Here’s me crying false tears in a secret place on UC Berkeley campus today. I had gone to Berkeley today to give my phone number to a barista at a coffeeshop nearby, but she wasn’t there. She hasn’t been there the last three or four times I’ve walked down College Avenue, which is a bummer. I really thought today would be the day. Well . . . what the hell can you do! I’ll try again this weekend.
So I got an iced Americano and entered the forest near the campus clocktower to get to the hidden concrete beam beneath the trees that serves as a sort of bridge over the stream there. I sat down on the beam which was warm from the heated water rushing through it and drank my coffee and stared at the dryad statue that is frozen in time on the forest rim nearby. I thought about this girl I know who I’ll see in a few weeks once I cut through the midwest and into Canada and finally to upstate New York where she lives in a city I have never been to before, and which I am visiting now only because she is there.
Something has happened to me recently where I keep thinking about her, especially when I’m minutes away from falling asleep, which I realize sounds sentimental as hell . . . but it’s true! I have felt a horror every day for nearly three months, even with all the moving around I have done. And so out of that darkness I think about this girl on account of how much I like her and it makes me feel better. I have known her for a long time, but I had this revelation that maybe I had squandered the times between us seeing one another, and now I want to do something about it instead of wondering. I should have said more Back Then even though I wanted to and just didn’t for reasons that are so dumb I want to rip my own head off. It feels cowardly to me that I was silent in a way that made me come off as indifferent when really I felt the opposite.
And so saying, I will now resist my natural impulse to regret my inactions of the past by remembering that I have already planned out my crossing the nearly 3,000 miles that separate us. Barring some absolute tragedy, including my own untimely death, I will be in upstate New York in three weeks. I don’t know what will happen when I get there and maybe it doesn’t matter as long as I get there at all. Worst case scenario, I’ll walk around and look at the place, and stay in a cheap hotel or sleep in my rental car, and then get the hell on with it. I wouldn’t tie my shoes without a backup plan, and so this will serve as mine. Leaving a place at night with no real destination and only myself for company is something I can always count on. I reckon there is a certain comfort in that.
I am terrified that my feelings for this girl, real as they are, might be just another one of the delusions I hold on to when the dismal tide rolls in as it has now. Even when I am leveled out, I still cling to a series of harmless lies that I tell myself so as not to throw myself upon the sword. These secrets I hide from the sun inside my head are ones that I would quantify as “wholesome” . . . and to some degree pathetic as well, by virtue of their childishness. Maybe it’s OK as long as I have vague sense of their falseness in reality. The only person who could be wounded from them never coming to fruition is me. What’s a little more suffering when it’s all I ever really do.
It’s like the fella said:
He ain’t wrong!
Also: Wow! I sure have written a bunch of saccharine trash! Thing is, I feel like hell on account of some things I have no control over. I know that I can halve many of these unwanted things simply by going to sleep, which is what I am going to do now. And yes, for god’s sake, if you must know, I’ll think about this girl on my way down to Skeleton Town, which is the place I descend into at the end of every day.
Speaking of which, here’s me wearing skull makeup on Friday while sitting on the floor in front of a galaxy light in McCune’s office:
big brother mccune turned 40 on monday. jojo and lucy got him the axe from MANDY for his birthday, and made him a cake shaped like a coffin. i should have taken a picture of that too. though yeah!!! i’ve known this dude for like 15 years. that’s wild as hell . . .
ALLOW ME AN ANNOYING POETICISM THAT IS NONETHELESS TRUE:
i feel like i am rotting on the inside. i’ve had like a dozen people tell me i look thinner than usual in the face. the rings around my eyes look like corpse makeup. i’m so tired. i can say with certainty that this is the saddest i have ever felt in my life, which is saying something. i miss my friend so much. i never loved anything or anyone the way i love dante and his absence in my life is unbearable. my life revolved around him, from sunup until we went to sleep at night, performing daily rituals we shared for thousands of days over the course of nearly half my life and all of his. everything i did i did with him in mind. i made sure he was taken care of even when i couldn’t take care of myself. my purpose was to make sure dante was safe and happy and now that he is gone i have lost my purpose. dante was my life. that life is gone forever. it’s killing me. i just wish someone would hold my head and let me sleep
i miss you so much dante
mccune’s wife joanna got a new kitten named beezer and we’ve been hanging out every day 🥺
i have written other things about all the places i’ve been and i want to sit down and post it all . . . but i have felt myself become leaden with a sort of sadness and exhaustion that appeared in the last week or so. nothing has happened to me. actually, i’ve been having a really good time otherwise. it’s just that i haven’t been moving around as much as i had been, and so i am getting dull again, and then i start thinking too much and that’s what pulverizes me. as soon as i start thinking it’s over. i ought to stop doing that
this weekend is halloween . . . i gotta find a party in the east bay to go to. after that i’ll do a few more laps around the bay visiting as many people as i can and then split for the midwest. i have no idea what i’ll do once i get there
i have been traveling nonstop since i left berlin almost two months ago, and other than the time i spend getting from one place to the other, i am seldom alone. i mean that in a good way because overwhelming i have been around my friends in nearly a dozen different cities at this point. but when i am alone, i just start thinking about dante and crying.
i took the ferry from san francisco to vallejo the other day and i broke down as soon as i sat down in my chair on the upper level. there weren’t many people on board but i put my sunglasses on to hide my face. i’ve cried on planes and on amtrak and on BART. i cry before i go to sleep at night. i cry whenever i accidentally see a picture of him. i’m crying right now.
what happens now? i wonder. i thought it would get a little easier but it hasn’t. in fact i think it’s gotten worse. even when preoccupying myself with moving around from city to city and staying in the homes of all the good people i know, the reprieve is only temporary. i am in so much pain and i don’t know how to lessen it any more than i already am. nothing works. i know that at the end of whatever it is i’m doing, dante won’t be there waiting for me. it will still just be me. it really makes me want to lie down and die. i guess for now all i can do is keep going.
oakland > milwaukee > chicago > detroit > toronto > rochester > new york > washington, d.c.
johnson city > little rock > nashville > asheville > charlotte > charleston > athens > savannah
anyway if you’re around . . . let me know! i’ll come see you!!