Last August I got this huge red rash on the right side of neck that would not go away. I tried everything to get rid of it but it only seemed to worsen! I’m not going to post a picture of it because, like . . . y’all could be eating or something. It was there for months. And I remember looking it up at the time, and apparently that’s where you get a breakout if you eat a lot of sugar or something. But I don’t really go for sugar, so I couldn’t figure it out. It didn’t really fully disappear until December, and it disappeared overnight. It was real weird.

My friend Sarah told me that that sort of rash is a quote-unquote stress rash. It occurs in a very specific place. In fact I remember my friend Monty having the same rash in the same place at the same time as me, and she was pretty stressed out back then too. As soon as we stopped feeling stressed out, our rashes vanished. I have felt a sort of calmness ever since and it has never returned. Hey all right!!!

The other night at the Wolfhound, my friend told me that she knows she can rely on me to pay attention to her when she needs someone to the most. I’m not sure if that’s a backhanded compliment, as in, “You are often unaccounted for, but will materialize when I’m in a pinch” . . . though hey, I thought it was a nice thing to say nonetheless~

And then this girl who also has a gold tooth, and who I see everywhere, told me some really sad stories, and then I told her some sad stories, and I reckon with friends now (lol)

I also saw my friend Lauren, who used to work with me at Donut Farm. Cool!

i am NOT ALLOWED to REACTIVATE my account on a certain SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORK until i finish cutting these three videos i filmed for it. then and only then can i flip the switch! that way i’ll have three weeks of videos, one per week, while i work on other ones!!! i have written a whole bunch more of them, too . . . maybe even twenty or so.

also: i have been editing 10–15 pages a night of this book i’m about to release. whoa! if i KEEP UP THE PACE, i’ll be done by the weekend.

see, i’m doing this thing where i spend absolutely no money and stay inside so i can Be Creative (lol). and, you know, i reckon one feeds into the other, and vice versa. which is to say: if i can’t spend any money, then i’m forced to make things. and if i’m making things, i can’t spend any money. cool!

finally: this morning, after having many horrifyingly realistic dreams that do not at all resemble any part of my real (??) life, i have made the executive decision to stop taking melatonin at night. the strange visions i see only depress me, what with them following me well into the afternoon, and it really does leave me in this state of despair, and fearful of going to sleep again the next night, and so on. i can’t be so affected by my dreams! they almost seem to come from someplace outside of me . . . as if, in taking melatonin, i unwittingly transmit a phantom radio signal in my sleep, which then invites in these ghoulish otherworldly nightmare worlds. no more! if i really gotta, i’ll stick to passion flower supplements that, while also bizarre in their own right, are more akin to acid trips . . . and hell, sometimes i even go into a deep lucid state, which is much preferred to the clockwork orange strapped-in-a-chair-with-my-eyes-forced-open state i have found myself in for the last few weeks. if i’m going to get stuck in an alternate dimension, i’d rather have some degree of control over where i end up inside of it.

anyway . . . back to work!!!

lol i just opened up iphoto or whatever it’s called now and this came up

love ya dad

I was going through my drafts (oh god) a few minutes ago, and I realized I forgot to post this extremely depressing picture of Detroit I took back in February while standing outside the train station there. I had just left my friend Logan and was on my way to Chicago to see my friend Jess, and had not yet boarded the train when I began writing this post. I was sitting inside waiting for the train to get there, and unsure if I would be able to board at all since my driver’s license had expired the week before . . . the same expired license I had used to board an airplane to Detroit and rent a car there, and get into a half dozen bars, for god’s sake! The guy would not print out my ticket for me. He made me feel like a god darn felon for even having the audacity to hand him an expired ID. He said it was at the conductor’s discretion whether or not I made it to Chicago. When the train did arrive, I boarded without anyone checking my ticket, since they usually come around and do that after the train is moving. I sat down by the window and pressed my head against the cold glass. The train was mostly empty. I fell asleep for a while. An hour later, somewhere west of Detroit in dark and dreary Michigan nowhere, the conductor finally appeared in my car and checked everyone’s tickets. I had an e-ticket on my phone. She came by, smiled at me, asked for my ticket, and I held up my phone. She scanned it with a little laser-reader thing, printed out a slip, and tucked it into a metal slot above my row. “All set!” she said, and she walked away. This asshole at the station made it sound like they were going to kick my street urchin ass into a fucking ditch somewhere in the wasteland between Detroit and Chicago.

Anyway: This is Detroit. It is a sad and broken place, though I suppose I saw some things that were pretty OK. And! Logan is real cool, so there’s that. Man, I was real sad when I took this picture because, Jesus, look at this place. But I was mostly sad to have to leave my friend there in the flaming crater of a skeleton city that is at best like three mostly-the-same colors.

in the city, always a reflection

in the woods, always a sound

(what about the desert?)

you don’t wanna go in the desert

I have written about this feeling probably hundreds of times on this website, and in about as many ways, what with me feeling it so frequently . . . which is to say: that I know I’m dreaming, and that this is my dream, or at the very least I am someone else’s dream who knows that they are in a dream. Sometimes I pretty comfortable with whatever my life is, because I know more or less who or what I am, and all the people around me, and the place I am in, and so on. There seems to be some sort of cohesion or harmony to it that is reassuring to me. But then something invisibly changes in and around me, and I start to feel like a stranger in my own life. It comes on gradually and I never quite know what triggers it. It makes me feel as though I’m in that Twilight Zone episode where the guy is walking around in the empty town and seeing little signs of people having just been there, like a steaming cup of coffee or a lit cigarette, or whatever, only he can never find anyone but himself. It is not a good feeling! It is a very lonely feeling. I find that I am the only consistent part of my reality and all other people and things feel wholly alien to me, as though I, Ryan, woke up one morning in a completely different place in a completely different life. It resembles the life I thought was mine, but something feels off. I’ll think: This isn’t my life . . . it must be someone else’s. I got switched around, or something. The other Ryan is in my world, and I’m in the other Ryan’s world.

I am in a dream that feels like my old dream, but it is not the same dream. And I feel like I’ll never know for sure, because a dream builds on itself. As long as I stay asleep, it will continue to build in every direction. If I turn a corner, I do not step out into nothingness. No, the dream expands and creates a new street. I keep walking and the city keeps growing just beyond my sight.

When I am alone in my apartment at night with the curtains closed, it doesn’t feel like anything else is happening outside of it. It feels like I am floating around inside a capsule in the vacuum of space and my own thoughts are all I have to prove to myself that I am still alive, and even then. Does your awareness of yourself really ever “”prove”” anything though? It doesn’t feel like enough anymore.

I don’t know what I’m saying. I feel sick is all. I feel pretty lonely. Everyone I want to be around is far away from me right now. And I’m just trapped here in this plastic little apartment in this plastic little city with this plastic little job, and on and on. If this is reality then it is a bad reality. I used to feel sentimental about some of the things in my life, but now I don’t know what I’m looking at anymore. I’m looking at someone else’s life. I hold it up to my face and I feel nothing about it except that it isn’t the thing I thought it was, and it definitely doesn’t feel familiar. If it was a dream then I prefer the dream to this.

Philip K. Dick:

In comparison to my life in the inter-connected dreams, this life is lonely and phony and worthless; unfit for an intelligent and educated person. Where are the roses? Where is the lake? Where is the slim, smiling, attractive woman coiling and tugging the green garden hose? The person that I am now, compared with the person in the dream, has been baffled and defeated and only supposes he enjoys a full life. In the dreams, I see what a full life really consists of, and it is not what I really have.