Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 264

Hi.

Coffee: Service Lounge Drip, Johnson Hyundai; even though it was only 7am, right when the lobby opened, the coffee had gone sour, so you had to figure it had been brewing all night, or leftover from yesterday, the kind of coffee with lots of stories, that’ll find you at the local deli and tell you how the kids have been, who has a a phone full of pictures of that last trip to Oklahoma, something natural, American, free-born, but they only stopped at the malls and they stayed at a Hyatt, that kind of coffee

I was up early to take my car in for inspection. Property taxes are coming up. I took my book of Baldwin and two coats because I didn’t know how cold it would be. Last time I went for service there was snow on the ground and it kept getting in through the automatic doors.

I like the way people look in the morning. I like them before work. It’s secret time, a bonus, like finding your best friend’s porn collection and not telling them about it. There was a man in a shirt that was too big for him, even though he was pretty big himself. He had an ipad and a pair of headphones so when the floor manager came to ask how we all were doing she asked him three times, and when she walked off he looked mortified. Leave me alone in my moment, there’s not a lot of peace these days.

After servicing, and with a clean stamp on my car, I sat in the parking lot and adjusted things. The chair was too far back, the mirror wasn’t right. It was a lot of important tinkering but even so I took longer with it than I needed to. The car was still warm from when they’d revved it. The sun was coming out. I had to finish my sour coffee. I kept catching glimpses of the lobby through the automatic doors.

Currently Reading: Another Country, James Baldwin

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A person who has not done one half his day’s work by ten o’clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.

Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 208

Hi.

Coffee: Lady Grey Tea

I woke up early and walked outside. It smelled like autumn but looked like summer – all the trees soaked in sangria sunlight, kids outside, cracked egg. I wanted to walk. My body needed moving. So I walked for thirty minutes to the strip mall nearby.

When I got there, the parking lot was already crowded. Lines out the door of the grocery story. Saturday or not, people had their lives to lead, and they were leading them through the weekend motions. The store had their pumpkins out in three-tiered towers. There were red ones and white ones, but mostly orange.

I didn’t stop at the grocery. I walked past the Staples. There’s a local store selling beets and wheatgrass ground up into drinks and powders, I bought a fruit smoothie from them and it tasted like a pina colada. It was good.

Walking home, I talking on the phone with a friend. It felt bright to be alive without any walls around me, and nice to share that feeling with someone else.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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He stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts and bought me an OJ and a bagel. Bribery wasn’t going to make me forgive him, but I couldn’t say no to carbs and juice.

Shaun David Hutchinson, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 126

Hi.

Coffee: Pike Place Drip, Apartment Office Coffee

Blood-red back of the eyes when you’re waking up late, sun already exasperating your room. I had dreams about you. I left those dreams for another day.

Later, in the evening, surrounded by friends, tv on in the background, sound like rolling in an inner tube down a wet ride at the water park, I check Facebook and see an old friend getting married. He’s all smiles in pearly white photos. She’s all smiles too.

Soon, another bedtime, to dream of drowning cities so stuck in old ruts they have to paddle.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. 
I am haunted by waters.

Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 85

Hi.

Coffee: Pike Place, the apartment lounge machine

I’ve been trying to take my mornings back. The past two weeks I’ve set the alarm clock a little early, and it’s been hard, I’ve been tired, but today I woke up at 6:40 without asking my little blinking clock to guide me and that felt very good.

A part of my early mornings has been starting the day with walks. Nothing far, usually to the office to get coffee. It’s bad coffee, and I miss twisting up the beans with my hand-held grinder, but for now it’s a good excuse to move. Today, E came with me. We went to the lounge via the back way, through the gym (that always smells like yoga mats). There was no-one in the office this early. That was good – it meant this time was ours.

On the way back, mugs full, we stopped off at the community garden where E keeps a plot. She’s growing watermelons, though you wouldn’t know it by the tiny sprigs poking out of the ground. Next to her plot was an overgrown rose bush but the roses had withered and next to that were bright yellow squash flowers. Hornets buzzed between the plots like Monday traffic. A bright green lizard skated in and out of view.

At home, I took my coffee to the porch and wrote a little. I watched our flock of geese chasing each other through the grass. I read a message from a friend who was struggling with her sexuality. I cut an onion on sliced bread and ate it with sharp cheddar. All of this had me in the morning. There was a long, busy day that followed, but that’s another story. The early morning was enough.

Currently Reading: NOTHING! Couldn’t get back into Bourdain, no matter how much I tried; will pick a new book soon

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I love watermelon!
Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!

Greg Pizzoli, The Watermelon Seed

Coffee Log, Day 348

Hi.

Coffee: Locomotive Blend, PennyCup Coffee

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been waking up a little early, hopping in the shower, and sitting down in the dining room to have my coffee and breakfast before work. It’s an extension of the weekend habits I’ve been forming. It helps keep me calm.

Creativity is a strange thing. Some days, if I don’t write before noon it’s ‘good luck’ if I write at all. Other days it’s the opposite – I can’t pull any ideas out until close to midnight. Yesterday, I got up at 5:30 and milled around for six hours trying to finish a chapter. Then I got groceries and ate lunch and spent another four trying the same. It was only after I was tired and drunk and pulling out my hair that I got something down. If anyone tells you that you’re the mind’s master, they’re really downplaying a fraught and dysfunctional relationship.

The sun’s rising now. It’s blued up the trees, breaking bread with the branches. I’ll be off to work soon and these two hours will feel like they happened to someone else. But there’s always tomorrow. I’m lucky enough to have all the tools to carve out this time.

Novel Count: 20,073

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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The streets are empty and quiet this early in the morning and I can hear my own footsteps as they fall.

Uzodinma Iweala, Speak No Evil: A Novel

Coffee Log, Day 341

Hi.

Coffee: Locomotive Blend, PennyCup Coffee

I’m thinking about getting another lamp. One for the kitchen, so that when I take my coffee in the mornings I can be lit up by something other than the bright-as-venus florescent.

The older I get, the more I come to appreciate a certain kind of atmosphere. I want space and windows and the right sort of light to let my mind relax. When I was younger, I cared about those same things, but I was content to let them come to me. Now there’s a desperation. A need for control. You’ve only got so much time so you want to fill it with the right things.

About half of Killing Commendatore is dreamy descriptions of fancy houses in a Japanese mountain range. Murakami spends whole chapters talking about the couches. It’s a little boring but it’s supposed to be. It’s an old man’s book. It’s written for people that understand how important it is to look at a piece of furniture and know it’s not going anywhere; to be in a place that won’t slip out from under you.

I’ve lived in relatively few places, but I’ve lived in each of them furiously. I’ve never hung a picture. If the walls weren’t the right color, I wouldn’t paint them. Always in the act of leaving. But eventually you realize that there’s never going to be a destination. You’ll never get off the train. All you can do is tinker with your cabin so that it suits you – if not perfectly, then a little better than it did before.

Novel Count: 19,974

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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When people photograph an object, they often put a pack of cigarettes next to it to give the viewer a sense of the object’s actual size, but the pack of cigarettes next to the images in my memory expanded and contracted, depending on my mood at the time. Like the objects and events in constant flux, or perhaps in opposition to them, what should have been a fixed yardstick inside the framework of my memory seemed instead to be in perpetual motion.

Haruki Murakami, Killing Commendatore


Coffee Log, Day 327

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

It was the sort of day kids have mittens put on by forceful grandparents. It rained, it was always a degree away from freezing.

I don’t have much to say today. It was one of those sorts of mornings where not a lot happens. And it was one of those afternoons too. I listened to a story about a toddler walking in his rocker. And a story about getting a paper cut on your cornea with a loose hair. And a story about panic attacks. And a story about a four-year-old that looks exactly like Ed Sheeran. The rest I don’t remember.

Driving home, I listened to loud music and watched people change lanes without their blinker. The rain had stopped, but it was all still slick enough to see your face in. I wonder sometimes which face is mine?

Novel Count: 15,382

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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Politicians is the gangstas and the gangstas is the artists
And the artists is the politicians, everybody switching.

Earthgang, LOLSMH