Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 51

Hi.

Coffee: Pike Place from an Automatic Dispenser in the Apartment lounge; I’ve been needing to clean my coffee maker; I’ve had it almost a year and it’s showing it’s age; but I didn’t have vinegar (and I’m procrastinating buying any) so today I got coffee from the lounge; it comes in one of those machines you stick a cup under and wait; it reminds me of a hospital; I poured too much in the cup and had to dump some in the sink; in the end, the coffee tasted like time spent waiting for surgery.

Countdown to my reading as featured author at the Third Wednesday Open Mic:
WHERE: Fig Raleigh, Raleigh NC
WHEN: 04/17/19; 6:30p.m. (open mic sign-ups start at 6:00p.m.)
DAYS REMAINING: 3
Come out and support the Coffee Log!

All day has been threatening to storm. There’s weather reports from Georgia that tornadoes are touching down. We’ve been waiting to see them here.

I had a long dinner at the The Remedy diner. I ate fake chicken and real cheese. A mix of identities. The restaurant was less busy that I usually see it but it was still bustling. The waiters couldn’t keep up with the orders.

Walking back to the car, I overheard a woman at a nearby bar. She said “Well my mom’s a Leo.” I got thinking about symbols and a friend told me he liked to put it this way: “At it’s best, astrology is just a series of tools to help you understand something about yourself.” That made a lot of sense to me.

I was writing for four hours today. I was writing about a place I haven’t been. My images of it are based on a real building in downtown Durham, and by the time I was finished writing about it, my memories had shuffled around. Like constellations passing with the season, Durham didn’t look the same inside me anymore.

Right now, there’s two branches reaching around the side of our apartment and tapping. They sound like bent fingers, or maybe a couple carrots. That means the wind is picking up so we might have some tornadoes after all. I close my eyes and see the parking lot devoured by a storm. When I wake up tomorrow and walk across it, will it be the real pavement or my imagination that holds under my feet?

Novel Count: 38,047

Currently Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes

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We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night


Coffee Log, Day 274

Hi.

Coffee Tea: Earl Grey, Bigelow; still having filter issues. Working on it!

The night got so cold there’s condensation on my window. Never been able to resist drawing finger-faces in it.

I guess we’re headed for another winter. There’s that come-down after Thanksgiving, the year-end doldrums, where everyone’s out and frantic for the holidays but also frantic because they know another year’s about to end. It’s an even mix of optimistic and rattled. I like the energy.

One thing I didn’t mention about my trip home yesterday was how dilapidated East Burlington looks to me know. It’s always been run down, but the modern economy has further stripped its stores. There were plans to turn the old rail junction into a supermarket. Those plans were scrapped so now the lot is not only big and empty but full of dirt mounds and deep holes, all of it grown over with nosehairs of green grass.

It’s been going this way for a while: suck all the money out of your physical footprint, keep a presence in the affluent areas, throw the rest of your resources online. Retail’s not what it used to be. Yes, the economy might be doing great in aggregate, but it’s leaving more and more holes in its pockets. What’s a community when it’s stripped of communal spaces?

They closed the Wendy’s I’d been going to since 5 years old. In its place is a local burger joint. I didn’t visit, but I imagine the burners going, the smell of dead beef flicking up in gas fire. There’s an old man by the window. There’s a family of three, two kids and a single father. There’s a woman on her lunchbreak from the Wal-Mart. Real and local. Still thriving. I can only hope it lasts.

Novel Count: 11,888 words

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

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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’