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Archive for the tag “coffee”

just me

I could’ve had water,

I didn’t want tea.

I might’ve gone out,

But I kept it just me.

not empty

I had a conversation with a friend the other day. For as long as I’ve known them, we’ve had these conversations, like if you were talking with someone over the same perpetually hot, never empty coffee for weeks at a time.

The kind of conversation with no beginning or end.

And at some point, each of us talked about emptiness. About the feeling of having nothing left inside ourselves to give to others, because we have nothing left inside ourselves for us.

The friend told me about the times I was there for them but, for whatever reason, had forgotten.

Then the friend told me this…

“Bill, you are not empty.”

I wanted to argue, but I’m smarter than that. Barely. So I wrote this note to myself, instead.

And now, I share it with you.

“You are not empty.”

Saving Daylight

nano poblano photo 3

The clock on the wall is so loud in the dark.  Three-forty-one a.m.  Saving daylight is over.  This is the real time now.  I tried to sleep, really, I tried.  Sometime after four, I gave up and made coffee.  As the world around me slept, I drank myself awake.

Sitting up, after the coffee was in me, in my writing chair with the laptop open, the noises of the new day have leveled.  The clock isn’t banging against my ears like before.  I hear a motorcycle power down the freeway, two miles in the distance.  And through my window, the sun is making the horizon turn every color of silent grey. 

I know that, in another few hours or so, I’ll regret waking up like this, on the day when I’m supposed to reclaim an hour’s sleep from the powers that be.  But for a few minutes more, until the sky is blue and the world is made of noise again, I’ll sit, I’ll wait, and I’ll listen to whatever this morning says to me.     


© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Living the Life

Day 3 of Nano Poblano, and the idea of a morning teleconference with authors was made just a little better with a proper writing prompt. 

Schmo: A Limerick in Two Parts

schmo png (2)

There once was a girl

who did not know

the power her smile

had on this schmo 

She’d run swiftly away

from his table most days

making him think

he should go


But he’s a schmo, so he kept coming back for more.  And so…


There once was a girl

who discovered

the heart that her smile

had uncovered 

So she sat down to stay

at his table one day

learning each felt the same

’bout the other


© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

The First Cup

nano poblano photo 1

Bill stands in front of a large group of strangers.  They are sitting in a semi-circle on folding chairs.  Each one holds a Styrofoam cup of what looks like coffee.  Bill fidgets imperceptibly as he tries to make eye contact with a few of the strangers.  


Bill (to the group): Hi, I’m Bill!

Group (to Bill): Hi, Bill!

Bill: Hey, everybody.  I really suck at this… this introduction thing… so yeah, um, anyway… I’m really bad at it. 


Bill strokes his beard, trying to think of what to say.


Bill (continuing): So… I’m bad at this.  A friend tells me that I come off arrogant when it’s me and a roomful of strangers.  That I just need to introduce myself first and not wait for others to come to me.  So that’s what I do now… introduce myself first so I don’t look like an asshole.

Group Leader (to Bill): Don’t worry about a thing, Bill.  No one in the group will think you’re arrogant.

Bill (to the Group Leader): Are you sure?  Cause you’re the one who told me that.


The Group Leader looks angry, like a hungry dinosaur.


Group Leader (to Bill):  I’m sure, Bill.  Go on.

Bill: Okay then.  Like I said, I suck at this…

Random Group Member: Suck at what exactly, Bill?

Bill: I think we established that…


Bill squints to read the Random Group Member’s nametag.


Bill (continuing):…Steven.  I suck at introductions.  And large groups of strangers.  And interruptions.


Steven looks awkwardly at the Styrofoam cup of coffee in his hands.


Bill (continuing): Also, I’m probably not going to remember any of your names.

Another Group Member: We’re wearing nametags.

Bill: Yeah, well I’m bad at that too.

Group Leader: Bill, maybe if we focused on why we’re all here.

Bill (thinking out loud): Nametags… Interruptions… Strangers…Assholes… Oh yeah, Nano Poblano.


The group cheers.


Bill: Lemme start over.  Hi, I’m Bill, and this is my third Nano Poblano.  I guess I’m here for the same reasons all the rest of you are.  To write and post… something… every day in November.  And to be accountable to the group.  And to get to know everyone better.  I hope no one is too offended if I stare at your nametags.  I really suck at remembering names.

Steven: You said that, Bill.

Bill (staring over his glasses at Steven): Yeah, um, Steven…

Group Leader (interrupting): Okay, great!  That’s about all the time we have for group today.  I know each of you has something exciting for us again tomorrow.  Bill, thank you for introducing yourself to the group this year.  I know how hard that can be for some people…

Steven (under his breath): Some assholes.

Group Leader: …some INTROVERTS to navigate in a group setting.  Alright then, same time tomorrow everyone!  Remember to toss your cups in the trash on your way out.

Steven: You mean the recycle?

Group Leader: No… STEVEN.

Bill (under his breath): No… STEVEN.

Group Leader (to Bill): Bill…?

Bill: Yes?

Group Leader: Don’t be an asshole.


 *  *  *  *  *  *


Every November, a group of strangers gathers in an often scary place known as the internet.  Where, every year, strangers become more than just bloggers or friends.  These strangers become family.  To you, this was my introduction.  My way of saying, “Hi, my name is Bill”.  Some of what you just read is true.  Except that I don’t know any bloggers named Steven.  The rest… pretty much.  And I’ll be around for the entire 30 days, coffee in hand, my nametag on, ready to say hi.

Welcome to Nano Poblano 2017.

Wake the Sun

wake the sun PNG

I got to wake the sun this morning,

from my bed of silent dreams,

in the nonsense of my plans

for another day. 

I drank coffee by the window,

unnoticed in my chair. 

Looking back at her,

I couldn’t pull my eyes away,

but she did not see. 

She’ll be busy when she rises,

shining down on others through the day. 

But I’ll remember what she looked like

lying next to me.


© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Ray Bradbury, Albert Camus, and Me

shadow lines

I seriously just had the most amazing experience.


First time I can ever remember a story becoming alive to me from the printed page.  Full of colors, and smells, and stars. 

Then, it merged into another story I had read, elsewhere.  Full of heat, and death, and regret. 

And the two stories became what I felt I’ve been living since I don’t know when.

That’s as deep as I’ve been in a while.

And I swear I have smoked no peyote.


© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Forty-Eight Beats Per Minute

pick me up

I woke up two hours before my alarm.  The TV was still on, but barely audible, and it wasn’t the thing that woke me.  There was a dream.  There is always a dream. 

I had three messages on my phone from three different people, still accustomed to my old hours.  I’m not up all night anymore.  I’m just as likely now to fall asleep watching a movie before I know I’m even sleepy, and be up before the sunrise, before my brain knows what time it really is.

The only thing that is the same in my very different life is the coffee.  Except now, that first cup, and the time it takes to consume it, is as sacred as the silence that surrounds me as I drink.  Now, the only sounds that keep company with me are the clock on the wall behind my head, my nearly silent breathing, and, if I’m truly still, the slow beating of my heart.         


© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Coffee and Mid-Afternoon Panic

coffee and midafternoon panic

I think I’ve seen the world as it will be, but that might have been a mistake. 

The voices, real and imagined, pretty much all said do it. 

But I can count on the fingers of one amputated hand how many times the voices, real and imagined, have been right. 

I lived a lifetime of failure within structure, and now that’s gone, replaced by an endless freedom to fail. 

Quiet times are the worst, when the voices, all of them imagined but one, my own, come. 

Louder times, spent in the company of people or amusements, I think of as distractions. 

And both come with a feeling, a gnawing, like the scraping of a stone tool against my bones.

And in the wake of all this, come the times when I tell myself I will create worlds, unimagined. 

When I limit my distractions to coffee and mid-afternoon panic, and I shut off the world, all of it, the voices included. 

And I tell myself, only I, that everything will be as I’ve seen it.


© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

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