23 December 2016

my friend tim was in line behind this guy at target

he sent me this


23 December 2016

I am alone in a city no one is from, and so everyone went home to be around people they know—which doesn’t really affect my own personal aloneness since I am alone in a city where I don’t know anyone at all.

When I drove Matt to the airport, he said: “Man, you’re gonna have the house to yourself, have my car . . . I’m kinda jealous!”

And I thought, hell, maybe this will be pretty cool. I’ll have Dante and we’ll have ourselves a good ol time. When I got home I found that Matt had left me a huge bottle of wine and fifty pounds of firewood in the basement. I screamed: “Heck yeah dude!!!!” and went upstairs and took an hour-long bath.

Uh, well listen: It’s been a few days, I can most certainly confirm that this sucks real bad!

I have realized that aloneness is OK as long as you can flip the switch and go back to the other thing every now and then. Years ago, when I lived alone in Baltimore, I somehow go to a point where I didn’t know anyone in the city. My girlfriend had gone away and suddenly I was alone in my house and alone in the city. I would walk around at night and, when I ran out of places to go, I knew the only place I could really go next was right back to my aloneness at home.

Heck, it may as well be five years ago, because here I am in the exact same situation!!!

I’ve been driving around at night thinking, you know, if only the useless things in my brain burned like the useless things I had in my room. In the last month I have burned letters and I have burned pictures. I found a letter my girlfriend in Texas had written to me around Christmastime years ago, and at one point she said I made her happy. I had to laugh. And I thought, man, that’s definitely the first and only time she said that to me. I felt bad about it but I had to go ahead and burn the damn thing. I sure can’t scrub her or the words from my brain though!

She’s not a bad person. She’s a great person. I knew a lot of great people who I don’t know anymore. I’ll probably never see any of them again.

I really do walk around at night and mutter to myself. Maybe I need to find something new to occupy my time. Were you to go to the streets and neighborhoods I have written about on this very website at the times in which I go, which is between midnight and 4 a.m., you would see me there and you would hear me calling myself an idiot over and over again. You really would hear mw say, “For God’s sake, what the fuck am I doing here,” or “Nice job, Ryan. It’s cold as hell out here and you ain’t got anywhere to go, buddy.”

I come home and put on a movie so I don’t feel so alone. It’s going to go on in this way for some time . . . and maybe even longer than that!

20 December 2016

Did I somehow forget to mention that my buddy Nick Splendorr came to Portland, and also attended our secret Sunday diner ritual at a secret diner in SE Portland???

Anyway here’s us havin ourselves a good ol time~~~~

20 December 2016

For as long as I can remember I have had dark circles under my eyes. Maybe it is because I have also always had a pale complexion, and have never been able to sleep, and have always been sad, and so on. Hm! I don’t know.

Last year I found a picture of myself when I was 11 or 12 years old. I had greasy black hair and pale skin and dark circles under my eyes. My mother had forced me to be in a play, and so I was playing the part of an old drunk—which is why I’m all dressed up and pouring myself a glass of fake whiskey. Whoa!

Anyway here it is:

And see, I know this is an old photo, and is in fact a photo of an old photo—but I still look kinda unhealthy here!

Many years later my mother and my sister would come visit me in the San Francisco Bay Area, and my mother would say to me: “How did you end up looking so greasy?”

A few years later, while semi-homeless and semi-living on my friend Natalie’s bedroom floor, she would say to me: “You’re kind of a greaseball, man.”

It is not as though my pores produce excess oil. And it is not as though I am especially sweaty or anything like that. In fact it may surprise you to know that I am very clean! Were you to touch my skin it would be soft and dry! But for some reason I still have this greaseball sheen to me, a sort of sad indirect glow. It makes my face and hair shiny and makes my eyes look comparatively murky.

I have said in the past that I was punched in the face in my backyard in Oakland, and that something happened where the capillaries beneath my right eye never healed properly (or something like that anyway). So the black ring beneath my right eye is always there, and especially prominent when I haven’t slept, which is often—and my eyelid has a little sagging Edgar Allan Poe look to it. It’s not bad!

What I’m getting at is that I can tell all of this is getting worse, which doesn’t surprise me. I assumed that as I aged these things would layer on top of each other and become more obvious, and so on, which doesn’t bother me.


Tonight I was washing my face, and I really did see this horrifying, scarred, greasy, gnawed-on gym rope of a face I’ve got, and all the many things that have happened to it were screaming at me just then, and I said to myself—in what my friend  would call a “Ryan pity party” (which it very much was!)—I said: “Oh, buddy. Oh, baby. You little baby boy.”

I said to someone once: “Get it while it’s hot, baby, ‘cuz this flesh ain’t gonna last.” Who had I said that to? God, probably a million people. In the twilight of this shared nightmare, in the final days of Earth, I said it again to the stranger in the mirror!

19 December 2016

Maybe this is going to make me sound insane, but I have noticed that in Portland there are these sort of paint-by-number friend groups. You see the same friend groups with the same type of people occupying the same roles, and on and on. I know this exists everywhere, but Portland isn’t very big and there aren’t a whole lot of personality types here, so it’s easier to spot this stuff.

Sometimes I wonder how they found each other in the first place. At times it feels as though someone opened up the level editor in The Sims and clicked and dragged these fully-formed friend groups onto street corners and into booths at bars and pizza places.

Anyway: There is a Friend Group Role that I notice a lot and am frequently annoyed by, and that is The Girlfriendless Bearded Guy Who Talks Too Loudly. Man, every friend group here has one of these guys. Often you’ll see two couples and then this guy is dead center and he definitely came alone. And he’s usually wearing those clear-framed glasses and a beanie or a baseball cap and he’s basically screaming at the top of his lungs about his favorite beer or like, oh god, explaining an entire episode of a TV show he watched.

When I first moved here I had the misfortune of sitting by a friend group who had one of these guys, and my brain would not obey my orders to stop listening to their conversation. My brain had my ears zero-in on a one-sided discussion this friend group was having in which The Girlfriendless Bearded Guy Who Talks Too Loudly was explaining to them what post-modern literature was.

Oh, God!!!! the end