Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 69

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

I got dinner at a Subway run by an Ethiopian. He asked me if I was vegetarian.

“Yep,” I said.

He told me he’d tried going vegetarian but got tempted working at a deli. I told him that made sense.

We talked a little about home-cooking. He said it must be hard to not fix meat. “Where do you get your proteins?” He had his hands full with all my vegetables.

Halfway down the line, he tells me that vegetarians live longer. I think that’s a nice idea so I say it. I’ve felt better, physically, since I cut out meat. He asks if I’d considered going vegan and I say I’ve considered it but can’t pull the plug. Four obtuse triangles of pepper-jack cheese, toasted. He says I should try eating Ethiopian because it’s half meat, half vegetables, nothing else.

I left the place with a recommendation: Awaze, an Ethiopian place in Cary. I tell him I’ll try to check it out. And after the recommendation, I shook his hand, got his name. I’ll call him S, for short. S always works there. He might be the manager, or the franchisee. He’s got grey hair and square glasses. He wears steel rings. His hands don’t fit well in he small plastic gloves. He does the microwave first, then the cutter, then the toaster, then the veggies. It’s a quiet Subway, he keeps it that way. Whenever I’m there in a rainstorm, he seems at peace.

Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

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It is the stale breath of Death on his open and vulnerable neck that immortalizes the hero, that lends a fireside story its luster.

Nega Mezlekia, The God Who Begat a Jackal: A Novel

Coffee Log, Day 298

Hi.

Coffee: Bolivian Medium-Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

I was at this Subway for twenty minutes because it was a busy day and I needed to get back to the office. The lady at the Subway was someone I know and the guy at the Subway was someone I know. The guy’s a little odd and he knows I’ve been sick so he tells me ‘Get you some of that 100% Lysol from the Walgreens. Take some of that and it’ll clear you right out.’ I think he meant something other, but I figure Lysol would do a certain kind of trick in that it would cut out the sickness and probably everything else I’ve got going for me alongside.

The lady was easier. She just liked to talk about her Christmas plans.

You eat alone in a corner at 3:00pm while the kids come in and out from the High School. You’re not really alone because you never really are. Hard to know if that’s a good or bad thing.

Novel Count: 6,268

Currently Reading: Nothing! Done with Cherry, still deciding on the next book.

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Coffee Log, Day 280

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, single-serve packet; work coffee again; what can I say, it’s that kind of week.

Sometimes, life takes you to a Subway.

I imagine that one thing will survive the heat-death of the universe and that is the puffy, flaky, styrofoam rolls of ‘Italian’ bread they serve at the Subways. It’s marginally food. You eat it and are somehow left both full and hungry.

But that’s kind of the point: sometimes the only thing to do is start embalming yourself with cheap, sterile, questionable food. There are weeks where every time you stand, another thing knocks you down, so why not relent to it, give in, appreciate a numb, corporate fatigue deftly wrapped in bright colors?

I’d rather be drinking whiskey but even that is a little too lively for me now. Thank you, ma’am. Yes, I’ll take it with mustard.

Novel Count: 14,713 words

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

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The father was long and thin, with a red face framed in white whiskers, and looking like a living sandwich, a piece of ham carved like a face between two wads of hair. – Guy de Maupassant

Coffee Log, Day 229

Hi.

Coffee: Americano, Java Jive Cary; tasted like two dollars spent on losing lottery tickets.

It’s been a grey day and that’s a-okay with me. The sun came late this morning. It’s still stuck behind clouds.
#
I’ve been having elaborate dreams. Two of them, Sunday and last night:
1) She’s wearing dark makeup. I’m uncomfortable, she leads me by the hand. We’re in a giant walk-in shower. She undresses. She’s got black tattoos up and down her arms. I like them. I can’t stop touching them.

2) It’s winter. I’m wearing four coats, no shirt. I’m in a mall parking lot, standing by the car. You walk by with your parents. I follow, get their attention. You’re wearing my shirt. We hug. I ask for the shirt back. You look disgusted, say: “Don’t you have anything more important to think about?” You walk away. The wind blows like birthday candles. I’m very cold.

#

I bought lunch at a Subway from a woman with a cut on her hand. It was taped up but you could see the blood. I watched her work. She wore gloves. I kept looking at her finger. When she finished, I paid her and ate in the store. I had red onions on the sub. I took a few of them off. Red onions, white paper, cut blood glove.
#
I’m traveling tonight, one city over, leaving soon. Night’s been coming quicker and lasting longer. Bad traffic; congestion. I’m a dot on the ant-line interstate. What dreams will all this give me?

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

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“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” – Victor Hugo

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