Coffee Log, Day 280

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, single-serve packet; work coffee again; what can I say, it’s that kind of week.

Sometimes, life takes you to a Subway.

I imagine that one thing will survive the heat-death of the universe and that is the puffy, flaky, styrofoam rolls of ‘Italian’ bread they serve at the Subways. It’s marginally food. You eat it and are somehow left both full and hungry.

But that’s kind of the point: sometimes the only thing to do is start embalming yourself with cheap, sterile, questionable food. There are weeks where every time you stand, another thing knocks you down, so why not relent to it, give in, appreciate a numb, corporate fatigue deftly wrapped in bright colors?

I’d rather be drinking whiskey but even that is a little too lively for me now. Thank you, ma’am. Yes, I’ll take it with mustard.

Novel Count: 14,713 words

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

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The father was long and thin, with a red face framed in white whiskers, and looking like a living sandwich, a piece of ham carved like a face between two wads of hair. – Guy de Maupassant

Coffee Log, Day 132

Hi.

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

Kid comes in about 3:00pm, high school, blonde as tangerines, online banker looking this-that-way at the old branch walls. She stops at the slips. She picks up a pen and puts it back down.

“What can I do for you?”

It’s existential, really; her forehead creases; I try smiling more.

“Well…”

She’s got a form, she shows her license, she’ll be a senior in August. The form’s so faded I’m guessing her printer used its last ink on fifth grade science projects. I squint. She squints.

“So – what can I do for you?”

“Notary?” she says, and that doesn’t help a whole lot because I’m looking at a crumpled, oily, palm-sweat slip of paper that’s talking about off-campus lunches.

We dig in a bit. I’ve got my elbows on the table, she’s got her fingers tapping our envelopes. Slow and calm, her story peels like skin-bark after too many days in the pool: turns out, her high school demands all off-campus lunch permission forms be notarized. Not okay’ed with your Homeroom. Not signed by parents. Notarized, officially. My supervisor leans over and says all the Wake schools do that. I’m blown away.

We get her taken care of then I’m laughing and crying for minutes. If you were locked in the vault you could still hear me.

I asked the girl one more question before she left for the stifling summer day: “What do you think about all the new security in schools?”

She said: “It doesn’t matter. If they want to shoot us, there’s lots of ways to get inside.”

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.” – Tacitus, Ancient Roman Historian

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