Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 100

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

I see myself in the window. The only light’s from the monitor, and the hall lights on the second floor died so there’s nothing to compete with. I’m in profile. Half silver, half dark. My left eye’s the most in focus because it’s throwing back some of the light from the monitor. My nose is mostly there, too. In the reflection, my lips look redder, and it makes me think about the wild strawberries that grew in the front lawn at my parents’ house. I only ate a couple because they never tasted anything but bitter. Still, I don’t think I would have made it this far if I’d completely ignored such bright, red things.

I’ve never looked so dramatic. There’s a bar separating the window into quadrants so it’s only me in this pane, only the computer in the next pane over. Semi-transparent, the screen’s like cyberpunk – disembodied. Meanwhile, I’m late renaissance.

Twenty years ago, I was riding in a car back from a friend’s house. They lived out in the country. My mother was driving. Their driveway shot through thicks of maple trees. It was dark outside.

You only see what’s ahead of you by the headlights. You come to a bend in the pass. The ground rises by the turn and it looks like you’ll end up flying. Or maybe that the road will end at silver bark. Your throat dries and time stops long enough to tie it’s shoes. Something important is about to happen – you’ll cross over, live out the rest of your life in a different world. Everything’s contained in that stand of oak trees caught in the headlights.

Over the rise, the path keeps going, and you make it out of the forest, but not without leaving something separate behind. Forever missing, dumped like the postal slush pile. But sometimes you catch sight of it in a nighttime window. It looks an awful lot like you.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon’s dead body moved out towards the open sea.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 97

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

Friday’s drawn in. The sun’s down, streetlights on, curtains closed. Midnight approaches – a fast black car speeding on the interstate. No matter what you did this week – what things you have or haven’t accomplished – it’ll soon be over. One more hour, not enough time for anything but peace.

My week went by in a blur. The most riveting moment was when I caught my leg on a corner and cut it right open, a quarter sized bit of skin chunked down until it was red and slimy. After it happened, I went to the bathroom and tried to check for damage but found it hard to get off the sock. It was sticking to me. Man and manufacturing combined, I was – for a brief second – the most boring sort of cyborg.

Otherwise, I’ve just been moving along.

This evening R and I went for Chinese. It started raining while we were waiting for our food. The rain turned to hail. The hail was the size of marbles and came beating down on the roof of my car. Driving home sounded like gunfire. It’s been so hot this week that when the hail hit the asphalt, it started to evaporate. A thick white steam. A bright Friday sauna.

As I’m writing, the clock’s just passed 11:00pm. I’m beat. I’ll see you all tomorrow, like I always do, but I wonder who I’ll be come the weekend? We pack our lives in week-sized compartments, like trying on different clothes. Every Saturday morning is a chance to change. That’s a lot of pressure.

Oh well – like I said, now’s not the time for heavy thinking, just peace. And maybe a bit of peppermint tea.

Goodnight.

Currently Reading: Have picked a new book but not had the chance to start it yet; more info to come

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On nights like this when the air is so clear, you end up saying things you ordinarily wouldn’t.

Banana Yoshimoto, Goodbye Tsugumi

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 29

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

I’m sneaking in this coffee log right at the tail end of the day. It’s 11:20pm. It’s a blue-purple kind of dark. That tells you it’s Spring, because only Spring has nights like this.

I spent most of my day working. I spent the rest resting. I didn’t go out for dinner, I didn’t much leave my room once I got home. That’s how I wanted it – what a week… Because of that, though, I don’t have much to say tonight.

Here’s a poem:

It’s like a pearl necklace
And you wear it
Only in your hair instead of around your neck
And nothing had to die to give it to you
Well, maybe some old, rotting dinosaurs
And maybe the planet, if you look hard enough
Rough cracked road asphalt
Looks a lot darker
More appealing
When you’re wearing that pearl necklace
Of streetlights.

Novel Count: 31,808

Currently Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes

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Marco Polo had seen the inhabitants of Zipangu place rose-colored pearls in the mouths of the dead. A sea-monster had been enamoured of the pearl that the diver brought to King Perozes, and had slain the thief, and mourned for seven moons over its loss.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray


Coffee Log, Day 345

Hi.

Coffee: Locomotive Blend, PennyCup Coffee

I’m writing this from a Chinese diner. I’m on a few hours of sleep. I’m coming off a ten hour workday. And that’s perfect, because you’ve got to be half-gone and strung out to appreciate a moment like this.

Outside is a bar with two guys smoking a permanent smell into their leather jackets. A busy patio, warmer weather, all their faces have lines even though no one is over forty. Someone lost is pacing the parking lot with his headphones on.

I need you to see this. You can’t see it, so I’ll write it down. It’s the grit and sulfur. It’s the sort of simple-awful reality that we all share. And it’s gorgeous. It’s inevitable: that there will always be a quiet corner of a struggling store to sit and wait to find yourself in. Despite all the times you get lost, the seat in the corner stays open. It’s not warm. It’s not comfortable. But it’s real.

Novel Count: 20,917

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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I feel anger oozing out my family portrait,

Who knew posing in the gutter could turn out so gorgeous.

Earthgang, So Many Feelings (lyrics)

Coffee Log, Day 281

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, single-serve packet; might as well finish the week with this stuff.

I slept with the windows open. It was cold but nice. I like hearing the night. Around 11:00pm the birds stop going. Then, around 4:30am, they start back. We spend a lot of time sequestering ourselves from nature. Even when you’re a hiker, a climber, a camper, you’re someone who’s making nature a special trip. It’s a privilege not to know the cold, uncompromising world, and a privileged thing to choose to flirt with it.

I remember the solar eclipse. The tree outside my window cut moon-shaped shadows on the pavement. I didn’t buy the glasses so those little moons were it for me. R and I walked outside and stayed for fifteen minutes. It got dim then it got brighter. There were all kinds of people out. Lots of kids. There’s always lots of kids. I think I might go a little crazy if not for their constant antics.

It’s been a hard week. On paper, nothing happened. Maybe that’s a part of it. Or maybe it’s the end of the year. Tomorrow’s December. Two weeks and I’ll be 29. My brain’s symbolically predisposed. So is yours. The cold; the wet; the dark bare bark; the pomp that tries to sell you something; the warm fires; the curtained windows you had a chance to peek behind, but that once the year is done you know will stay closed. Symbols.

Happy November. Here comes December. Grab the bottle and toss the cork. Christen your old-body ship into less turbulent times.

Novel Count: 14,711 words

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

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It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready.

Sarah Kay


Coffee Log, Day 278

Hi.

Coffee: French Roast, Trader Joe’s Brand

I’ve got this unintentional habit where I wake up about two hours after falling asleep with my heart pounding and a sense that the night is going to swallow me. I have to get up, drink water, turn some lights on, sometimes get dressed. But you see some things in the bleak night.

It’s breathless, the apartment. My roommates have their doors closed. There’s green and blue on the walls from the little lights on our router. It’s the kind of place you’d think a cat could fall in love over but we don’t have a cat.

I let it stay black in the kitchen. I take a glass from memory and pour water. The faucet’s loud. It’s bigger than the stream outside. I take the water to the window while my heart calms down. I look at the blacked-out lots, the cars, the couple windows that are still on. Who else is up? I don’t want to share – it’s a small slice of time.

When you’re back in bed after something like that, the dreams come different: simple and easy and colorful and pleasant, like they’re lying to you.

Novel Count: 14,161 words

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

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It’s a long way back to sunset, a far way on to dawn, so you summon all the fool things of your life, the stupid lovely things done with people known so very well who are now so very dead…

Ray Bradbury


Coffee Log, Day 178

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro, Extra Dark Roast, Trader Joe’s Brand

Midnight shows its teeth. Tar-paper, Saturday flies poking out of apartments. L left an hour ago, the place stills smells like him, clothes in the rain. My roommates are up to something – two separate somethings, separate rooms, wind-downs. My new fan takes up all the unwanted space in the room.

A thunderstorm hangs on to the town’s outskirts, wetting the skin of whoever’s dumb or desperate enough to be out in it. It blew over hours ago and washed all the birdshit off the cars. Fertilizer; the green grass gets even greener after the bad stuff sinks down.

Fuzzy – marginal headache, persistent itches, stiff fingers, blender thoughts. A normal bedtime for halfway-through-28, head in arrivals but body inching toward departure, the kind of eminence Caesar saw when he stared at Alexander’s statue.

There are three lost geese stuck on the greenest grass beside our creekbed. Leftovers from a northern migration, they’re waiting it out til Autumn. When the flock comes back, they’ll get to see if they still recognize themselves. Tonight, I hope they’ve found dry branches.

Invisible moon, eyelid stars. Together, anxious morning.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“The clouds were disappearing rapidly, leaving the stars to die. The night dried up.” – Andre Breton

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