13 April 2015

LISTEN: I want y’all to know, whoever y’all may be (no one??), that I am 100% fully aware how idiotic and juvenile and melodramatic all of this sounds. I am painfully, paralyzingly conscious of the weightlessness of my thoughts. I know that all of these questions / observations have been written down about a billion times at this point. There is nothing new under the sun, and so on. I’m just some jerk who wants some answers that I know I’ll never get.

All of us are living on borrowed time, baby, and it’s all a big dumb joke. I am a fool, and I don’t mind being a fool. I just wanna know at whose expense, and why!

13 April 2015

Welcome to a bizarre back alley of the internet where a 27-year-old man who owns about a hundred pairs of colorful socks permanently sounds like he just cracked open a freshmen-level philosophy textbook for the first time

13 April 2015

I am going to put this as simply as possible, and then I will go back to pretending that I am sane:

A few days a week I work the counter at a small restaurant a block from my house. I am the only one behind the counter. I pick the music. Sometimes an album will end, and the music will stop. If I’m ringing someone up, I don’t have time to turn around and put on another album—so the only sounds in the restaurant are the ones that are normally partially obscured by music: people talking, people laughing, people burping, people chewing, people scraping their forks against their plates, and so on. For this reason I usually queue up a dozen or so albums, because having to hear any of this at full-blast is absolutely miserable.

I feel like most people realize that’s why there is music playing almost everywhere in public. It plays in malls, in restaurants, at the dentist. Hell, it even blares out at gas stations and vacant parking lots. The same goes for places that have dozens of TVs on at the same time: it’s noise. What all of this does is mask how completely absurd and weird it would be to find yourself in any of these places. It doesn’t allow you to think straight. Oh! There’s music. Everything must be OK.

In the case of my job, without music, it would cease to be a restaurant and suddenly be a small room full of strangers silently chewing on overpriced food.

OK, so, that being said: to me, and to a lot of people I know, that’s what every single god dang waking moment of our lives feels like anyway—it feels like a restaurant that isn’t playing any music. All that chewing!

And listen, I know there are many, many people in the world who are starving or homeless or don’t have access to potable water. So this sounds super fucking dumb to even write any of this down when you think about other people who are just trying to make it to tomorrow.

But I don’t know, man. I can’t help noticing this stuff and I ain’t alone, either. What’s the deal here? How do you numb yourself to that weird circus-y jail cell called existence???

13 April 2015

Today I asked a few people if they felt creeped out to be alive and was genuinely surprised when a few of them had no idea what I meant by that

13 April 2015

In Moby Dick, Ishmael says that Captain Ahab is a completely insane, but also smart enough to pretend to be sane

Hmmm

Hmmmmmm

I uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Well I’ll leave it to you to figure out why I felt compelled to mention this

12 April 2015

Man I sure have poked a hole in the thing and got sucked through to the other side of it

Or maybe the hole was poked for me

Regardless, there ain’t no going back, and fun is hard to come by

12 April 2015

I am sad that maybe I have nothing to say anymore, and only because I know it wouldn’t do any good anyway

10 April 2015

I got teased for looking like a vampire when I was in elementary / middle / high school

Even my father teased me about it!

My parents always wanted to go to North or South Carolina or Florida every summer, and I fried like hell outside so I usually had to stay at the beach house and read

Anyway that being said, I really don’t like summer or the sun

I feel really drained in the summer . . . I’m always tired and pissed off about the damn sun being out all the time

Where does summer not exist? I would live there

(I do like nighttime during the summer though. That was really cool when I still had that.)

10 April 2015

The neighbors had a baby.

Babies make awful noises most of the time. I can hear these awful noises through my walls. The other day I was taking a nap and the baby managed to infiltrate my dreams. It screamed and shrieked and wailed so loudly that it woke me up. I paced around my room and tried to drown it out with music, but I could still hear the damn thing crying. I put on my jacket and left the house.

I walked for miles and eventually ended up at a grocery store. I grabbed a bottle of cheap wine off the shelf. A few of the employees waved and said, “Heeeyyy! Donut guy!” (I bring them donuts once a week.) The guy at the register asked me if I wanted a “sleeve” and I said, “Yeah, give me one of those bum bags, won’t you?”

Outside I slipped the bag on the bottle and twisted off the cap. When drinking a whole bottle of wine in public it is important to get the twist-off variety. That way you when the cops come sniffing around, you can cap it quickly. “I was just on my way home! I bought this bottle of wine, you see. . . .”

I ended up on 40th Street and took it east all the way to 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. There was some sort of show going on inside. I stood outside with everyone else who didn’t want to be inside for one reason or another. I was sipping my wine and capping it again. I struck up a conversation with a guy near a row of bicycles. He said he’d come from North Bay to see his friends but didn’t feel like paying the cover. He asked me if I lived in Oakland and I told him I did. “What brings you here?” he said.

“A god damn baby, that’s what.” I didn’t elaborate. I offered him a sip of my wine but he politely declined.

Some guy in box-framed glasses and a bad haircut came up to me and told me I had to beat it if I was going to stand there with wine. “That—” he said, pointing to my wine, “is going to put an end to the kind of stuff we’re trying to do tonight.” I assumed he worked there or something, but maybe he was just some jerk.

“Ah man, really? I’ve gotta go? It’s capped.”

“Doesn’t matter. You have to leave.”

“Fine. I’ll scram then. What the hell else is new?”

I said good-bye to my new friend and walked around the side of the building. I found a small vacant parking lot behind the record store. I sat down on a concrete slab and finished off the rest of the bottle. I made a few phone calls. No one picked up. Feeling useless, I headed north toward Berkeley.

My friend Megan Beard called me from New Orleans as I neared the Berkeley line. She said she was out drinking with my friend Leila. I talked to both of them while dodging traffic and hopping over medians and laughing like hell.

I had reached the 50s and decided to go home when my friend Lael called. He said he was at our friend Mitch’s house. Mitch’s girlfriend, a different Leyla, was turning twenty-three years old. I told them I’d stop by. It was a quick hike from 50th Street to 56th Street.

At Mitch’s house I sat on his bedroom floor and talked about nothing. Everyone commented that with my pale skin and blue lips and teeth (wine!), I looked like a corpse. It went on like this for an hour or so. Lael and I left together around midnight.

On San Pablo Avenue we would have turned right to go home, but we noticed a new bar had opened about fifty feet away from us. There are almost no bars in our neighborhood—the only one that is worth a damn is a fifteen-minute walk, and the closest one always has a god damn Porsche parked outside and is filled with the biggest jerks in the universe. I’m talking guys with little ponytails.

So this new bar was intriguing! We walked over and introduced ourselves to the doorman, who was very friendly. He said it was the bar’s opening night. I looked up and read the sign, which was lined with glittering old-timey lights. It said “WOLF HOUND”.

Inside it looked like the sort of place Edgar Allan Poe would die. I met the owner and asked him if he was hiring. He told me to come back the following week. He shook my hand.

Lael and I sat the bar and got a couple of beers. The bartender was pretty. She introduced herself to me, and for some reason kept touching my arm. I told her I lived and worked a few blocks away and would come in frequently, saying I didn’t feel stressed out at all inside that room. She said, “You should!”

At last call we got up and left. Lael turned east and I went a few blocks north. At home the sounds of the baby had died down. I ate a few melatonin pills and put on a sleep mask and went the hell to sleep.