Play By Ear

My roommate spends most evenings opening and closing cupboard doors. One evening, I went out to the kitchen to see what meal could cause such a ruckus, and I found him pulling three bean burritos from the microwave.

Just beans and tortillas.

But I counted at least 10 to 12 cupboard blasts. This implies that (a) my roommate had one helluva time finding a can of beans; (b) he used anywhere from 10 to 12 cans of beans in 10 to 12 different locations; or (c) he simply enjoyed opening and shutting cupboards between the hours of 5 and 7 pm.

My other roommate is my immediate neighbor, and he opens and closes his bedroom door more than anybody ever. His day typically starts with an aggressive opening of bedroom door, followed by a brisk shut, and, in perfect rhythm, a slightly less aggressive opening and closing of bathroom door. He then clears his throat several thousand times, hocks a few loogies in the sink, takes an unnecessarily loud shit, then washes his hands for approximately 22 minutes.

The bathroom door opens and shuts. Then the bedroom door opens and shuts. Then it opens and shuts again three seconds later, after he grabs a smoke and claps his slippers off the tile, all the way throughout the house, like Eeyore playing hop scotch, until he reaches a smoking spot just outside my window, where he’ll clear his throat several thousand more times. Maybe even grunt.

The patio door squeaks open and slams shut, and his slippers clack off the tile again, all the way back to his room, where he opens and closes and opens and closes his door again. He then opens and closes the bathroom door.


Because now it’s shower time.

After shower time, both the bathroom and bedroom doors will open and close two more times, as he’ll have to brush his teeth and clear his throat before finally opening and closing the front door, on his way to work.

Earlier in the morning, Roommate One has a routine that involves less opening and closing of doors. He doesn’t eat breakfast before work, so cupboard slamming is virtually zero. But he does take 1 hour and 15 minutes in the bathroom to get ready.

One morning, I went out to the kitchen to get a glass of water just as he was heading out the door. I wasn’t thirsty. I just wanted to catch a glimpse of what such a morning preparation could do for somebody. Hashtag inspired. But he looked the same as he did on a weekend morning. Which wasn’t bad, as he’s a naturally handsome man indeed. However, much like I couldn’t comprehend the need for 10 to 12 cupboard slams in order to microwave three bean burritos, I also couldn’t wrap my head around 1 hour and 15 minutes of bathroom time resulting in no noticeable change in appearance.

I did have a theory.

If you were lucky enough to wake up between Roommate One and Roommate Two’s Three Act Morning Routines and slip out an urgent piss, you would find a tsunami had been triggered from Roommate One’s contact lens container. The flooding affected all parts of the counter and surrounding areas and wouldn’t dry up until sometime between 1 and 2 pm, or whenever I didn’t need to set my phone down on the counter to wipe my ass.

My theory was—and this was only based on the one time I saw him loading a dishwasher—that he was just fucking winging it when he put his contact lenses in, resulting in gallons of gushing water and panicky hands, only to safely plop his lenses in at the last minute.

When the house finally clears at around 930 am, I order food through Grubhub and Uber Eats and Postmates for all three meals, as to not risk running into the same driver for brekky, lunch, and din-din.

One time, I had the same driver deliver me wings and breadsticks for lunch, then Carl’s Jr. two hours later for dinner. The driver almost admired me. But he mostly looked like he was disappointed in how I turned out as a person. And that was fair.

Five Years After

One of my favorite things to do is not see you.

It’s only been like five years. Surely, if it were the opposite—I mean in terms of my favorite activities, you know—such would be apparent.

Shared behavior is no excuse for it being acceptable, but broken hearts act crazy, and I can do crazy to a clinical degree. I apologized. Sincerely, me. I had to do closure all by myself. I’ve come a long way, baby. And it’s only been like five years.

Stealing the friends you suggested I call. Moving to my same street. Surprised you didn’t throw pebbles at my window and shower my lawn with WTF upon coming to investigate.

I could text you my schedule, if you’d like. If I still had your number. Like my phone, you’ll notice your name nowhere on it. Even though it’s only been like five years.

I’m sure it will be pleasant and the talk will be small, if we ever bump into each other again, as it has been the handful of times we have bumped into each other over these last five years. Except for that one time a couple years ago, when you stormed out of the bar and broke a glass because I wasn’t paying attention to what you were saying. You wanting more closure and all. Sometimes I forgot who dumped who. Forgive me. But that time was more understandable, as it had only been like three years.

And I’m sure when we see each other again but more from a far, like we have a handful of times over these last five years, you’ll act like it’s weird and awkward we’re in the same vicinity i.e. neighborhood. Like you did when we used to go out, and you were always saying your ex might pop up and his friends were spying on you.

The good ol’ days.

I honestly hope I never see you again. And not in a mean way or anything. I just hate having to write about you five years after.

Listen: Episode 5 with Lesia Schnur

This week, Lesia Schnur, The Haunted Librarian, calls in from Atlanta to chat about her paranormal investigation blog, her current lesson plan as an English Composition professor, and how being a lawyer influences her approach to investigating the Unknown. A fun and sprawling chat, listen below and make sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google or Stitcher. Cheers!

Listen: Episode 4 with Kristen

The first episode of the new year welcomes Kristen from New Jersey. Click the link below to listen to us chat about her poetry, her connection to Sleepy Hollow as a child, the trials and tribulations of submitting work for publication, and much more. Follow Kristen at, and you can subscribe to the Cold Brew Calls podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google. Happy New Year!

Apple Smack Library

His entire outfit was made from soda can pull tabs. Knighted with gifted smokes, pulling a yappy little shit behind him in a Radio Flyer. I once had a friend who would pinch a tab from a freshly opened Sprite. Unable to obey my thirst, I would hate him. I would also hate students who ate apples or any other audible snack in the library. But only when I was a student too. It was more than just the horrendous noise. It was the aggressive notion it displayed—so fucking studious they had no time to snack anywhere else but in front of sticky padded notes. Their time more precious, each pretentious chomp and thoughtful smack an unsubtle reminder of such. Couldn’t afford to spare an uneducated second but could afford all their textbooks by Week 1. You know, the kind who sat crisscross applesauce in their chairs, letting out deep sighs and sleepy smiles, tugging their feet under their legs with highlighted fingers. Made you wanna jump, jump.

Listen: Cold Brew Call 3 with Michael Lafontaine

Episode 3 of the Cold Brew Calls podcast is now available! This week, I chat with Michael Lafontaine from Sydney, Australia. He is the founder and Editor-in-chief of Secret History Books, which publishes great writing from a variety of talented authors. Tune in below as we chat about his goals for the site, his own writing process and inspiration, and much, much more. You can also now subscribe to Cold Brew Calls on Apple Podcasts, Google, and Spotify. Please do, and feel free to rate and share:) Happy New Year!

Music Credit: SUNDANCE
Track Name: “Perséphone – Retro Funky (SUNDANCE remix)”
Music By: SUNDANCE @
The SUNDANCE Official Website is HERE –
Follow SUNDANCE on BandCamp:
License for commercial use: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)…
Music promoted by NCM

Hometown Piss

The Wandering Goat. Eugene, Oregon. A rare December sky, more blue than white. No gray except for my sweats, and both bathrooms were locked. I opened a new book my sis or Santa left me the morning before, holding in a piss I didn’t take serious enough when leaving my mom’s apartment, keeping an ear out for my name or order, an unlatching bathroom lock.

My favorite hometown coffee shop, on the edge of the Whit, or the New Whit, for gentrify watchdogs playing at home. Small and charming, the entire room felt and looked like a stage in an Elementary School Auditorium.

And it smelled like waterlogged coffee.

Not in the sense that the coffee was actually watered down, but more like if the coffee was a piece of driftwood in the backyard of a groovy garden lined with chicken wire and unkempt rhododendrons, soaking up all the autumn’s rain before being picked up by the Seventh Roommate from atop loose soil spread across a garbage bag tarp and gifted to one of the baristas just recently discovered as a neighbor two doors down and her setting the damp and dank driftwood next to the steamer, its water evaporating into the beany aroma, staining the boxy room with a brand(less) new winter blend.

It smelled kind of like an armpit. But not offensively. In a comforting, Naked and Afraid sort of way. An armpit deodorized by organic, waterlogged coffee.

One of the bathroom doors opened, and I took my piss, which I had just started to ignore again. The lady pissing before me held open the door, nodding Hello and You’re Welcome simultaneously, beaming as if her farts didn’t smell. I’d soon find out they didn’t. Or that she didn’t fart in the first place. I thanked her. Not for not farting but smiling like she did, or for farting and not smelling and smiling like they didn’t, but for holding the door for me. It allowed me to get to the toilet quicker and piss faster and really just helped me avoid a complete fucking disaster altogether.  

It was much appreciated, and I couldn’t tell if I felt glad to be home or relieved from peeing.

Be Merry: Subscribe to the Cold Brew Calls Podcast

I Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I’m currently enjoying the Great Northwest, having rotated through three different pairs of sweatpants thus far. After a visit from Santa yesterday morning, I should be able to comfortably expand this rotation to five or a six days — a different pair of sweatpants for each day of vacation. Sup.

Anyway, the Cold Brew Calls podcast is now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google. You can click on the links below and subscribe for free, if you’re still feeling Merry, that is. I truly appreciate all of you that have listened and/or shared the first two episodes.

I won’t be back to Tempe until Sunday, so episode 3 (which is already recorded) won’t be out until Sunday evening or Monday morning. This just means you have plenty of time to catch up, if you haven’t listened to the first two already. Did I mention you can subscribe for free below?;)

Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your week. It’s coffee time for me. Cheers!

Apple Podcasts



Listen: Episode 2 – Vee

Happy Friday! It’s time to sip on some cold brew and talk to strangers again. This week, Vee calls in from B.C., and we chat about the agony of job hunting, her wonderful and refreshing blog, coping with anxiety, and daylight savings time. For all this and much more, just click on the link below.

Another fun and insightful conversation in the books! If you’d like to have a chat with me, hit me up at, @coldbrewcalls on Twitter, or leave me a little comment:)

I hope you’ve had a great week, and that you have an even better Christmas and New Year. Cheers!

Music Credit: SUNDANCE
Track Name: “Perséphone – Retro Funky (SUNDANCE remix)”
Music By: SUNDANCE @
The SUNDANCE Official Website is HERE –
Follow SUNDANCE on BandCamp:
License for commercial use: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)…
Music promoted by NCM

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