Coffee Log, Day 265

Hi.

Coffee: French Roast, Trader Joe’s Brand

Everyone was poking around in coats today. Meanwhile, in California, half the state burns.

I grew up in a household obsessively haunted by weather. My dad would walk outside in thunderstorms. We had a dog that would hide from rain.

But my mother was the focal point for the family’s weather ups and downs. She’d be up late watching documentaries on this or that super storm. Sometimes, she’d watch the weather channel on repeat. Any hint of bad rain and there her hands would go, wringing.

I remember this one time there was a tornado at my elementary. First the lights cut, then the glass was shaking, finally we were in the hall and under our own backpacks on the cold, hard linoleum floor. A lot of kids were crying. The assistant principal was holding the blown-open doors. But I’d watched a hundred disaster films with my mother so I was ready. This was Christmas, a celebration, something wonderfully inevitable. We would all get swooped up and tossed a thousand miles. Nothing could be more comfortably certain.

Sometimes I think there’s a bravery in staring long and hard at the things that scare you. It’s a messy sort of courage – a lot of fits and worries, 2 am texts to your adult son when there’s a national weather warning – but still brave. Can’t look at a horror and call it something else, but you can choose to look at it all the same.

I’ve learned a lot of things from my mother.

Novel Count: 8,742 words

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

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“In any democratic, civilized – even non-democratic nations, if you are a nation, it means to say that in our case, if there’s a hurricane in Louisiana, the people of Vermont are there for them. If there’s a tornado in the Midwest, we are there for them. If there’s flooding in the East Coast, the people in California are there for us.” – Bernie Sanders

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Coffee Log, Day 162

Hi.

Coffee: Fair Trade Five County Espresso Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

I talked about education today. My coworker has three kids, all in school. Two take band and the third just got signed on the cheerleading team. There were a few facts that caught me:

Band dues are $400 yearly; compared to other Wake County schools, that’s considered cheap.

According to their pediatrician, cheerleaders have about as many concussions as football players; they get teeth knocked out; they miss weeks of school. However, there’s no protective gear for cheerleaders. There also aren’t many cheerleading scholarships.

What these facts tell – as plainly as a Hemingway short – is that music isn’t for the poor and safety and respect are subsidiary to beauty.

My coworker’s single. She doesn’t make that much more than me. She works four Saturdays a month, extra shifts. She showed me a powerpoint her son made arguing his case for a cell phone. It was perfect – not persuasive, just innocent. He doesn’t see the long bills his mother sweat-pays.

At 10:00, my coworker tells me she’ll be taking lunch late, mid-afternoon. I say “Won’t you be hungry?” She says “Well, I’ve got to get my daughter to practice.”

Remind me what the ‘public’ is supposed mean when we stick it next to ‘education?’

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“But I weather the storm, I’m a lightning streak.” – Lil Wayne, That’s All I Have

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