Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 224

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

It was the Old Chem building that had the best windows. The classrooms looked right at the quad. Duke University. You could see the library and all the people walking in and out of it.

When I think about Autumn, sometimes I’m in the Old Chem building. I had a couple classes there. The one I remember the most was Philosophy 102. The professor was young, he had strange shoulders – they were like bird wings, but half formed, so his shirts hung on for fear of flying off. And we learned some interesting things, I guess, but mostly I was watching the bird shoulders, and the quad, the changing leaves, I liked it when it rained. I have a thing for umbrellas. I like how people under them are always walking fast.

It rained today, we needed it. The Triangle’s been in a drought. Our apartment creek is barren. The trees had gone brown, but not in an attractive way. Dead rust, parched throat, but all that’s better because it rained. A drizzle. The clouds came over like a circus. I watched them – 30mph, balloon animals. Puddles formed in backed-up gutters. A couple kids got mud on their shoes.

October – this is how you’re supposed to be; quiet, dreary, watched through a window.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Coffee Log, Day 233

Hi.

Coffee: Colombian, Starbucks Brand (grocery store bought, a gift)

I went to a showing of Friday the 13th: Part 3 at the Carolina Theater in Durham. It was packed. The movie was in 3D. We had polarized glasses. Mine didn’t work, or maybe my eyes didn’t work. I ended up watching the entire movie without the glasses. The scenes were blurry, gags and goofs were screwy, the murders looked like you were watching them in a puddle forming during heavy rain. It was a strange show. It gave me a headache. I had a lot of fun.

The event was put on by Splatterfix. It’s a weekend long convention. They had booths set in the theater. Posters, blu-rays, coasters painted with movie scenes. Every booth had a group stuck around it talking; the line for popcorn was almost out the door. It felt like stepping back to something. Before the movie, everyone clapped. They all laughed at the goofy 3-D. There were a lot of black jeans and chain wallets. Every other woman had dark-dyed hair.

We left after the show. Our car was in a parking deck. The light above it had been blinking since we got there but it took on new meaning in the spooky evening. I drove slow behind a line of other cars. Some people exited the elevator: two men, one woman. One guy walks away from the others and turns to wave. He only half waves then he sticks his hands in his pockets and keeps going. The woman walks a few steps after. Her hair’s blood red and she’s got a lot of mascara. We finish the line and I see her leaving arm-in-arm with the other man. It was a crisp night, everyone’s got an October story. In the movies, we’d all be strung up on a meat hook before we got home.

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

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“[Horror fiction] shows us that the control we believe we have is purely illusory, and that every moment we teeter on chaos and oblivion.” – Clive Barker

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Coffee Log, Day 223

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand; I bought the first tin of this blend when I moved to Cary a year and two months ago. Our empty apartment – I brewed you quick and hot in the morning; I had the place to myself; nothing to keep me away from simplicity.

If September wears the vintage polka-dot dress to the party, October’s got the fitted romper. She’s less rambunctious but somehow less reserved. Of all the drinks she picks a Malbec and she sits in the corner where the lit geeks congregate (and conjugate, and…) but doesn’t talk to them. She’s there for the atmosphere – or at least that’s what you’re guessing. You’ve been watching her since 8:30, everyone has, and you’re pretty sure she hasn’t left the seat.

Finally, at last call, you get the courage to start a conversation, but there’s just a hat, gloves, chapstick where she’d been sitting. She left it. She didn’t really need these things. The host is piss-drunk and his partner’s taking care of him. You let yourself out. Outside, on the curb, you look up at the building’s still-lit windows and think about October’s wire-frames. You wish you could have gone home with her, but that leaves you feeling guilty of something deep and dark. It’s a long walk to the car. For the first time since graduation, you smoke a cigarette.

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

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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Coffee Log, Day 222

Hi.

Coffee: French Roast, Trader Joe’s Brand

A dog-walk day.

I took a stroll. Sundown, 2nd of October. My mouth was still wet from dinner. I started on the second floor landing, thought about the book I wrote that started on a second floor landing. Kids on the playground; parents at the picnic tables. I crossed the creek and sidled the first floor apartment that’s got a screen door. The TV was going. A courtroom drama. Objection!

It wasn’t until I passed the pool that I started to see them: bipedallers puttering around with leashes leading every size of furball into the first comfortable day of Autumn. I think I counted five in all, about four more than most days. They fell to two categories: guys in cargo shorts looking bored as toy poodles pulled them around; women in athletic wear talking to their cell phones. That dogs yipped and bapped at each other, yipped and bapped at me, made up for every lack of interest in their owners. To them, it was Christmas. To them it was the fifteen-hundred down on a new car, new wheels, broad October, open roads, wild nights. For five to ten minutes, the dogs got to remember that their paws once clawed beds of dirt, hunted woods and fields. For the same amount of time, the people got to think about what show to watch when they got home.

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

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.” – Aldous Huxley

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