Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 6


Coffee Tea: Peach-Black Tea; I’ve been working through these bags on days when I’m not up to making coffee. I’ve had them for two years. They’ve been sitting in a ziploc bag on the kitchen counter. I remember precisely who gave them to me but not when she did. That’s the thing about memory – it leaves out the juicy bits. Oh, and the tea is fine. A little sweeter than I like it, but fine.

I took a notary class today. It was put on by Wake Tech and hosted at a country club. There were lots of chipped walls and old chairs in the country club. The locker room was full of cheap tennis shoes.

Enduring the class-time to be a notary is like waiting for a bus. You know exactly what’s coming, but it takes forever to get there. We talked through six hours of legalese. They gave each of us a manual. Inside the manual are 170 pages all saying the same thing. Bureaucracy – a bunch of people saying the same thing.

Michael Cohen gave his testimony to congress today. I watched most of it. The Republicans attacked his character and the Democrats talked about tax returns. Things we’ve been hearing for two years. And that’s not to say they aren’t important – we do need to see our President’s tax returns, and there are questions about Cohen’s credibility – but they’re still nothing new.

So anyway, pretty soon I’ll be able to watch someone sign a document and certify that signature in an official capacity. They drove home that no-one’s ever required to do a notary, that if you aren’t comfortable then just don’t do it. I couldn’t help thinking about the hearing. Two sides saying separate things over and over. Who gets to set the definition for ‘comfortable?’

Novel Count: 27,062

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

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I live in the Managerial Age…

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Coffee Log, Day 132


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

Kid comes in about 3:00pm, high school, blonde as tangerines, online banker looking this-that-way at the old branch walls. She stops at the slips. She picks up a pen and puts it back down.

“What can I do for you?”

It’s existential, really; her forehead creases; I try smiling more.


She’s got a form, she shows her license, she’ll be a senior in August. The form’s so faded I’m guessing her printer used its last ink on fifth grade science projects. I squint. She squints.

“So – what can I do for you?”

“Notary?” she says, and that doesn’t help a whole lot because I’m looking at a crumpled, oily, palm-sweat slip of paper that’s talking about off-campus lunches.

We dig in a bit. I’ve got my elbows on the table, she’s got her fingers tapping our envelopes. Slow and calm, her story peels like skin-bark after too many days in the pool: turns out, her high school demands all off-campus lunch permission forms be notarized. Not okay’ed with your Homeroom. Not signed by parents. Notarized, officially. My supervisor leans over and says all the Wake schools do that. I’m blown away.

We get her taken care of then I’m laughing and crying for minutes. If you were locked in the vault you could still hear me.

I asked the girl one more question before she left for the stifling summer day: “What do you think about all the new security in schools?”

She said: “It doesn’t matter. If they want to shoot us, there’s lots of ways to get inside.”

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.” – Tacitus, Ancient Roman Historian