31 March 2016

They tell me that my house, my neighborhood, and the amount of money I’m paying to live in that house in that neighborhood is unheard of, or maybe just extremely rare. . . . I have no idea how I managed to do this. My landlord told me that the reason my friend Matt and I got the house was because all of our references had such nice things to say about us. Isn’t that cute? I mean, hell, I had no idea what those people would say. They said we were “nice guys” who, despite not having a whole lot of money, always managed to pay the bills on time. Well, there you go.

There was a sort of “open house” a few weeks ago, and we went. Our landlord, Jerry, is a hell of a guy. I think he liked us also because during the open house we stayed and talked to him for like half an hour. Only one other woman showed up, and she complained that the house was too small, dropped off an application, and scurried out. I’ve never been a landlord before, though I imagine that ain’t the sort of jerk you want living in your house. Maybe sometimes all you’re looking for is two jerks who are nice enough to talk to in short bursts. Though hey, what do I know.

Anyway: I moved all my stuff in yesterday. It took about three trips using this tiny car I’m borrowing from my friend. The only thing left in my storage unit is my mattress, and I’m going to nab it this evening. I rented a big-ass cargo van and everything. I’ll tell you what: I’m going to flop that thing onto the floor and have me a good old time. I’m going to scream and bounce around. Matt is still subletting some snowboarder’s room near Clinton Street, so I reckon I’m alone for a little while, and can comfortably do such things whenever I feel like it. We have a stand-alone house, not a duplex, which I haven’t had since I lived in Austin all those years ago, and you know, I totally forgot that you can just blast music as loud as you want. I sure did do that all night last night. I had me a hell of a time. I plan to do a lot of that tonight, and every night. I haven’t been able to do that in a long time.

Matt and I have decided we’re going to do a lot of stoop-sitting. We have a wonderful stoop, don’t you know. Last night we were out there a-hootin and a-hollerin, and in no time we had already made two friends who just happened to be walking down Hawthorne. That’s what I like about this Oregon place, and the people who live here: they’re so very friendly. I have really great conversations with strangers every day. I mean, hell, I’m at my favorite coffee shop right now and the barista came over and gave me a free sandwich. Why, I don’t know. Maybe because he sees me six days a week, and likes me enough to do such a thing. I am going to do my best not to let me stoop ownership get in the way of me coming here. Don’t get me wrong: I love that stoop, and I’m going to sit there every single god dang day, but I have to make appearances here every now and then, because God knows these people sheltered me and were kind to me when the wind was cold and the rain was coming down hard.

We have this huge living room. We have decided we’re going to get an enormous rug and some lamps . . . and that’s mostly it! We have plans to make a low Japanese table to fold out whenever we want to chill real hard, and I’m going to track down some cheap samurai armor to put in the corner. There’s also a fireplace in there and everything. This being Oregon, I’m thinking firewood won’t be hard to come by. Hell, we could just drive a few miles outside the city and chop some of our own. And then we’ll stack it up next to the fireplace and light the damn thing whenever an unseasonably cold night comes our way.

There is a basement. We are turning it into a sort of fortress. Red velvet curtains, a cheap drum kit, a weight bench, a projector . . . oh lord. It’s going to be so dumb, and so beautiful.

Maybe I’ll post pictures soon!

I have to go get that cargo van now. Yeah. Please hold your calls—I’m going to need all night with this big baby.

28 March 2016

WELCOME TO THIS THING, WHATEVER IT IS

Let’s call it a “space dumpster” for now. I am trash, I will write trash. The only thing trash can create is itself. (What?)

If you have any questions, you can ball them up and get right the heck over yourself! Otherwise write me an email or send me a letter in the mail. Why, just today I got a package from a woman in Providence, Rhode Island. Inside the package I found candy and cat treats. I have never met her before, but she doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would poison a stranger, or anyone at all for that matter. I don’t really like candy but I’m going to eat it anyway because I don’t absolutely not like candy. I also don’t really like cat treats either, but I guess I’m going to eat those too. What a lovely person! Thanks, dude.

Hmmmm. OK. I’m going to walk down to Reed College (a whole three miles from this coffee shop) and scare people by simply walking amongst them. How is this different from any other public outing of mine? Well, these are mostly young people, and lord knows they spook easily. Maybe one of them will be dumb enough to be my girlfriend. (Am I kidding??) Seeya later, jerks!!!!

28 March 2016

Every day I go to a coffee shop. I alternate between two of them. One is in Hawthorne and the other is near the river. I usually stay there for ten hours or so. I stay there because these days I have no place else to go.

I haven’t slept in my own bed since October. I haven’t even had a bedroom to not sleep in for just as long. I was living in Oakland, and had been for some time. My lease expired and I had to get the hell out of there so I got to going. I was being shredded every night and I was lonelier than hell. In the five months since those feelings made me leave, I have felt them even stronger than I had preciously.

This is the ninth day I have worn this T-shirt and these socks. This is likely the twentieth day I have worn these jeans. I don’t even want to think about how long I’ve been wearing my underwear. My clothes are glued to my body with sweat. At this point I may never take this stuff off.

I wonder sometimes—wonder because I have so much time to do so, these days—why it is I’m still shuffling around, still blinking and breathing and eating and sleeping, and so on. It’s not that I’m afraid that if I stop I’ll die. I’m not afraid to die. It’s just that I would have to sit there an awfully long time for that to happen. Probably some authority figure would tell me to move along, and then I’d have to go find some other place to sit down and die. I guess I have concluded that for now it’s easier to just keep going. I honestly don’t know what else to do.

I have a house. It’s in Hawthorne, about twenty blocks from the coffee shop there. I’m not allowed to put my boxes in there for another two days.

I think about this all the time: putting those boxes somewhere. I have probably a dozen boxes. They’re in my storage unit, which is the size of a broom closet. My storage unit is inside an enormous dusty square-shaped warehouse by the river. I visit my things every three or four days. I have never seen another person in the building. Inside I have two suitcases where I swap out clothes and retrieve my anti-seizure medication. Sometimes I take out my leather jacket and put it on. I stand there for a few minutes and flex my arms. When the leather bends it makes a nice sound. I take it off and put it away. Other times I take out my guitar and play a few chords or whatever. If you can miss inanimate objects, I miss a few of those things. I miss wearing them and holding them. They make me feel safe. I only have a few things like this. I sure do miss feeling safe.

Everything I own has been in that storage unit since October. I made two separate trips up to Portland in rental cars to get it all there. I could have done it in one trip but I had forgotten a few things the first time. At any rate those were nice trips. It takes about ten hours. I was alone and I drove and drove all night, eating fruit and vegetables and sandwiches my roommate had made for me. I would get into Portland at 1 or 2 in the morning and park next to Laurelhurst Park. In the morning I woke up in a sleeping bag in the trunk and got breakfast. If I felt like staying longer I did. Otherwise I immediately drove back to Oakland.

And now, after many months of doing a lot of awful living in four different mostly awful states, I am here on a semi-permanent basis. I signed a lease. I can put my boxes somewhere. I plan to shower and change my clothes too.

I have this problem where I have no money. I suspect this is the case for a lot people on this planet. I think of money in terms of how much food I can buy with it until I can’t buy anymore food. I have about a week or two worth of money. If I ate nothing except rice and beans I could probably make it till the end of April. It’s looking like that might be the case.

There is also an issue involving me giving away my electric kettle. My old roommates in Oakland let me continue to live on their couch for three weeks after I had put everything in my storage unit here, and so I gave them my electric kettle. They seemed awfully happy about that. I can’t very well just ask for it back now. I used that thing about a dozen times a day. You see, I drink a lot of tea. I don’t know how I’m going to do that anymore. When I move into my house in two days, I will have no way to heat water. I don’t even have a single pot. I used my kettle so frequently it burned through the metal. The spout came clean off. I threw it away. I have no money to replace any of these things.

There are a lot of people around me right now. I wonder if they have no money too. Some of them are dressed nicely and some of them are wearing expensive glasses. I guess that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I had my paws on a little bit of money once, which is why I still own anything nice at all. Of course I can’t get to any of it because it’s locked away in that dungeon of a warehouse, and I’d have nowhere else to put it anyway, so all I have are the clothes on my back and a bag with a few novels and teabags in it. By all accounts I am a broke homeless loser. It could be worse. I don’t have a police record and I don’t think anyone is trying to kill me. That’s got to count for something.

They tell me I need to make some money and take care of myself. To which I say: hell, do you want to come over here and live this godawful existence of mine? All I do is plot ways to keep the charade up a little while long. The charade of course is my life. It is a dumb, weird joke and I don’t think it’s all that funny anymore.

A barista has just come over to my table. She took away my empty coffee cup and smiled at me. They all know me because I am here five days a week and I don’t make a fuss about anything. I like this place more than the other place, even though it is farther away, because the seating is nicer and because it’s open twenty-four hours a day. Portland is a sleepy city and everything shuts down at 10 p.m., but this place, God love it, never stops. There is also a twenty-four hour Subway across the street, but I haven’t hated myself enough to walk over there just yet.

What to do? Hell if I know. I’m exhausted, man. I’ve been sleeping on floors and couches and in other people’s beds for a long, long time now. I would get up and leave right this second, but I truly have no place to go. I would just be wandering around. I’ll do plenty of that after the sun goes down. I have decided to allow myself to spend five whole dollars on a bottle of wine this evening so that I can accommodate all those nasty feelings I plan to feel in the center of the Hawthorne Bridge.

28 March 2016

“there’s no place left to go / when i’m feeling kind of slow / do you like the way you are / yes it is, ’cause you’re the star”

yeah

this song rules.

28 March 2016

“Give not thyself up, then, to fire, lest it invert thee, deaden thee, as for the time it did me. There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness.”

27 March 2016

i am doing everything in my power to block out all the conversations swirling around me that involve people talking about brunch and kale and mimosas and clothes. no offense to them, but come on.

it is a nice day outside. maybe i’ll go out there after the sun sets.

i think i can move into my house tomorrow. i have been wearing the same clothes for eight days straight and i haven’t showered in just as long. i am fried on caffeine and i have three hickeys on my neck.

25 March 2016

i would go to a coffee shop if it had no windows or at least heavily tinted ones

or a basement coffee shop

i went to a basement bar the other night and got drunk on cheap beer by myself, and were it not for the absolute meltdown i was having inside my head i think i would have appreciated how nice that setting was, and how nice it was to be underground

25 March 2016

you take enough tylenol and it deadens your existential dread

you drink enough cough syrup and you see dead people wandering around