Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 264


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, Day 253


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

I’m at the desk in my pajamas. Well, I don’t actually sleep in them, but this is what I wear when I get up: a gray shirt that’s too big for me, gray gym shorts that still fit. I’m drinking coffee, Sumatra, same stuff as yesterday, but I take a little more time with it and there’s a tang to it. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but it’s an honest thing, and so there you go.

In the summer, I’d have the curtains gone by now. Fall keeps the light low. I peeked out and saw a black cold ground, a couple hungover streetlamps, nobody walking, nothing eager to start the day. There’s beauty in that too, right? Something of a collective longing for ‘two more hours,’ slices of security blankets, a warm night.

I take a few more sips of the coffee and maybe that taste doesn’t even belong to it. Maybe it’s the box of honey-glazed cheerios I finished, or the coconut milk I dunked them in. Maybe it’s tomorrow already greedy, poking it’s fingers in yesterday’s night. Maybe it’s anticipation. I’ve been feeling the need to walk something – dirt, gravel, who gives a-, as long as it’s going somewhere. Or maybe it’s just my stomach bubbling up after a week of too much candy.

I’ve got mixed feelings about November: specifically, the label it’s come to acquire of ‘National Novel Writing Month.’ In my experience, there’s nothing ‘national’ about writing a novel and no good way to fit it to thirty days. On the other hand, I won’t lie that the drive and discipline I’ve seen friends commit to for the moniker is inspiring. I feel like I’ve been learning again and again how important consistency is, whether it’s in writing, work, family, or brewing coffee every day to write about in your blog.

So anyway, I’m writing another book. Not something that I could finish in a month, but still something new. I started a couple weeks ago but haven’t kept a schedule. If I can’t keep that, I’ll never keep the book. I’ve learned a lot of ‘letting go’ since starting this coffee log. To really write, you’ve got to paradoxically let go of all the will to put things to words in the first place and focus instead on the fingers on the keyboard. I want to have that again. I want to bring that to my fiction. I also want to bring you along with me. I can’t share the words (someday I’ll be shopping them around to publish and you know how picky agents are about having first dibs) but I can share how many I’ve written each day. It’s a selfish thing, a bit of self-accountability, and I appreciate you letting me use all of you as motivation.

So anyway, expect my coffee logs to come in the AM now as I’ll be writing fiction every night. Looking forward to waking up with all of you.

Novel Count: 3,043 words

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

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“You don’t know the risk if you ain’t carried the weight
If you ain’t never been down the road that wasn’t already paved.” – T.I., Big Ol’ Drip


Coffee Log, Day 52


Coffee: Organic Sumatra Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand; tastes like green buds, which is bad at first but then kind of welcoming.

There’s something about the morning. It isn’t cynical like afternoon or relaxed like evening. Morning has the vigor to change it’s circumstances. It’s caffeine to the birds. The sunlight looks better than at any other time of day.

Mornings have always felt private. When I’m alone, they’re times to get things done. At work, even when it’s busy, they’re reclusive – the people you deal with and the problems you solve could only sit at your desk, no-one else’s. When I’ve been fortunate to spend a morning waking up with someone, the time goes slow like bee’s honey and it’s just as safe as the soft sticky stuff locked in buzzing hives.

As I’m writing this, it’s the afternoon and I’m thinking about everything I ought to be doing. Oh well.

Currently Reading:
Tar Baby, Toni Morrison

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“In the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern of the boat with his father rowing, he felt quite sure that he would never die.” – Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time