Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 182

Hi.

Coffee: Pike Place, Apartment Lounge Brew

I got up early to go walking. I ran into a woman and her dog. The dog’s name was ‘Spock.’ I asked if he was an intergalactic traveler. She said ‘Yes.’ Spock licked my shoes.

It was a nice morning. People were out. Quite a bit cooler, overcast, waiting to rain. Later, after lunchtime, I went with E to Lazy Days in downtown Cary. It’s an art walk, a craft walk, a reason for the city to come together, and it happens each year but this is the first time I’d attended. Downtown was packed with people. There were only a few places to park. We walked by the old buildings swinging our umbrella and then we crossed the train-tracks and heard a proselytizer. He had a loudspeaker. He said ‘Give up your life of sin and reclaim your life of God.’

The food was alright. I had yuca fries for the first time. They were sweeter and softer than potatoes. After an hour, I had plans, so I left E with some friends and walked back across the train tracks on my own. I saw lots of people. Five women wearing pink on a Southern porch. A man in a Trump hat. Two college kids talking about oppression.

Next to my car were four more proselytizers, only these were buttoned up like Sunday and speaking Spanish. I don’t know if there’s a God. If you put my life on the line for it, I’d bet there isn’t. But today felt holy because everyone was out in the open – together – waiting for the rain.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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But I need to feel beautiful and holy things around me, always: music, mystery cults, symbols, myths. I need it, and I refuse to give it up… That’s my fatal flaw.

Herman Hesse, Demian

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 168

Hi.

Coffee: Pike Place, Apartment Lounge Brew

I talked to a couple from Bangladesh yesterday. I did my best pronouncing their names. They did their best pronouncing mine. It felt good to make mistakes together. She’s working part-time at department stores and fast food, he’s sticking to the burger line. He told me he has a Masters from Bangladesh but none of the American jobs will acknowledge the degree.

I got a little lost last night, though in the tempered way you know you’ll come back from. We walked a trail through a dark forest and found that the trail had changed. It forked at a clearing where the sky broke open to show off her stars. There was an old shack and a basketball court, sand set out for beach volleyball. All of it looked silky in the moonlight, like the spiderwebs we’d been tangled in along the way.

I’ve been thinking about communication, what it takes to know someone. Sometimes the best way to say ‘I appreciate you’ is by putting your lips around a person’s name (no matter how complicated you find it). Other times, words are only the boards on the bridge and not its suspension – to get to the other side, you string a line between each other, stretching, until the two ends touch.

This afternoon, I stood by a tree for five minutes watching a squirrel. It was on the trunk. It had a white mushroom. At first, the squirrel got nervous and stopped eating. When I didn’t make any quick movements, the squirrel gnawed off the top of the mushroom and dropped its stalk. It climbed a few more feet. It circled the tree but came back to look at me. It’s little heart was beating so fast you could see it chattering through its teeth. Its eyes were neutron stars. For those five minutes, I felt like we understood each other. Then came a late summer breeze that blew us both away.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable.

Fred Rogers

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 151

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

I took a walk. I ran into a guy and his dog. The dog’s name was Jarvin. He was a puppy – Jarvin, not the guy. He pulled the leash when he saw me. I asked if I could pet him. The owner said ‘Okay.’ I walked across the road and Jarvin met me. He put his paws on my hips and his nose in my belly. I’d got a bit of his fur. Quickly, though, Jarvin lost interest. There were gnats on a clover patch. He chased them around.

Sometimes the nicest thing in the world is to know the name of someone else’s pet. Casually intimate, like a bathroom towel. The next time I see the dog I’ll say ‘Jarvin!’ and he’ll look at me or maybe he won’t. And his owner will wave and we’ll smile with a knowing, ‘this person’s safe enough, I can trust them as far as the end of this leash.’ Neighborly. And rare. No-one has the courage to say hello anymore, and no-one has the space to get to know someone in any more intimacy than passing.

Anyway, I’m tired. I’ve got a few days vacation. I’ll have more to say then.

Night.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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I said hello to the poodle.

Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 123

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

There’s a certain kind of smell that only surfaces in early evening. It’s got to be light out, but not so light that you’re comfortable putting one foot in front of the other. It’s got to be warm, not hot, and cool, not cold. There should be leaves on the trees but not so many leaves that you can’t see the shapes scurrying through the branches. Somewhere within walking distance – but out of sight – must be a moderately busy road.

The back of your lover’s neck coaxed out from under the covers, eight hours of untouched time still sticking to it. That’s the smell.

I’m off one drug and onto another. The past week has been exhausting, a bad reaction, a panic attack without the panic. I’ll start the new drug, an SSRI, on Monday, and who knows whether it will help me, or change me, or do anything at all to me, but I’m interested (and a little apprehensive) about the ride.

There’s no one answer to life. But there are evenings where the air smells like old memories, and that’s usually enough.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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My day is done, and I am like a boat drawn on the beach, listening to the dance-music of the tide in the evening.

Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds

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 75

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

Every couple months I get these flashbacks to when I used to listen to rock. I’m a piss-poor college student living like he’s independently wealthy. I’m on a side-street somewhere looking for a record store. I’m throwing out band names at a party like they’re over-priced candy. I’m angry, sober, antisocial, a worried virgin. All the while bleeding from my ears to cranked up overdrive.

Simple things in life.

It’s easiest to yell and scream about the big things you have no control over. Capitalism, consumerism, hedonism, etc. Meanwhile, your voice goes so hoarse you don’t say much about the changes you could actually make. You walk past the homeless man without looking at him. No matter if you’ve got money to give, you don’t even shake his hand or ask his name. And don’t get me started about all the personal prejudices you’ve wrapped into hard-lined rock-and-roll attitudes. Most people who think they’re punk just can’t cope with their other labels.

I took another walk today. I’ve been walking around every day this week. Never far, just the neighborhood. Today, the clouds had covered half the sky but left the other half blank, a blue and white split like Santorini houses. There were people in the pool and geese leading babies. At one point, I stepped off the sidewalk to make room for a woman and her dog. The dog came over and sniffed me. She told me “That’s Atticus.” I told her “He’s a sweetheart.” The black lab licked me two times then they walked away. It was a harmless interaction, the kind you can’t have walking around with headphones on.

Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

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Smart but too lazy
To ever pick one thing
Now I’m staring at a dead end

Hard Girls, Running

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 74

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

This week has felt weightless. On Sunday, I opened a door inside myself. I don’t know what the key was – writer’s block, two back-to-back showers, a little liquor. When the door opened, air came out. Thick, heavy air that had been building up in me for a long time. It rolled across the floor like spilled oil. It flooded my home, my shoes, my bedroom. Since then I’ve been standing on the film, two inches up, weightless.

R and I walked to where the food trucks were supposed to be but the trucks weren’t there. Dejected, we drove to Chipotle. The restaurant was empty when we walked in but it was still noisy. The line leader was yelling at two new associates. He kept calling them kids. One looked scared and embarrassed. The other looked smug.

Just before dinner, I sat outside for half an hour tossing words at my laptop. Only a couple stuck, but that didn’t bother me so much today. I had one of those big plush chairs that’s treated to survive the rain. Beside me, around the fire pit, a man and woman were watching their kid swing on the swingset while talking plans for the future. She kept saying “If you say so,” he kept saying “This is what you need to do.” On the other side of me, two kids were playing sevens. For those that don’t know (and I didn’t know until tonight), sevens involves slapping patterns on a table together. It was loud and distracting, frustratingly lovely.

Walking around tonight, I noticed a dead flower on the sidewalk. A week ago I’d taken a picture of the flower and posted it on here. Back then it was vibrant, now not so much. My instinct was to find that kind of sad, but then I looked closer and there were so many more details to the dead flower: pulled-out fibers, sour yellows, a lively brown slime. Ugly on the surface but beautiful in function: a tiny generator of new life. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere but I’m too tired to find it. I’ll leave that up to you.

Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border  – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

I might pull up late to class, but I always show up

Sylvan LaCue, 5:55