Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 207

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

There was a lizard in the office. It had a fat gut and a long tail. I saw it in the lobby, then it ran to the break room. I tried to chase it. I wanted to take it outside. In the end, my coworker caught the lizard. She told me she had a lot of them at her house so she was a pro. She took a tray for utensils and tipped it over. She caught it, then held him in with a stack of paper plates. I was disappointed. I’d wanted to catch the lizard myself.

I found a frog on the footpath outside my apartment. She was scrunched up like a vanilla wafer and staying still. She saw me. I knelt down. I was worried someone might step on her, but I was also worried I’d give her a different death if I got her too scared. Her back was different colors, browns and golds. She was autumn come up from the river, wheat fields. In the end, I left the frog but snapped her picture. I walked away. I hope she’s okay.

Due to climate change, the earth is rapidly losing its amphibians. Jury’s still out on reptiles. I remember my mother talking about how much she’d be missing all the polar bears, or the rhinos, but never heard her talk about the frogs. That said, I’m sure she’ll miss them too. I think sometimes about the world I’m making. I’m a little conscious, but not so much that I won’t absently suck on a plastic straw.

Last weekend, I wast at a friend’s house. As long as I’ve known her, she’s kept away from paper towels. When dinner was done and there were dishes for washing, we scrubbed them down with a wet rag. With breakfast, I wiped my lips with a cloth napkin. It was strange at first, not being able to throw anything away. Then it felt natural. Like this is how it’s always been, like my hands are maybe made for saving, no more disposable soul.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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That is the way it is done, the way it has always been done. Frogs have every right to expect it will always be done that way.

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 191

Hi.

Coffee: Pike Place, Apartment Lounge Blend

Two small frogs hopped off the sidewalk. Now they’re in tall grass.

It was a pleasant night. I got in the car and rolled the windows down. There’s a road that goes to north Cary, and another past a park. I took both then circled home. Driving, I listened to a punk album. Then, when the album was over, I listened to cars and windy trees. Even though it’s the 2nd of September the night’s still busy. Grasshoppers, cicadas.

I couldn’t decide who I was today. I looked through Facebook folders of old pictures. At 2:00, I read awhile, and at 3:00 I played games. I was alone, mostly. I drove to the grocery and when I came back I took a walk. Why didn’t I walk to the store? That’s what I mean – things weren’t connecting.

For a long time I used to labor on Labor Day. I was in retail, holidays are a busy time. When I talked to friends with desk jobs I got bitter but wouldn’t show it. Those were long days, mouth running like a motor, hands on clothes hangars or new books.

It was something real, though – when you put a store together it’s your store. The company takes your blood and money and time but they can’t take the magic of seeing things set in the order you gave them. Odd hours set you to a separate schedule – I used to wake up at 6:00am and have whole mornings before going to work.

Finishing up the drive, I heard something restless. A bird, maybe, or a squirrel. It shot off the ground and startled the bushes. Leaves in my rear-view, still moving.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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All of them had a restlessness in common.

John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 93

Hi.

Coffee: House Blend, Ithaca Coffee; these beans traveled 600 miles in a brown bag to get to my grinder; they tasted like the trip; in color, the coffee came out nearly clear like a good light roast, but when you taste it there’s a heft; I thought about craft beer – IPA’s, all the rage, something you call ‘light’ but bites you when you dig in, a snake, a cat, a barn mouse scared out of its wits; but like those little critters, once you get past the first shock of the coffee, it opens up to you; maybe you’ll never quite understand each other, but you know you’re friends; there’s love there; there’s something warm; if you like bitter sweets, long winters, or old pairs of gardening gloves, this coffee is for you; a gift from H, an old friend; thanks for the coffee.

The best thing to remember on Memorial Day is that you are responsible for the dead soldiers being memorialized. Wow, that was morbid, huh?

But I’ve got to drive it home because we forget it so easily these days with our foreign wars and volunteer army – every man and woman that dies for your country dies at your command. You might not agree with what they’re fighting for. The public swell might have demanded bloodshed you think unconscionable. But as long as you share in that public, you’re a part of it, and no amount of noble, right-headed protest takes away the responsibility for the act.

So think about that a little bit. Think about the death. Not as noble or ignoble, but as sad. And as something in your control. Then go out and vote so less soldiers die, and for less murky reasons.

Currently Reading: NOTHING! will pick a new book soon

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All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.

John Steinbeck

Coffee Log, Day 231

Hi.

Coffee: Colombian, Starbucks Brand (grocery store bought); I’ve been boycotting Starbucks since their bad showing discriminating against black businessmen earlier this year, but one of the bank managers gave me a bag of Starbucks ground coffee as an employee appreciation gift. No use fighting fights to the point of fanaticism, I appreciated the gesture and brewed a pot. It stank like sweat; tasted like dry leaves; I’ll drink it all.

I talked to a guy who’s had two divorces. He just moved. He had a home with his second wife in Fuquay. It was a big house, a ‘waste of money’ (his words). Every week, his ex would have a project. She’d build additions, fix the floors. He was fed up but also heartbroken.

He said he was dating. He said most of the women were dating at least five other guys at the same time. “I’m just sitting there, checking the watch, then she’s an hour late and says ‘Oh, well Fred needed me a bit longer.'” He’d been in the rain, the hurricane. His face was red. He wore work clothes. He lives in an apartment now.

I read something later that said the only certain thing about love was that it predicted a loss. I couldn’t help but wonder what the losses looked like from his ex-wife’s side.

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

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“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” – John Steinbeck, The Winter of our Discontent

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Coffee Log, Day 54

Hi.

Coffee: Organic Sumatra Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

The storm’s been coming like an Amtrak passenger train – that is, slowly and with lots of disruptions.

My downstairs neighbors invited me on a walk. It was a nice day. The kid cracked jokes and mostly cracked herself up. We got talking about the ways the Triangle’s changed. We ate ice cream below a beautiful arbor grown with vines that my neighbor said she would lie down and look up at forever. A pretty good day.

As of the writing this, the storm still hasn’t broken. The sky’s that perfect color like ‘you don’t have to go anywhere or be anything but what you are.’

Currently Reading:
Nothing! Will pick a new book this week.

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“In March the soft rains continued, and each storm waited courteously until its predecessor sunk beneath the ground.” – John Steinbeck, East of Eden

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