Coffee Log, Day 229


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


Coffee Log, Day 121


Coffee: Fair Trade Ethiopian Medium Dark, Harris Teeter Brand; it hits strong like a good handshake, then lingers, lingers…just let go of me, man! My stomach’s burned all day.

I ran out of coffee a couple days ago and I was at a Harris Teeter on the way to work and the only fair-trade they sold was pre-ground. I bought it. Typically, I buy whole bean but it’s worth it for the label – some peace of mind, and hopefully those words mean something.

I switched to grinding coffee two years ago after a dear friend gave me a coffee grinder. It started as a few-times-a-week thing, then a morning ritual, and as my life’s changed it’s changed with it (I grind before bed and set the percolator for the morning). It’s a good ritual. Physical. I’ve learned the feel of different roasts: light’s hard to grind, like you’re chewing acorns; dark slips oily, lubricates the gears. I love the smell that starts small then fills the room, the metal stink on my fingers rubbed off from the crank. I’m attached to the memories of every morning that my hard, circular work pays off.

I remember the afternoon you gave it to me, a new box, the white-gold December sunlight, Ryan’s plant in the picture window drooping. I ground the first pot too weak and you were worried the gift was bust.

Well, I figured out the proportions; it’s still going strong.

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“I went out the kitchen to make coffee – yards of coffee. Rich, strong, bitter, boiling hot, ruthless, depraved. The life blood of tired men.” – Raymond Chandler


Coffee Log, Day 96


Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark Roast, Trader Joe’s brand

The last time I was there, Bond Lake was frozen. Thin ice – so thin it looked like tissue paper – but ice all the same.

Today was different. The greens were greenest and the sun bled us all sweat-dry. It wasn’t pretty. Well, in the shady places it was. A few dogs were barking across banks. Some ducks swam through.

In the deepest stretch of forest, I heard something cut a path over dead leaves. I thought it might be a squirrel. Then I thought it might be a snake. I’ve seen a lot of snakes in the triangle. Most often, I see them on the verge of losing something. People, places, what have you. I thought hard about what I might lose today. I didn’t see the snake, so maybe I’ve got some time to prepare. Hopefully, whatever goes will fall off like birch bark. It’s not always a bad thing to lose.

Currently Reading:
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

“I am working on a new book about a boa constrictor and a litter of hyenas. The boa constrictor swallows the babies one by one, and the mother hyena dies laughing.” – E.B. White


Coffee Log, Day 38


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

My favorite cafe is in Sylva, NC. I don’t remember the name and Google doesn’t list it on the map. If you streetview, you can see it on the corner of downtown’s west end. It’s unassuming. The image is sunny. That’s not how I remember it.

Cold winter. We’d gone to see the Christmas lights in Dillsboro. A couple days later it snowed. We stopped for coffee on some gray morning. We were the only customers. The shop was two stories with no floor in the middle. You could see out the back windows. The mountains were gray, wet. The proprietor wore a gray vest, gray hair. He was very clean. He chatted us politely and served black coffee.

There are places you visit and feel transformed. That cafe was one of them – a moment I’m locked to. It was just a casual morning coffee, but when I’m stressed, busy, caught up, I have that safe space to go back to. That’s something.

Currently Reading:
Tar Baby, Toni Morrison

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“1.00 Coffee in Your Cup.” – on the window of the cafe in downtown Sylva


Coffee Log, Day 34


Coffee: Honduras, Cooperativa Raos

It’s getting warmer, at least. We’ve had two snows in one week of Spring. Winter won’t let go. Its hard to let go. I feel kinship with the Winter.

This week, I anticipate goodbyes. A dear friend’s moving. Jobs are looking up. I’d gotten used to the in-between, the long days of going anywhere I wanted while the money ran down, over-thinking, being a fly on the margins of the employed-man’s world. It wasn’t all easy. I knew this would end. Grains have to grow.

The trees haven’t budded yet. It’s sunny, but Winter’s still got it’s foot in the door. I’m happy to have it around.

Currently Reading:
Tar Baby, Toni Morrison

“Look me in my eyes, call me on my lies. Lock the city down til’ the summertime.” – Nipsey Hussle, Stucc in the Grind

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