Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 243

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s; yesterday, I cleaned out the coffee machine; I filled the pot with half water and half white vinegar, ran it for two cycles, then two more with just water; I washed my mugs; I wiped down the coffee grinder; this morning, just past 8am, I sat at my kitchen table and ground new beans; I used to do this every morning, waking up at earlier hours, getting ready for work; I got out of the habit, but I’m trying to bring it back; necromancy; two days from Halloween, sipping black coffee

I skipped the Coffee Log yesterday. That makes two missed Mondays in a row. I’m one of those downtown diners that shuts up after the weekend, food gone, money spent, not really wanting the rest but can’t afford to keep working. The worst sort of breaks are the ones you weren’t looking for.

It’s important to me to point out where I slip up. It’s important to normalize the hard things. I’ve been on vacation five days but don’t feel it. I’m fortunate, but don’t feel it. There’s complacency in success. The thing the world is working you toward isn’t some great meaning, just the blank stare of not having to look at anything. That’s capitalism. It’s a lot of things, maybe it’s human. I was talking to a friend the other day who said the thing she finds most beautiful about people is the way they’re also animals, messy. And I’d said the thing I find most beautiful about people is the way they can choose to be something else. I still believe that, but I’ve got no illusions that the choosing usually means closing the curtains on the outside, curling up with things that make you feel safe.

I met a man the other day who needed $4.50 to get the bus to Raleigh. I had a couple dollars cash in the car so I went and got it for him. While he was waiting for me, he had this look like ‘don’t pity me.’ And it was complicated because I did kind of pity him, but also I just wanted someone new to talk to, and this was a way to buy a bit of his time. We exchanged names and shook hands and I went back to reading James Baldwin at the cafe. ‘Another Country’, and I couldn’t stop questioning which country I was trying to put myself in.

Here’s another thing my friend said: ‘All those country songs about hometown happiness were written when the singers had already moved to Nashville.’ I thought that was really something.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller (FINISHED! Will have thoughts posted soon)

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

He did not seem to know enough about the people in his novel. They did not seem to trust him. They were all named, more or less, all more or less destined, the pattern he wished them to describe was clear to him. But it did not seem clear to them.

James Baldwin, Another Country

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 30

Hi.

Coffee: Breakfast Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand; my roommate E made us both coffee this morning. It was a nice thing to wake up to. Even though she used the same beans, it tasted better. I asked what she’d done differently and listened to her describe her process and it sounded suspiciously like mine. She’d poured a few scoops in the grinder, ground them, brewed them with five cups in my small pot. Identical methods. So the only answer is that it was the unexpected that gave the coffee it’s flavor this morning – the gift of not knowing what you’re going to wake up to and being surprised when it turns out to be ready coffee.

I missed writing a Coffee Log yesterday. I wish I could say there was some great reason for it – sudden adventure, unexpected events – but in all honesty I spent the day the way you would any lazy Saturday: reading, writing, messing around until sundown. It’s not that I was overly depressed. It’s not that I was completely slothful (I wrote a good bit on my book). I just simply forgot to write the blog. Now it’s like that day never happened.

Maybe that was necessary.

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately. This is not the first time you’ve heard me say that, and all told I live an easy life, but I’ve got a lot of things cooking in my personal fire – both at work and in my literary aspirations – that have been chowing down on my time. I’m like a wick burning a 1000 year oil, fire still going strong, only the wick itself has gotten caked and crusty in thick soot. I needed a reset, now I’ve got it. Surprisingly, I felt refreshed when I realized this morning that I’d forgotten yesterday’s log.

But here I am again. Semi-renewed and re-committed. It’s been a beautiful Sunday with a crisp breeze and the anticipation of Spring. Tomorrow morning I’ll get up feeling positive also, though maybe a little less so, and then I’ll keep repeating that pattern until someday – maybe a year from now – I’ll screw up and miss a post again. But that’s life, isn’t it? You chug along until you lose the tracks. And magically, like little faerie lights, it’s when you’re most lost that you happen to find them again.

Novel Count: 32,750

Currently Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes

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

It is strange how new and unexpected conditions bring out unguessed ability to meet them.

Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Warlord of Mars