19 February 2019

ok i’m making everyone do this now, so here’s ari and jackleen, who i finally met the other night

that’s me and ari inside a weird jail cell and that’s me and jackleen standing next to a pile of lime-green pipes or something

love y’all ☆

15 February 2019

Hello!

Detroit! I’m comin to see y’all tomorrow. I get in round about 11:30 pm, or as my phone would say: 23:30. I got me a rental car and everything. I’m going to drive all over the place with the heat on. But first I’m going to drive to Logan’s house, and I reckon we’ll get wine or something and hold her cats. I told her we gotta wake up Saturday morning and do a huge Traitor Joe’s run so we can hide inside the rest of the weekend, though I reckon I’ll see Jackleen and Ari that night, or Sunday night, or whatever. Yeah. I got a T-shirt for Jackleen, what with her having given me her Nintendo 64 T-shirt and all that. FAIR TRADE.

Jackleen: I sleep in this thing every night. It is pretty much completely covered in Dante fur. And also I was real sad when I had to finally wash it because it smelled really good and probably like your apartment or something.

But yeah I love this thing~

ANYWAY: I think I’m gonna go to Chicago on Tuesday. . . . I got to get a train ticket and all that. Probably I’ll go at night. Jess said I can stay at her place, so yeeaaahhhhh man I sure do hope that’s easy to find, because it’s going to be like 20 degrees outside and I sure as shit don’t own a winter coat. And then I’ll find Hali and Mable sometime after that. And maybe Sarah too.

Dante was asleep on my bag for hours so I wasn’t able to finish packing until now. I am relieved that I don’t have to pack serum and retinol cream and all that, because I am staying with Girls the entire time, and I more or less know their skincare routines, and they more or less mirror my own. What a relief!!!

I’m very excited!!!!!!!!

OK I’M GOING TO SLEEP NOW!!!!

See you soon!! You midwestern sons of bitches!!!

14 February 2019

shaina sent me a little basket full of green stars and a little-but-long scroll with a note on it!!! 💚

thanks girl!!! :,)

14 February 2019

everybody tells me

he’s the kinda guy, you don’t know why he does

o stargazer, gaze for awhile

let me la la la la la la love you, baby~

13 February 2019

Did I not write this down? I thought I did. Well, anyway, I was relaying these here stories to my friend a few minutes ago, and I thought, hell, I’m gonna put em somewhere. She didn’t really believe me, by the way . . . I think she thinks I made all this up. I didn’t! You can believe whatever you want to though. I know I’m paranoid that someone is out to get me . . . but then does it hurt to be ready for such a thing??

So here are TWO BRIEF INCIDENTS INVOLVING MY NAME. I should say that when I am severely sleep-deprived, which is often, I tend to hear people say my own name at the end of a sentence. This person more often than not is a stranger and so they would have no way of knowing my name. When I worked at DONUT FARM, and it would be 7:30 in the morning, and me having gotten three hours of sleep, I would say to someone on the other side of the register: “What can I get for you?” And the person, a stranger, would say something like: “I’ll take a cinnamon sugar donut and a cup of coffee . . . Ryan.” Only they didn’t say Ryan, because there’s no way they could have known my name, this being the first and only time we’d ever seen each other and no real social pleasantries exchanged between the two of us. I was not alarmed when I heard my name because I knew it just meant I had not gotten enough sleep. And why did I hear my own name? I think because it is comforting for me to hear someone say my name. I don’t know. Isn’t that a normal impulse? THAT BEING SAID: Hearing a stranger say my name is usually indicative of some sort of mental lapse on my part . . . like my senses are malfunctioning. So when this phenomenon occurs, which it does from time to time, I immediately dismiss it, knowing it to be partially false, having been created inside my ailing head.

HOWEVER:

A while back I was at the Traitor Joe’s in Emeryville buying wine and apples and strawberries and spinach and eggs and whatever the hell else bullshit I eat. In the back, near the Teeny Tiny Little Baby Cup of Coffee Station (hi Laura <3), where I was of course headed at full speed, I saw this dude with big curly brown hair restocking the peanut butter shelf. I have been going to this Traitor Joe’s for like six years and so I knew everyone there. Vaguely I noted to myself that I had never seen this person before. He smiled at me when I got near, and said: “Hey Ryan! How ya been, man? Haven’t seen you in a while.” A black streak of terror rocketed down my spine and I really did think that this would be the moment I had always feared would come to pass . . . that sacred place in time and space when a person I had never met before, and who knew everything about me, finally shoved a screwdriver in my neck and killed me dead on the spot. I was half-asleep and creeped out big time, so all I said was: “I’m OK. I was away for a while, but I’m back now.” He said, “Haha, cool!” and kept stocking.

This went on for some time, this guy going out of his way to single me out and say hello and ask me how I was doing, and so on, until finally one day I walked right up to him seeking the truth of his knowledge of me. I never forget people, which is My Curse, and fearing there was a piece of my memory missing, I had to probe this son of a bitch’s mind to find out what was took from me.

I put it to him just like this: “Hey man. Do you know me from somewhere or something?”

He said, “No, I don’t think so!”

“You didn’t greet me by name a few times?”

“Haha dude, I definitely didn’t. I don’t know your name. What’s your name, dude?”

“Oh. Uh. Well, I’m Ryan.”

He extended his latex-gloved-hand and said his name. I immediately forgot it.

Had I dreamed my own name? Did I imagine it coming out of his mouth when in fact it did not? Or did he actually say my name, and knows who I am, and pretended he didn’t just to Mess With My Head? I don’t know. Hand to God, I don’t know. He’s not a bad guy. He still says hi to me every time I come in. He’ll say it to me specifically from across the room. I don’t know what I did to show up on this guy’s radar, but he sure does go out of his way to say hello to me. Maybe one day soon, while working the little sample booth in the back, he’ll say, “Haha, time to die, dude!” and then pull out a pistol and shoot me in the face. But until then . . . he’s just some geek at a grocery store who has unwittingly served as an agent of psychological terror when I hallucinated him saying words he did not actually say. That he now actually knows my name and addresses me as such only adds to the mystery of the thing, and further distances me from the experience of being myself and perceiving the world in the presence of other people, most of them strangers.

•   •   •

Time passed. I went to Target to pick up my Lamictal prescription, which are the little white pills I take every day of my life to keep from going absolutely insane. I was the only one there, so the dude called me up to the counter. He said the thing that makes my blood go cold, and makes me feel as though there is a red laser dot on my forehead:

“Hey Ryan.”

I did not know this guy. I had never even seen him before . . . so it ain’t like we had no rapport or nothing! I brushed off the fact that he knew my name and considered it a momentary audio hallucination—a minor glitch in my processing of the three-dimensional hell I was trapped inside of.

Said I: “I’m just here to pick up my prescription.”

. . . and then he walked over to the bins and grabbed my prescription cuz he knew my last name too! He brought it back over and scanned the bag. I inserted my card into the machine. It made a terrifying noise. The machine told me to remove my card. I removed my card. I said thank you to the stranger behind the counter and walked away.

I stood there for a moment and thought about it. This son of a bitch had said my name! I really did hear it. And he knew my last name too! . . . what with the prescription bags being sorted alphabetically.

I turned back around and approached the counter again.

“You addressed me by my name, didn’t you? When I walked up?”

“Yeah.”

“You know my name?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh. Man. OK. Well, I just had to be sure because, you know—” I held up the paper bag he had given me, and which was filled to the brim with antipsychotic medication.

I still had the receipt in my hand. I read the creepy patronizing copy on the back, which was written in big bold letters, and worded in such a way that it could have come out of the mouth of a kindergarten teacher:

DID YOU HAVE FUN
SHOPPING AT TARGET TODAY?

“What is this?” I said. I held up the receipt. “Did I have fun?”

“I don’t know, man.”

“All I did was spend money. Is that supposed to be fun?”

He looked a little put off. “Was it?”

“I don’t think so. In fact I think I hated it.”

The dude shrugged. He knew my name, and now he knew I was a childish moron who came at the world with a black-and-white approach. What good that did either of us I don’t know. He had remembered me somehow, and now I imagined he wanted to forget all about me.

I went home and did whatever the hell it is I do at home. And I thought: I still don’t have any concrete proof that I am hallucinating at least a quarter of the interactions I have with strangers out in the world. What can you do, really, except keep on living and see what it’s all about? I have since considered that neither of these events ever took place. After all, the first guy assured me he did not know my name, when maybe he did, and the second guy did know my name, though I don’t know why. Taken together, I am terrified that my life isn’t so much a linear rope of time as it is an endless card shuffle of incongruous events which began as dreams and transmuted into what I remembered as actual memories. My recollection of my own life is then little more than a warehouse of nonsense that only serves to further confuse me and alienate me from the objective reality that we, all of us, more or less exist within simultaneously.

And now, a month or so later, not knowing anything more than I did when I began this tale, I take a little white pill and drive off to nowhere beneath a thousand rainclouds which have hovered over Oakland for what seems like two months now.

FIN.

12 February 2019

HEY

To the creep who keeps vaguely alluding to “watching” me and hurting me because I’m friends with his ex-girlfriend, I say this: I filed a police report with the city of Sacramento, so for god’s sake go away and leave me alone. Check your penal code, dude!! You can’t threaten and harass someone in the state of California without fines and jail time! I don’t know you!!! I don’t want to!!!! Find a therapist or something!!!! You are your own enemy!!!!!

okbye