Coffee Log, Day 163


Coffee: Fair Trade Five County Espresso Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

She says she’s running the Libertarian ticket for county treasurer; says the Repub incumbent has been embezzling. She says she believes in Capitalism when it works, Socialism when it works, but it never works so she wants small government. Tomorrow, she’ll canvass for a different Libertarian. I tell her I knew a guy at Duke who repped the party, she didn’t recognize the name. Things change. Politics changes. She grew up in Apex and ran the list of all the small businesses she’s watched close.

I’m working a corner of Cary I didn’t know existed. It’s way West, way North, close to Morrisville. There’s a McDonald’s, a dry cleaner’s, a local Mexican chain. It rained all day. New roads – and these were new – look pewter in a storm. I got caught in it taking lunch at the Mexican. A white guy went by on bicycle. He was making laps. He was five years my junior. He looked like someone who was promised a whole lot and given a little less.

I talk to a biker who’s going to Ireland. Says it rains here, rains there, who gives a… His son’s getting married. Expensive wedding. I talked to another father who’s going to Paris. His son plays soccer international, has a game against a world-class club. Son’s 19, dropped out of college for this. Dad says he turns his friends down for parties, hasn’t had a drop of alcohol. Dad says he started a dream at 7 and now he kicks the ball. “That dedication is what I’m proud of, not the sport.”

She says she’s engaged, says her fiance’ works retail, says they’re worried but not too worried. A pretty couple, lip-locked under tip-cupped summer thunderstorms. Free like the runoff; small government.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“Here beyond men’s judgments all covenants were brittle.” – Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian


Coffee Log, Day 106


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

The guy came in after three girls, nothing to do with each other. He was fifties. The girls were teenies. All four of them wore bright neon shirts. Blue looked good on him.

The girls fizzed, fussed, deposited a hundred cash. They drove in separate SUV’s and laughed in the parking lot.

The guy hung after, he hadn’t seen them, his mother was in the car, he had a purpose. At a different bank, they’d denied her withdrawal. She had a photo of a passport, they wouldn’t take it. The guy asked me if we could get it notarized. I said ‘probably,’ but that we’d have to see. He went back to grab her.

Outside, the girls titted and tatted in black SUV’s. There was nothing wrong with them except that they had no idea that there was nothing wrong with them. They watched the man, watched his mother, drove fast. No telling what they were thinking.

Inside, Mom shuffles. She’s got a cane but isn’t using it. My manager is in the lobby. He’s latino. He knows a hell of a lot more about banking than me. The old woman shuffles at me like I can help her. I point her to my manager. We’re all confused for a second. The man and the woman are black.

Socio-political plays like the cartoons inside of gum wrappers: a slight, a shrug, a simple mistake, a boundary between two things. They got their notary. The teens forgot a five-dollar bill by the deposit slips.

Currently Reading:
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

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‘So, Petvurt?’ the girl says, taking a pen from her hair and running it languidly down the columns of a large book. ‘Da, Pervert, so, here is. Passipotti. ‘ ‘She likes your passport, don’t give it to her, says Lubijova, ‘Give it to me. I know these people well, they are such bureaucrats. Now, dolling, tell me, how long do you keep?’ ‘Tomorrow,’ says the girl, ‘It registers with the police.” – Malcolm Bradbury