Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 184

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

Five minutes into trying to fix the phone the screen goes black. My customer restarts it. We get a little further and it goes black again.

“I’m going to be your problem today,” she says.

With effort (and a call to IT) I help her fix her digital banking.

Later, I was chopping mushrooms. I was afraid I might cut myself. I hadn’t used the knife since a month ago when I cut my thumb. I quartered the mushrooms. It was easy. Then I pan-fried them on medium-high with a bunch of onions. No problems.

At 7:30, I cut all the lights off and lay down with my laptop. My curtains were open and it was twilight. I could hear kids playing. My room smelled like laundry detergent (they vent the building outside my door). I tried writing. The only thing that came to me was the feeling of turning on and off a phone. I closed the laptop and listened to the kids. It got steadily darker in my room.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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

The major problem of life is learning how to handle the costly interruptions. The door that slams shut, the plan that got sidetracked, the marriage that failed. Or that lovely poem that didn’t get written because someone knocked on the door.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 176

Hi.

Coffee: Bottled Cold Brew Coffee, Trader Joe’s Brand; for bottled coffee it had a good taste; hell, it had a good taste to cupped coffee too; quick like late nights you spend on the town; full-bodied as a stranger’s bed

I got in a drinking contest with a two-year old. He had a fizzy water and I had a beer. Every time he drank, he made this face that said ‘what is this,’ squinted eyes, wrinkled nose. Then he’d point at me and I’d take a swig of pale ale, doing my best impression of him. This went on a while. Finally, though, the kid beat me. I had to put the can down. When he saw I was finished, he pointed at me again, only this time he was laughing. Fair game, buddy – you won.

We went in the woods this morning, me and E. She was hunting mushrooms. I tried to be her spotter but all the ones I picked out were wrinkled with white maggots. It made me think I might be haunted – drawn to the dead decomposers, the ghosts of ghosts. It was hot in the morning but not too hot. There were other families in the woods. I watched a dad strap his daughter in a backpack and take off running. She bounced like a dropped coin all caught in the bar lights, bright and happy, two white teeth, no older than my drinking buddy.

At a table under a black locust tree you showed me videos of the two-year-old playing ‘freeze.’ He watched over your shoulder and smiled at himself. It made me wonder what it must be like to grow up knowing your moments are there to dance with at the press of play – that the slippery little details of who you are have been saved to record. His eyes went wide to shots of himself splashing in a tub. You held the phone like the suds might slip out.

Where’s all the heat go when nights rolls in? Does it board a train headed southbound, knock on crisp red doors in Florida suburbs, lounge around with a TV dinner drinking hot coffee? Does it stay awake in Caribbean state bedrooms, red-eyed and frustrated, seeing itself in a thousand stars that are too far to get in touch with? I don’t know.

Midnight comes in, old dead bark, growing mushrooms.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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

Like locusts shall they gather themselves together, the servants of the Star and the Snake, and they shall eat up everything that is upon the earth.

Aleister Crowley

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 11

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand; about done with this batch. I’ve been drinking less coffee lately. Down to a cup or two (though I still brew strong). It picks me up without dropping me after. Anyway, the Sumatra has a taste like lead pencils. Like you took all your number two’s from after the EOG’s and boiled them. Like you’re over one hump, about to climb the next one. It’s smooth, its bitter, it creeps up on you.

I cooked a big batch of pasta for the week and now my fingers smell like garlic. The pan I usually use was in the dishwasher. I could have washed it but I didn’t want to take the effort. So I cooked my veggies and soy hamburger in the wok. At the end, I tossed it in sauce. It worked better than I’d expected. That said, the mushrooms are a little undercooked.

So far, it’s been a week of canceled plans. None of us can fit our schedules together. That’s left me in those hazy spaces of ‘I might have something to do.’ You can’t move on. You’re stuck in the expectation of something that could happen. Times like that, I like to cook. Cook and eat, eat and cook. It’s a simple sense of accomplishment. My tastebuds are always available. They give immediate commentary.

That’s all I’ve got tonight. I’m off to wait on more responses, more loose threads. Whether anything answers, who knows? In the meantime, I’ve got some orange marmalade. Think I’ll toast some bread.

Novel Count: 29,630

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami; FINISHED!

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

I began by preparing my pasta: my deft fingers forming the intricate shapes of rigatoni, ravioli, spiralli, spaghetti, cannelloni, and linguini. Then I would brew sauces of sardines, or anchovies or zucchini or sheep’s cheeses, of saffron, pine nuts, currants, and fennel. These I would simmer in the huge iron cauldrons, which were constantly bubbling above the fire.

Lily Prior, La Cucina