“There are more bad people than there are good people
If you’re good you live forever
If you’re bad when you die, you die”

The longer I am here, the sadder and angrier I get about all of this . . . and I realize more and more that what we have figured out over the last couple thousand years is pathetic and laughable

Life, or whatever you want to call it, is so much easier to navigate once you get over the fact that you are not cool and never will be

You become invincible

And the only things that can hurt you are knives and bullets and moving vehicles

About once a month a screaming comes across the sky, so to speak, and for an instant I feel that I would be content to never see a human face or hear a human voice ever again.

And then the moment passes and I unplug the Christmas lights lining my door and toss my stupid purple grandpa cardigan into the darkness and force myself to go to sleep.

On August 23rd, 2013, I drove to the Pacific Ocean at midnight with a girl I knew immediately that I disliked very intensely. She was a self-described “gothic Lolita girl” and had arrived at the gates of my house wearing cat ears and clown make-up and six-inch glittery heels. Inside my head a voice screamed out in terror. It was not my voice. It was my father’s: “Ryan, no.”

We drove north, winding through the darkness with the ocean a far drop below until we reached Stinson Beach. There she took off her enormous shoes and I thrust my hands into my pockets and we walked the beach under moonlight, seeing very little and feeling nothing. She told me about all the men who were in love with her, and how she didn’t care at all, and how she had almost overdosed in an abandoned factory in Detroit the previous winter, and then showed me a tattoo she had gotten of some football team—I don’t even remember which one. Then she explained every relationship she’d ever been in and how many times she had cheated on them and how really she only liked very tall guys who had poor social skills. And to all of this I stared at my shoes, half-buried in the sand, and said, “Oh.”

At 1 a.m. I sent my friend Delicious a note about my well-being: “This is literally the worst ‘hanging out with a girl’ experience I’ve ever had.”

An hour later we were rocketing through the forested roads on the edge of Muir Woods and she revealed to me how ass-backwards she truly was. She said she didn’t like sandwiches, hated avocados, hated movies, loved San Francisco, and that lyrics were exponentially more important than the music accompanying them.

She had a tattoo on her ankle, which she somehow showed me while also driving a car at 50 mph, that said, in Icelandic, “EVERYTHING MATTERS.” She told me her boyfriend at the time, a (in her words) “dumb-as-shit skinny Dutch model with a big dick” had gotten one that said, also in Icelandic, “NOTHING MATTERS.” And she called him a “grumpypants” and I felt my fucking innards begin to rot.

And I thought to myself, “Well, this is it. This is the last night I will ever care about anything.” (It had been a long time coming.)

She put on her favorite song, which was by some asshole whose name I can’t even remember, and began crying. She said it was the most beautiful song she had ever heard in her life. All I heard was every cell in my body screaming upward into that pale and terrible nothingness where I was headed. I could feel the sickness in my bones.

She dropped me off at 3 a.m. and hugged me and I put a limp and lifeless arm around her and got out. Inside the house I went into my cousin’s room and told him it was all over. He, half-asleep, assured me I would be fine.

In the morning I awoke and knew I was dead. I picked up my phone and told my master, Big Delicious, what it was I felt (or didn’t feel): “I woke up today and realized I finally don’t give a crap. Is this what it feels like to be you?”

To which he responded almost instantly: “Yes. But you haven’t reached total enlightenment yet. We must meditate on the concept that fear is everything and that everything is nothing. Only then can we achieve mastery over death.”

“She succeeded,” I said, “in doing what no other person who has come before has been able to do: she plunged me into that darkness from which no human can return.”

“Freedom,” said Baby Delicious, “terrible, terrible freedom. Thank god for this girl, really.”

“My ego exploded into moondust like an hour ago so I can’t feel anything anymore,” I said. “My sense of self is PAST TENSE.”

Delicious delivered his final line of wisdom while I was putting the kettle on: “We need a comet the size of Saturn to hit this rock we live on.”

The only thing I could say in return was the only thing anyone could say: “Yeah. We sure do.”

Time to drink
Time to love
Time to unbutton my shirt
Time to slouch against the mattress on the floor
Time to kill an animal with a log
Time to snub a nobody in a nowhere bar
Time to say nice things
Time to say nothing at all
Time to sleep when the rain comes down


Pictured: A couple of hot jerks being as silly as a big ol’ bag of bones. (Thanks, Tracey Lien.)

A moment ago I slicked back my greasy black hair and kicked open the door to John’s chambers, where I found him crying and writing letters to dead women. Outside his window I could see that it was raining and the sky was dark and unkind.

“Snap out of it!” I said. “Listen up!” I described to him in a succinct and frenzied and half-garbled way the Five Points of our lives going into the impending apocalypse. “You have no choice, you fucking jerk! We’re doing this!” I went on.

As I listed each point I held up a corresponding finger until all five were outstretched to form a crooked fleshy star:

  1. look disgusting on accident forever
  2. get in shape (to be able to outrun our reptilian overlords/withstand the daily burdens of doom-zeppelin maintenance)
  3. chow down some good-ass fuckin’ food whenever possible (as Gritt Calhoon would say)
  4. write until our god damn fingers start bleeding (then stop to scream at the nearest inanimate object until hoarse and resume writing)
  5. drink fine beverages that ease the usual heaviness of the mind and replace it with a different sort of heaviness (in the best circumstances)

Tonight we will ride like the wind through rain and sadness until we reach the ruby-lit room by Lake Merritt, where we will do a whole lot of number one, and a whole hell of a lot of number five. Maybe, if we don’t pass out in some blood-soaked gutter, we’ll get around to some number four.

Holy lord! I am certain I just heard a banshee scream out into this cold, rainy Oakland night. That or some wounded creature not intended for mass production . . . a wailing psycho-freak assembled accidentally and in great haste. . . .

I feel so good when I have absolutely nothing

(Today I feel pretty good)

((Maybe I will have nothing for the rest of my life))

(((I’m not sure how else I could possibly survive)))