Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 284

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

I hear E showering. My bedroom’s adjacent to the bath. It sounds like those National Geographic tapes they’d show us in high school, the ones made in the 80’s. A fuzzy green rainforest, idle koalas, bird feathers and eggs. The net effect of the sound is to remind me I’m not alone.

Most of my best memories are in the rain. There’s a history museum in Daizafu. It’s behind the temples, still a tourist trap, but off the drag. We got lost trying to find it, A and I, walked around the forest and out to a local highway where they’d grafitti’d the walls. It started raining. It waited until we were out from under the trees. She’s soaked, I’m soaked, but it’s summer so we’re still warm. At the museum, AC was made short work of us, and we were dry, but less happy.

I went to see the Christmas Lights in Atlanta. We were thinking about skipping because the temperature had dropped and there was a hard rain on. It was night, the lights were in the gardens, we’d been walking all day, cinnamon visions of staying home. But M and I got ourselves up and went anyway. It was magical. We weren’t alone, but the rain made it so it felt like it. Cascades of color, a friendly shift worker by the only fire, greens golds and blues, every color multiplied below our umbrellas. The cold made me miss you even though you were near me, and when I felt that longing all I had to do was reach out a little and it was filled.

My mom put on an impromptu scavenger hunt one summer when I was 8 or 10. It was a gray day, almost raining, and I was watching kids cartoons, but she slipped me a bit of pink paper with a note on it and hurried off, not waiting for me to see what it had to say. It was a clue. It led me to the bathroom, my bedroom, and even outside. Outside, the rain was getting harder. Little bits cracked the paper and swirled all the inks around. I don’t remember what I found out in the gardens, but I know it was wholly mine. Under the gray, wet skies, the mystery of the treasure hunt was bigger than me, bigger than my mother, something up-above eternal. I loved my mom for helping me toward it, and then I was changed.

Anyway, it didn’t rain today, but the sound of the shower is almost enough.

Currently Reading: Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin

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For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 256

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

It stormed over like a bluebird molting above your kitchen window, rain streak-feathered, cold, blue-dashed out of the clouds, a torn up sky, and then at the end of the day when we were just trying to make it home there’s a frozen, bloodied Ruby Red up there, skylined citrus so perfect it’s ominous, begging me to stay, to just sit down, freeze, shiver, crack my teeth on asphalt, goodbye to the ordinary, never going home again.

It was in that bruised and bloodied second that I wanted to be somewhere quiet with you.

Currently Reading: Another Country, James Baldwin

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Life… is like a grapefruit. Well, it’s sort of orangey-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It’s got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have half a one for breakfast.

Douglas Adams, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

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, Year 2, Day 202

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

Sitting at home on a gray day on my lunch break writing a Coffee Log early because I’ll be driving this evening. Weather calls for thunderstorms. Open highways, greased lightning.

Last night was spent packing. I’ll be living the weekend away. I haven’t gone too far lately, this will be the farthest. I like long drives. Here’s one I remember:

Ten years ago, headed back from the beach with a full car. We’d gone to a concert, Bomb the Music Industry! It was a good concert and let out at midnight but none of use felt like staying in New Bern (or had the money to). E was driving. He took us home through the early morning. We listened to more music, but softer because all our ears were blown. Just past Raleigh, I fell asleep. There were guys to either side of me. Warmer than a blanket, people I still know.

I’m not taking today’s trip alone. A different E’s coming with me, though we part ways when we get there. Sometimes it’s nice to take stock of what you’ve got, the people who won’t lose you, no matter what kinds of storm winds blow.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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God have pity on the smell of gasoline
which finds its way like an arm
through a car window,
more human than kerosene,
more unctuous, more manly.

S. Jane Sloat, In the Voice of a Minor Saint

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 165

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

All of us thought there’d be a storm. We heard it on the weather; common gossip on customer’s lips. And for a while it looked like the sky would crack like torn-up asphalt, but in the end the clouds cleared.

Every so often I go back to Greece. Not physically, of course. We got caught in showers coming down Mt. Olympus. They slicked up the ice toward the top and made it run. I wonder if that ice is still up there? The world’s a lot warmer than it used to be.

I walked by our apartment pool and it was full of people sun-bathing. Or drowning the week’s worries under five feet of water. They looked like skinned fishes in a Saturday market. They had pocks on their backs and matted hair. One family had a dog.

I like the sound a storm makes just before it arrives. The whip of air. Frantic quiet.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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Older Fags and Younger Fags, Like Legally Young. Daddies. Zeus and Ganymede.
Ganymede was a child, Ziggy schooled her.
Yeah, You Were There, Michelle retorted, On Mount Olympus. You Were Working the Door. You Carded Ganymede.

Michelle Tea, Black Wave

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 102

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

I spent fifteen minutes sitting on a wet step with a cat that’s moving away. This was about an hour after a thunderstorm. Dogs passed. The cat stood on her hindlegs to sniff at leaves.

Some moments speak for themselves.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 97

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

Friday’s drawn in. The sun’s down, streetlights on, curtains closed. Midnight approaches – a fast black car speeding on the interstate. No matter what you did this week – what things you have or haven’t accomplished – it’ll soon be over. One more hour, not enough time for anything but peace.

My week went by in a blur. The most riveting moment was when I caught my leg on a corner and cut it right open, a quarter sized bit of skin chunked down until it was red and slimy. After it happened, I went to the bathroom and tried to check for damage but found it hard to get off the sock. It was sticking to me. Man and manufacturing combined, I was – for a brief second – the most boring sort of cyborg.

Otherwise, I’ve just been moving along.

This evening R and I went for Chinese. It started raining while we were waiting for our food. The rain turned to hail. The hail was the size of marbles and came beating down on the roof of my car. Driving home sounded like gunfire. It’s been so hot this week that when the hail hit the asphalt, it started to evaporate. A thick white steam. A bright Friday sauna.

As I’m writing, the clock’s just passed 11:00pm. I’m beat. I’ll see you all tomorrow, like I always do, but I wonder who I’ll be come the weekend? We pack our lives in week-sized compartments, like trying on different clothes. Every Saturday morning is a chance to change. That’s a lot of pressure.

Oh well – like I said, now’s not the time for heavy thinking, just peace. And maybe a bit of peppermint tea.

Goodnight.

Currently Reading: Have picked a new book but not had the chance to start it yet; more info to come

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On nights like this when the air is so clear, you end up saying things you ordinarily wouldn’t.

Banana Yoshimoto, Goodbye Tsugumi