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Running some errands this morning, I bought a tiny little coffee press at a Fred Meyer's in Bellevue, then later on this evening, Audra and I biked up the hill to the safeway for groceries, and I got some basic, grocery-store coffee. When we came home, I heated up some water, and gave it a shot. (I'm more accustomed to drip coffeemakers, but I think living in Seattle now carries certain responsibilities.) A clumsy few minutes of alchemy later, I poured a cup that was garbage - I could tell just from the color. I stepped out onto the patio while the sunlight was starting to fade, and took a sip, and yes: wrong temperature, wrong amount of time, wrong grind, wrong all over. But then, that faint, dusty, beaney aftertaste, from the stuff that makes those little black whorls in the bottom of the cup when you're done, hit me with a totally unexpected wave of nostalgia, and there seemed to be this sublime kind of correctness in everything, from the color of the light on the mountains to the sounds of the swallows in the roof. The quick explanation I keep telling people is that I lived in Bellingham for a few years when I was a kid, before I got sucked into the desert, and that I've been trying to get back to the northwest ever since. I forget sometimes that it's true. This feels a lot like being home.

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Charlie

February 2012

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