Man . . . I just had a real wild night. I walked to my old elementary school, about three miles from here, and hung around for a little bit. I thought about hopping the fence and sitting on the swings, which I’ve done before years back, but what with the police station a block away I figured that was pushing it. And because it was so cold, and I was wearing a black cap and all-black clothing, I probably looked like a thief or at least some shady type. If they ever check the security tapes I’m going to look like a huge creep. I’m going to look like a dude scoping out an elementary school!

Laura called me. She was upset. We talked for a long, long time . . . maybe hours! She said it was nice to hear my voice again, and I said it was nice to hear her voice too. God was it!

And listen: my elementary school was a private school, and the school itself was just a collection of old houses. Actually it ruled. But because it was so small we had our graduation ceremonies at a public school right down the street. While I was on the phone with Laura I ended up walking over there, and was standing in the parking lot looking around. Well, I happened to notice a dark figure skulking around near the front of the building. Once he saw me he hid behind a tree . . . and then lurched into view, and started walking towards me. He was hidden beneath a cloud of shadows! I ran across the street, still on the phone, and told Laura I needed to call the police, which if you’ve been paying attention, were just a few blocks away!

I crossed four lanes and a median and stood beneath a street light pretty far from the school, but still in plain sight. I saw the dark figure creeping around. It was spooky as hell, man. I don’t even know that I’ve seen a human move like that. It was almost supernatural, or something . . . there was nothing natural about it, that’s for god dang sure.

So I called the cops, and within two or three minutes a bunch of cop cars came swooping into the lot with their spotlights on as they scanned the building. Since I was also dressed like a dude who was up to no good, I got to walking. I don’t know if they ever captured the ghost-thing who was haunting the school and possibly wanted to kill me, though I reckon it was a sight to see if they did. Too bad!

Anyway I ended up at a 24-hour grocery store about a mile away. I bought a protein shake and a bunch of firewood. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking, because that firewood weighed 15 or 20 pounds, which maybe doesn’t sound like much, but I had to walk 4 miles home with it in my hands. And more than the weight of the bundle was its odd shape, which was cumbersome and awful to get a grip on. I wanted to die pretty much the entire time I was walking home. I actually almost threw up a few times. I considered just hiding it somewhere so I could come back for it tomorrow afternoon, but I soldiered on, and an hour and a half later I threw the thing onto the front porch and screamed. My back and neck are going to feel terrible in the morning . . . and really they already feel terrible now.

This is what it looks like by the way:


I’m going to have a big fire tomorrow evening. If I close the flue about halfway I should get six or seven hours out of these babies. I have a bunch of Kurosawa to get through tomorrow, so I will do it next to the fire. Lord almighty is it going to be nice. I’d invite you all to come over but I have already thrown a bunch of furniture in front of the door and boarded up all the windows so there’s no getting in or out. This may be my final correspondence to the world.

Me and Dante are going to have the time of our lives sipping hot coffee and watching RAN (乱) in our pajamas next to a crackling birch wood fire!!! I earned this fire, OK, because I walked all that way with this bitch of a bundle slung over my poor tired back.

Yup. Good-night!