Well, the rumors are true: Last night I really did drink a quarter of a bottle of cherry-flavored store-brand NyQuil to fall the heck asleep. My body is still a crumbling ruin of forgotten dreams, so I thought, hell, why not. I don’t know why I can’t stop feeling sick. Can you queue up illnesses? I wonder. One after the other? Am I strapped to a conveyor belt and being lead through an endless black tunnel of physical and mental ailments? There’s a name for that, I guess, which is LIFE. My children: We are, all of us, journeying through this tunnel—until we cross the finish line which is called DEATH!
What a trip that’s gonna be!
Anyway: I feel all right today. I went to sleep at 6 a.m. and woke up at noon. I made myself keep on sleeping. I had terrible nightmares about revisiting childhood places and finding them devoid of people and furniture.
I had a dream where I arrived at my grandmother’s condo at night, and the door was broken in half, and when I went inside the whole place was totally destroyed. All her things were broken or missing. I took my dream phone out of my dream pocket and, in a panic, called my dream mother. Somehow I knew it was her fault, and so I screamed at her (which I would never do in real life—scream at someone!). I couldn’t get her to say anything. It was godawful and bad. I felt so stressed out inside my dream that my body brought me back into the waking world. My heart rate was jacked right up. I was lying there on the floor in the dark panting and wheezing. My head felt like concrete. I didn’t know what else to do so I just lay there for a while. Then I got up, walked five feet, and sat down in the chair I’m sitting in right now.
Now I’m listening to Roxette and I’m sippin green tea. It is 6 p.m. and sunny outside. I hate it! It should be dark and gloomy~
. . . I keep thinking about a job interview I had on the Oakland / Berkeley border the other day, and how it lasted an hour, and how it was essentially just a nice conversation with a guy who may as well be me in two decades. And I think maybe this guy sensed that I am him two decades ago. We had a good ol time hanging out in this gigantic softly-lit cathedral-like building that somehow exists in the Bay Area. At the end of the thing, which didn’t make me feel sick or nervous or anything like that, he said: “Well I gotta say, I’ve really quite enjoyed this.” That’s exactly what he said: “really quite enjoyed this.” He shook my hand and lead me outside. Then we shook hands again. He said: “I’ll contact you soon. Have a good day, all right?” And I said: “Yeah, man.”
Maybe only a few times in my life have I walked out of job interview and felt all right about it. I felt all right about this one! Aw hell, we’ll see how it goes. I always anticipate the worst possible scenario, which in this case means receiving a polite email telling me they’ve decided to go with some other rube. That is what I expect to happen, no matter how good I feel or felt about it, and baby, if the outcome is inverted, then it’s only good news from there. I mean I reckon I could always die before then, or maybe the whole world could plunge into the sun . . . but uh . . . yeah. . . . (lol)
I walked to Berkeley and met Matt at a cafe near UC Berkeley. We drank coffee and felt tired.
Later, in San Leandro, south of Oakland, Matt and I got In-N-Out with Tim and Kerwin. We watched Michael Mann’s ‘Miami Vice’ in total silence. I fell asleep at 6 a.m.
Next day I did something. Hell if I know! In my bleary slushed memory I remember driving to Concord to get sandwiches. It took two hours with Bay Area traffic. I slept in the back seat of my old decommissioned police car, which I gave to Tim before I left Oakland, on account of it being cursed as hell. It looks straight up Mad Max now. It rules. He says if he goes to New York he’ll give it back to me—will pass the curse back to its original owner. I love that car to death, even though it’ll probably be the death of me. I predicted a long time ago that I’ll die inside of it next to the Pacific Ocean, maybe on Stinson Beach in the North Bay. And maybe the tide will roll in and take us both far away. A watery grave! Hell, I’ll take it. Uh: Anyway we got sandwiches. It was way too expensive. It was also a whole heck of a lot of food. Yeah!
I had Tim and Kerwin drop me off in San Francisco—in the Dogpatch. Before we parted ways, we parked that old police car near some yuppie cafe in an upscale neighborhood and rolled down the windows and blasted Prince. The car bordered a little playground and so we danced around on that strange alien steel, which was painted white and green, and which didn’t look like much fun to play on, even if you were the appropriate age to enjoy it!
A Russian lady that Laura went to school with invited me to some bar nearby and so I walked over and sat down at the bar and said to the bartender: “I want the worst beer you got.” It ended up being a Tecate. That stuff ain’t bad. I mean I guess it ain’t exactly good neither, but who cares. I drank two of the things while I waited for her. I had shown up early since it is my natural instinct to show up late, and so I denied my instincts in order to feel comfortable in an unfamiliar place before I met a stranger. You know, you want to pick a good seat, and befriend the bartender, and understand the place, and know where the bathrooms are, and so on.
She showed up. She gave me a hug and moved us to some table in the back—to a dark corner where we could see the door and all the people in the room. That right there is the best seat. Hell, you don’t want people behind you!
I don’t know how long we stayed there. Maybe two or three hours. Every 20 minutes or so she’d herd me outside to smoke a spliff, and we’d stand out there and pet dogs and watch the train go by. At the end of the thing we each got a shot of tequila and a beer and clinked our little shot glasses together and gulped it down. I am a dumb freak who can drink tequila like water. I don’t even make a face! Maybe it freaked her out a little.
Anyway: We got a ride to the Mission where she lives. The driver dropped us off at at a liquor store, and we went inside so she could replace the Stiegls she’d swiped from her roommate. We walked through the Blade Runner-y neighborhood to get to her house, and stood outside talking. I said: “I’m moving back here, so hell, if you ever want to hang out again, just say the word.” And she said: “Yeah, man.”
As I walked away from her I turned around and waved, and flashed my gold tooth and so on, and because I wasn’t watching where I was going I slammed into a trashcan and knocked a bunch of cardboard boxes onto the sidewalk. I recovered and ran away.
Matt was waiting for me with his buddy Marina near Dolores Park. We went over there, crossed the old railroad tracks near the street, and sat around on the playground for a long while. At 3 a.m. he drove us back to Oakland and left me at Tracey’s while the two of them went north to Richmond. I passed out on the couch. I slept real bad. I had real bad dreams. In the morning I woke up and Tracey made me eggs and then I hugged her and left.
I went back to Oregon! I slept the whole ride up.
I guess I don’t have much time left here. I’m going to miss some people, but man, this place kinda blows.
I’m back for a few weeks. I’m leaving soon. If you’re around and you don’t hate me, say hello~