Man, I leave on Tuesday. Whoa. The last three months have been memory-eating anti-time. The only thing that changes is the place . . . dang near everything else is the same. People asking, “So what are you going to do?” or “Are you eating?” or “Is your cat happy?” A lot of time alone, and hardly any friendly faces.

I say this as someone who is not at all a coffee snob: I have been drinking some of the worst coffee of my life here in Virginia. I buy the same exact beans I bought in Oakland, I grind them up myself . . . and then somehow when this little machine has water pass through the ground-up beans to create the coffee, it all gets fucked up. It is so awful but I drink two cups of it a day anyway. It tastes like bitter dirt, or something. I guess I just don’t like coffee makers. They’re too imprecise. A dumb robot with a brain the size of a cashew gets in the way of what is really a pretty simple procedure.

Lord, the West Coast, huh. Hell I like it over there. One final plane ride for Dante—for now, anyway. We have a layover in Las Vegas, which blows. They always send me to the worst airports in the US, the other two being San Diego and Phoenix. San Diego airport is small and filled with people in leopard-print yoga pants who have hot pink pedicures and hold tiny yippy dogs with brains the size of a cashew . . . whereas Phoenix is a funeral home the size of a football field, surrounded by a vast empty Martian landscape, and there’s a Burger King at the heart of it. Las Vegas, though. Lord. Two-pack-a-day grannies pulling on those slot machine levers every ten seconds. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere. . . .

It is time, I reckon, to escape from this lukewarm hell. Though really it is not so bad as long as I never leave the house when other people are outside. I have been going on long walks at night when The Day’s Work is finished, and I feel all right about it, even if this town is just a big strip mall trapped in the amber of eternity.

And here I am drinking this godawful coffee and writing fake newspaper articles for a dystopian society in which civilization has failed . . . and I ain’t talkin about the year 2016, though I don’t blame you for being mistaken about that!


I’ll see all you beautiful Oakland people in five days. I am going to visit as though I am a tourist. I am going to walk around and know that I don’t have to stay there too terribly long. And then I go north!~~~ ☆