31 October 2019

As the sun was setting, I walked from my house to downtown Berkeley to see a movie. I left early so that I could get a cup of coffee and walk around Shattuck until McCune got there. It was nice out. There were a lot of people milling around the square and I remembered it was the day before Halloween.

I walked to the California Theatre and got a ticket from the woman working the box office outside. I had come to see THE LIGHTHOUSE:

Most everyone else was there for PARASITE. I realized this when I walked into a completely empty theater. I was the only one there to see the movie about two weird guys hanging out in a lighthouse. This was theater 3 upstairs, which is usually where I end up, so I walked to the end of the first row and sat down. I like this row because you can put your feet on the wall and there’s no one in front of you. McCune walked in a few minutes later and sat down next to me and we spent the next two hours having ourselves a good old time with this thing. After it ended, and the credits rolled and the automated curtain went down over the screen, I thought to myself: “Well, I guess there really are still a few people out there making anything that’s worth a damn.” What McCune and I had bore witness to there in the dark was a truly bizarre film and, let’s face it, the thing is total box office poison . . . and yet somehow they went ahead and got it made anyway. This imbued with me confidence for a few reasons that probably don’t matter anyway since the whole world is ending. But at any rate, this was a hell of a thing to see exhibited.

MCCUNE AND I PARTED WAYS, and alone I walked north to University Avenue, then cut west to take the long way home. I thought I might do some walking.

Yes, and as I got further away from everyone there, I thought about these dreams I keep having that I am maybe too embarrassed to write down here or say to anyone I know. I dream and then I wake up and childishly carry these delusions around with me because I don’t want to let go of them even though that is the only true path. I spoke to myself because I needed to order my own past out loud. I went through the many years I had spent in Oakland chronologically so as to connect it to the present moment. I saw the deep significance of this city branded upon my very soul! There is a diverging timeline out of Oakland somewhere in the timeline that ruined everything beyond it, and I’m obsessed with thinking about it . . . I reckon I keep circling these thoughts because I hate myself. It is this one thing I see in the center of my dreams, and I see it shining plain, and I can’t change it. And then to torture myself even more, I did a thing I always do, which is to imagine an alternate timeline in which I had not left Oakland in November 2015. I feel something in my body twist up when I do this. I thought, you know, jesus lord . . . all I’ve done in the last ten years is waste a bunch of money and get older. Think of the people I could have met if I had not left! And, perhaps more importantly, think of the people I wish I could have not met in the other places between. . . .

Having seen this film with my old friend, and having drunk coffee, and it being the night before Halloween, and so on, I decided I felt pretty good otherwise, and so I closed the door in my mind where I keep these things and made myself think only about walking. I saw the four palm trees high above all the dark houses and I knew I was only a few blocks from home. But of course I always know I’m close to home when I pass the seashell house:

That god damn thing!

It’s cold in my house . . . I have turned on the radiator Kerwin left in his room when he went back to the East Coast. I don’t know why I didn’t use it last winter, because this thing is great. I ought to sleep but I am afraid to. I have to try anyway.

30 October 2019

if you have a dream about someone, you should tell them when you wake up

28 October 2019

LISTEN: Whether I like it or not, I have been out there observing this wild world, and I have picked up on a recent trend that is giving me nightmares. I feel compelled to make a public service announcement.

OK:

Seriously, y’all have got to knock it off with talking on the god damn phone while you’re standing at a urinal, or, worse, sitting on a toilet in a stall in a public restroom. This is absolutely disgusting and I don’t care if I sound like a brat!! How brazen and shameless we have gotten with our hideousness! This cannot be the new normal. I refuse!

And, do the people on the other end know? Man I sure as hell don’t want to talk to someone while they’re hunched over taking a dump in a Target restroom at 7 pm on a Wednesday. Get real.

If I stumbled upon this sort of thing once or twice, I’d chalk it up to a freak occurrence . . . just me momentarily gazing through a glass darkly at the unsound habits of these gross-ass psychos who have no respect for the sanctity of a phone call, let alone the privacy of one’s own bodily functions. But no, man: I’m witnessing this godless atrocity multiple times a week!

We all know I am like Jerry Seinfeld / Howard Hughes weird about germs, but come on. You got your dick in your hand, for god’s sake, or else you’re wiping your gross dumb ass. While talking on the phone! In public! And then, jesus lord in heaven, they just walk out of the restroom without washing their hands! That ain’t right, baby!!

People as a whole are pretty disgusting when you really get down to it, and there’s not much you can do to turn it around. But please, y’all, we need to come together on this one. It has to end. It’s getting weird!

27 October 2019

Dante woke me up this morning because he wanted to go outside. I let him out into the backyard and started to make coffee. I had to be at Sheffield’s later that morning because he needed help sawing some furniture or something. Anyway before I could even get out a mug, Dante ran into the house holding a screaming mouse in his jaws. I grabbed him and took him back outside. The mouse was squirming and trying to get loose. I figured it was probably too late then . . . Dante had definitely already punctured the poor guy’s little body. But I also didn’t want to see him torture and eat him, and so I grabbed the scruff of Dante’s neck to get him to open his mouth, but he wouldn’t. He started growling. With my other hand I tried to open his lower jaw but it seemed like he was locking his teeth together even tighter. I don’t know what I did, but after a few minutes I finally got Dante to drop the mouse onto the ground. I tossed him back inside and shut the door. The mouse was lying on the doorstep now, completely lucid but breathing heavily, and his hind legs were either broken or paralyzed. He dragged himself into a small pile of leaves to try to escape. I felt sick to my stomach, because I knew I would have to mercy kill him now.

I dug a hole in my backyard and wrapped the mouse up in some cloth. I put him out of his misery and buried him. I don’t want to get into it, because it has made me so sad to think about all day, but it was quick and painless. There was nothing else I could have done to save him.

Months earlier my friend Erin had brought a mouse over that had gotten caught in a glue trap, and we did manage to completely free it using vegetable oil. It felt good to save that mouse. I wish I could have saved this mouse too. I don’t mean to sound sentimental, but I care about animals a lot, and I go out of my way to help them when I am able to do that. If my dumbass cat, who lives like royalty, and who has virtually no real outdoor survival skills, had not decided he needed to capture and eat this guy, then I wouldn’t have been put in this awful position . . . but what can you do. Dante’s just wired that way, man. And I am wired to give a field mouse an honorable death and burial at 11 am on a Saturday. I feel sad as hell about it so I guess I’m going to go to sleep.

25 October 2019

I have mostly been walking and bathing and watching movies, and eating a lot of seaweed. I have been writing with Dante asleep on my lap. It has been nice to be alone and not spend money.

A few hours ago I went on a long walk through Berkeley and wrote an essay in my head about a dream I have been having for half my life. There are some other parts about the flatness of time, and how all of this is more of an abyss than a mountain to climb, and how I have already seen how it all ends, and so on. Maybe I’ll write it! I don’t know.

WELL: It’s definitely 3:15 am PST, so I reckon I’m gonna swallow this here grey capsule and go to that dream I sometimes have. No, not that one! I meant the good one!!

23 October 2019

My friend Shaina lives in New York. Shaina is cool. She makes furniture and sends me screenshots of gross guys who message her on Tinder. We have a good ol time ripping those cheese-eating scumbags to shreds.

Shaina works in some sort of warehouse where she builds things. She wears her Doc Martens to work, and I reckon they get awfully beat up throughout the day. A few weeks ago she sent me a picture of whatever the hell she was working on, some big metal hooks (???), and in the background I saw her derelict Docs! I said, girl, you got to take care of those things! Leather gets dry after a while, but if you keep it clean and supple, and so on, it will last you a very long time. I told Shaina I polished my boots with wonder balsam every two weeks or so. And see, I like doing it. I’ll just be watching a movie or whatever, and I’ll polish the hell out of my boots with that stuff. Afterwards they’re shiny as hell. It’s great.

So with Shaina being a working girl and all that, who doesn’t have much time to think about such things, I went ahead and sent her some wonder balsam. I think maybe she wasn’t fully sold on how well it would work. Though it seems that as of yesterday THE TIDE HAS TURNED:

Dang!! Lookit them things! And look at this:

Yeah b*tch!!! If your friend doesn’t care about the health and beauty of your boots, they’re not your real friend! I’m a big huge honkin idiot jerk loser, though I definitely don’t want my friends walking around with cracking dry-ass boots. You got to keep that shit good and soft.

As it happens, I also received a package in the mail from Shaina yesterday. In the envelope was a green star and a little glass tube with a very long scroll inside of it:

PREVIOUSLY she had sent me a little snake charmer’s basket full of little green stars and a scroll UPON WHICH she had written me a letter. It was cool.

Anyway, YEAH, this is my ode to Shaina. Shaina rules. Take care of your boots, y’all.

22 October 2019

Leila texted me the other night, and we were talking about Jessica Pratt’s first album for whatever reason. And she mentioned these lyrics, which we were trying to decipher:

when I wake up in my dark places
and I reach for the messy faces
that take me down to my favorite ride

. . . and man, I got to say, after thinking about it a little, this sure does shoot through me like a god darn laser beam, because I know exactly what it means, what with it summing up pretty much most of my waking life, and that which will almost certainly kill me in the end. I ought not explain it outright or I could get myself into some kind of trouble, though hey, there it is. . . .

21 October 2019

. . . Life is short, he thought. Art, or something not life, is long, stretching out endless, like concrete worm. Flat, white, unsmoothed by any passage over or across it.