Coffee Log, Day 220

Hi.

Coffee: French Roast, Trader Joe’s Brand

Cosmic Cantina still smells like they’ve been cooking since yesterday. It’s on a small street off 9th, Durham, Bull City, up a staircase, beside a dance studio. You can see the Breuggers from the window. You can see the old Duke dorms from the window. I used to eat here with people I don’t know anymore.

I haven’t had much to say lately. Small talk with customers and co-workers. Line rehearsals with friends. We went to Durham to do an Escape Room. We got out under an hour. They took our picture. We walked 9th after, no-one else knew where we were going, no-one else had lived here. At Cosmic, I had a margarita. It tasted like Cozumel. The room was hot, slant-sunned. The walls were brick, slick looking, coated in something. The bar was tracked in turquoise tile. You remember small things. You remember some big things too. Neither stick around. The mind’s a graveyard.

What’s your name? Why’d we come here? Were you drunk? All of us were drunk – often – in college. Did you like me? Why’d you cut your bangs? Did I used to know you back in High School? Had we danced that summer? Were there ever nights we wished were longer? Did you order? Oh, sure, I did, for both of us. Did I order right? Why’d I do that? What’s that yellow, that blue, that orange on your cheek – is it the neon sign slung off the side of the building, are you sick, are you okay, are you happy? I can’t remember. Hell, I’ve got your name and the taste of pico de gallo, but the rest is being picked by birds and trash rats.

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

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“I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes” – Vladimir Nabokov

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Coffee Log, Day 124

Hi.

Coffee: Fair Trade Ethiopian Medium Dark, Harris Teeter Brand

I saw graves in Pittsboro. The sun had gotten behind a cloud. NPR was running a story about an NFL player turned activist. Lunch was over. It had ended a while ago for the grave-dwellers.

What gets preserved…

In the late nineties, my parents built an annex. My mother’s father was dead; my grandmother needed somewhere less familiar to live. I watched the construction. The blond wood, the wet foundation. I practiced taekwondo routines when the workers weren’t around. The skeleton boards were Hong Kong.

Eventually, the annex was a home; then it was a grave when cancer got her; then it was storage. It was storage for a long time. Fifteen years – spiders replaced by other spiders – in 2013 life went south for me, I moved back home. I remember clearing the boxes. I made a new space in the annex and lived there two years in my early twenties.

In the end, though, when the centuries strip America, her blond particle boards will decay. In the luckier places, the foundation might stick.

Maybe you’ll see my footprints punching ghosts.

Currently Reading:

History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (2017 Man Booker Prize Shortlist)

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“We’re going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, We’re remembering. That’s where we’ll win out in the long run. And someday we’ll remember so much that we’ll build the biggest goddamn steamshovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in it and cover it up.” – Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451
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