Thursday, November 03, 2022


The smell of breakfast at a hotel in France many years ago. Fresh baked bread, coffee, the local milk heated and in a vessel for pouring. Sunlight shining in through the window of the breakfast room. The previous evening after dinner we had spent a while in the attached bar-bistro-restaurant, attempting conversation with a few friendly local people who remembered the war. It smelled of dark tobacco cigarettes. Afterward we wandered around a bit, admired the local bridge and the mossy river rocks underneath. Asleep before dark fell.

Smells and colours come back at the oddest moments. Part of it is my medication (the warning attached to the bottles ssuggests that), part of it is aromas sneaking into the subconscious through the nostrils, and part of it is my caffeine habit.
Caffeine, nicotine, and highly refined sugar.
Since my early teens.
On Tuesday nights I'm usually quite chipper by the time I get home after bar-hopping. Strong coffee before I leave the house, a carbonated beverage at the burger joint, hot tea at both the beer hall and the karaoke dive. All of the stimulants percolating through the cranium and reaching critical mass right around midnight.
I'm mellow then, but very awake.

It fades in about an hour.

In Berkeley I went to the Caffe Mediterraneum for several years at the end of a day, in North Beach it was often the Trieste, occasionally the Roma if I didn't want to talk to the nuts. For the years that I was frequently in Los Angeles, it felt like a wasteland filled with dingos.
People go back to sleep a lot in Southern California.

I am convinced that the reason America will fail is because in most of the country they aren't habituated to decent caffeinated beverages and spend their days grumpy, wandering around in a fog. Although a large part of it is because they're batshit crazy too.

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