May 11, 2009. The Coast Starlight to Seattle, and I bear the composition of galaxies in my head. Files are lost and seem to drift through the ether, I pull them back and forth from and between my lap top and I think, well, I suppose at some point I could just edit all of this again. It would make sense then? Because. Because that’s what I always do. Edit. Edit. Edit again. They didn’t like it last time. He didn’t like it that way. She objected. He protested. They said no. I’m to sensitive. I sit watching the landscape stream by and I think of all time and I know that this and that and that and this, it just keeps going round in circles. I shift through my files. On my lap top is single folder that says “Read Me First.” There are two files, one is: It’s raining.doc, and the other is: It is raining.doc. I wonder, which one would I open first. Sometimes, I want to strangle myself, but that would be the self that made that file and didn’t leave more explicit instructions. Of course, I’m guessing based on what I know about myself that that self was like, “Well, if he can’t figure it out, then he deserves to just die.” I should learn to be nicer to myself. I picked the first file. March 3, 2004 It’s raining.doc ==
It is raining, and I am trying to remember.
It’s raining and I’m trying to remember something, what, I’m not sure. If I could remember what, then I wouldn’t be here feeling lost and uncertain about many things. This is pretty paradox, how can I remember that I cannot remember, or what is it that I remember forgetting? I don’t know, but I do know that I have a strange sense gnawing at the back of my mind – I’ve forgotten something important, I’m missing something. I only have these vague sensations, but they plague my thoughts at night when it is raining. I have a notebook in my lap. I always have a notebook. I love paper. I love pens. I have a notebook and a set of pens. I’ve always loved notebooks and pens, and I’ve always had both with me. I like the feel of clean, white paper, the smell, and the texture. I like to hold a pen in my hand and do nothing with it other than sit and stare at paper and think about all the wonderful things that I have yet to write but have not written. I love possibilities and stories that are not yet told; I like surprises at the corners of uncertainty. I’m writing a novel. I want to write the great American novel, but for now I think I’m mostly writing a novel about my life. Someone once told me that all artists work themselves into their work, so I guess that means that I’ll do the same. Unless I’m not an artist, in which I won’t be working anything into any work. I make the attempt, and the succession of attempts makes me. This is silly, I’m afraid and disoriented and tired and nervous. So I’m sitting here writing to avoid going to bed to avoid the dark to avoid the things that scare me, like tomorrow and all its host of uncertainties. I’m trying to write a novel, or at least that’s what I say. I don’t actually know what I’m doing, other than sitting up and watching the rain fall in the dark. I remember now, I am looking for redemption and a small sense of meaning. I remember that now. Now if I could only remember the rest.
I keep rewriting the exact same sentence.
I read this and think to myself, “Hmm, good to remember. I like paper. I love pens. Yes. I remember that, I used to have a calligraphy set when I was kid and my favorite thing to do was sit and just write words. I was never terribly great because I’d use my left hand when the strokes were set for a right hand and I was just always too stubborn to change. I think sometimes if I had a wake, someone from my family would pull a Desire and stand around in a nice outfit and speak ever so eloquently and say, “He never had the sense to come in from the rain.” No. I suppose not. Paper. I like paper. How odd, I think as I review the text. 2004. I was afraid of the dark. I didn’t want to sleep. I was nervous and scared. But why, and what off. I was in graduate school at Brown. I was doing well, I had a wonderful partner. It was like I was on top of the world. I had just the life I thought I always wanted, working on my PhD, studying the mind, the body – al lthat stuff. And redemption? I hadn’t really done anything that terrible, nothing like now. How curious, the sins we scream about as children pale in time before the reality of adulthood, and we get to the point where we really don’t care anymore, we just want the scales weighed and the end game tallied. So I tally and count today. The years, the stardust, the unicorns, and the unending of torrents of darkness I swim in everyday. February 22, 2004 It’s raining.doc == It’s raining, and as usual I am lost. There is something at the corner of my vision like a small thought twitching in the background. I know there is something missing, but I’m not sure what it is. I’m also not sure if this missing thing is important or not. I want to write the Great American Novel. If you asked me why, I wouldn’t really know. I’d just sit and stare at the rain and chew on my lower lip. I think it’s because I like stories. I like ideas and events, and color. I especially like color. Stories are full of color. Not like this place. Not like this world. This world is mostly concrete and metal and dead wood, and lots of nearly dead people wandering around in big artificial hives. That’s what I think buildings are like, big artificial hives. I have lots of thoughts, lots and lots of thoughts, and they don’t even relate to each other. I get lost most of the time in my thoughts. I’ll start thinking about something and then I’ll end up somewhere else and that distance is as great as the separation between a monkey and Mars. I like to write my thoughts down, but actually it’s more like I have to write my thoughts down. If I don’t, I’ll go crazy.
They multiply and multiply and eventually they break and so I may as well let them out from time to time. Writing is the best release. I’m not really a writer. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a writer. I’d like to be a writer, but then again, there was a point when I wanted to be a astrophysicist and then I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer and then I wanted to be a historian and then I wanted to be biologist and then I wanted to be geneticist and then I wanted to be a molecular biologist. Right now I’m a student. Everyone’s a student, they say, a student of life. I guess so. I always wanted to be a writer, actually. I just never was really good at it. Like, bad I guess, is what I am. I always sucked in English class and the teachers always returned my essays with tons of red circles and red letters and red notes and red lines and the whole thing was always a red mess. Writing never made sense to me, but I always wanted to do it. When I was twelve I learned that S.E. Hinton published a book when she was sixteen. I decided that I wanted to publish a book when I was sixteen. I didn’t. I’m way past sixteen. I’m twenty-six. I don’t feel that much older than way back then. I’m just bigger now and I have more responsibilities and I think I’m less happy. That’s what it’s all about, responsibilities and less happy. I think. I get so I can’t sleep and night and I’m hungry but I don’t want to eat anything and I sit and I think about the meaning of life but I don’t there’s much meaning because I never come up with anything. Either that or I’m just plain dumb, but I’m not sure that’s the case, because people say I’m smart. I get good grades and high test scores. Still, I do feel dumb. That’s because I can’t write, but I want to. I was always confused in school. Elementary, middle, and high. I never really understood our writing assignments. Like, really didn’t understand them. I found an old composition book from when I was seven. The entries are hilarious (they’re also really sad). One goes, “I bo not have a pe. if I haboen it wod be a bogIwodusoit to get the mael.” That would be “I do not have a pet. If I had one it would be a dog. I would use it to get the mail.” I’m a psychologist, so I can say all kinds of stuff about this but I won’t. Well, I’ll say a little So now, I’m writing about writing because I can’t write. It makes me feel better. I want to write the Great American Novel, but I don’t think I will == May 11, 2009 The Coast Starlight is stopped some where and people are standing around – smoking break – or just a break – or something and I’m thinking as I watch their shadows move in the setting sun, “Wow, I’m glad I saved that file.” I think Ross destroyed all off of those notebooks. He had the entirety of my journals. I gave them to him. I thought, maybe if he read my journals, it would all make sense to him.
He just got upset. One of my last memories of us: he sitting somewhere and I standing near the door and I know my journals are in a white trash back sitting on the floor and I know I should say something. I know I know I know, if I want to save them, but I think, if I can’t save the love of my life, then what does any of this matter? I was thinking about my first grade journal or maybe it was second grade, but I think it was first grade. I wonder what people thought. How stupid is this kid? Or, Why is he so smart. Where is that journal. I think it was with Ross. I guess it’s in a landfill somewhere. Maybe someone will find it years from now or maybe it just got incinerated. I read the entire World Book Encyclopedia (the standard set and the children’s set). I thought the standard set as slightly juvenile. I complained. I also couldn’t spell. Adding and subtracting still confuses me. I miss Ross. What does any of this matter? I see time moving through and around me, not a line or stream but an ocean of memories colors sights and sounds – and I think to myself, this is what I keep losing the train station to the apple to the book on my bedroom floor when I was eleven and the light from the hallway lit the pages for me and now I’m thinking, I’m so glad I don’t have contacts or glasses. One day I’ll think, ‘Where did the glorbs go and why did Mike eat them?” I don’t know many Mikes, certainly none that regularly cause me to ponder the movement of glorbs. I’m also not sure what a glorb is. But I know that just like these files, I’ll open up a day and a page and sentence and I’ll remember, that time falls away and I sit in silence, I can move heaven to hell or hell to heaven and I remember. All things converge. == Dear Dorm advisors and everyone Else, 2/2/96 I glad I finally got the address, I can now send a letter. Plus, I can save the address to my computer and print it out whenever I need. The wonders of modern technology that allow us to reduce activity to a seconds worth of button pushing. I suppose we’ll eventually become so dependent upon machines that one day something will blow a fuse and we’ll all die because we can’t figure out what a small little light means. Anyway, college is not much. We’ll it depends on what you were expecting. I was hoping for an environment conducive to learning and studying. Perhaps other colleges are like that, however, Amherst college overflows with the party animals. At present I’m awake at 3:00am because my roommate are hosting a mini-party. actually, everyone just sort of drifts into our room because we have a sega, television, and couch.
I consider it a veritable hell, although I suppose other people would think this is a very wonderful situation. I’d sometimes rather opt for torture, rather than endure another semester like this.. Everyone’s so noisy, irresponsible, and rude. However, I’m probably approaching this from the standpoint of the serious student versus the typical wild party person. A personality that seem to run rampant across college campuses. The people aren’t that bad, and the environment is okay, its just that I expected something that was completely different than it really is. The situation is acceptable if I go to the library and study, and use| ear plugs to sleep. I guess that I’ve learned to adjust myself and compensate for others immaturity. I still haven’t figured out what’s so fun about staying up all night. I get tired and grumpy. It makes no sense. This is probably a horribly depressing letter, which conjures up images of me being tortured by hordes of drunk jocks. Actually, school isn’t that bad, i don’t care for much of the noise and party aspect, but the classes and teachers are nice. I’ve learned many new things. Thus, in the long run I’ll have gained a good education, seen the uglier side of the world, and learned to live with it. its not that bad. I’ve continued to work for my degree in bio=chemistry and I hope to work in Hawaii doing medical research. Anyway, Perhaps on something like cancer or aging. I’ll see where my research takes me to. Well. I’ll send a more interesting a happy letter. Daniel Kauwe == Om. No. I was not your typical high school student. Nor was I your typical college student. I’ve never really been a typical anything. Serious, studious, and sarcastic – that was me. I had a humor drier than Thessaly’s and just as bad (which I’ve always thought her character quite humorous, but then again, I might laugh during a vivisection. You never really know with me). So here I am at the end of the chapter, which is really the end of the book , which is actually the end of a series, and the end of story, and the end, end. Really. This is the end. Of a long complicated story, that I suppose I might spend the rest of my life recounting. They say that when you dream you can dream eternity in second and if a second is all you have before you die, then that’s enough because you just dream for eternity. Of course, I’m all like, “So what happens when you wake up.” You don’t you’re dead. “Okay, well then what happens between the point of dreaming and the point of dying ?”
Yeah, I over think things. Then I forget what I’m doing, and so I start to go back through my life and I begin to piece it all together. It’s odd because for me this was always a deliberate exercise. I figured what should stay will stay, and what will go will go. All my life I’ve jumped head first into traffic because if I get hit, I get hit and if I don’t then…I don’t? For me it’s been less a question of the risk, and more a question of the experience. I’d fall down a mountainside if I thought the experience enriching. I let go of so manything, sometimes I let go of myself and then I have to figure out who I am, which is never an easy task because one would think, couldn’t you just get it from a book or a journal or some parents or blah blah blah whatever? Hardly, these kinds of things require a certain style. For my intuitive system of chaotic thought, I rely upon life itself to point me in the right direction, teach me, orient me whatever. I don’t really listen to myself, or other people, or books, or anything like other sensible people. I listen to rivers, ocean tides; I listen to winds and storms and lightening. I listen iightening bugs and the full moon and I listen to heartbeats and whispers and colors. Mostly I listen to music. For my entire life I’ve sat through an endless set of evaluations and tests and needles and scans and this and that and it’s still inconclusive, but this is what I can tell you. So some people see dead people, and some people talk to ghosts and yet even others talk to animals. Some people parade about with candles and incantations and others channel extraterrestrial forces. Me? I see everything. I see a million movies playing in my head and it’s all I do to keep my feet anchored here when even my voice begins to drift there – “Davon? Why are we arguing about fleet dispersals?” I sent two star fleets, surely that’s enough. No wait, I’m on the train. Train. California. I’m going to Seattle. Here. I’m here. Starships drift at the edge of my vision and I can hear Davon demanding orders and it’s not just him, it’s the Norin system under construction, and the castle of Lyrer’s under attack, and the new treaty between the goblins and the wolfs. Am I going crazy? Was I ever sane?
Maybe it’s not me, maybe it’s everyone else? Does any of this really matter? Ross looked at me and his voice pulled me into this world and now I keep thinking, stay or go? I was never really here before, and I don’t like being here. I don’t like this pain stuff and this hurting grab and this being in love shit. I don’t like these grown up decisions: health care, credit cards, social consequences and ramifications of premature artificial intelligence solutions, and my skin is too oily. I sit and wade through calculations, codes, and theories, and I think. Well, I suppose I could do it…but do I? I wonder, as I always do, because you know, I’d like to hear it direct, What did each scientist think when they know their work was going to drive the Manhattan Project? I’ve always thought, if the world was boiling apart and it was my turn to answer, would I do the same thing? == November 16th, 1997. Fire raged all around him. He gathered more power to himself and unleashed a wave of white flames. Brillant incandescence cut through the surrounding attackters. As bodies were divided by unnatural flares, screams filled the air. He smiled grimly. Anger fuled his onslaught, he would have his revenge. Explosions rocked the ground, and the earth split assunder. Now he floated above a gapping chasm, horrified howls marked the descent of his enmies. Still there were others. Despite the inferno temperatures little more than drops of sweat trickled down his face. He focused on the wizards opposing him. They were desperatly trying to contain him and prevent their own demise. The robes of some were already bursting into flame. They were frantically weavi ng a prison. He contemptously ripped it assunder and streched his fingers out, blinding light shot out and encompassed the wizards. Each glowed, brightening for a moment, and then exploded into nothingness. Still, his anger was not placated. The socceresses were wrapped in cooling fields of blue. They had remained behind the wizards but now advanced. Their eyes confessed fear, they knew death was immenent. Yet they attacked. Cold, freezing cold surrounded him. So they would try to reduce him to ice. White-hot anger surged and became an expanding ring of fire pressing against the blue-cold of the sorcceresses. They staggared under his assualt. Suddently a horrible ripping sound rent the air, and the sorcceresses were engaulfed in the burning ring. There were no more than flames, only the sound of fire broke the silence. He looked about and then pulled the conflagaration higher. The blaze lept into the sky and in a crescendo exhausated itself.
== Hmm. Seems a little melodramatic. That was over ten years ago. No wonder I thought I couldn’t write. No wonder I still think I’m overly critical. I could spend the rest of my life choosing the perfect sentence to follow this one. What would I have? Just another sentence. Perhaps the sentence that was perfect for following the previous, but what if that perfect sentence was something like, “Tuna fish is great.” That doesn’t really strike me as particularly interesting, edifying, or aesthetic. Yet isn’t that our issue? We’re not happy with “Tuna fish is great.” No, we want something elegantly playful with just the right amount of wit embedded into a carefully constructed phrase that gives us just that right amount of spark. Yet sometimes it’s a dozen small sparks that build into the great fireworks of our lives. I think about that a lot. It’s all my very bad, horrible, god awful plans/ideas that end up being the very best down the road. Of course, since down the road can be forever, there are quite a number of plans that await redemption. I’m patient, because tuna fish is great. It’s great as sashimi and it’s great in sushi. Grilled ahi is the bomb, and ahi poke is my favorite food to overeat until my stomach feels sick and I lie on the floor clutching my belly, crying, “Why?” Because that’s a great question. Why? Sometimes, the why’s don’t come until you walk past the no’s and see a new perspective. Sometimes it’s really important to walk back to the no’s and double check that you got the why’s you began. So this is why I don’t really have a permanent journal or album or tale or story, because it’s all changing and I kept thinking, I never want to write this book, not ever because it’ll be like I’m fixing myself forever. Then I realized, if I just write that I’m the antichrist than people will get hysterical and confused and everything will get muddy and that’ll be great because sometimes the best impressions come when you’re drifting through the muck and you think, “I’m glad I’ve got this human hand.” Then you think , Why the hell do I have a human hand, and why am I happy? And then you remember that today is your week for building zombies and you needed that hand for your second zombie. Better get moving. You’ve got another 94 to go.
I think it’s so interesting how so many people think they understand alternate realties. I have to say, that you know nothing until you move through so many you can’t even remember your own name and all you think is, “Okay, space ships, probably means the unicorns aren’t showing up in this scene. Okay, head of dragon, hot knight? Vampires? Werewolves? Goblins? Convention, check! Take that badly worded atrocity from 1997. It’s a description of a complex battle scene, I’ve seen dozens and dozens of times. The issue isn’t that I see it once, and then keep seeing it again, it’s like I saw it once and then I keep seeing different angles, and different perspectives, and different time lines and different iterations and different blah blah blah – never ending. I’ll see it from the viewpoint of one person and then the view point of another and then I’ll see it from this side and then I’ll see it from that side and then I’m like, sweet merciful god, just kill me. I don’t know how many times I wrote and wrote and wrote and it wouldn’t stop. When I proposed to Ross, I was pretty much at my wit’s end. I don’t mind dwelling in hyper-realistic fantasy worlds that no one else can see, because hey – they’re way more interesting and engaging than “reality.” Sometimes, who years of my life would pass where my life was really the internal story of deities waging war against each other, alien fleets attacking helpless civilizations and the do-gooding adventures who’d save the day, and of course the love stories. I like love stories. I think romantic relationships anchor a story because they give a fulcrum upon which all else turns. As a reader, you know that whatever happens, that love is going to determine everything else, and as a author, you know the same. So when I met Ross, everything changed. It was love instantly – first sight – burning – cosmic – whatever. Most of the time, I’d stand around with myself and think, “he’s a little lumpy and kind of overweight and sometimes he’s kind of boring and sometimes he just sits and watches tv.” And always I would answer myself, “Hot! I’m in love with him.” I don’t know why and I still don’t, and I think that’s the point. I think that’s the miracle and magic of love, when you can look at someone and think, “Hmm, you’re kind of not my type and not super attractive. Can we fuck?” Because simultaneous to everything else, you realize that when you’re really in love with someone, everything changes. It’s kind of like that Shakespear poem, you know, the one where he mocks his lover. As I sort through everything that I’ve read and everything that I’ve written, I realize that for me, this time is a time of refelction, remembering, and ultimately editing. Piecing together my past, I find that there is so much of myself that I let drift
beneath the surface and now I fish it all back to me and I set the past in neat or not so neat rows and I think, I really have been talking to myself across time. I lose my journal and I wonder if I’ll ever find it again because I just want to hold on to that sentence. I want to see it again, and remember what it was like to be so frustrated and angry, crying in dark room, and wondering, Why don’t they understand? Well, they still don’t, but I’m more okay with that state of being so it’s better. Then I open a file from 2004 and I find it. The sentence. The journal. The one that was lost. The piece of my past I left with Ross. And it’s right there. The exact sentence I wanted. Five years ago. I wrote to myself exactly what I needed at just the right time, and for added fun, I even titled the folder with the appropriate Twilight zone factor. Read me first. 2004. 1997. How far can I go? == 1994. 1995. 1993. Boarding school. The feverish dreams between the hours of staring from my bedroom window and watching the night harbor waters then waking in the morning to the lurking blue of morning and birds. I would sit for hours, days, weeks, and years with worlds pouring through my eyes and struggling to make some sense of the stream. Why me? Why now? Whine. Whine. Whine. There’s one story in particular for which the file has survived and I can see exactly what I was writing, and it’s really not what I saw. That was always my frustration. I see these intricate worlds in my mind and I get so angry just trying to talk about them because in the time it takes me to make one sentence the entire world might just explode. Time shared externally is never even remotely similar to internal time. Internal time is like galaxies explode while externally, my ice cream cone is melting and I’m thinking, “Oh, no must eat ice cream…wait a minute, that civilization just got blown up…Oh well!” I’ve stopped recording my dreams because there are just too many and I get tired of sitting and fighting with the computer and getting increasingly agitated with the disconnect between my imagination and the computer screen. Eventually, I fall asleep and then it all repeats. Imagine the Grand Canyon, but instead of an arid environment, you’re in the middle of a vast, green field of endless grass…with a giant chasm running down the middle. For an added sci-fi effect, add a bunch of trees all along the chasm., and not just any tree, trees with gigantic, super stretchy leaves that expand as you fall. This is of course the point where the relay from imagination into writing simply breaks down and I’m kind of left screaming at sentences and words because really, I
didn’t imagine this, I experienced. Dream or no dream, I remember standing at the edge of this canyon and looking down at it and holding my leaf and jumping into it while a bunch of other students jumped and I keep wondering, am I the teacher or am I the student and why the hell do I have a class of sixteen year olds jumping from massively high canyons and why the fuck are we holding stretchy rubber leaves? Then I wake up and I sit around and I do my best to sort the coming day, breakfast, the dishes, the papers, and yet it gets more complicated because then come the bills and the doctor visits and the ethics and the morals and the rules and love and dinner parties and polite conversation and thank you notes. It get’s harder each year to keep doing everything and I’ve just given up. I'm tired. I don’t care anymore. It doesn’t really matter to me if I get stuck in some random room and tranked every day or if I spend the rest of my life wandering coast to coast like yet another Bohemian Beatnik nut. So I wonder, should I speak? Should I tell you or him or her what I see and feel? Because this isn’t my feelings and my inside voice. This isn’t the little me or the lower self or the middle self or even the higher self. This is falling from floating cities and flying through sunsets. This is sunless oceans beneath mountain caverns and long nights beside rivers of fire. This is the hum of billions moving through lanes and avenues and roads and rails and this is the silence of cold so deep that nothing moves again. Somehow that ticket seems pretty meaningless and I’m not sure I want to listen to anyone speak because it’s all I can do to sort the voices in my head. == September 6, 2002. A not equal to 0; b not equal to 0; b not equal to 1 a/b or (a+1)/(b+1)
Alright. So I’ve got 15.30 seconds left. Is column A bigger? Is column B bigger. Are they the same? Or is it impossible to solve with the information given? I feel like crying..I never do, but I always feel that way - that well of panic that suddenly pools up and I know that I’m falling and it’s really gonna fucking hurt. I make the effort. So if a is 2, and b is 2, than column A is 1, and colum B is 1. So that makes them equal. But if a is -2 and b is 2 then column A is -1 and column B is -.33, so that makes B bigger. That all means that there’s no way to tell. I think. I hate this shit. I just choose E) The relationship cannot be determined from the information given. Exceptions. I just need one right? Find the exception. Locate the outlier.
That’s what life has been like. I have to take this test. There’s no way around it, GRE or no graduate school So here I am sitting on the phone. It’s been half and hour and the phone is still cheerfully speaking to me, “Thank you for your phone call, your call will be answered in the order it was recieved.” Shut up. That’s all I want. Just shut up. Leave me on hold, leave me with silence, but don’t give me your empty thanks. You’re just a hollow recording, a front for a corporation that charges outrageous sums of money for nothing. I want to scream at someone. Curse at the person who’s not picking up my phone call. For once, I just want to drop decorum and shout, Fuck you and your company! But I know that I won’t. It’s not their fault. It’s not anyone’s fault. Nothing is every anyone’s fault. It’s that man. The one at the top of the corporate ladder, the guy that we’ve never seen but are convinced exists. We’re not to blame. Not us little underlings.
Thank you for your phone call, your call will be answered in the order it was recieved. I’m still on hold. Still listening to this asinine recording interlaced with music to faint to even provide a modicum of distraction. I’m furious. I have no options, no recourse. How can I even complain when I can’t speak to someone? I’m just sorted through pre-recorded options that have nothing to do with what I want. I just want to talk to someone. I just want to register my test and be over with it. How did we get here? Is this where we’ll all be in another decade? A nation of people all trying to get an answer, all sitting on hold, all waiting to get through and when we do get through it’ll be another person as tired and dehumanized as us. We’ll complain to each other, we’ll bitch out the person on the other end, but it won’t do anything. They’re not in charge. We’re not in charge. Someone takes our money, and we just get trinkets for our time.
Thank you for your phone call, your call will be answered in the order it was recieved.Ó So I’m done. I did all I could do, and now it’s just up to all those unseen forces. The ones that pull all my strings and never let me see the script. I feel like the man at that door, princess or tiger. Just like the Handmaiden, are they taking me away to safety or death? Where am I going? I want to hope. I want to believe, but I can’t. I’ve lost too much and I seen too much and it’s just too fucking much. But I’m not cynical and I’m not despairing. Don’t call me depressed and don’t say I have a problem. What about
you. Just fuck off. I’m not at the bottom, I’m not at the top. No, I’m just no where. I’m beyond prepositions and past categories. Labels fail and there are no explations because there’s nothing to explain. I’m somewhere where there are no words and everything just fails because there is nothing. That’s where I am. Imagine a field of black under a sky of black surrounded by black. Now you know how I feel and where I am. I’ve seen the curtains fall aside and I know there’s nothing behind the mask, nothing in the costume, nothing behind the door. Nothing but our words, the things we make up, the thoughts we have and worlds we make from all that nothing. It’s some hour past midnight. The clocks are all gone. Did they break? Where’d they go. Oh yeah, the alarm broke and the microwave reset. I’m shuddering against the wall, looking up at the ceiling and screaming. I want to die. I just want this game to be over. Let me OUT! I don’t want to play anymore. Nothing’s worth anything. Nothings worth this. This is beyond pain. This is beyond sorrow. Fall into an abyss but I’m not gone. Please just let me go, let me really lost it let fall down the street and go raving into the distance let me end up in the white padded room just take away this awareness. == May 12, 2009 Seven years have gone by and all I can say is that I’m a little less likely to go raving into the distance, and I’ve come to realize that where ever I am, that’s where my awareness is, and where ever my awareness is, that’s where I am. It’s a little weird to realize that when I’m playing WOW, that’s where I am, and when I’m looking at my foot, feeling for my foundation, that’s where I am. I’m better with the voices and the visions and the late night visitors from other dimensions. It doesn’t bother me as much when I find myself talking to the rose bush or having arguments with a pencil. Sometimes, I think I should just put out a sign, “Chaos for Hire,” but then I remember I’m employed by the universe. I’m like an arrow long distance, you probably don’t know where I’m going most of the time, but when I hit my mark, everyone knows it. The last time I took Amtrak cross country, I forgot my laptop cord at my uncles home in Oklahoma. I didn’t remember until I was on the train from Dallas to LA, attempting to plug in my lap top and then I realized, “Fuck. I don’t have my laptop cord.” And there was no way I was getting it. I was pretty bummed and really pissed because I was looking forward to playing Starcraft _while_ watching the countryside speed by. The only thing that I could think to be even better or hotter would be…well, at that time, that probably would have been the high point of my life.
Because I’m kind of nerd…maybe I’m even an uber geek. Okay, find I’ll admit it, I grew up reading Herbert and Tolkein. I was depressed for weeks after Frodo went over the sea and Sam finished the book. I was convinced that my mother was one of the Bene Gesserit and it was in my best interest to pay attention to everything because, hey, you never know with that observation minueta stuff. My favorite toy was microscope and I’d diligently explore my yard collecting this or that and sticking it under the microscope and drawing pictures and thinking, “Aha!” Of course my next thought would be, “Aha, what you dumb asshole! It’s a fucking cell. With a cell wall. Some internal vacuoles. Shit like that. Who the fuck cares.” Yeah, I was eight and I was already bitching myself out over the meaning of life. You could tell, if you only knew my thoughts, I was a Thurday’s child, and I would have far to go. Notice how the poem never reads, You’ll go far. Nope, it’s fucking Thurdsay’s child has far to go! Like, all the other kids get to go to the grocery store, but you, no you are going to fucking Pluto. That was me, when I was five. Crying to moon, “But I don’t want to go!” I still cry. I still whine. Nothing much has really changed, except today I have my power cord and I can write. Actually, I would be thoroughly tempted to play WOW right now or Castle Age or something like that and that would be a very sexy thing for me. Speeding through pine tree, looking at snow fields on mountains, rivers running by, yeah, I can’t think of much else that I would like to do, and I have to say it’s true you know. What they say, that we can learn so much from what we do. Our actions inform us. Our behaviors teach us. We learn from life itself. I’ve been studying psychology for all my life. At a minimum, I prove that I was studying it when I was 17 because I took the AP Psychology Test and passed it cold turkey with a 5. Granted I took an AP Psych test, but I didn’t really study. I’d do the reading quickly, listen to the professor, and see if there was anything I didn’t understand. Things I didn’t understand were things that didn’t immediately make sense. If one of those came up then I’d go and study a little more. But not much. I blazed through ever test and when it came time to take the AP exam, I was like, well, I’ve take Chem, Bio, English, American History, and European History, let’s see what happens if I just take the test. 5. The highest possible score. Right now I’m just dwaddling around my dissertation. A dissertation is a disseration. At the end of the day, unless it’s published, nobody cares. In fact, the rule of thumb is, unless anything is published, nobody cares. Even well constructured theoretical proposals are best published for acceptance. So really, why should I care, this is just a little piece in the puzzle, a small step in the stage?
Because to me, everything matters. Even a really poorly constructed sentence that might in fact be the most perfect sentence for that specific place all things considered. Because I’m always striving for my highest which is really to consider all things. It’s interesting because for many people it varies and then for many other people, it doesn’t. but then even that is a variation from one to the other. To me, love and compassion, and mercy, justice and truth – these are all great things, but they are just that – things. That’s right, even an abstract thing is really a thing – an object of sorts for the mind itself. I run by screaming about this that or the other. You throw a fit because you can’t do x. The guy on tv is angry about something going up and outside a crowd of peope are changing about something going down and between all our prepositions we’re just moving ideas. But they’re so important to us, aren’t they? We’ll kill another person over ideas. We’ll say, Jesus loves you and I love jesus and we know that jesus said to forgive 7 times 70 but then we’re like aww fuckit, I’m just going to shoot you. Sometimes I’m not sure if I like being an American or not, but I’ve realized that we’re all pretty much assholes somewhere along the line. And we might say this that or the other, but that’s never really going to change. At some level we’re going to trip up and we’re going fuck up so why not be the nicest asshole’s possible? That’s kind of what I like about thte American mentality. It’s kind of like, here, let me blow the mother fucking jesus out of you, but when we’re all done, I’ll make sure you get into heaven. And we’ll make a movie about you. And we’ll all mourn afterwards the great tragic loss of life and in school books little kids will read your story and we’ll have a national holiday to celebrate your life but no one will go because we’re all about the dollar. So the point of all this is that we learn from ourselves. Our actions inform us. In psychology there is a great debate – classic in its very essence. Do we act from selfunderstanding? Or do our actions inform our understanding? I started considering this formally when I was 17. You could say, I had been considering it all my life. I’m still beating the dead horse. By now the glue is ready, so I can say this much: both. We act from our awareness of clear preferences and in those instances it’s like I want ice cream, I’m going to walk to the store and get ice cream. I want ice cream, I’m buying this ice cream. Yet other times, we are simply acting and our awareness follows the actions. I’m walking. I’m hungry. Maybe I should get something to eat. What to eat? There’s a sandwhich place here...maybe a sandwhich?
At the very deepest levels of you can perceive it as this, absent prior knowledge regarding a choice, intention, action – whatever – you will do something, even if you’re just rolling over to die. In those instants, it’s very likely that your awareness is utterly absent beyond simple observation, and it’s very likely that this state of observation might continue for a very long time. Just imagine if you’re visiting a country where you don’t speak the language, the people are don’t even look like you (they look fluffy lizards in leotards with tutus on their heads), and their food comes in strange bright blue bowls that look oddly like a variety of other bowls that seem to be everywhere except it’s just the blue bowls that they eat from. And sometimes the blue bowls look like they’re ok, but then your guide slaps your hand and says, “No!” So most of the time, you just do what your guide tells you to do. Well, sometimes in life, there are moments where your awareness cross over into something where you think you know what’s going on, but you also realize that suddenly all bowls changed colors and people look a little weird. It’s called life. Life changes and switches and just when you think you’ve figured out the bus schedule, the nice lady on tv says that you never have to go to work again, ever, because tomorrow everyone is going on a nice vacation. You think that’s very nice, until you realize that you’ve never gone on a vacation ever and you’re not sure what these vacation things are. Welcome to life. You think you’ve got it all figured out? Let me pat you on the head and remind you that I’m a certifiable genuius and I clearly don’t have it _all_ worked out. I might have lots of stuff worked out, but I don’t have it all worked out. And I don’t expect to ever. Why. Simple, because Joseph Conrad was right the heart is full of darkness. We might project that darkness to some one else or another place or a movie or something but in truth emotions are dark. They’re intense, highly destructive, and very irrational. They can also be calm, beneficial, and quite intelligent. It all just depends. With the mind, you have perfect clarity – or at least the possibility of such. With anger and love and hate and fear – you never have that promise. The ocean might be calm one day and the next you’re recovering from Hurricane Tutti, and FEMA has failed again. Ideas – thoughts – the mind – clarity – reason – sanity: so? Sometimes, you’ll be driving down the road and you’ll have no idea where to turn. Sometimes, your spouse will look at you and say, “And what do you think,” and you’ll think, “What are we talking about? Shit, got to figure out something or they’ll know I wasn’t paying attention!” I’m hungry, can we get something to eat? Because sometimes the mind has nothing. Nothing to go on and nothing to add and nothing to subtract and nothing to contribute. Sometimes clarity is utterly useless
because there’s nothing to be clear about. You’re flying down the side of cliff and you’re going to hit the bottom. There’s nothing more to be clear about. It’s going to hurt, and it’s going to be painful, and maybe there’s a lesson to be learned, but most likely schools going to be out for some time. Sometimes, there are no reasons and all you can go on is instincts. Sometimes you have to check the sanity at the door and acknowledge that no one’s really every formulated a solid description of sanity. It definitely seems to have something to do with good decision making, but we all know that life throws curve balls and the good decisions go out the door and then Martians start blowing up your house and if you sit around waiting for the right answer to show up, you’ll probably just get vaporized. So you move. You go. It’s in these points, in these places – the uncertain troughs of life, when we’re really in the doldrums, and we’re not getting out anytime soon – it’s those points of nadir that we remember all of our SAT/GRE words and think, hmm. Good point. The point is that sometimes awareness is meaningless and all that remains is the doing, and sometimes the doing is useless and all there is the awareness. Yet it’s never as if one is better than the other or one surpasses the other or anything silly like this, it’s just life, like the mobious strip, has no beginnings and there are no ends. There’s just the relatively uncovered backstory and the clearly convoluted up coming season. Our lives are networks that never go off the air and we might romanticize re-runs, but let’s face it, we all know that when given the choice between a re-run and a new episode, the fans go for new episodes, especially if you’re an otaku, and honestly, everyone’s pretty otaku about something. So the point of all this is that as much as we inform ourselves, our selves inform us. We might set forward with great goals and high ideals, and just as likely we might end up in a river, muddy cold and wet and wondering, “WTF?” Today is my birthday. Of all the places I could go and all the things I could do, and trust me, there’s really not much that I cannot do, be or see. I choose to sit on a train from LA to Seattle and write while watching pine trees zip by and stare at dirt and rocks from time to time while reviewing files from nearly 15 years ago. That would be like half of my life. It’s weird. To realize, that for the most part, my life is largely contained in the Internet. Honestly, if something happened to me, I think it would be pretty easy to reconstruct me from the Internet, especially if my Amherst files were opened. My god that would be crazy to read some of that stuff. And that’s that, as Porky Pig likes to say. I can’t really say with perfect clarity what I should or shouldn’t do at certain points because sometimes, the question is, “What flavor ice cream,” and I really have to ask, does the weight of the universe rest in my choice of cookie dough or cake batter? How about brownie?
Maybe the correct answer is none of the above, but my personal favorite is, Cannot be determined from the information presented. Because then you really are a smart ass. You know what the problem is and you know that there’s nothing to be done and so you’re just like, moving on. However, what do you do when day after day and year and year your life becomes and endless set of E) Cannot be determined from the information given? What do you do then. This is the beauty of learning from your actions. You do. As t.s. elliot said, “For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.” So for me this is all about the doing or at the very least the trying. People often act from a place of careful cognition. It’s rare that you find someone who can lay out their entire adult life and say, here’s the acting, and now I’m going to cognate. And it’s true. What’s interesting is the questions I grabble with today, I answered yesterday. It’s more that I wanted to walk through today to see what it feels like. Ross is the end of a cycle for me. The end of entire book. This one. A silly sentimental, childish obession with true love and happy endings. Or not? I like Amelia Bedelia. She never seemed to really understand what she was supposed to be doing, but she cooked amazing food and everyone was like, “We love you Amelia Bedelia.” Ross liked my food, but apparently it wasn’t enough. So out with that meme. Anyway, I like the Wild Things, and I’m glad that they’re making a movie about it. The trailer rocks because it has Aracade Fire and a Sendak story, and for me, that’s like the best. I think the lesson of bad behavior, accidents, insanity, anger, and breakdowns, is that somewhere everyone has it and we can hide or paint or gloss and conceal or pretend or whatever – but it’s there. The things we don’t want to admit. Sometimes tolle really annoys me and other times I think he has great comments. My favorite assertion from his is, “I don’t need to think,” and of course, the ever important, “Be friendly with what is.” Because that’s super important. And a little creepy when you think about it. So rather than burning that witch at the stake we should have befriended her ? Yup. And the next time I want to stake a vampire, I should shake hands with them? Uhu. And if a psychopath is running around my house, I should hug them? Sure, however,
I’d knock them unconscious first, tie them up, hug them, and then toss in them in the lake. For good measure you know. Being friendly doesn’t mean you walk around with a big sign on your back saying, “Kick me.” Of course, that seems to be what a lot of people think. Either, they don’t want to be nice because then they’ll get taken advantage of, or they realize someone is being nice, so they’re kind of like, “Sucker! How can I screw this dork over!” Of course, what a lot of people don’t realize is that really smart people are often really nice because generally you get further with the honey and flies then the oil and vinegar. == March 24, 2004. I open up the file and find. One sentence. I always measure a year by the academic calendar. I’ve always either been a student or a teacher, and now I’m a teacher again. == Creepy. March 2004, first spring of graduate school. What was I teaching? I was on fellowship. I had nothing to teach. Maybe I was teaching myself. I don’t know. The file is titled: a year of sadness. I wonder what I was referring to. What was I sad about? Hmm. On and on the questions go. It’s like this never ending story. Do this do that. Figure out this, figure out that. Make sure you have all the appointments lined up and get where you’re supposed to be going? To the grave? Because honestly, that’s what I feel like everyone is saying, eventually, I die. I just die. For some reason. In a car or an explosion or a heart attack or AIDS or something. LOL. So I figure, if I’m going to die, I certainly don’t want to do it wasting away at a destk punching computer buttons and complaining about my mostly non-existent life. I want to go out and live. That’s why I’m on the train. Going to Seattle. After Ross broke up with me I frankly went to pieces. I really did. I just lost it. I don’t know if he’d take that as a compliment. I would, because I don’t think I’ve ever
really lost over anyone or anything – not like this. First, I tried to kill myself three times and technically succeeded on the third time but even then I woke up after two days in a coma with IV’s in both arms and shit taped to my chest, and my immediate thought was, “Aw fuckit, the universe is totally punishing me this time.” Yep, I had to sit in the hospital for days and eat pretty bland food and I didn’t really have anything to do or see, there was tv, but watching tv makes me think of Ross because we’d fight about it like every night and I think, this is why I want to kill myself. Then I went to London, Edinburgh, Paris, Utrecht, and Amsterdam, and the entire time I kept thinking, “Is my punishment over?” Apparently not, because I’m back in LA trying to figure out grad schools again, train to bike cross-country, and other nonsense like that. I’d rather sit on a train for the rest of my life and just play computer games, because after Ross, every other guy is like, “….what did you say your name was?” I just can’t be bothered. I can generate mathematical models for complex human decision making process, I can’t figure out what my fiancé is saying to me. I analyze cultural transmission of values across lifetimes, a guy says let’s hang out and I’m like, “Does he mean sex, a meal, both, or maybe sky diving?!” My mind is really random and rarely synchronous to the immediate present. For me the story is never just one or two or three. It’s a lot of things. It’s everything. I weave roaches and PET bottles into environmental action in a conversation over pink pad thai with my best friend who’s soon to be my worst enemy and we’re both laughing under the moon but we know, that this time, as always, my heart is somewhere else, and we’ll always be friends but never lovers. This is why I say we’re always going to be assholes. Maybe nice assholes, but we’re going to be assholes, because you know what, there’s always going to be that person that’s perfect for you but you’re going to pick the other person or hold out for more or whatever. I like to practice equanimity. I like to think that Krishna was quite right, and I really should see me in all things and all things in me. Well, I suppose I do. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to have preferences and favorites and likes and dislikes. As Adyahanti says, everything ha sa personality, even Jesus and Buddah. I get discouraged sometimes, because I feel like people really dislike it when I have a personality. It’s like, well, if you’re so smart and insightful, why do you hcare about personal matters? Because stupid, they’re personal matters, they’re the matters that impact me directly, clearly, and in a highly consequential and meaningful way without my immediate frame of reference. In other words, while it might be a big deal whether or not the Dali Lama returns to Tibet or Tibet is freed or whatever, if I don’t get the
ice cream flavor I want, I’m out of the ice cream I want. I’ve never been to Tibet and I’ve never met the Dali Lama, and if we’re voting, I’m going to take my vote to the ice cream people because I want my ice cream. Tehre is are excellent reasons for motivational systems primed from self-interest. Evolutionary speaking, the dali lama nad Tibet are not impacting my immediate state of existence. If I get my ice cream, that could be very meaningful for me, and that might contribute more to my evolution. Actually, if you want the nerdy, geeky answer, the facts are these: Ice cream contains a high level of tyrptophans (the higher the cream content, the more the trypophans, Hagen Daz is a great example, but so is Ben and Jerry’s). Tyrptophans are precursors to serotonin and thus the more tryptophans you have, the greater abundance of serotonin. More serotonin and well, let’s just say that serotonin is a key neurotransmitter associated with mood. Thus, if I was, say struggling through college I might just eat tons of ice cream and buttery greasy cookies to get my brain going (cough, ahem, Amherst, Sugar Jones and Ben and Jerry’s?). How is the Dali Lami helping my serotonin? He’s not. Now one might like to parade about the magical intention wheel and then we can all get on that merry go round and masturbate until the cows come home. The truth is, all the great intentions from freeing Tibet are no different then intention of Ben and Jerry’s delivering ice cream heart attacks to millions of people around the world…at least they’ll die happy! Abraham Hicks wisely points out that it would actually, very likely, be a fantastic world if everyone really did what they want to do. Know I know you’re all thinking, Oh no, then crazy Mr. Smith is going to go running down the street naked. To which I must ask, Do you want to watch him run down the street naked? No, then don’t. Yes, then do. Most likely if he’s running down the street naked, he probably doesn’t mind watching. The problem with most people is they see someone reading a book they don’t like and they have seizures because they think, “It’s a book about the Amazon, he’s going to be a head hunter and eat me in my sleep.” Honestly, I don’t see how those things are related, but then again, I’m not sure how the war in Iraq was related to anything involving 9.11, but hey, the entire country was pretty geared up and pretty stupid. Interestingly enough, you can pull my journal archives from the Amherst servers and find that yes, in fact right at the time of all the protests and this and that, I consistently argued with my friends that if we’re not finding WMD then maybe there
are no WMD and maybe the entire war thing is just stupid and maybe we could just take all those billions and spend them on inner school education. Or not. Say hello to economic consequences. My dad always said, put your money where your mouth is. If you’re not willing to risk money, then you’re probably not that serious. Well, now the entire country is realizing that the monetary risk we took, really wasn’t worth it, and the one we should have been taking involved ourselves, our cities, our schools, our roads, our infrastructure, our communities. Eh, who cares about any of that stuff, we have 50 million dollar missles that we can use to blow up terrorist cells masqureding as goat huts. Oh, wait a minute. Those are goat huts. People wonder why I’m so erratic? I’ld like to point out that I was born and raise in a country were insantity is a way of life. It doesn’t matter if you kill other people or hurt other people or even wipe out villages or cities or wathever. What maters is how good can you look doing it? Do you have glamorous shock and awe footage? Do you sound good on tv. How much money do you have? Did you go to the right school. Who cares, not the dead people, and the live people are too busy scurrying around tyring to figure eout how they get to the top and the people at the otp are like, “Dude, did you see that performance last night. I thought she was flat. Whatever, road trip next month? Canada!” That’s right, the people in charge don’t know much more than anyone else. Those of us that supposedly know something, like to pretend as much because then at a minimum, we can bask in that warm glow of knowing something that you don’t, Except we really don’t. Because if a meteor strikes the earth tomorrow, we’re all fucked. Same thing for a pandemic, or major climae change or aliens or whatever. Sometimes for me, the major disaster is called, He didn’t pick up his laundry, do I yell at him, pick up the laundry, do both, scream, run out for ice cream or play WOW? The point is that we’re constantly playing with these macroscopic pieces and we keep thinking, oh that butterfly effect, if I pick pistachio it’s going to magically make that guy halfway across the world dodge a bullet and we’ll have great ratings tonight! Sometimes, life doesn’t work out like clever deusx exc machiana – sometimes life is just a tumble down the muddy slobes and when you get to the bottom, you’re left with a few dollars in your wallet and no shoes on your feet. The point is that the complexity of life isn’t just the grand disasters playing across the global stage. The complexity of life ravels through the mundane acts, the mistakes, the faltering, the awkward conversation. Life is no miracle in the stars, the majesty is your squared shoulders when you step out the door, breath deep, and
think, that’s where I’m going to be. Fuck this place. And you wonder, why you thought that and you laugh, and cry, and then go and do it all over again, because sometimes, the most important points are the little steps that no one sees except the one person walking that day and can now answer, “Well, actually I was there.” Hold your breath. Don’t exhale. Don’t let go and don't give in. I’m not sure where or why any of these ideas are significant, but they’re there. Floating in our thoughts, informing our actions, guiding our foot steps. Then they’re gone, or where, gone, or life happens and ten years later, you’re sitting back somewhere and you remember. == June 26, 1995. Transcription translation transmigration. I don’t really want to go. I’d rather just drift for ever in la la land and go to the beach whenever I please, read books all day, and get paid to be in school forever. I don’t mind being a teacher. I just don’t want to have to do too much work. I need to make sure I have enough time to play Myst and Seventh Quest. Actually, I need a near infinite block of time because I’ll play any RPG, MORG, strategy role playing or whatever. I’m all about the billion and one fantasy worlds. I have a play in my mind. I can see beach at sunset. Shakspear in the garden. A boy near the ocean, and king. Let’s see how did that story. Go? I wish they would go away. Inner self dialog. The sand. I hate it. Why do I always end up with sand on me. Look up. Franklin. Suit. He looks nice. What’s going on. Oh, yeah, I remember this story. “Sir, it’s time to get going.” Ingrate. I hate him already. I know it. I can just feel the revulsion building in my mouth. He would like me feet if ordered. I look at my hands. I’m six years old. I’m building a sand castle. He talks to me again. It’s time to go. Time to go. What the hell are we going to? I never enter a room blind, I pull the script from the ether and I skim read. Ok. It’s like Hamlet but not. Everyone’s going to plot against and kill each other and I’ll be stuck in the middle. Fun, and at the end we all learn a very valuable lesson, which happen so be, that very important valuable lesson? Well it just happened. Right then, right there. Sometimes, in these phases, I try to remember my other lives. Particularly my life on earth because as boring as it might be, it’s a great way to escape all the other messes. Okay, I don’t like this reality, I’m just going back to Earth. Don’t like that reality? Go to Tworema, where gravity only occurs when you ask, and at all other times, everything flies about at breath neck speeds colliding in brilliant explosions. Sometimes, it’s really nice to just come home to a boring afternoon of paying the bills and you can think, “Gee, I don’t have to worry about the armies of black
dragons besieging my city, or the consequences of that plaque I sent, or on and on – sometimes it is nice to just check of little silly boxes. But sometimes, it’s also nice to get to the end of something. So sure, let’s get to the actual plot. Fine I say, let’s do the chrade. The entire song and dance. The cast of characters. The play of plots, one within the other, until we all delirious from the laughing gas and no one is thiking straight. == I’m ready to forget. To really just let go. This time, I don’t want to keep remembering. This time, I can’t work through it. This time, the pain is too much for me to bear. I see his name everywhere, because where is there not a Ross Dress for Less. They’re like everywhere. I see dirty laundry and I think, Ross made really giant laundry piles and he’d just do nothing with them, and then I think, god dammit. Why couldn’t I admit how hot he was? Excpet I did. I did. I used to tell him every day and every moment, in words or hugs or my endless desire to touch him, wasn’t it clear that I was pretty madly in lough with him? Maybe not. Maybe that was just in my mind or I don’t know. I just want to forget. I just want to fall back into dreaming. I just want to go back to the steak and wine and the digital reality of pictures and videos and in between momentary interactions because until there was ross it was all just signal to noise. And it was all mostly noise. Noise. Do you understand that to someone like me, the entiriety of LA is just noise. The entire city is fucking noise. People screaming and yelling and making absolutely no sense because they’re the nes that are hitting themselves and they know and they’re just, ‘Whack” Oh, that hurt. “Whack.” Hm..Wow. that hurt. “Whack.” Huh. Maybe I like this. “Whack.” No, no. I od’t. “Whack, god dammned fucking make up your fucking god dammed miserable mind.” I feel like that girl from Short Bus. Shut up and just let me whip you till you bleed and we can both go home and call it a night. In the middle of all the chains , and whips, the smell of burning flesh and blood – but just a trickle, I’m still bored. I’m still floating in and out of the stars. I’m still taking census in the Vamdev galaxy and I’m still compiling the Travda reports from Neresa. Where are all these places and where am I and what the fuck is going on here. It’s May 12, 2009. I’m on the Coast Starlight, Amtrak, heading to Seattle. I'm going to visit the city, maybe Vancouver, see if it’s someone where I might want to live. Consider applying to the University of Washington. These things change. That’s true. So we hesitate? For the perfect opportunity out of all the most perfect
opportunities? The truth is that we all have great opportunities all of the time, we jump for them sometimes, but often we keep waiting for an even better opportunity. I give up. I take this. This world. This mess. My failures. My sore back. My aching jaws, my discomfort, my frustrations. I just take who and what I am and I move with that. I always like to think, that when all the deities finished picking out their area of domain, all the cool things have been chosen, so I’ll just end up being the god of broken thinsgs. I think I’d make a great god of broken, unwanted, and discarded thigns. Mostly because I like the nuanced distinctions and the peculiar beauty of rusted bulldozers painted with, “Beware, Guard Catz!” I also like mud wrestling and dragging my opponent through muck and then having hot steamy sex afterward. I like deranged humour of Happy Tree Friends. So I think for the most part, I wouldn’t do much with my mess, I’d go around giving things names, changing names, pilfering pens from all the banks, and giving them to battilions of monkeys writing angry poaching protests. There are aches and pains that I’d rather not mention. Like the hemrohids. It’s funny. I’m more comfortable talking about HIV but the hemrohids sounds so…I don’t know, unpleasant. More so than HIV. Maybe it’s also because they feel so unpleasant and I’ve had them for like ten or more years. Between the lines. I listen to that song a lot and once I even wrote a story to the song. The exhale will bring me back to center. == January 16, 1998. A poem. It never quite made sense to me, why was I written all this depressing, romantic shit. I like to call it the White Queen effect. Cry now, for the finger prick later. Useful when you’ve got time to kill, and you don’t want to waste to much time crying later. == When summer finds me At the edge of winter’s keep, I think of you, Stone warm beneath the sun;
Conversations past. Under dead willow trees, on Crinkling grass dried beneath drought, You said so little, and I too much. Here, under the high noon sun, Even my shadow burns away, If you remember anything, Then visit here. In old photos, secret dreams: childhood and all its stories I will greet you on shores of black sand Twilight. Autumn leaves fall, Snow cloaks. I dream more. Let clouds obscure the light of every star in night This memory pervades High above the breaking land A beacon summons. == The same sentence. I’m still working on the same sentence. The same journal. The same story. The same life. The same question. The same confusion. This mess is just one window. One doorway. In my mind there are millions of other gates and I spin and turn and fall from one threshold to the next and I wonder, will I ever get where I’m not and why would I think that question? Why am I thinking? Does it even matter.
Back and forth. The sunsets today. The sun rises tomorrow. On and on. Will I grow old and will I wear my trousers rolled? Will I see the mermaids and will I hear them sing? Will I simply wander in and out of moments. Gasping like a fish or a drowning man – never quite sure which? Am I out of water or in the water? Am I heaving on dry land or collapsing under the the pressure? Life never gives us the answers we want instantly – and certainly not in the most convenient and acceible way possible. It’s been a decade or more since I’ve poured through some of these files from Amherst, from Kamhehameha, from Japan from five years to ten years to over fifteen years ago, I realize that I’m writing to the future, answering from the past. Today, I do the same, I pour out what Ihave and I know that just as always, just as before, this will all make sense one day, and today, I’m just doing what I need to do. It would be nice is magically this all made sense, but I wn’t beause this is life and by the time I’ve come to understand al lthis, it’ll be another life. So I move forward wit hteh confifence that the life that I’m experiencing now, I’ll find the same answers peeking around the corner the next time around the block. This is a lesson to myself. My life with a variety of questions. Curiositiesm Mistakes. Regrets – the lessons of life bundled up in years of experiencing. This time I know, I’ve let go of careful calculations, I’ve simply gathered up my emotions and I’m running forward wit hteh just my intuitions, a severely broken heart, and a hell of a shitstorm twisting behind me. Bleeding in and out of this world and that. I blame the full moon. == January 1996 Dead in your new bed, Why wait until you’re rotting to find out What you’re not Never Were Just Does the collar keep you safe at night When you’re wondering in the your nice warm bed What might it be Like to roam Like the wolves outside. Afraid to look into the sun, you’re too scared Admit you are mortal It’s the light you fear
The truth? I can see you Then decay and decay Pay with your soul, Pay the bill They never really care Vulnerable, you give yourself to the world Servant of all I never really liked that title Then let me give you one last wish As you perish, you can take the world I’ll take a classroom, a rose bush, some hardship And an army of Mary Poppins to take over the world. Dust, rust, and dreams. Here is the key.
== I see what it all means. It all makes sense, but it’s like roasting marshmallows. You need to get just the right spot to lightly toast the sugar outercoating, and liquefying the inside without blackening too much. It’s funny how everything you need to know about life, you either learn at summer camp, but only if you do both the camper and counselor bit. You have to play both sides. “Get in bed.” “Man, when do I get to tell someone to go to bed,” becomes, “Man, when can I get these kids to bed so that I can get some stuff done and then go to bed myself.” I think Wet hot American summer, pretty much tells it like it is. It’s pretty spot-on with wacky camper behavior and the nutty counselors. I’m not sure I could handle being a camp counselor again, I mean I know I could do it if I had to do it, but I’d probably be like, “Oh my god, someone please give me a gun to shoot myself because if I have to hear one more fucking question of what time we’re going swimming, and Johnny, if you don’t get off that shelf, I’m going to fucking kill you myself.” Yeah, parents complaining about raising their children should be a summer camp counselor. You think one kid is bad? Try having a gigantic fucking mess of them and you’re in the middle of no where and the ratio of kids to adults is like 5 to 1 or 10 to 1 and the adults are like, “Okay, if I die, please make sure that my eulogy says the following.” Because that was summer
camp as an adult. The kids are going to kill us. Either their going to literally kill us or they’re going to just drive us nuts until we wander off the dock into the lake or something. Yeah, having dozens and dozens of kids under your watch is never a particularly good thing. Mostly because in between breaking up fights, putting so and so on time out, preventing accidents at the lake, confiscating spray guns, dragging the boys away from the girls cabins, and stopping food fights – you get tired. I’m pretty tired right now. Im’ tired of missing Ross. I’m tired of thinking about him. I’m tired of feeling like I really fucked up and ruined everything, and I’m tired of feeling like he pushed all my buttons right into that supernova corner routine. I just want to myself feeling that good again – that happy – that motivated – just wanted to get home to see his face and jump him when he comes home from work. I’m tired of falling asleep thinking about him. I’m tired of waking up and wondering if he’s in the bed next to me. I’m tired of feeling like my grasp on reality is grumbling because that’s the whole point. I’ve never really had a grasp on anything. I’ve always been largely elsewhere, it’s just that with ross, I became more presnt here and now for a moment. That moment has largerly passed and I don’t find myself wanting to linger. Yet, it’s interesting on the very last sucide attempt, I caculated the lethal dosage and I doubled it! Still didn’t work. I just wanted to fall asleep and not wake up. I just wanted to go to sleep thinking about Ross and the day we walked the Huntington Beach and the sun and the light and his face and his clothes and how he just shone so bright and I was thinking, I’m in love forever. This is the one for me. Funny how it get’s so fucked up, I’m not even sure who’s speaking anymore. == August 12, 1996 A person is great not because of the wealth they posses, the power they wield, or the knowledge they command. You are only great if you live your dreams. This seperates the great from the common; the common dream, the great fulfill them.
Well, I guess I must be pretty great because I live my dreams one way or another and at a certain place in fantasy, real becomes a non-issue. So why all this void? Why all this emptiness? Love. Another? I’ve tried over and over again. I’m not even sure there is a problem anymore. Sometimes, I feel like the village idiot that’s been doing his best to freeze the lake by pouring in ice cubes, only to discover after several hundred trips back and forth, no, in fact the lake won’t freeze that way. Sometimes, stupidity and diligence go hand and we’re left at the every end sorting the mess, putting one ball of yarn in that basket and the other in this basket and cursing the moron that put two colors at the same time. Blue and blue. Great idea. Not. So falter and fail and triump and splat on the pavement and halfway between the entire arc, we’re thinking, you know, maybe winning that new bike wasn’t such a great thing, because then I wouldn’t have ended up in this construction ditch and then I wouldn’t have ended up in the emergency room. I wasn’t even going to leave the house today. We can plan our lives to the very best and life itself witll break through our carefully constructed barriers and see fit to deliver everything we’ve been avoiding. And so I find myself asking myself a decade later, was I really living my dreams? Well, let’s see, I went to Amherst College, lived in Japan for three years, started a PhD at Brown University, won the science fair – all the way to international. I’ve travelled all of the world, learned to scuba dive (certified), sky dived (not certified), I’ve worked with basically every art medium and I can say that for the most part, oil and clay are my favorite, although not really in that combination. Sure there are other dreams, and yet at a certain point all the dream meeting seems hallow when the floor keeps changing, and the scene turns, and everyone is heading out the door and you’re still learning your lines. I think this is why I feel so hard for Ross. He seemed so grounded. So stable. So confident. So sure of himself. It was like I could touch him and he was there – calling me out of darkness into the day light, and I’d always blink a lot around him. == Beyond the bay, the dolphins crossed the channel between the mainland and Chancellor’s Island, their passage signaling the end of summer. Trey sat on the rocky shore and threw pebbles into the breakers. He watched the pod pass him, and bitterness gnawed into his chest. Hurling pebbles harder, he thought to himself, I’m casting away my frustration. Yeah, that’s what I’m doing. Behind him the wind ran through the tall brine grass and he could smell the mixture of salt and sun-dried grass and sorrow. He ceased his throwing, drew his knees to his chest, and looked out to sea, arms around his legs. Sorrow. How does the sea breeze carry the smell of sorrow? Maybe it’s a olfactory response. Maybe it’s just a trigger. Mabye it’s
an association. Rocking slowly he sat in silence interrupted by only the sound of gulls flying above him. After awhile a black crab crawled out of the surf and moved across the beach, skittering past him. He watched it with fascination as it continued out of sight, and then turned his eyes back to the ocean.
The water was too cold, or he would have taken one last swim - that and his clothes had to be dry for departure. In a fantasy he knew to be more dream than real, Trey pictured himself entering the water and swimming through the breakers. He could swim to the opening of the bay, he had done that often during the summer, and from there he could join one of the migrating dolphin pods. But he knew the frigid waters would freeze him before he could reach the mouth of the bay, and even if the temperature was tolerable, traveling with the dolphins would lose appeal quickly. Raw fish and incessant swimming were not things he enjoyed for long, but fantasies are never meant to be real, quite the opposite. It was not the constraints of living and school that he feared, rather he feared that returning he would forget this place. School with its repetition of mechanical but necessary tasks closed him in each year and the droning voice of teachers and fellow students blanketed his mind and slowly suffocated his thoughts. There was no room for stories of summer in the curriculum of numbers and facts marching across the screen, demanding his attention. Sometimes he would wake in the night and cry because he was beyond the point where the mind surrenders to external demands, to the place where all that is retained is pain of loss. The therapist would give him sedatives and he would move calmly through the day, sleeping through the night, but when he woke he could never remember what he dreamt the night before.
Here on the islands, Trey was free from the pressure and pulling, the silent coercion to acquiesce. He spent the summer wandering aimlessly about the island, roaming through the brine grass and pine tree forests. For days he swam under the sun, floating on the gentle ocean swells and dozing in the thick kelp beds. From the ocean floor he collected old shells and brought them home each evening. There were no tests or remainders of work due, just places to explore and curiosity to drive him. Somewhere in the middle of summer he had forgotten time and drifted without a notion of days, only the sun rising to call him from bed and the moon to guide him home at night. Then the days grew shorter, the water colder, and he saw the end of summer and with it the return to school. He packed somberly with resignation, protesting only mildly when told that nothing could be taken because of preservation laws. Today he slowly took his collection of shells back to the ocean and returned them. And so he sat waiting for nothing, dreading everything. A rustle in the grass caught his ear, and he turned to see his sister’s form emerging from
the grass, “Mother says the shuttle is here to take us back.” “I’ll be there.” “Dad says you need to hurry or we’ll miss our departure window from this solar system.” “I’m coming.” She paused for a motment and then nodded, “I’ll tell her. Trey gazed out to sea for the last time and then stood up. As he climbed up the rocky dune, the height let him see the small shuttle craft hovering. The small figures of his parents moved around it, loading the family’s belongings. It would take them back up to space to board the starship returning home. He faltered and stumbled to the ground. His hands dragged through the rough pebbles, their touch, solid, and he put a handful in his pocket and stood up, then walked forward with a faint smile. By the falling jade willows they took their afternoon tea, before the passing river Sine. She regarded the translucent water with quiet, her eyes did not follow the figures descending and ascending the through the gas stream. Across the table, he watched the woman, and she watched his eyes gradually stray to the slow flow of people floating through the streaming clouds. She sighed. “Only Jupiter of a gas streams, but their beauty has always made me feel alone.Ó He almost smiled, her rhetoric was always flawed. When they were children he would have teased her that the contrictory element of her second idea did not contradict the first, but age set in and he knew that if she ever was rational within expected decorum that would be irregular. Instead he cupped his tea and stirred the leaves until they swirled to the surface. ÒI followed a migrating pod of air whales down to the core. The jade trees vanished and there were only lighting storms.Ó He tried to remember the brilliant beauty of millions of lightining forks illuminating the dark depths, but the reflection in her eyes told him more than memory. ÒThe forests on Isped were dark like tha t. Remember the deepedst heart were the trees were miles high and no light reached the bottom? I can still see the luminescent glow of the way-stop, a solitary light spreading a nimbus in the night.Ó That trip was over sixty years ago. Their time like all the others. ÒStill the One Tree was the best. Standing all alone in the desert. Five miles high. The trees on Arcadica were so short.Ó She sighed. ÒI donÕt think about Arcadia very much. Have you noticed that as the years get rather the first are more difficult to recall?Ó Those years were still crisp to him. Running across the green lawn, playing in the rain. All their school mates died in the war. ÒOh but the summerÕs were so wonderful there - all the fireflies dancing at night. We had parties beneath the boughs and talked in whispers. I still miss the quiet.Ó While she spoke the man cut the winter cake and pushed a piece across to her. Then he sat back and listened.
ÒI saw a girl traveling to see the Progeni tors grave. She was so serious. I told her I still can smell the air on Taurus when he took the First Seat. he was so young.Ó The man drank his tea and paused. They had all been shocked when Michael Keaton won the First Seat, but he did quickly conclude the war. That year their stay on Taurus was the longest that they had ever remained together. War fleets blocked space travel and by night they would see the lights of the bitter battles. ÒShe laughed at me and walked away. I was going to say I heard of his death on the dunes of Oren. The woman gave a tired chuckle,Ó The man put his cup down and held her hand. Keaton died before their trip to Isben and sometimes she forgot the distance of years. A small tear escaped her eyes. ÒI still miss Kristen and Tom and Richard and the others.Ó She hunched over and cried in silence. The man held her. Of all the losses she could never reconcil herself to the war that took their classmates and left them stranded on the plains of Gibaltr. The River Sine was darkening in the evening twilight when the woman finally ceased crying but the man held her a little longer. They would have dinner and then go on a cruise, and before they left they would decide where to meet in ten more years. He was sure it would be Coroat aquamarine oceans. == May 20, 2009. The train back to Los Angeles. I carry so much tension, dark hinges in anger, bitterness, fear – all these things swirl. I’ve always been a little peculiar with my internal states of being. I watch myself dissolving – falling to pieces and I think, how interesting. It’s curious to watch yourself decaying with time. I’m so tired, and once again I find myself asking that age old question, “Why am I still here?” Ross? What was it about him that drove me to attempt suicide three times, ending up in a comma for two days on the third attempt? And what was it that would destablize me so radically, I shut myself off from other people so much that I ended up charging other people just to be touched by me. Maybe it was that I just felt high looking at him. Maybe it was that touching him kicked me into overdrive.