Is there anything more heartbreaking than seeing an adult sitting alone in a park after midnight, pondering some secret thing in their terrible head? Shit, you see these people stumbling around in the darkest parts of the night trying to feel something again . . . totally unable to connect to the world around them. . . .

And then you become one of them. It’s sad but it’s comfortable. I have enjoyed it, in some strange, unhealthy way, these past few months.

Last week I got roaring drunk in a park near my house. No one bothered me as I drank my six beers and listened to the frogs and crickets by the water. At one point I put on my headphones and, because I was horribly twisted and spaced-out, I heard almost nothing but noise. It was good noise—good chaos. But you know how it goes: the brain hears what it wants to hear—it is actively scanning the world with its invisible feelers to find things it likes. So while the nice young man with the guitar was talking and strumming along, I was able to block most of it because I was more focused on the electricity going round and round up there. I would lift my arm or close my eyes or stretch my leg and marvel at my body’s obedience. So neat!

Later I sat there appreciating gravity—just throwing things around to see where they would fall. (Neat as well!)

An hour later I was crumpled up on my lawn—the skeletal reindeer aglow, the clouds above whipping by at a thousand miles an hour—and I wondered how long I could realistically stay there before someone noticed and called the police or made me go inside.