Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 168


Coffee: Pike Place, Apartment Lounge Brew

I talked to a couple from Bangladesh yesterday. I did my best pronouncing their names. They did their best pronouncing mine. It felt good to make mistakes together. She’s working part-time at department stores and fast food, he’s sticking to the burger line. He told me he has a Masters from Bangladesh but none of the American jobs will acknowledge the degree.

I got a little lost last night, though in the tempered way you know you’ll come back from. We walked a trail through a dark forest and found that the trail had changed. It forked at a clearing where the sky broke open to show off her stars. There was an old shack and a basketball court, sand set out for beach volleyball. All of it looked silky in the moonlight, like the spiderwebs we’d been tangled in along the way.

I’ve been thinking about communication, what it takes to know someone. Sometimes the best way to say ‘I appreciate you’ is by putting your lips around a person’s name (no matter how complicated you find it). Other times, words are only the boards on the bridge and not its suspension – to get to the other side, you string a line between each other, stretching, until the two ends touch.

This afternoon, I stood by a tree for five minutes watching a squirrel. It was on the trunk. It had a white mushroom. At first, the squirrel got nervous and stopped eating. When I didn’t make any quick movements, the squirrel gnawed off the top of the mushroom and dropped its stalk. It climbed a few more feet. It circled the tree but came back to look at me. It’s little heart was beating so fast you could see it chattering through its teeth. Its eyes were neutron stars. For those five minutes, I felt like we understood each other. Then came a late summer breeze that blew us both away.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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

Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable.

Fred Rogers

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 151


Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

I took a walk. I ran into a guy and his dog. The dog’s name was Jarvin. He was a puppy – Jarvin, not the guy. He pulled the leash when he saw me. I asked if I could pet him. The owner said ‘Okay.’ I walked across the road and Jarvin met me. He put his paws on my hips and his nose in my belly. I’d got a bit of his fur. Quickly, though, Jarvin lost interest. There were gnats on a clover patch. He chased them around.

Sometimes the nicest thing in the world is to know the name of someone else’s pet. Casually intimate, like a bathroom towel. The next time I see the dog I’ll say ‘Jarvin!’ and he’ll look at me or maybe he won’t. And his owner will wave and we’ll smile with a knowing, ‘this person’s safe enough, I can trust them as far as the end of this leash.’ Neighborly. And rare. No-one has the courage to say hello anymore, and no-one has the space to get to know someone in any more intimacy than passing.

Anyway, I’m tired. I’ve got a few days vacation. I’ll have more to say then.


Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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

I said hello to the poodle.

Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief