come here, ryan
man you ever have a day where you know for sure that it is on the top 10 list of worst days of your life
cuz i sure just had one! and it’s all my fault too
well good-bye for now
well: i felt completely insane last night, and drank way too much. i accidentally stayed awake until six a.m. and when i saw the sky lightening, i put on a sleep mask and made my room very cold and passed out. i had absolutely horrifying nightmares about people going away from me forever. i woke up panting! i really did. laura told me that every once and a while, if she wakes up before me, and then i wake up a few minutes later, i do make a sort of gasp-scream to indicate that i just been thrust out of a world in my head which hurt me in my sleep.
and now it is six p.m. and i have been awake for less than three hours. for breakfast i had a cup of coffee and a 15mg adderall capsule.
well, you know what they say about adderall:
GOOD FOR HEALTH
BAD FOR EDUCATION
. . . or was it the other way around?
at any rate: according to some brief research i just did, my breakfast had less than five calories in it, all of which came from the one eight oz. cup of black coffee i drank. i don’t suppose there are any calories whatsoever in an adderall capsule, and anyway being that it is an amphetamine, it is only suppressing my appetite.
i have been weighing myself every day for a month. outside of minor weight fluctuations from what i assume is just water, i think i’ve lost almost 10 lbs. since mid-july. this has nothing to do with adderall, which i take sparingly when i feel extremely sad and have work to do. the weight thing happens every few years or so, and it is usually an indicator of some major inbound storm. i can’t really afford to lose much more weight. two or three more pounds and i think i’m in big trouble. and you know, with this thing taking a toll on pretty much every layer of my existence, i start to wonder where the fight in me comes from. certainly i don’t have much use in being alive. i’ve felt like that since i first started feeling anything at all. you know? plenty of french and russian and german dudes have already described this sensation much more eloquently than i ever could: that something is definitely off, when you think about it even for a minute, assuming you’re the kind of person who is prone to that sort of thinking. i can’t help it though.
once, some years ago, never mind how long precisely, i was living alone in the ruins of some unloved neighborhood in baltimore. i lived next to a huge cemetery where people were routinely mugged and maimed and so on. i’m not sure if anyone was ever murdered there, though i suppose that would be a convenient place to die. anyway: from my window i could see derelict factories and warehouses that nobody cared about anymore—had not cared about since before baltimore had been designated as one of the unfortunate cities of “The Rust Belt”. i was living off my clinical trial paychecks, which were infrequent and unpredictable, but which kept me afloat nonetheless as long as i barely spent any money at all. i never went out during the day, only at night, and even then i didn’t do much else except scale abandoned buildings and rickety bridges and talk to the two girls at the late-night sandwich shop on charles street, who were pretty much my only friends back then.
and so one night i was at the sandwich shop and i was talking to my only friends in the whole world, and we landed smack dab on the topic of Suicide. it was the sort of conversation you have sometimes where it is clear everyone is in on the joke, which is say although we were laughing and talking lightly about very dark things, it was clear enough that none of us could come up with a bulletproof reason for waking up every morning, and a swift death in the near future was the only cure for what ailed us, which was everything in existence.
next day i had a conversation with my father on the phone. i had not slept in probably three days. i asked him if he ever stopped and thought about how terrifying it was that he was alive . . . that he was a thing who was standing there and thinking things! and all the while surrounded by the whole wide world, which was filled to the brim with other people just like him, as well as animals and trees and cars and buildings and on and on and on. i had been doing something similar to that at the time: i would freeze and hear my own voice in my own head, which said more or less: “YOU ARE ALIVE.”
and saying this i said again: “so, have you ever felt like that before?”
he paused. and then he said, “no son, i have not.” and that was that.
i have not ever gotten past this feeling. i think about it all the time to the point where it has become a daily obsession. i am alive! and it makes me nauseous to even think about. i don’t want to be dead necessarily, but i also definitely don’t want to be alive. if you have read this website for any amount of time, then this is not news. i mean, hell! if you saw me on the street you’d be able to smell it on me! the only way to get away from it for a while is to distract myself. i have been bad at distracting myself recently.
and so? many hours after i started writing this i have concluded that i am probably a bad person, and that my body, in eating itself, is doing me a huge favor. i have said before that it is more economical to die on purpose. i cannot get out from under this. i’ll be sitting on my couch or driving my car or walking through a grocery store, and i’ll have this thought that if i dropped dead right then and there, it would be OK with me. i never think this out of sadness necessarily. it is usually a calm realization. it is a nice thing to accept these things calmly, or at least nicer than the alternative, which is to freak out and spiral. i suppose it is this instinct to keep on living in the face of absolute terror that ensures so many of us stay alive. probably most people are thankful for this life-sustaining fail-safe, because they have children to feed, or something like that. to spontaneously die in an aisle of trader joe’s may be a dream of mine, but it is in everyone’s best interest that this is not a universally shared sentiment.
well! i feel absolutely insane. i have been sitting at my desk since i woke up, and have been on the phone with some people in an effort to comfort and be comforted by these people. this is how i came to the conclusion that i am a bad person: because after talking to some very good ones today, i have seen darkly that i fall short of that upper place for a variety of reasons that i’m not emotionally fit to explore tonight.
near midnight now. i have not eaten one single thing today. my brain is on fire. i’m going to go for a walk
my room friends
Charlie Dumpo and Kevin Burpo took turns punching each other in the face; they had been going at it for over three hours. Charlie Dumpo’s face was purple and his eyes were black and swollen. Kevin Burpo’s lip was busted open and he was missing four teeth.
Charlie Dumpo took a swing at Kevin Burpo’s face. His fist landed hard on Kevin Burpo’s cheek. Kevin Burpo laughed wildly.
“Pretty good?” said Charlie Dumpo. “Pretty good? Pretty good?”
“Very good,” said Kevin Burpo. He spit out another tooth.
Charlie Dumpo smiled. He adjusted his posture and sat upright. His spine was as straight as a witch’s dick.
“Ready?” said Kevin Burpo. “Ready, ready?”
“So ready,” said Charlie Dumpo.
Kevin Burpo wound up his arm like a cartoon baseball pitcher. He spun it behind his back a dozen or so times. Finally he released the punch. His fist smacked into Charlie Dumpo’s nose. It made a sound like a gallon of mayonaise dropped onto a sidewalk.
Blood poured out of Charlie Dumpo’s nostrils. A cashew-sized piece of his brain slid out as well. It dribbled down his face and neck and onto his T-shirt. Charlie Dumpo carefully picked it up with his thumb and index finger. He placed it in his palm. He extended his palm to Kevin Burpo.
Kevin Burpo examined the cashew-sized piece of Charlie Dumpo’s brain. It was grey and wormy. It looked like spoiled meat.
“Nice,” said Kevin Burpo. “Very nice.”
Charlie Dumpo laughed like hell.
Kevin Burpo formed his fingers into tweezers and collected the piece of brain from Charlie Dumpo’s palm. He broke it into two smaller pieces. He plugged his nostrils with each half. He inhaled them violently. They were gone in an instant, were absorbed into Kevin Burpo’s head.
“Yeah?” said Charlie Dumpo.
“Yeah,” said Kevin Burpo.
Charlie Dumpo clapped his hands. Kevin Burpo burped. The two smiled.
“Ready?” said Charlie Dumpo. “Ready, ready?”
“Oh yeah!” said Kevin Burpo. He leaned forward.
Charlie Dumpo punched Kevin Burpo in the face as hard as he could. It made a terrifying noise. Charlie Dumpo and Kevin Burpo laughed like maniacs.
The planet spun on its axis. The planet rotated around the sun. The sun was setting in the sky. The light was fading. The trees were silent. The buildings were dark. The sea gave up the dead.
you do me wrong to take me out o’ the grave:—
thou art a soul in bliss; but i am bound
upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
do scald like molten lead.
I recently wrote about an EVENT that is to TAKE PLACE at MY HOUSE. It is, yes, a funeral for Kermit the Frog. I have this sort of bootleg-ass Kermit that I’m going to use, but just out of curiosity I emailed my buddy Jack Fields in Florida who makes puppets, and who worked with Jim Henson’s daughter for nearly a decade. I thought, you know, maybe he had an extra Kermit lying around, or maybe he could get the Henson family to loan me one, or maybe he could even just straight up make me a custom Kermit. As it turns out, he is unaware of any stray Kermits, and a custom Kermit would be extremely time-consuming and probably expensive. Well, I guess I should have seen that coming!
He then sent me some sage-like wisdom, which I am reposting here with his permission:
The best I can do for you is share my perspective on what you are doing and urge you to look within at the nature of what you are doing. You are laying a world icon to rest and taking ownership of a cultural experience. Kermit is a figure on a world scale, and to me that means there can exist an infinite number of kermits in an infinite array of physical and spiritual variations. So what if your kermit looks like a bootleg? Half of the puppets in this world, maybe more, are muppet bootlegs. There can be a kermit who is made of grated cheese, a kermit with a laser hand, a kermit that is whatever the hell Disney came up in those last 2 movies.
What’s important is the authenticity with which you and your friends carry out your act.
Fear not, Puppet Master Jack Fields, because my esteemed colleagues and I are approaching this ritual with total sincerity. This is not a joke, even if it sounds like one! Which is not to say the whole thing must be dour and joyless. In fact it will be the opposite. Said I to Jack: I’m not yet sure what Kermit’s funeral will come to represent after we see it through, but maybe the act in itself is a farewell to something we the grieving will come to understand together on that night. Kermit represents a sort of melancholy optimism and unassailable loyalty. What does it mean for someone like that to perish from the world? He has been a good friend to us all our lives, and now he is gone. We who are still alive are tasked with the impossible, which is to sum of the huge and beautiful life of our friend, and to do justice to his memory as we see him off to the Other World. In some ways this feels like a funeral for the world as we once knew it, and it is important that we process what that means to us.
(I have just looked this up and, yes, Kermit was born the same year as my father. Whoa. I guess that’s something else to think about . . . an angle which I will explore for myself . . . alone!)
Anyway: Come on by. Or email me if you’re far away and just want a postcard. I’m getting a bunch of them made. I mean, hell, if you can’t be there to say good-bye, you may as well glance at the postcard from time to time and remember the place in your heart where a little green frog sits wondering about what lies on the other side of the rainbow.