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The Hammering Heart

Still beating.

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January 2013

The Feigned Heart – Keeping warm in the modern age

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The past bubbled up for a few brief moments last night as I joined my Japanese and Japanese well-wishing colleagues for a “Deisui no Kai” at the best local izakaya (note: izakaya is fast becoming a legitimate loanword, and will soon be assimilated to the point that it will no longer call for italics. But until that day–italics), which is of course Ginji, regardless of your system of beliefs. While there are many ways to translate “Deisui no Kai,” I believe I will venture “a Getting Housed Assembly.”

Twenty of us assembled to get housed and eat small dishes of food, cleverly dubbed “Japanese tapas” here in the Americas. Fried mochi, meat sticks, octo-balls; when all was said and done, it had added up to more than $1200-worth of finger foods. Whatever. If you consider the fact that these occasions rarely come around anymore and factor in all the money I’ve been saving on drugs by not buying any, it’s really not that bad.

What was that bad, if you’ll bear with me, was the hauntingly feeble act put on by Flirtygirls 1, 2, and 2.5 at the second housed-getting venue, aptly named “Attic” because it’s above a thing. For reference, Attic is a place from whose spinning walls I once emerged so staggeringly deisui‘d that I managed a forty-to-fifty-second conversation with police officers before noticing they were police officers, only to then notice that I recognized one of the police officers as a country-singing acquaintance. Want to get a police officer to blanch a little bit? First you gotta get him to show you his studio demo. Then you gotta refer back to it while he’s on duty.

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The To-Go Cup

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The to-go cup. The inner wall is round so that to anyone inside the cup, it would appear to never end. Sealed in by infinity. Black industrial lid with no fewer than two logos on a single surface lets the consumer know we’re talking business. This is business, guys.

When it comes to coffee, I’m not a big fan of the to-go cup. Even if in this case it is made entirely out of recyclable or compostable elements, the fact remains, like a mastodon in the corner of a roomful of elephants, that this manner of cup will in all cases destroy the soul of the drink.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that I am, on an abstract, figurative level, kind of an animist, per that one other post I did on the matter.

I’ve got a weekend coffee routine, see, wherein I order a big ol’ mug of cappuccino, and, when the timing is right, drink it. I don’t suppose it’s the most remarkable routine, but it’s one of the few routines in my life about which I get excited rather than fetal and quivering.

One essential element of this cappuccino is of course the glazed ceramic mug in which it comes. The mug, like the routine, is not remarkable, save for the fact that it is a mug. Solid, weighted, glazed. It makes a “clunk” with each return to the table. The color compliments that of the coffee. It tells the drinker, “Stay awhile. You won’t be going anywhere with that thing.” That’s what I want. By contrast, the to-go cup with its “recyclable” symbol and “CAUTION HOT!” admonishment says to the drinker, “I literally can’t wait until I am trash again” and “You don’t even know what coffee is.” Neither of these messages should be revered as mottos for aspiring receptacles.

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