The world is like a ride in at amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real cuz that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down, and round and round, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun—for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we . . . kill those people.

“Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride! Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This has to be real.”

It’s just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok? . . . But it doesn’t matter, because— it’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.

Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defense each year and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we can explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.

tom wolff and i ran around boston some winter a long time ago

where did you go, tom wolff?

serious question: what’s up with people in their mid-to-late twenties who have careers and are in long-term relationships having, like, these murder mystery nights? this seems to be a near-universal thing, or at least a popular enough thing that i have cataloged instances of it in my head. and if it isn’t a whodunit it’s some sort of barely-perceptively-different costume-related party-thing. or weekly board game nights or cookouts or whatever. this is real! have you noticed too??

is this a symptom or a consequence of “slowing down”? a lot of my Older Friends have settled into stuff like this. maybe once you get burnt out on bars and shit you just do that stuff. i mean, hell, if they’re into it, who am i to say it’s lame and square? i can’t help but wonder if it’s a feeling that you’re too old for the things you used to do, but too young for whatever comes next, which i guess is raising children or investing in a timeshare.

well, there you have it: yet another unsolicited and meaningless mediation from me on a boring phenomenon which has no real answer outside of “because that’s what people feel like doing with their time.”

My sister and her boyfriend-guy Adam came to the Bay Area a few weeks ago for my cousin Ned’s wedding. Ned is 30 years old and two weeks younger than me. He has a PhD in physics or something and is by all accounts a genius of some sort. He married a woman named Emily, who is also a scientist (I think??), and who I had met once or twice before a few years ago when I lived in Ghosttown, in West Oakland. I think she was very confused by me. At any rate she seemed nice, and Ned liked her very much, and she liked him, and so five years later that got married in a park in San Francisco. I can’t remember the name of the park. What the hell was it? I was drunk the entire day so, hell, who knows what it was called. It was near the Presidio and had a bunch of redwoods. Man it was nice.

I almost missed the ceremony though! I was running through the forest to get to the clearing where the altar and the wooden chairs were assembled, and I heard music far away. I said hello to an old man who was walking his dogs and, seeing my tie, he said: “You going to that wedding? If so, you’d better hurry the hell up, man.” So I ran faster! I got there just as Emily was walking down the aisle. I had never been to a wedding in my adult life, so it was real cool to see it all happen, even if I myself want absolutely nothing to do with that godforsaken ritual otherwise.

Afterwards we went into this yellow clubhouse about a hundred feet away from the whole thing, and I took advantage of the open bar, and all the food, and so on. I saw some of my cousin’s friends who I had not seen since Ned’s 11th birthday, a long-ass time ago now. We recognized each other and hugged and all that. Man, they’re nice guys. They remembered me and I remembered them. It was a hell of a time.

At some point, after drinking way too much, I got real sad and walked out of the forest and drove to the Pacific Ocean. I stayed there for a few hours and then went home and passed out. Ooops~

Anyway here are some pictures:

My brother Jeb saw the pictures a few days later told my sister Kendall that I look like a “criminal.” Well . . . I reckon it beats “some My Chemical Romance-ass motherfucker.”

Kendall and Adam also came to my house, which looked like this:

Next day Kendall woke up early and took a creepy picture of me and Dante sleeping:

My wall is barren there because I was waiting for my sister to bring me some paintings from my grandmother’s house, which I’m going to hang today I think. They look like this:

ONE FINAL ANECDOTE: Once again, having never been to a wedding where I wasn’t seven years old, I did not know how the whole speeches thing worked. So after Emily’s oldest sister gave her little speech, and everyone held up their champagne flutes to toast, I knocked back the whole thing in one fell swoop. Emily was sitting nearby and she snapped at me, uh, loud enough for basically everyone in the room to hear: “Ryan. There are still three more toasts.” Kendall poured some of her champagne into my glass and I took little sips for the remaining speeches. Sorry Emily. I had no idea!

Well: Congratulations, you sons of bitches. Y’all dig each other, and really what else is there to say? Good luck, and all that. Yeah!!!!