Conscious Stream

So, just checking in here on my first of three days off work.

With sufficient rest (but I swear I cannot sleep past 5 a.m. these days, more like 4:17 today), I had some fine coffee in the quiet and did a bit of writing and praying in Dad’s chair.

I found out that a former student of mine, and friend of my second daughter is being prepped for surgery, a double lung transplant. The news brought joy, because she would die without new lungs.

Now I am at that coffee shop where good things keep happening, and 4/5 of the baristas are actually friends now, and the other 20 percent still call me by name. That’s nice to hear, and I always try to say their names first.

I started proofreading some recent posts, because I feel so sloppy when I discover something amiss, right after I hit the blue Publish button in WordPress, and especially so since there is a green last-chance button right after that one that says Publish Immediately. Yes, I tell it, and then crap why did I not catch that? Slow down, dude. The whole thing is a miracle anyway, all of it, so a little patience would be wise. That is a quality I cannot see in the mirror, although a guy said “wise” and my name together the other day in a prayer. I shook my head at it with half a grimace, but it was nice to hear too.

I have a triple undertow with hazelnut in a perfect glass (Goodwill, 89 cents), and it is gorgeous:


And delicious. The ways that 1) I only have it on a day off, 2) it is a layered  drink, and 3) it is quietly comforting when I tip it and get crema, espresso, and then cream–soft, warm, then cool–in each sip, make it very pleasant. Three sips, and it is not gone, but has moved slowly to another place to linger. And the music here today, it is crystal clear.

You may recall (or not) that the restroom code here was 1969, Mr. Lewis in fifth grade. Then it became 8675 (birth of second daughter [see above] and my sophomore year in high school), the same code at the same time as in two other places within a few blocks of here. Bizarre.

Today it is 1982, which I think is the year that the sound of cows giving birth to calves echoed across the pasture and off the side of the barn behind the little farm house, heated only by burning wood. Bizarre squared.

One undertow into this I went to the back and entered the sounds of bovine babies, and then closed the restroom door. I tapped the light switch and nothing happened. Facing the tiled wall, I pressed my head against it and laughed in the cool darkness. Then I prayed. And the light came on.

Now, I know why there was a delay: a brief power outage. Here is how I know why: I ordered another of the same, but decaf, and the savvy barista/manager (her name is Savvy), said okay, the POS system is down, but we will make that drink. I said I’d come back around to pay, and she just laughed and said get outta here. I am going back up in a bit to offer to pay, and I will let you know what happens.

I am waiting because two construction guys just came in, and I nod to the one who works harder (his pants are dirty, he is still wearing his hardhat, and he walks in like a guy who works for a living and takes some pride in it, while the other is too clean and has no coat on and has a cell phone holster instead of a tool belt, and walks like a supervisor, although very recently promoted), but hardwork doesn’t nod back because I am dressed urban chic or whatever, and he has no idea that five days a week I am part of the league of all laborers. And we–the garbage guys, the UPS and FedEx men and women, the electric company employees, the pipe fitters on their days off still dressed for work, the brick layers who only wash their hands on the weekends because why bother and it takes too long, and even the cute Amazon drivers who drive a Mercedes but seem embarrassed for themselves when they see my forty-year old truck, an institutional symbol–we all nod to, and greet, and work with one another being careful not to block each other as we drive and deliver goods and services that keep this nation and the world running. Yeah, he probably has no idea.

They are gone, the line is gone, and I am back from offering to pay. Savvy: “Oh my gosh, don’t worry about it!” I won’t worry, I tell Savvy, but I am happy to pay for what I got, and she says I am wonderful. It is ridiculous, sometimes, the things people say, and yet it is nice. But, it is ridiculous because someone else will call me narcissistic and still would, even if they could know that practically my every thought is simply to love others the only way I can, and in a way, perhaps, that only I can. I have no idea, really, about that. But, I smile and consider the source when that happens. Years ago, for Lent, I gave up accepting criticism. I consider the source of all that matters to me, and smile, knowing that it is from high above all heights.

I will go pray again and clean that restroom now, and not tell anyone. And you’re the only one who knows.

Okay, I am pressing the blue and then the green buttons, and I will proofread later.