Coffee Log, Year 3, Day 3


Coffee: Organic Medium Roast, Don Pablo’s

I’d let my hair grow out. Today, I cut it. I shaved it down. Short on the sides, a little longer on top. I’d gotten bogged down by the weight of it. It was the longest I’d had my hair in years. M said it looked nice, which was fine, and made me feel good. There was gray in it. I don’t mind the gray, but without it I feel younger.

I’m not young. I’m 30. Anyone older probably scoffs at that. But I’ve lived long enough to start forgetting things, like where I was that Christmas, or my cousin’s face. Youth, to me, is about everything compressed into a single moment, so you can’t help but feel that anything you think or do is vital. Age takes a bit of that vanity away.

I saw a flock of geese by a local pond. The pond is downhill of a Lutheran church. On Sundays, the worshippers whisk off the parking lot and across the street to Trader Joe’s. The geese were the only members of the congregation to stay.

I’m still in the middle of studying. It’s lots of slideshows and pink highlighters. I’m lucky for it, lucky for the time, lucky for the opportunity, and that luck makes me anxious. We all want to believe that our actions are the sole progenitors of our success, but another thing about getting older, if you’re doing it right, is to realize that so much of life is set in motion outside of you. I’m fortunate to have my clothes, my bed, my family, my skin. The whole world wraps in conspiracy to push me into soft spaces, and that just makes me wonder who it’s leaving behind.

Currently Reading: Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin

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Ability is of little account without opportunity.

Napolean Bonaparte

Coffee Log, Day 359


Coffee: Maxwell House, Office drip

I woke up remembering the one time I knew this girl to have short hair. That was a while ago – 2009. Since then, she’s grown it out to wear with gowns shown off on Miss America. Before then, I knew her to have the perky ponytail every white girl in high school has.

What a heady time.

In 2009 I was a college Freshman. I had a single dorm with a window that looked down on the gym. It was always fuzzy behind a mosquito net. Years away from knowing how to read, write, do my taxes, or much at all about who I am, that perforated magic; missing thoughts; open questions; swiss cheese.

That night was cold if I remember. Hell, it might have been February. She’d been staying at UNC so we took the bus back to Duke. That might have been the problem, turning everything a darker shade of blue. We snuck through the weekend and upstairs to my tiny room. We closed the blinds so the gym rats couldn’t see us. And we sat down. I only had one chair, we took the floor. She was in the drabbest gray sweatshirt. She had a boyfriend back in Maryland. Halfway through the movie though, our hands couldn’t stop each other.

Next morning, winter was broken. Sun came down like mimosas. ‘Oh well,’ I thought, ‘Some good things are also bad.’

But the thing that stuck with me – after we got past the guilt of something surreptitious and on with our separate lives – was that her hair was short. She had this light brown hair. She’d play with it the summer I met her. And in current pictures it’s long and highlighted. That night, though, it was cut in a rough bob just below her ears. Almost like she’d hacked it off herself.

What was she missing? And did she find it in me?

Novel Count: 23,904

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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And I’m feelin’ like we should d-d-duck away
Netflix and Dusse

Smino, Neflix & Dusse

Coffee Log, Day 141


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

I shaved my head the first time for love. Well, for me, really, but me-by-way-of-a-woman. College, Junior year – she was coming over for the weekend; I saw a shaggy head in the mirror; I shaved it all off. S screamed “Ah!” when she saw me. We screwed in the closet.

For a long time, I shaved even-cut – one blade set, fuzz the whole garden off, wait to harvest again a month later. But I like the sides of my head better than the top.

In 2013, I watched a lot of Vikings. Ragnar Lothbrook, played by Travis Fimmel, was hot. In 2014, on the way back from Japan, I shaved just the sides, left the top longer, a viking cut. That was for love too – change-for-me-by-way-of-a-woman. I’d known L since high school. We’d had a thing before I left the country. Coming back, I thought we could still have it. I showed up at her cafe, stroking my hair…

She saw the cut but didn’t comment. L and I haven’t talked in years.

Still, I appreciate people that help me want to change. We all have a capacity to use and be used for the better.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“One of the causes, by the way, of the apparent lack, at the present time, of great men lies in the poverty of the contemporary male coiffure. Rich in whiskers, beards, and leonine manes, the great Victorians never failed to look the part, nowadays it is impossible to know a great man when you see one.” – Aldous Huxley