Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 60

Hi.

Coffee: Americano, 42 & Lawrence; I got this from a cafe on the corner of Martin and Blount streets in Raleigh, NC, not 42 & Lawrence like the name might lead you to believe; it was a small shop with a crowded bar; the barista was pretty and had yellow paint on her fingernails; after she handed me the drink, I fumbled with the lids and had to have her help me find the right one; she said “That’s what I’m here for,” which was both sad and inspiring; the coffee was fantastic – cracking open a pecan and sucking out the meat on the first day of the season.

I went downtown to swear my oath to be a notary. It was a nice trip, a bit different than the average work day.

I’ve been avoiding Raleigh for a while now. The city’s gotten slung over with techies and start-ups and there’s new stores and it’s gentrified. You see poorer people on the street corners or (at best) hustling via ubers or cabs. Everyone else is in Italian leathers.

And today Raleigh was all of that – I walked out of the courthouse passing a bride and groom getting marriage licenses, his shirt immaculate and her dress in the thousands – but it was also a bunch of heavy-set men in loose JC Penny suits, determined women wading toward a difficult future, and some young baristas finding a niche in the corporate economy to help them get by.

I liked the tall old buildings. I almost took pictures, but I was too busy looking up at them to take my phone out. Raleigh is a mess of architecture, every block a different decade, but that mess still sticks together with a sweaty southern glue. It all comes back to brick – tobacco warehouses. There’s still a vision here of hard, sad, old, labor above the first floor cafes.

It felt good being outside today. I could still taste that old panic from the weekend – decades of social anxiety bubbling up – but Raleigh is my city, my home, so it was a little easier to shove it down. There’s a contemporary art museum downtown I’ve been wanting to go to but haven’t gotten the nerve. Today was a small step toward it’s front door.

Novel Update: I’m still writing, still working almost every day, but a lot of it is reworking and tweaking directions. I’ll post a new word count once I’ve gotten back in a groove.

Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

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Coffee: A beverage made by extracting the soluble solids from the seed of a tropical shrub through the use of hot water.

Menu, 42 & Lawrence website