Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 272

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s

There was a man standing beside a cascade of trashbags piled on his porch. This was the first floor, a nearby apartment. I saw him in the dark. It was 7pm. Rain was coming down, lightly, and it was cold, breezy. The man had fingerless gloves and an iphone. He was wearing a jacket and a hood. I walked past him and was so distracted I went to the wrong car. Walking back, I heard him talking. Words get amplified in a rainstorm. It’s like you’re listening through the other end of a paper-cup phone.

“Mm,” he said, and “Uh-huh.”

I got in my car and turned the heat up. Pulling back, I saw him caught in the back-up camera. The porchlight was on, attracting ghosts of summer bugs. His face and hands were wet but he wasn’t wiping them. bits of rain made rivers on the trashbag mountain. And I was thinking, “What could there be in all those trashbags?” No-one keeps so much garbage. Or, rather, we all do, but we don’t often have the guts to throw it out.

When I came home from supper, the man – and the mountain – were gone.

Currently Reading: Another Country, James Baldwin

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Little by little I came to the conclusion that in this day and age only the garbagemen could bring a poetic thought to fruition.

Wolfgang Hillbig, The Tidings of the Trees

Coffee Log, Day 149

Hi.

Coffee: India Extra Bold Roast, Cafe Crema

I fished this DVD out of our dry creekbed, ‘8 count abs.’ I threw it in the trash because a fish with a six-pack just ain’t right.

The things we throw away… I’ve wasted lots of things. Some of it was junk, some precious. I’ve got this vivid memory of a high school romance who used to fall asleep on my leg. The show would end, sun came down, she’d still be sleeping and I’d get so antsy – like, if I didn’t move, I’d be watching roots grow out of me – that I’d squirm until she woke up. What a simple moment. The older I get, the more I miss the clean, simple moments.

I met a guy today I’ve heard bad stories about. They call him rough, loud, arrogant, mean, difficult. He was all those things but I think he was mostly trying hard to make up for something. He drove a brand new Acura and was trying to buy a house. He told me his parents had only ever rented.

I had a list of discounts when I got hired that I could opt in to. One was a sizeable credit off my insurance if I declared I wouldn’t be smoking. I didn’t check the box. I’ve only smoked four things in my life, all one-dollar cigarillos, and haven’t had one since winter. I don’t have any plans to smoke again. Still, checking away the freedom to burn something up inside me wasn’t worth the money. I need my lungs to remember what it’s like to tingle.

That last time I smoked, I’d just broken the handle off my favorite blue mug. We sat in the cold, arms on legs on arms, passing the cigarillo, dipping pink ash into the empty, broken blue.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“we
sat there
smoking
cigarettes
at
5
in the morning.” – Charles Bukowski, from when you wait for the dawn to crawl through the screen like a burglar to take your life away

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