat, In the Voice of a Minor Saint

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 179

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

Tonight was the last night of the Third Wednesday Open Mic. It had bounced around to different venues and traded hands with hosts long before I started going a year ago. I saw one host and two venues. We’d been reading for a few months at Fig then Fig closed. It was a sign that none of us wanted to see but we all recognized: like a divorce, you can’t force it.

No-one read tonight. Instead, we sat around a table telling stories. I was between a poet from near Fayeteville and a teacher from all over, most recently Chapel Hill. We talked about the way the South has changed. There’s a lot of new construction in the triangle. They’re tearing down malls and selling off property. Every street in Chapel Hill is becoming a canyon with the sky-rises. Meanwhile, down in Dunn, retired guys still go to the Bojangles on their tractors.

We were back at Lucky Tree. I was a drinking a hard cider. They didn’t use to serve these. The ethanol got mixing with my blood and brought me back to February, 2018. It was a Wednesday. I’d been laid off from my job in a bookstore. I was petrified and flailing. I wanted money, I wanted time. I’d been spending twenty-four hours in the house eating instant ramen and scouring classifieds. I needed something to give me back some meaning.

That first night, I brought my roommate E with me to the Open Mic. I was too scared to go alone. We walked around and got dinner before it started, then grabbed some seats at the long table outside the cafe. S was up at the podium setting everything up. I walked up and asked her where to put my name to do a reading and she showed me. She said ‘Is this your first time with us?” and I told her it was. Eight months later, I’d spend an evening in her backyard carving pumpkins and watching horror movies before Halloween.

What I’m trying to say is that the nerves wore off. Before long, Third Wednesday was a part of me. The women and men who read each evening were my kin. Whether they were regulars or one time readers, we were a part of something together.

Everything ends. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t have a reason to make it matter. I’m a better writer and more full of friendship thanks to my 18 months at Third Wednesday. In the bitter winter cold I was looking for meaning, and, sure enough, I found it.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.

Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage

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

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

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

  • 84F97D00-AFB5-400E-8E2C-9DF68833684A.jpeg

Coffee Log, Day 81

Hi.

Coffee: Whatever they had in that few-gallon carafe at Landon’s wedding. I only drank half a cup. It was watery and buttery and there was Kahlua beside it but I didn’t add any. Usually, a half-cup wouldn’t be enough to take the edge off a caffeine headache. Today, it was fine.

The venue had no AC. We got there at 8:30 while the breeze was still crisp. Wasn’t long before things were heating up. I walked through a hundred-year-old building to the wet-gold outside with a woman on my arm I hadn’t met before. I stood under a tin roof, on gray gravel, surrounded by fake ivy. Landon’s father read the ceremony. It was simple, some kids were laughing, some moms were crying. Landon read his vows. They were simple and good. They got me crying. I’m a sucker for honesty, especially when that honesty brings people together.

Currently Reading:
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Fund the Coffee Log 🙂 – https://ko-fi.com/livesaywriting

“If I get married, I want to be very married.” – Audrey Hepburn

IMG_1030