Coffee Log, Day 168

Hi.

Coffee: Fair Trade Five County Espresso Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

I take the highway at 65 high-school-track-fields per hour, faster than the 8-minute miles I managed fifteen years ago. Things sped up; times changed.

I’m working Raleigh, a branch I haven’t been to. Maps come out the car speaker anticipating twists and turns, turning the music down automatically, red lines for bad traffic, or lines in the eyes where I haven’t been sleeping, supplementing missed midnights with caffeine.

Crickets in the early mornings when I walk the two turnbacks downstairs to the parking lot, reminding me of that one night after high school when we all went to Cedarock Park and built a fire, grilled hot dogs, slept bare-skinned in sleeping bags, made reckless love with ticks and crickets and coal-cracking store-bought branches; or of nights lost to five-more-minutes with the four inches of my iPhone, a spaceship/rocketship sort of life, burning time like jet fuel; or of strawberry-cheeks and IPA lipgloss, the ways I wish I saw you, the ways I wish you saw me, but only the white walls ever see much of anything, even though I haven’t hung them with anything yet.

I’m a bill-payer; news-checker; chatbox stalker; internet lover; a Modern Man.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“I didn’t need to think of myself as a walleye drifting along in a current somewhere, just waiting for my hook. I was yearning for it.” – Emily Fridlund, A History of Wolves

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Coffee Log, Day 130

Hi.

Coffee: Fair Trade Ethiopian Medium Dark, Harris Teeter Brand

The sun beat sweat out of everyone’s backs. I took a walk beside the apartment pool.

Today’s been good. I slept in, but not too much. I ate well, but not too much. I heard from a cousin who I haven’t heard from since my grandfather died. L came over and we’ve been hanging out, catching up, playing games.

I finished History of Wolves and wrote the review. It’s posted here! I won’t say much about it on the blog, but I will say it’s one of the best books I’ve read. Fridlund’s snow-capped prose opened a couple doors in me; if I met her, I think we’d drink cold beer in a crowded bar and talk about the way talking about the weather is really always about the people who’ve changed you.

I made fried rice. It came out fine. The night settles now like a ten-year old bulldozer. You’ve built every house, paved every road, your city can sleep for a while.

Currently Reading:

LaRose, Louise Erdrich; I’m only sixteen pages in; so far, it reminds me too much of every other book that’s trying to say something.

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“Our house was made of stone, stucco, and clapboard; the newer wings, designed by a big-city architect, had a good deal of glass, and looked out into the Valley, where on good days we could see for many miles while on humid hazy days we could see barely beyond the fence that marked the edge of our property.” – Joyce Carol Oates

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Coffee Log, Day 115

Hi.

Coffee: Organic Sumatra Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

I walked into my apartment last night and the TV was on, the kitchen cooking, a friend on the couch. “Hey,” I said.

“Well hello,” he said.

A couple months ago, I’d clapped for his wedding. Today, though, L was laid-off.

We sprung for Chinese and I bought brandy. I was the only one who had any, but I needed a drink. It had been a hard week for all of us. We watched shows, played games, lived loosely, I was happy L was over. In between the happy, he told me how they sent him home early, wouldn’t pay out his scheduled shifts. He told me that just two days ago his dad was also laid-off, and we don’t know if it was the stress or other demons but his father was admitted to the ER after the news. Diabetes; a family thing; I watch L and think of my own father, my own health, his health, the Southern tan that men get on their bellies and women on their forearms, we’ve got to eat – a lot – to love ourselves.

Night grew on and I kept drinking. It was cheap, warm, mellow. I thought about four months ago when I lost my bookstore job. I thought about three months ago when I finished the best draft of my first novel. I thought about two months ago when I asked a woman to marry me right before she moved out of the state, knowing she’d say no, loving her all the same. I thought about one month ago when I was inducted to a strange financial world that’s got one foot in small-town community, one foot in digital predation.

I thought about a lot of things. One thing I didn’t think about, though, was this blog. I didn’t post.

Sometimes I feel like sugar tacky. A rolling pin, a marble table, I’m spread four corners thin. For the first time since February, I missed a day posting my Coffee Log. This morning, that’s been a bit of a wake-up, even though I got up late. It’s easy to let the mechanics of life get in front of your dreams.

So what does that mean for Livesay Writing? Well, probably not much. I’m dropping my current reads. I’m going to commit myself to a schedule of reading the best regarded, best selling, award winning fiction books published last year. If I’m going to join that market someday, I need to know it. Besides that, we’ll see.

L spread his big arms on our couch. He spat breath at the ceiling fan. “What’s that look for?”

“I’ve been through a lot this week,” he said.

I felt that like it was my own marrow. I gotta remember to remind him to keep his dreams in focus when everything else is falling apart.

Currently Reading:

History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (2017 Man Booker Prize Shortlist)

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

“Hell is full of musical amateurs: music is the brandy of the damned. May not one lost soul be permitted to abstain?” – George Bernard Shaw

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