Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 122

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

Back at work. The week on pause, now it’s off. Commercials. Soaps. A sale. Two sales. Calling on a landline, waiting for an answer, so I can stick my fingers through the tiny holes and watch them travel between the telephone poles, nudging nesting birds or misplaced squirrels, kinetic, practiced, my voice running katas, until two tiny prongs protrude through the other end and I’m licking you with my fingernails, showing you the shape your face could be, the best look, your brightest, if only you would…

Too damn tired to take account of the day. I sit in two chairs, one for the morning and one for night; they both swivel; the only difference is whether I have to sit upright.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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Every time the telephone rings, you feel a frisson of excitement. The call is almost never exciting, but it is in our character to keep on believing.

Chloe Thurlow, The Secret Life of Girls

Coffee Log, Day 194

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium-Dark Roast, Trader Joe’s

I sat in a lot of chairs today. R was buying another – his desk chair broke – and I went along with him. We started at Staples, meandered to Target, ended in an Office Max that was once an Office Depot. There were bright yellow clearance bins in the Office Max. It was crowded, mostly kids, back to school shopping. We were there one hour before close.

R sits in a chair and a staffer shows up: “How do you like it?” she asks. She’s got spaghetti blond hair, basset hound wrinkles, she’s over 50. R says “It’s alright, seems like a good deal.” The chair was half off. She’s happy he noticed. Then R says “Yeah, these things can get pretty pricey,” and the woman dead faces him with one last line before walking off: “Well, most people have jobs.” He and I couldn’t stop laughing when she was gone.

We left the store with a different chair and got cheap Chinese for dinner. I kept thinking about the lady. I felt a little bad for laughing. He and I are both employed, but how would she know? And even if we weren’t, it’s bitter and lonely to mock someone who can’t work. But then I got to thinking: it’s Labor Day; a beautiful, stormy September; this lady is stuck doing shift work at an office store. When she looked down on us layabouts testing her chairs and wasting her time, maybe she was actually trying to say: “Don’t look at me. Don’t laugh at me. Don’t see me as less than you. I am working. I have a place that needs my blood, my bones, the sweat of my later years. It might be a corporation that doesn’t respect me – I might get paid pennies to another man’s dime – but here I am working when the rest of the world rests in big, comfy chairs; this is my pride, and if you won’t take it then I’ll shove it down your throat.”

Similar thoughts got Trump elected. And a similar fit of laughter when those thoughts turn the corner tanked any hope for Hillary. I’ll try to accept what the world is handing me: elitism. In spite of that, I’ll try to keep the bitter fire I used to know and bury that elitism below a head capable of hearing what old white women working two jobs on bad knees are trying to say, rather than the words that come out.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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