Coffee Log, Day 232

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

I read a lot about stocks and bull markets today. Some analysts think we’re running headstrong into another recession, others don’t. Either way, all the uncertainty is shaking the numbers. The Dow dropped sharp yesterday. Still, it’s been a year of record highs.

I read a lot about Hurricane Michael today. The Florida Panhandle looks like a drunk’s order at Waffle House – smothered and chunked. But they’ll rebuild. There was a long period of dilapidation after Rome got sacked fifteen hundred years ago then you wait awhile and along comes the Renaissance.

A razor breeze this morning, should have worn a coat. In the cold car I couldn’t help but take stock of the year: I lost a job, got another; I lost a car, got another; I lost a love, got…well, that’s complicated, but you get the picture. Point is, it should all sound like something hopeful: we recover. But then I kept on thinking and I remembered the old job, the old car, the day I asked her for everything under a perfect March moon. What is resilience, anyway?

I knew a guy who lost his job to the recession. He was oldish, 60’s, had been a manager at K-Mart for thirty years. Poof! said the market and that was it. I worked with him part-time in a retail stockroom. We folded clothes. He went home every day to a son he had late. I met his son once at a Moe’s. We shook hands. The guy was a proud father, but every time you looked at him there was a thirty-year hole in his gut.

That’s all to say: loss is real.

Good luck to Florida. Good luck to us all when the pearly-white avarice catches up. You’ll get better, most of you, but don’t feel ashamed to sneak a cigarette at 5am on the balcony every once in a while, charring up your insides, dipping ash like spackle as you build the unbuildable back up.

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

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“I want to be two people at once. One runs away.” – Peter Heller, The Dog Stars

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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 202

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium-Dark Roast, Trader Joe’s

I don’t know how bad the storm will be. Friday will tell me; the coast will know tonight.

I called my dad this morning. Right now, my parent’s house is projected to get it worse than me. As long as I’ve known them, my parents are prone to worry too little about the big things and too much about everything else. That swung my pendulum the other way, so now I’m a little too worried for them. Their arms and legs aren’t as strong as they used to be. That said, as long as I’ve known them, my parents have never been ones to underestimate.

Today’s sky was six-year-old blue: she has the pick of 64 crayons but settles for one color. It didn’t belie the turbulent weather; it was good cover to walk under. I watched white clouds idle. Mr. Cobwebs was chasing geese. I had to take off work today, woke up sick and tired from a night of bad dreams. Hazy, every needle in the pine trees seemed to be some other lonely raft floating away.

Once, many years ago, my apartment was robbed. They took everything, even cracked the door as a temptation for our two cats to escape. That evening, I threw up. We were staying at my partner’s family house. She helped me clean up the mess. It was such a kind, wonderful moment. Still, it had me certain that when the bandits broke our window on a hot August afternoon, they’d bagged up our future together with the TV’s and computers.

That is to say: I’m not scared of loss anymore.

I got some more water, some more bread, it’s just me and R in the apartment. I printed out some DnD campaigns, think I’ll run one if the power goes. When the sky’s dark and the ocean’s coming down on top of you, might as well enjoy the time.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith

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“Talkin’ to myself my homies call me crazy
Livin’ by myself my mama say I’m lonely
Sleepin’ by myself my bitches think I’m lyin’
Listening to myself cause I’m my favorite artist
Depending on myself, the people call me mighty
Defending more than self, the people call me hero
I’m good within myself, the people say I’m humble
And I’m protecting myself trying to stay away from evil.” – Lil Wayne, Third Strike

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Coffee Log, Day 107

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark Roast, Trader Joe’s Brand

My head’s cornmush. One week of 5am mornings is catching up to me; my body will adjust; it hasn’t adjusted yet.

I read a lot of articles today but don’t remember most of them. There’s something to journalism: in the left ear and out the right. It’s supposed to read that way, you take what’s important and aren’t bogged down with the glut. Still, it’s a strange read. If I were wagering, I’d say it’s got something to do with the combination of matter-of-fact exposition and aggressively unfunny witticisms. But who knows…

The one that stuck with me was an article on the Yapese people of the Yap island, a former territory of Japan, currently inhabited by only two Japanese. Japan’s rule was long enough to have an affect on the islanders. They resisted the empire but only so much as any oppressed people can. What struck me was a small fact tucked in a gaudy paragraph about local festivals: unlike most other Micronesian cultures, the Yapese wear no tattoos. They used to, but Japan’s tattoo stigma took them away. For the festival, they still sheen in nut oils, celebrate bare-chested, but there are no more pretty pictures tied on them like brothers.

I don’t have much to make of that fact but it left an impression.

Currently Reading:
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

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“Wear your heart on your skin in this life.” – Sylvia Plath

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