Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 196

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

I was driving down I-40 when the light cut out. The sun gave up enough to kneel behind the treeline, but it was only 7:30 so the streetlamps weren’t on. A bluish-gold darkness, like ducking your head in old bathwater, or under sheets in the morning, or below two bare thighs. Comforting, but dangerously taking your breath away.

I took off my sunglasses. I’d bought a pair of aviators to replace the old ones my uncle gave me. It didn’t help much, trying to see the world without lenses, only bolded the backlights on fast cars and Saturday fleetrucks tanking overtime. Didn’t change the fact that nothing I was seeing was new.

I have five ghosts that follow me but only know four of their names. They peek through trees around sundown or finger soft scratches on the underside of my car. Mostly they’re reminders of the people in my genes, the squeeze of history, blue smoke, different cancers. The fifth ghost rarely shows itself, though, so I’m wary of it.

I got home at 8:00, pulling in the parking lot when porchlights cut on.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border  – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

You got to tell me brave captain, why are the wicked so strong, how do the angels get to sleep, when the devil leaves the porchlight on.

Tom Waits


Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 125

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

A city is only as good as its midnight skyline. Low or high, skyscrapers or endless avenues of two-story stores, the lights at night are proof of something: that it’s worth more to the people here to risk all the dangers of darkness for a few extra seconds of knowing than to sleep soundly on the ground as they were born to do. Whether by fire, wax, or LCD silver, human is the only animal that won’t settle for the setting sun.

I was up at 3am for half an hour. My head was fuzzed with dreams. I walked to the kitchen to pour a glass of water. While I was there, I looked the window. Three streetlights had an angle on the glass. The bridge across the creek was lit, and our sister building had that glow of walkway illumination, crisp and militant. It was no surprise to see so many lights on but it took me by one anyway.

I like the idea of beating back darkness. I like the idea of getting lost in it, too. There’s a surreptitiousness to pulling your curtains on a well-lit city. The world goes on without you in it. Grocery store clerks at the 24hr; midnight highway technicians; someone’s making love in the alley behind your favorite coffee shop; old men die like great trees falling, with or without anyone to watch.

Having peeked out at the ongoing bristling of 3am, I closed the bedroom door and drew the curtains, pulled a comforter up to my nose, and tried to hide from the long city fingers for the bleak back end of night.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border  – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

Night falls – like a fat man tripping over his shoelaces.

Anthony Bourdain, The Layover – Atlanta

Coffee Log, Day 165

Hi.

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

I woke up at 4:45 am. The light outside my window had gotten brighter, or at least it seemed so. I tried to go back to sleep but the day had me already. I lay in bed for an hour. I got up and brewed coffee like I always do. It was still dark. It was still-dark. I saw the lights my roommates had left on, the empty cups on the dining table. I watched dawn fighting with itself over the pine trees. Eventually, the coffee got hot enough for me to pour some. I was still in my underwear, damn close to naked, vulnerable.

When I put the white shirt on I thought there was lint inside. I reached in, grabbed it, and took it out. But the lint was softer than it should be, a little cool, and bits came off like dried sweat. My blood shot. I threw something on the carpet and took the shirt off. My hands were shaking, lips a desert, I padded in white sock circles until I calmed down. Finally, I turned the overheads on. I crept toward the closet on hands and knees. There was lint there, fuzz there, everything bushy and brown, and then I saw the spider.

Your body is a mottled thing like that cats that come visit me some mornings. Your head is tucked, legs balled, abdomen split where I bit you with my sharp fingers. You were dead, of course, but some of you was still moving, bio-electric magic, shocks god gave to salt-mud a billion years ago. I took some white tissue and lifted you like a flower petal. You could have been a dancer. You could have weaved webs through my dark-bare closet. You are the first thing I’ve killed knowingly since I stopped eating animals. I didn’t mean to kill you, but your yellow-sweat blood has my blame.

Sorry spider. I guess there wasn’t room for the both of us.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich; I’m liking this more. I’ve been reading slow, a few pages here and there. It’s definitely contemporary literature, but the characters are grabbing me. Two sisters giving vocab lessons in a perfume parlor. A balding dumpster thief.

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“In general, a common house spider is harmless to humans. However, the mere sight of a spider is enough to startle most people and cause unease. Their messy webs also create the need for extra cleaning.” – Ad on the Orkin Website for Spider Removal

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