Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 148


Coffee: Pike Place, Apartment Lounge Blend

There’s a beetle that’s been living on the backside of our screen deck-door. It could leave, if it wanted. The door’s been open. It could crawl a few feet into the open air and launch itself onto a deck filled with spiders, aphids, a couple families of birds. But it doesn’t. Three days on, it’s still stuck to the screen.

That’s how I’ve felt this weekend, too.

We’ve had a record heatwave. The sun’s cooked the green out of the grass and is boiling dropped eggs on the sidewalk. Walking feels like opening the over. So, I’ve minimized my time outside and stuck these two days to the apartment. I took breakfast, lunch and dinner at the dining room table. I did so yesterday, and I again today. I haven’t felt great, probably the weather, but haven’t felt like self-diagnosing. So I sit under the ceiling fan tossing heat around like Jim’s last cigarette and let the coach do me in.

Tomorrow will be different. Cooler, we’re all hoping. And a work-week, so no matter what you’ve got to go out in it. Well, phooey, I say. Until it comes to get me, I’m pulling up the covers.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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By the time they got back, the lights were all out and everybody was asleep. Everybody, that is, except for Guih Kyom the dung beetle. He was wide awake and on duty, lying on his back with his legs in the air to save the world in case the heavens fell.

Arhundati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 97


Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

Friday’s drawn in. The sun’s down, streetlights on, curtains closed. Midnight approaches – a fast black car speeding on the interstate. No matter what you did this week – what things you have or haven’t accomplished – it’ll soon be over. One more hour, not enough time for anything but peace.

My week went by in a blur. The most riveting moment was when I caught my leg on a corner and cut it right open, a quarter sized bit of skin chunked down until it was red and slimy. After it happened, I went to the bathroom and tried to check for damage but found it hard to get off the sock. It was sticking to me. Man and manufacturing combined, I was – for a brief second – the most boring sort of cyborg.

Otherwise, I’ve just been moving along.

This evening R and I went for Chinese. It started raining while we were waiting for our food. The rain turned to hail. The hail was the size of marbles and came beating down on the roof of my car. Driving home sounded like gunfire. It’s been so hot this week that when the hail hit the asphalt, it started to evaporate. A thick white steam. A bright Friday sauna.

As I’m writing, the clock’s just passed 11:00pm. I’m beat. I’ll see you all tomorrow, like I always do, but I wonder who I’ll be come the weekend? We pack our lives in week-sized compartments, like trying on different clothes. Every Saturday morning is a chance to change. That’s a lot of pressure.

Oh well – like I said, now’s not the time for heavy thinking, just peace. And maybe a bit of peppermint tea.


Currently Reading: Have picked a new book but not had the chance to start it yet; more info to come

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On nights like this when the air is so clear, you end up saying things you ordinarily wouldn’t.

Banana Yoshimoto, Goodbye Tsugumi

Coffee Log, Day 304


Coffee Tea: Earl Grey, Bigelow; Still out of coffee. Woke up late and didn’t feel like driving. That and I’m trying to cut back on caffeine. The tea held me over. I had a soda at 2:00.

I went for a run. I’m not a runner. In fact, I haven’t gone running since they forced it on us in high school. I’m still a little sick and I could feel the stuff coming up from my lungs. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. But running was something I had to do.

Another lazy afternoon. I’ve started having trouble figuring out how to fill my Saturdays. The mornings are easy – exercise, breakfast, chores – but after the clock laps noon and we’re careening toward the western horizon, I’m out of ideas. I’d like to be writing more. But my writing is stuck in an awful quagmire. It’s like pulling on your ear lobe until all this gunk comes out of your ear, except none of that gunk was what had been blocking you in the first place.

I might take a drive. I might go hiking. I hope it’ll help. But I worry that I’ll run into myself out there on these familiar streets – another me from a few years ago, working through a different sort of listlessness – and that I’ll come home more haunted than I left.

Novel Count: 7,232

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

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Why do I do anything?’ she says. ‘I’m educated enough to talk myself out of any plan. To deconstruct any fantasy. Explain away any goal.

Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

Coffee Log, Day 225


Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

Friday pushes hard brakes. The week smashes the median and things fly out: stress, joy, muddles, that clean feeling of starting something new. Now there’s just the curb and the smoking engine. It’s a busy road but no-one’s stopping. All the other cars have their own wrecks to meet.

I’m working tomorrow. I’m also driving home. I’m also, surely, going to be glued to the news, both at work and at home, to see the country put on it’s best dress as it swears in 30-40 more years of patriarchy. People will gnash teeth. Protesters will be arrested. By all indications, Kavanaugh still takes the post. Here’s a guy who spent his precious hours allotted to advocating for his competency and composure by mocking alcoholics and ranting about beer. If you cut the Capitol out of the image you could imagine him in a blue or red jersey, laughing at the tail-gate, waiting for the opposing team to leave the stands so he could smash a bottle in someone’s face. And yet we treat him like a victim, like someone owed the most prestigious legal position in the nation.

And of course he is owed. It’s his birthright: rich, straight, white man, the bleak dragon that devours us all.

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

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“After luncheon the sun, conscious that it was Saturday, would blaze an hour longer in the zenith,…” – Marcel Proust

image_123923953 (4)

Coffee Log, Day 59


Coffee: Organic Sumatra Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

A cacophony of crows caws the tips of pines and oaks and elms across the parking lot from the playground, above the river, angry at nothing I can see. Below them, a gaggle of kids plays Candy Land.

Friday’s ending and it’s my first weekend off – scheduled, regular, official – since I was a teacher in 2014. The week was long and I haven’t been sleeping well. I tried to write a few times but didn’t have the energy. Instead, I trained in a branch office for a bank where every customer was a regular and everyone had a story. A Gulf War vet brought fried chicken from Lillington for his ‘favorite people.’ An old man deposited hundreds in retirement checks but kept out five-dollars worth of dimes to cash; my coworkers call him “Mr. Dime Man” and he gives the rolls each week to his granddaughter.

Six o’clock is coming on like a freight train and I’m thinking I’ll retire early tonight. First, I’m drinking Dos Equis and watching birds.

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

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“For Children: You will need to know the difference between Friday and a fried egg. It’s quite a simple difference, but an important one. Friday comes at the end of the week, whereas a fried egg comes out of a chicken.” – Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt