Thursday, January 29, 2015


"Gbessay gestured at the nurses, all of whom were from West Point [Monrovia's largest slum], and all of whom were volunteers. 'It is because of love we are in the field,' he said. 'It is because of love they are here, they are working, and have not gotten a dime.' Gbessay peered at me. He wished the outsider to see. 'Just because of love.' "

--Luke Mogelson, from a piece called "When the Fever Breaks" about community workers in Liberia and Sierra Leone who are battling the Ebola virus, The New Yorker, January 19, 2015

Whoa. Well, miraculously, I have packed 75% of my worldly belongings into boxes, and with the help of my sainted friend Bill M., moved enough of them to last three months into my temporary digs in Echo Park, a 'hood adjacent to my usual 'hood of Silver Lake, L.A.

This has necessitated being thrown off balance physically, emotionally, spiritually and most importantly, caffeine-wise.

When you get right down to it, and you find this out when you move into someone else's house, what you REALLY need to know is where is the bathroom and how am I going to make coffee at 4 a.m. without waking anybody.

I have solved the latter by setting up a tray beside my bed with electric teakettle (I'm awaiting delivery of a new used Braun coffeemaker, don't ask), sugar bowl, stevia (why two forms of sweetener, again, don't ask), ground coffee, cup, gold filter, spoon, and cream. That way I have only to set everything up the night before, flip the switch, contort my torso in order to pour, dip and stir, then sip.


No but seriously what with two solid months of jackhammers and drills, finding a temporary place to stay, the holidays, the rush of January, preparing to travel, trolling the alleys for boxes, and packing (that's not even counting the "outside" stuff, i.e. work, family and friends) my nervous system was just a tiny bit shot there for a while.

I'm well on the mend and raring to explore the very steep hills of Echo Park.
New streets, hidden staircases, flowers, birds and trees I can make my own--just because of love.


  1. I cherish your detailing of the coffee rituals--and yes, four o'clock is about my time, too.a

  2. I too appreciate your coffee rituals albeit it's three hours later for me. BTW, I love the anti-branding of the liturgical season "Ordinary Time".


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