Coffee Log, Day 271


Coffee Tea: Earl Grey, Bigelow; I went to the grocery store and tried to buy coffee filters but they only had cone filters and my machine’s got a basket; so today I’m drinking tea.

I described someone as being like ‘black tea in the winter’ and then I forgot I’d ever said that. Later, we got together; now, we aren’t together and I finally remember what I meant by describing someone as being like ‘black tea in the winter.’

I got lost just once in Heraklion, Crete. It was the second night there but it felt like my plane had just landed. On approach, ground winds had picked us off the runway. We did three passes of the island, the wings going haywire, the cabin shaking around. I have a knack for bumpy flights.

Anyway, myself and two other guys were exploring. It was late. We were all a little jet-lagged. The city is a grove of brown buildings by the sea. At night, when the lights come on, it’s like you’re only seeing half of things, but the half you’re seeing is the one that matters.

We walked to the coast and back up again. It was on the way back that we got lost. The roads kept their angles from us the first time. New twists and turns. Suddenly, you’re a bird in a tree whose branches you don’t remember.

There was a cafe in the dark. Two roads split around it like feuding lovers. The front was glass. The walls were painted red and white. Two ladies kept the place, owner and daughter. They spoke English because the daughter studied in America. Lost on across the ocean, ages removed from home, we talked to the women and got directions. Then we talked some more over pastries and wine.

There’s a deep sadness in finding out where you’re going. But that moment when you’re just on the other side – surprised, relieved, full to overflowing – that’s a good feeling.

Novel Count: 10,795 words

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

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You have everything but one thing: madness.  A man needs a little madness or else – he never dares cut the rope and be free.

Nikos Kazantzakis

Coffee Log, Day 197


CoffeeTea: Bigelow’s Earl Grey, pre-packed; fragrant like a rest home, bitter like all the missed opportunities that got you there.

My coffee pot broke – again. I bought it to replace one that had lasted me four years; this pot barely got three months of use. I didn’t have time to pick up coffee on the morning drive so I settled for making black tea. It was alright. The pack was old. That doesn’t make much difference to the flavor, but knowing I’d had this tea since a different zip code piqued an uncomfortable aroma.

It wasn’t a bad day; wasn’t a long day; I couldn’t connect to it. People came and went. The bank was busy for a while then it wasn’t. I heard stories from my coworkers – real rough shit about their families. I ate my lunch with a plastic knife and no fork because I forget to pack cutlery. Outside, August still nuzzled September. Inside, it was ice-water cold.

I’ve been having old dreams. Well, they’re new dreams about old places, old people. I’ll be sitting in a desk in an empty college classroom; I’ll talk on the phone with you. In the dreams, it’s always stormy. The sky’s cobalt and somewhere close is thunder. I wake up at midnight, then at 3:30, and then a little late for my alarm clock. Each time, I’m sweating. It’s not fear. A long day on baseball bleachers watching the game, no shade, just sun. I wash my sheets regularly because I’m convinced they smell. I wouldn’t know, though. The older I get, I’m losing my sense of smell.

I took a walk tonight, not very far, saw some kids, talked to a neighbor. Cicadas made noise in the trees. I looked up. I wanted to join their party. Unfortunately, I never could find them.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith

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“… it is one thing to desire, another to be in capacity fit for what we desire.” – Thomas Hobbes

Coffee Log, Day 63


Coffee: Organic Sumatra Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand; Last day of it! All in all, an acceptable coffee. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. One of those part-time jobs that take you through a rough, quick season.

I took tea in Chapel Hill last night. The town’s changed. I’ve been saying that every visit for four years or more. There was a time when I lived in Chapel Hill. Our apartment was off the highway. Sometimes we’d walk across the highway and across the train tracks and through Carrboro to Franklin, to one or two different blue-awning buildings, to have a drink or spend too much on dinner.

We got caught in a thunderstorm once. The wind took Franklin like a frightened mother. We drank pints and watched the cockroaches hurry over the counter. We were the only customers at four p.m.. I didn’t have a job. I was a Duke kid in a UNC town. She was a part-time au pair. Years later, we went back and got caught in another storm. I had an umbrella. I had to hold her to keep her under. For me it was fire, for her – well, something pretty tame.

But last night I mostly got lost in other memories. Like Chapel Hill, life keeps changing.

Currently Reading:
The Pardoner’s Tale, by John Wain

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“It was slow and unconscious immersion, but here I am, irrevocably lovelorn, just like many others.” – Linnie Greene, excerpt from her story featured in 27 Views of Chapel Hill (Found on the Chapel Hill Visitors Bureau website; inexplicably, Linnie Greene is an old friend and I didn’t expect to see a quote from her)