Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 201

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

I could be watching a crowded stage full of important people debating; instead, I’m sitting by the window listening to a couple kids playing outside.

Tonight, I tried to be peaceful. I went to the store. It was crowded, unusually so for a Thursday at 7pm. I picked out dressing for a salad and thought about buying eggs. I didn’t buy the eggs. On the way out, I walked by the beer aisle where they had a promotion pouring taps. Half-priced pints, tipsy Thursdays. There was a bustle around the bar. There was also one table with two chairs. It was halfway into the dairy aisle. A couple had the table. She was sipping quietly, he was on his phone.

At home, I dressed my salad and added half a can black beans. It’s good to eat cold, crunchy food sometimes. I thought about a rainforest. Less about the fires than about those nature shows we used to watch as kids.

At work, we all got together in the lobby, me and my coworkers. A slow day, so we had time. They were worried about Trump. The election was on everyone’s lips. They made some points and I agreed with them, mostly. But I couldn’t help draining out of the room and into the summer sunshine outside, the tops of elm trees, yesterday’s cut grass. I felt bad for being distracted. I was trying to be peaceful.

The conversation got heated. Three women who voted for a woman who should have won by the numbers, but didn’t. The burnt bones in their throats brought me back down. Oh – peace isn’t on offer to all of us, I realized.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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Damn real live people, getting in the way of peaceful ideals.

John Scalzi, Old Man’s War

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 46

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

Since it’s Spring, and cool, and a little cloudy, I took a short walk after work today. Nothing special, just a circuit around the apartment complex. There were weeks last summer where I would take a walk like this every day, but with winter and rampant rain for the last few months my strolls had tapered off.

Here’s what I saw:

Two kids were swinging on the swing set. They were both wearing blue, though not the same shade, and they were both talking loudly about school, though with different pitched voices. Isn’t it nice how kids become each other when they’re playing together? It’s easy to slip together with someone when you’re still learning who you are.

I saw a lot of crushed flowers on the creek banks. It rained so hard yesterday that trees were coming down. The creek flooded. The wind walloped. The brightest spring colors were washed into the mud. This means we’re close to summer. Another couple weeks and the heat-stink will be back. Oh well. Spring’s mostly beautiful because it doesn’t last.

A family of four was walking with their dog, a big black German shepherd, and the dad had to reign the dog in when it saw me. It started barking and slobbering. It was trying to protect it’s family. It looked very young. It hasn’t been around long enough to know I spend just about every day choosing to not be a threat. That’s what being human’s all about, right? The choice to avoid violence? Puppies can’t do that without a leash and a firm hand.

Two geese went by as I got home. They shared a long, sad honk. They looked like they were headed somewhere, maybe farther north for summer. I don’t know what they were sad about, what they were missing.

Novel Count: 37,208

Currently Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes

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A sound like a big crowd a good way off, excited and shouting, getting closer. We stand up and scan the empty sky. Suddenly there they are (the geese), a wavering V headed directly over the hilltop, quite low, beating southward down the central flyway and talking as they pass. We stay quiet suspending our human conversation until their garulity fades and their wavering lines are invisible in the sky.
They have passed over us like an eraser over a blackboard, wiping away whatever was there before they came.

Wallace Stegner


Coffee Log, Day 130

Hi.

Coffee: Fair Trade Ethiopian Medium Dark, Harris Teeter Brand

The sun beat sweat out of everyone’s backs. I took a walk beside the apartment pool.

Today’s been good. I slept in, but not too much. I ate well, but not too much. I heard from a cousin who I haven’t heard from since my grandfather died. L came over and we’ve been hanging out, catching up, playing games.

I finished History of Wolves and wrote the review. It’s posted here! I won’t say much about it on the blog, but I will say it’s one of the best books I’ve read. Fridlund’s snow-capped prose opened a couple doors in me; if I met her, I think we’d drink cold beer in a crowded bar and talk about the way talking about the weather is really always about the people who’ve changed you.

I made fried rice. It came out fine. The night settles now like a ten-year old bulldozer. You’ve built every house, paved every road, your city can sleep for a while.

Currently Reading:

LaRose, Louise Erdrich; I’m only sixteen pages in; so far, it reminds me too much of every other book that’s trying to say something.

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“Our house was made of stone, stucco, and clapboard; the newer wings, designed by a big-city architect, had a good deal of glass, and looked out into the Valley, where on good days we could see for many miles while on humid hazy days we could see barely beyond the fence that marked the edge of our property.” – Joyce Carol Oates

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