3 A.M.

. . . another nervous night in Miami, in this godforsaken place, which is called “The Magic City”. They sent me here for reasons not interesting enough to articulate, and I’ve got about twelve hours left until I can board a plane back to California and be done with the whole thing. It’s late and I’m alone in my dumpy hotel room by the airport drinking the worst coffee I’ve ever put in my body, which is saying something, and wondering how it all went wrong. My brain is still on Pacific Time, and god knows I haven’t slept for six months, not really, and so I know now with absolute certainty that I won’t be able to sleep, and will have to watch with great sadness as the black-out curtains in my room become rimmed in red sunlight in a few hours. That will be my signal to go downstairs and beat the geriatric crowd to the continental breakfast bar, where I’ll grab as much free fruit as I can get away with before they kick me out . . . and then it’s back into the swamp of Shitsville just outside these air-conditioned castle walls.

Before yesterday I had not stepped foot in the state of Florida in many years, and even that was just a brief layover at Fort Lauderdale airport on my way to visit Leila in New Orleans, which was well over a decade ago now. And before that: I had bought my first car in Florida, up near Jacksonville, during the summer of 2005. My dad and my friend Dan Lama and I had driven through Virginia and North Carolina and South Carolina and Georgia to get down there, to the tune of about 700 miles, only to turn around and head back at about a hundred miles per hour with my yellow 1976 AMC Pacer hitched to the back of the truck we’d come down in. Anything before THAT would have involved Mickey Mouse. . . .

I know that my brother is out there somewhere. They say he is in or around Miami, though I don’t know why. I’m sure if I stood on the roof of this crumbling hotel long enough, I could spot him out there in the great sea of darkness. But I’ve just got to go is the thing. I must get away from this place. By my reckoning, I’ve visited over 25 cities in over 20 states (and one Canadian province) in the last six months, and this is really the only time I ever wanted to get out of a place quick, probably because it was not my decision to come here. Alas, that these evil days should be mine.

And now I will cease complaining about my getting a free trip to Miami, Florida.

Today I saw my friend Katie, who is one of my best and oldest friends. I had a stranger take this picture of us:

She was going to take me to a strip club, but I’m out of time. I’ll just have to settle for a ride to the airport. And then what? Well, I reckon I’ll just keep on doing what I have been doing, which is to self-perpetuate this endless nightmare until something kills me!