Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Mode 1

He sits on precisely the same spot on the couch each morning. Not because he has to. Just out of habit. Not a big deal. Except that you can still make out his ass at midday.

He scoops five leveled scoops to make coffee. That's how it should taste. And measures the tap water to the line of ten cups on the decanter. The mug is hand-washed and left sitting next to the coffee pot on a Viva paper towel.

The world swims, no it drowns in chaos beyond our control. A reliable routine is the only safeguard we can afford ourselves. It's what we have.

Mode 2

He opens the front door still unsure where he's going. The coffee smell that filled the house fades and dew takes over, the smell of dew on the truck, mailbox, grass blades. Dew and coffee must have a similar taste.

The sun is smiling across the horizon. He walks away from it so it has to follow him.

A steel thermos full of coffee tucked in a pack with a simple camera, a light blue exam book full of blank lined pages and two #2 pencils. This is how you take tests now.

Mode 3

Sitting at the table in low light. Can't sleep coming on 1 a.m. Crickets and fire sirens own the night soundtrack for late summer. Would play music, but it's loud enough for thinking. Maybe.

Thinking about modes we get in and OCD tendencies and things taken to one extreme or the other and what we do to impose our own order, deal with the world outside our door. And thinking back on how daunting the blank light blue exam book was until you started to fill it and how, on the flip, each day is that exam book and you're strapped with your #2's and you can fill it with whatever the hell you want.

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