Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 191

Hi.

Coffee: Pike Place, Apartment Lounge Blend

Two small frogs hopped off the sidewalk. Now they’re in tall grass.

It was a pleasant night. I got in the car and rolled the windows down. There’s a road that goes to north Cary, and another past a park. I took both then circled home. Driving, I listened to a punk album. Then, when the album was over, I listened to cars and windy trees. Even though it’s the 2nd of September the night’s still busy. Grasshoppers, cicadas.

I couldn’t decide who I was today. I looked through Facebook folders of old pictures. At 2:00, I read awhile, and at 3:00 I played games. I was alone, mostly. I drove to the grocery and when I came back I took a walk. Why didn’t I walk to the store? That’s what I mean – things weren’t connecting.

For a long time I used to labor on Labor Day. I was in retail, holidays are a busy time. When I talked to friends with desk jobs I got bitter but wouldn’t show it. Those were long days, mouth running like a motor, hands on clothes hangars or new books.

It was something real, though – when you put a store together it’s your store. The company takes your blood and money and time but they can’t take the magic of seeing things set in the order you gave them. Odd hours set you to a separate schedule – I used to wake up at 6:00am and have whole mornings before going to work.

Finishing up the drive, I heard something restless. A bird, maybe, or a squirrel. It shot off the ground and startled the bushes. Leaves in my rear-view, still moving.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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All of them had a restlessness in common.

John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 85

Hi.

Coffee: Pike Place, the apartment lounge machine

I’ve been trying to take my mornings back. The past two weeks I’ve set the alarm clock a little early, and it’s been hard, I’ve been tired, but today I woke up at 6:40 without asking my little blinking clock to guide me and that felt very good.

A part of my early mornings has been starting the day with walks. Nothing far, usually to the office to get coffee. It’s bad coffee, and I miss twisting up the beans with my hand-held grinder, but for now it’s a good excuse to move. Today, E came with me. We went to the lounge via the back way, through the gym (that always smells like yoga mats). There was no-one in the office this early. That was good – it meant this time was ours.

On the way back, mugs full, we stopped off at the community garden where E keeps a plot. She’s growing watermelons, though you wouldn’t know it by the tiny sprigs poking out of the ground. Next to her plot was an overgrown rose bush but the roses had withered and next to that were bright yellow squash flowers. Hornets buzzed between the plots like Monday traffic. A bright green lizard skated in and out of view.

At home, I took my coffee to the porch and wrote a little. I watched our flock of geese chasing each other through the grass. I read a message from a friend who was struggling with her sexuality. I cut an onion on sliced bread and ate it with sharp cheddar. All of this had me in the morning. There was a long, busy day that followed, but that’s another story. The early morning was enough.

Currently Reading: NOTHING! Couldn’t get back into Bourdain, no matter how much I tried; will pick a new book soon

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I love watermelon!
Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!

Greg Pizzoli, The Watermelon Seed

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 82

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

The army’s at my gates again. They wear bright colors. They wield sharp spears. Some of them ride on porcelain stallions. That’s right, you guessed it: I’ve been letting the dishes collect again.

A nine to five work day is a strange animal. It does things in pieces: mornings are for toothbrushes; day is for labor; at night it curls around to tuck its tail and let all the built-up energies seep into soft bedding. And then the next day is does it again. As predictable as a night owl hunting mice in evening and sleeping through the day. Or a bird that starts crowing at four am sharp.

My own pet workday doesn’t have much room for dishes.

The past few months I’ve fallen out of schedule. For years, I’d been keeping one regularly. Now my nights are sporadic and my mornings are shorter. The loping, nine-to-five animal sits on top of me while I squirm around. I start misplacing things. I forget to buy bread at the grocery. I brush my teeth before shaving. Things are out of wack. At lunch, I come home and tell myself I’ll be productive. A whole hour and eating only takes me twenty, that’s forty good minutes to get things done. But by the time I’ve got my head screwed on and a full account of my senses, the lunch hour’s lapsed and I’ve done nothing. The diabolic dish army has another member. Marching, marching, forks at the ready.

I guess I’m just slumping. An early summer haze. I’ve been setting my alarm clock five minutes back each morning. I’m still hitting snooze, but the thought’s there. Anyway, that’s it for the coffee log tonight. I’ve got a date with destiny; a battle to fight; some dishes need cleaning.

Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

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Dishes are one of the tools that support life. Please take great care when using them.


Shoukei Matsumoto, A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind