Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 187

Hi.

Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

I played cello until I was 18. I took private lessons until I was 15. I met my first best friend at an orchestra camp. I met my second best friend in the viola section. I had a long-distance crush on a violinist at All-State. I played oldies at a retirement home so a woman with dementia could dance the jitterbug. Bach and Handel wore callouses in my fingers. I knew what it felt like to rub a bloody thumb back and forth on tungsten.

Today, during dinner, I thought about how long it’s been since I’ve touched an instrument. How every kid has a recorder and you’re only ever educated on centuries-old music. What happens when the lit beacons of old Western empires stop burning as bright? What happens when the kids grow up?

Better music, if we’re lucky. And if we’re not —

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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Ohh and I’ll just beat you like an instrumental
We go harder than ya’ll

Young Thug, Go Harder than Y’all

Coffee Log, Day 143

Hi.

Coffee: Americano from Cafe Crema; it was more bitter than I was expecting; a lot like adulthood, grow some stiff hair in the right places and all that.

Today was for errands. So of course I got up late and took an hour long shower. It was good, the water relaxed me. Sometimes you can only feel calm by putting things off.

But I got to the errands eventually. I did a rush of dishes. I went to Cafe Crema and got a brand new bag of beans (you’ll hear my thoughts on them tomorrow). I bought tofu. Last week, I got the closest to a good stab at crisp gold on the edges, soft enough in the middle. I want practice so I’ll be frying a big pan of bean curd tomorrow. The tofu’s best at H-Mart so I bought it there.

On the way out the door, sunglasses on, a good breeze, feeling like a million, I heard something chasing me. My hair got stiff and I was too frozen to turn around. There were old bones cracking; slobbering teeth. The sound came closer and closer. Though the shopping center was crowded, I was frozen alone. And then it had me – two long fingers tap-tapping my shoulder. This was it; I was done; a long good life, but now the peripheral ghosts had surely got me.

When I finally turned, it was a cheery Korean girl tapping my shoulder. She was dressed like Sunday and smelled like cinnamon. Her smile was two doors wide. Panting – she’d been chasing me down – the girl says “Oh, I’m sorry to trouble you!”

“No trouble,” I say.

“Good. Well, I’m from Cary’s Korean Church. Do you have a church you go to?”

I told her I didn’t. The parking lot was full of cars and their windshields cut halos all around her. It was ghastly, but in a magical kind of way.

“Well, we’d love to have you!” She pushed a pamphlet in my hands and scampered off. I set the pamphlet on top of the tofu, where it quickly cooled down and caught the perspiration.

Later, on my nightly walk, I saw a kitchen window lined with three bottles of wine and a vased sunflower. The flower made me think of the Korean girl.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“I was tryna get the devil out of my charms.” – Young Thug, Safe

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Coffee Log, Day 134

Hi.

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

For a long time the most foreign place in the world was the Asheboro, NC Zoo. I went there on school trips and with my parents. The trips with my parents were better; we told safari stories.

There’s lots of problems in the world and somewhere about the lower-middle of the list is humanity’s treatment of animals. Zoos are a part of that. For its measure, Asheboro does well enough. It gives more land to its animals than any other zoo in the US. It funds conservation.

It wasn’t always so good…

In the African exhibit there’s a big glass building that used to smell like monkey. These days it’s where they have tanks of fish, creeping spiders, scant birds. Back then, the center was a walled-off, indoor meshed tower fifty feet high. It had a giant concrete tree. It was home to apes and monkeys.

I remember their screaming. Excited, angry, glad, the whole gamut. The monkeys were a loud bunch. They’d swing broad and give a show – for each other, really, but we observed. The ceiling was so high and the skylight was frosted so the room was always this bright, tropical gray. That and the artificial humidity, the monkey’s screams, the stink that was so close to sweat between a man or woman’s legs, but still a little foreign, a little violent – to me, that pavilion was the most foreign place in the world.

On my daily walk around the apartments a thunderstorm takes. Blue’s gone, sweaty smooth clouds; every tree goes this-that way, the bark creaking, leaves screaming, braced for the confines of a heavy storm; I walk fast to avoid the rain.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“Catch him down bad, beat him with a bat, hashtag that (yeah).” – Young Thug, Harambe

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