For him it was a dark passage which led to nowhere, then to nowhere, then again to nowhere, once again to nowhere, always and forever to nowhere . . .
It is not good for me to be back in my hometown. I’m only here for a few more days before I go to Tennessee and then back to California for a while, but even that is too much. Around 4 pm before the sun starts to go down, I suit up and get some crappy coffee and drive around the fields and forests where I used to live, all the while with the heat on, and I can smell the fires in the fireplaces of the houses I pass, and I feel all right then. But as soon as it gets dark and I’m holed up back in my grandmother’s house where I am alone and surrounded by her things and remembering that year Dante and I spent here during the pandemic, just us, and the two months before we left for Berlin last October when I thought we’d have a new life together somewhere, I start to lose my fucking mind.
Truthfully, I don’t really want to be alive anymore. I would be OK with something killing me as long as it didn’t take too long. It’s not as though I’m going to throw myself off a cliff or anything . . . but if I think about it for more than a few minutes, I don’t have any strong urge to keep doing whatever this is anymore either. I knew that in traveling around I was doing myself some good by seeing all my friends, and that much has been true. Because I am never in one place for more than a few days, I don’t have time to think about anything other than the logistics of getting someplace else. I’m never just sitting around sulking and looking at my empty apartment like I would have had I stayed in Berlin. On the other hand, I am delaying the inevitable, which is that eventually I’m going to have to go back to living a regular life more or less and one in which Dante isn’t in it. Even just saying that makes me want to die. I cry every time I see a picture of him, of which there are thousands in my phone. I can’t make it through one day without crying over him several times. I’m crying now. I don’t know. I reckon part of me thought it would get at least a little easier. It’s not true. It has only gotten worse.
laura and me on mulholland drive a few years ago. monty took these pictures. we were looking for jack nicholson’s house
laura and monty and gayle and i used to go on trips together every may around laura’s birthday. the pandemic killed that. those trips were some of the most fun i ever had with anyone. i just hope we get to go on one again someday
I did not care what it was all about. All I wanted to know was how to live in it. Maybe if you found out how to live in it you learned from that what is was all about.
the sun also rises
I am in Rochester, New York, about 90 miles from Niagara Falls and thus the western Canadian border, and 170 miles from Toronto, where I spent a few days this past week, having come from Chicago and Detroit. I left California on the 10th feeling sadder than hell about it, but I just had to see some people in the Midwest is all.
In Chicago I stayed with Gayle and her dog Lolita, and finally met my old friend Sarah in person. From there I drove to Detroit and stayed with Kelsey and her cats GG and Mimi in their little house in Hamtramck. I had not seen her in almost five years. I then crossed the Canadian border and drove all the way to Toronto where I stayed with Julia and her boyfriend Will and their cat Pastrami for a little over twenty-four hours, and then I left again in the middle of the night to get to Buffalo.
Next day I drove through and nearly died in a massive rainstorm in upstate New York to get to where I am now, which is in Rochester. Along with Savannah, Santa Fe, and Toronto, Rochester is one of the few cities on this trip I had never seen before. I think I like it. It is a sort of cozy place and there don’t seem to be a lot of people here. I’ve never seen a fall as beautiful as this one with the exception of the ones you see in Oregon or New England. Tell you what though: it has been miserably cold here every day once the sun goes down, which is around 4:30 pm. That’s almost as bad as Berlin. Today I didn’t even bother to go outside on account of a few things . . . namely, I feel absolutely insane.
Thing is, I have not really been alone much in the nearly 90 days I’ve been traveling around the United States. I’ve been sleeping on people’s couches and floors and guest beds, and on and on, but I’m always around people. The only times I’m truly by myself are when I go walking or if I’m driving between cities . . . but that’s always short-lived, and in the back of my mind I know that I have to keep it together because soon I’ll be around people again. I can’t very well go from town to town having a psychotic break in all my friends’ living rooms. It’ll make everyone feel weird.
But here in Rochester I’m in big trouble because I have my own hotel room with my own bed and shower and desk and refrigerator. And so of course the first thing I do when I get my hands on something like that is go insane with sadness now that I have the luxury to do so. Surrounded by four walls behind a locked door in a city where I know exactly one person who I may not even see again before I leave . . . well, it’s a bad recipe for a creep like me, sure as hell.
It feels a little “white collar prison cell” on account of the weird grey slatted wall and the single window, but otherwise it has all the amenities we’ve come to expect in the 21st century. There’s even free coffee. It has been strange to walk around knowing that no one can come inside unless I let them in. Though if I’m being honest, I really wish someone would come over. I’m so lonely. But of course no one is ever going to knock on that door. That gives me a terror. If I had a reason for coming here, I think it is gone now. This was a total delusion on my part. In admitting this to myself, I am wholly unsurprised.
Last night I was with some people in a dive bar on the other side of town. At some point after midnight, apropos of nothing, I started crying at the table. No one noticed. I wiped my face with my sleeve and tilted my head to the floor to hide my face and hoped it would stop. It wasn’t working. No one was talking to me. I couldn’t hear anything anyone was saying. I had this intense urge to get away from everyone and be alone. I went to the bathroom and washed my face. In my mind I saw the EJECT button and pushed it. I walked back to the table and said, “Well, it’s a long cold walk home, so I’m gonna get walking.” And so saying, I kicked open the front door and pushed into the darkness. My face and hands froze immediately and stayed that way. I did not know what direction I was going and I didn’t care. I started crying so hard that I could barely breathe. I wondered if I was having a panic attack.
I came to an overpass and looked over the side and thought about how good it must be being dead. Ahead of me were a handful of skyscrapers and I figured I’d point myself in their direction and keep walking till I got to whatever was beneath them . . . maybe downtown Rochester, if such a place even exists. I walked down empty sidewalks past darkened houses to reach those skyscrapers. Their distance from me had been an illusion. It did not take long for me to get to their ground floors. I found nothing there. The entire city was as empty as a dream . . . no people or animals or any sounds at all, just some mundane architecture and wide open spaces which served no obvious purpose other than to add to the awful emptiness of the place.
Feeling beaten down and rotten as hell, I turned around and retraced my steps to the main boulevard there. I wanted to get back to my stupid little hotel room so I could take a hot shower and then sedate myself and go to sleep. I felt like such a fool for having come to Rochester. I wondered where I would go after I left it. I could come up with no answer. I’d figure it out in the morning. I kept walking. My face was so stiff from the cold it felt like a mask. Tears streamed down my cheeks and neck and finally into my shirt. A black streak of terror shot down my spine and I was so embarrassed to be alive. Stumbling up a short stone staircase, I saw a bell affixed to a post beneath some trees still covered in orange leaves. I rang the bell and a hundred crows soared out from the tops of the trees and into the night sky. The light from the nearby parking garage lit up their black undersides as they flew away. I felt bad that I had woken them up. The skyscrapers grew smaller behind me. I found my building. I typed in the code to open the front door and the front door clicked open. I went into my room. It was suffocatingly hot. I peeled off my clothes and sat down on the floor. My body was still frozen. I picked up my phone and felt nauseous. I stood up and ate a little while pill I had left out on the desk. I crawled beneath the comforter and curled up into a ball. I had a dream about my dead cat and woke up twelve hours later still crying.
. . . I have received several nice emails in the last month from OLD FRIENDS and NEW FREAKS alike, and if you are one of those people, then gimme a few more days to respond. I’m so tired and I’ve spent the last two months sleeping on people’s couches and floors and I’ll tell you what: appreciative though I am to have been consistently surrounded by four walls, that sort of sleeping will wreck you after a while. It has wrecked me!
ANYWAY: Wow! I can’t believe Kitty in New Zealand of all people reached out from the abyss of Time. Thanks Kitty!!!
And Phil in NYC!!!
And the friendly stranger in Ukraine!!!
And so on~
OK thank’s talk to you soon ☆彡
P.S. check out these autumnal ass cupcakes i saw yesterday: