Ten for Today: From Coffee to Beer Life Goes On


A bar. One of a few I frequent to write and imbibe heading into happy hour. During the day I wrote in a Vietnamese gluten-free, vegan make your own design of a meal restaurant around the corner. The owner is friendly and generous. He often gives me a free gluten free basil and chili home baked cookie or a piping hot freshly roasted slice of Kabocha squash, like he did today. I write there for hours, sipping a caffeine-loaded Vietnamese iced coffee, the one with loads of ice and condensed milk to offset the deep, strong coffee shots. He tells me about his mysteriously buckling knee for which no MRI nor doctor can discover let alone cure the ailment.

I wrote about well-being, connection, and compassion in companies–and got paid for it. I actually got paid to write something I believe in, a refreshing change from the usual 20 ways or things listicles that make me want to rip my eyeballs out of their sockets and drop them on the ice of my Vietnamese coffee. But it’s work. I can’t complain too much. Any day writing is better than a day slinging hash or practicing law for that matter. 

And yet, the procrastination…why? It makes my job so much more difficult. I have no real patience for ease, I’m surmising. 

But today at the corner bar, called The Corner, I sat on a stool and wrote my Nanowrimo tortured piece. It’s supposed to be a novel, but it’s a piece of shit, some sort of mosaic of events and dialogue and scenes that make no sense, have no order. It’s worse than last year, which at least had a thread if not grace and a point. This year’s is more than pointless. It’s almost a waste of time unless I can pull something out of it, some conclusion, reflection or resolution of what the hell happened to the world, my world among the larger world.

Coffee College: Ten for Yesterday

October 5, 2016

For a change, I am spending my gap time between the two classes I teach on Wednesdays, in a cafe. Usually I flop on the adjunct faculty room couch to grade essays or research for some writing project I’m working on.
 
But today the weather hints fall, a pinch of bite in the temperate weather that makes an overly air conditioned room inside an old brick building edgy-cool. It’s a cold-settling-in-the-bones sort of day, and not just from the weather.
 
I awoke too many times last night, went to bed too late with a question on my mind after a day that went awry. I like my days to hang straight, not all crooked and dangling. Yesterday wobbled and pitched. I thought today was about recovery.
 
And to a degree, it is. The job I thought I lost yesterday is won today. I suspect I undersold myself again. I have no perspective. I simply press ahead, demanding fees and contracts, due compensation. I just keep writing. Somehow I believe I will write myself into something good.
 
Maybe that’s why I craved a cafe today. Writers write in cafes, don’t they? Or is that just hackneyed ones? I write in bars. Same thing. Today’s cafe writing is meant merely to bear the weather, watch the caffeinated crowd rather than the distilled, lilting and tipsy crowd (which I prefer).
 
Coffee intellect collects in the corners of cafes–in game board challenges and earphone mufflers, round table-ettes with stiff aluminum chairs and their hard comforts. I am cool. I sip espresso and write stupid observant shit about the gathered students in Star Wars shirts and floral, short dresses absorbing smoke from the lone cigarette dangling between two fingers of the Vietnamese girl in lipstick and roses.
 
No one else smokes. No one else of the 10 or so, have dressed for a party. They–all but the girl in short dress, leggings and hijab–have dressed like college students, the jeans and tees uniform.
 
And me, the teacher behind the window watch the outside patio group, denim-clad, capped, gum-chewing students of varying interest and attention spans. And as they shoot a glance at me behind my glass shelter, silently speaking aloud, do they wonder a whit about me?

Coffee-Time-Meditation: Ten For Today (Slow Write, Fast Thoughts)


Coffee with a friend results in too much coffee for the day, making my bones jitter. My usual monkey mind races through the chatter jungles even faster and wilder than usual, turning and grabbing each vine-thought as it drops in sight–rapid fire.  This compared to yesterday’s thirty-minute meditation miracle contrasts like peace and chaos. Amazing how days vary so much, even while seeming the same while we experience them.

The yoga center free meditation session, which I have been meaning to attend for months, turned out deeply pleasant, a nice piggy back to the quality quiet and sitting in the monastery meditation room just two days before. Quiet makes all the difference. And not just any quiet. The infinite soundless quiet, soaked in all the meditations breathed before in unspoken time, en-layers the ease of slipping under the mind. My home has too much rackety noise and pending obligation to set me free.

Finding the depth of solitude to get underneath the mind’s skin needs place and moment. A quest to find just that place piques ticklish wonder. Maybe what we here call the dungeon aka the sound-proof music room/man cave beckons me.

Jazz in a Silent Movie

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Feet moving inside my heart, knees a jostle,

Jazzin’ up my earbuds in java land amidst

Caffeinated denizens sporting mute stares,

A secret brain wrinkle, wet and colonized,

Winking the orbital pulse, steady sockets,

Jitters at the base of the spine, so nearly

A sign, trembling imperceptibly, in a race

Frantic fingers tap, tap, tap, heads nodding

As screen-lit faces wait, lapsed and relapsed;

Barristas squat, twist, shake, pour and squirt

A macchiato merengue whipping up smiles

While Chet Baker croons “C’est Si Bon”

To a rolling silent movie, my morning perch.

 

 

credit: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/jvXywhJpOKs/hqdefault.jpg