mail from kate giffin in halifax!!
mail from kate giffin in halifax!!
hey are any of y’all seeing REMEMBER SPORTS @ bottom of the hill tonight, which is in san francisco, california?? i’ll be there with a few of my Good Friends . . . so heck, come on by, why don’t you!!
i love REMEMBER SPORTS, which i will continue to capitalize by the way. they’re adorable and cool.
anyway yeah. ok. seeya there . . . or not!!!
Whoa! I have a friend in Barcelona named Nina. She’s so cool. She’s a baker at some sort of famous bakery and she makes beautiful cakes every day. Well! Her sister Yasmin has been living in Oakland for the past few weeks, and Nina said she was a little lonely and didn’t know too many people, so I picked her up from the Berkeley Public Library in downtown Berkeley last night and we drove through the torrential rain to get to Missouri Lounge, where I told her we could smoke out back beneath the heat lamps. I got her a margarita and I drank a shot and a beer and we hung out on a picnic table beneath a tent while the rain came the hell down. She rolled me a few cigarettes and she told me she had been studying English that day since, according to her, her English isn’t very good. She’s nuts, because her English is So Good. Like my friends in Belgium, she has a way of phrasing things that a native English speaker would not think to phrase something . . . which is to say it is abstract and almost poetic sometimes. Hah! It has flavor is what I mean. It’s so good. And of course I can understand her perfectly. She wouldn’t believe me though.
Anyway: Yasmin is real cool. She has a tattoo of an owl with Nina’s name above it!! See:
Yeah!! She’s coming to my birthday party next weekend and everything. And I think maybe she’s gonna stay with me for a few days in February before she heads to New Orleans. I’m trying to find her a place there. . . . Leila!! Help!!
She has lived in Berlin for six years, and saved up a bunch of money to hang out in the US for six months to learn English and meet people. So far it has gone all right, but there were sadnesses she told me of too. She said everyone in Los Angeles was awful to her, but that people in Oakland were so inviting and helpful. And she said next time I’m in Berlin, which will be soon enough, I can stay with her and she’ll introduce me to all her friends. Whoa . . . yeah.
God dang it!! I love doing stuff like this. It is, I think, the best thing in my whole life—to hang out with people like Yasmin. I don’t know if Nina reads my website, but Nina, if you do: you got a good sister and I’ll take good care of her while she’s here. H’okay?
(P.S. I accidentally got very drunk, on account of having not eaten anything that day . . . and I went to use the restroom and found a plastic pistol that shoots mace out of it. It says something like PEPPER GUN on the side of it. I have no idea why I shoved it in my inside pocket, but I sure did do that. I found it this morning when I put my jacket on to go to work and was real confused. I guess I should probably take it back. What the hell am I going to do with a PEPPER GUN other then unintentionally shoot myself in the face with it??)
i had been living in portland for probably a month when my friends natalie and melanie took these pictures on some god damn beach in oregon, the name of which i have forgotten! natalie, what was the name of that beach? i remember it took about an hour to get there, through a forest and what looked like a marsh. and we passed the tillimook cheese factory. it was a gloomy and windy day. there were hardly any people on the beach so it was mostly ours.
anyway: i had no home, and was crashing on people’s floors and couches and beds, and i had about $200 to my name and all of my stuff was in a refrigerator-sized storage unit on the southeast side, a few blocks from the river. it rained every single day of course, so i would walk across the hawthorne bridge every few days and swap out my wet clothes for dry clothes that had been wet the last time i wore them. i smelled like hell.
natalie and melanie put me up a number of times, which is to say they saved my ass! and they were kind enough to let me hang out with them all the time. they lived in a little basement apartment with natalie’s cat chip. natalie even folded my laundry one time, which made me feel embarrassed. she said she recognized a “theme” in my socks and underwear . . . meaning they’re all purple and burgundy (lol)~
that was a good day. we got veggie burgers at the burgerville on hawthorne blvd, a few blocks from the house that i would move into two or three weeks later, though i didn’t know that yet.
it is easy to romanticize this period of my life now, but back then it was a harrowing time. these two people made it way better though. otherwise i would have been alone . . . or hanging around people i met through the internet, which i did too, though hell, that ain’t the same. i liked being around natalie and melanie most of all.
thank you for being so nice to me. i have not forgotten your kindness! i miss you both.
there is a good story about this, which i have written about on this very website, but i ain’t gonna tell you where it is!
Once upon a time, I, Ryan Starsailor, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Starsailor. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a Starsailor dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a Starsailor.
. . .
How do I know that enjoying life is not a delusion? How do I know that in hating death we are not like people who got lost in early childhood and do not know the way home? Lady Li was the child of a border guard in Ai. When first captured by the state of Jin, she wept so much her clothes were soaked. But after she entered the palace, shared the king’s bed, and dined on the finest meats, she regretted her tears. How do I know that the dead do not regret their previous longing for life? One who dreams of drinking wine may in the morning weep; one who dreams weeping may in the morning go out to hunt. During our dreams we do not know we are dreaming. We may even dream of interpreting a dream. Only on waking do we know it was a dream. Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream. And yet fools think they are awake, presuming to know that they are rulers or herdsmen. How dense! You and Confucius are both dreaming, and I who say you are a dream am also a dream. Such is my tale. It will probably be called preposterous, but after ten thousand generations there may be a great sage who will be able to explain it, a trivial interval equivalent to the passage from morning to night.
lol man i love living inside of a surreal cartoon and guess what!!! i’m never comin out