14 November 2018

unfortunately for me and just about everyone i know, i have of course greatly romanticized my self-destruction and inevitable self-annihilation. i got a real problem is what i’m saying. i think a person ought to be horrified by a bone-deep desire to wipe themselves clean off the face of the planet at any given moment. truth is, i think about killing myself pretty much all day. it’s true! i got some things i gotta do, so i can’t do it yet, probably not for another decade or so . . . but it sure don’t stop me from thinking. i just sit there thinking and thinking, man. the world keeps on moving around me, all these people doing things and saying things, sometimes to me, but i’m on a different planet. i’m on planet ogo, man. i am mentally divergent.

i recall my hero gritt calhoon:

. . . Gritt’s penis didn’t budge a millimeter; it lay there like a dead boa constrictor. Though he was flaccid, there was still some juice flowing through it, and any reasonable person would have mistaken it for a little league baseball bat that had been pulled from the swamp. The only giveaway was the howling wolf tattoo on the left side of his shaft, badly faded now but still visible to those who knew what they were looking for.

The wolf was silent now. So was Gritt.

“You are magnificent lover, Greett. Never have I felt such pleasures in my body before.”

Gritt flicked at the roof of his mouth with his pierced tongue. He stared down at his penis as though it were the corpse of Ernest Hemingway. He snorted and felt disgusted with everything just then. He wanted to die and he wanted the world to rupture like a pumpkin full of rat turds left out in the sun.

yeah. how bout that!

don’t be afraid: i’ve always been like this. since i was 13 years old, even. they say that’s when someone’s brain changes so far as mental illness goes, don’t they? i think i read that somewhere. i got a bad case of type II bipolar disorder. it’s so bad i can’t hardly stand it sometimes. my entire life is a test of endurance . . . if i slip up, i go right down the tubes. and then i spend months crawling up it again, and for what anymore i don’t even know. i have no home to return to and no family. i have my cat-friend / little brother dante, and my human friends of course . . . but i worry about dante dying and i worry about my friends leaving me for one reason or another, all of it paranoid delusions. but what if it all came to pass like i fear? it would absolutely crush me into oblivion. and then what do i got? i got nothing, man. there is no backup plan! i’m living on borrowed time, you know? as soon as a few cherished things go away, people and animals and institutions i rely on, and so on, it’s lights out for little starsailor. it’s gotta be that way. i remember thinking when i was 15 years old that i was probably going to kill myself in california when i was in my late twenties. did you know that? i’m serious as a heart attack. i really did think that. except i figured i’d be in los angeles for some reason, and i figured i’d be living alone (the housing market was more accommodating to deadbeat losers back then, you see).

d’ye see? i can’t escape the idea that it is my destiny to die on purpose. i feel like my expiration date was five or six years ago . . . what good am i anymore? i don’t care about my own life at all. i’m about to sell my car, for god’s sake, which i bought in may. i don’t care about it anymore. i don’t care about the computer i’m writing on right now. i don’t care about anything at all in my room except for my grandmother’s paintings, which i will cart around the world with me until i really do die once and for all. and even then i only care enough about them to make sure my little sister inherits them so that they keep on existing in this three-dimensional hell we all share, though i wonder if that even matters anymore anyway. my grandmother is not the paintings she left behind, after all. she’s dead, and these are just things she owned that i have attached sentimental value to because i miss her. but she’s never coming back to get them, so hell, they may as well be buried in the earth somewhere, or in a landfill. it’s not like anyone else other than kendall and i would care.

when i really think about it, and i think about it all the time, all i really care about is my cat and a handful of people who i love so much it makes my chest hurt. you can burn the rest in a fire for all i care. i don’t need it. nothing is going to keep me on this planet for much longer anyway.

well . . . i’m off to the wolfhound to write some letters. jesus god almighty, what the hell else could i possibly do tonight?

14 November 2018

The other night, in a sort of state of panic I had not felt before, at least to this degree, and at least not for some time, I climbed into a bathtub of lukewarm water (the water had cooled while I was freaking out in the other room), and I wept like a newborn baby. I’m talking dry-heaving and wet-yelping and gurgle-yodeling . . . gasping like it was my first time breathing! I called Laura and, bless her heart, she stayed on the phone with me the entire time. I could barely speak but I managed to say a few heartbreaking things anyway, all of it true and ugly. I let her go because she had to work in the morning, and I had calmed down enough to be able to pipe in some more hot water and try to relax.

But as soon as she hung up I felt completely insane again. I didn’t know what else to do, so I called the suicide hotline. I was pretty drunk, but I remember hearing this sort of dystopian message at the beginning. It was real cold and clinical. You can call the hotline and hear it for yourself if you want, but it creeped me out big time. I was connected pretty quickly to a woman who said her name was Jen. I told her my name was Ryan and that I was in Oakland, California. I asked her where she was and she said “Northern Virginia”. She wasn’t allowed to be more specific. Still: It was comforting to hear that (I told her), because I was from Northern Virginia too. I wondered how we had been linked up, what with that being a strange coincidence and all, and she told me it was because of my area code. Well hell, I’ve had the same phone number since I was 15 years old, half my life ago, so there you go.

To be honest the whole thing wasn’t very helpful. In fact I think it made me feel even more alone. She sounded so apathetic . . . almost sleepy. Maybe it’d been a long day and I was the hundredth person in a row she’d had to talk down from the ledge. I imagine that’s a real rotten feeling. But then, for whatever reason, we were disconnected. Hell, I really did think she hung up on me. That seems like a most egregious violation of suicide hotline protocol, but then what do I know!

I got out of the tub and put my robe on. I drank a liter of water and collapsed on the floor of my room from sadness and exhaustion. Hand to God, I really did. I woke up face-down in my rug and my hair was still wet. I had slept for two and a half hours and had probably only woken up because I was so cold. As someone who has slept on a playground during a New England winter in Providence, Rhode Island in only a T-shirt and a denim jacket, I can tell you that there is such a thing as being too cold to keep your body asleep!!

Anyway the superglue on my homemade suture had dissolved in the hot water, and so my stomach was split open once again. It looked like some sort of artificial gill. I gagged, I really did. Hell, you wouldn’t want to have seen that thing. My week had been a real nightmare on wheels, and of course it had to end with my failed attempt to get help from a stranger, and to have my wound come open and bleed all over my otherwise clean body, and to be alone like that when I ought to have been with someone else, if only to stop me from ending myself once and for all, which I really did come close to doing.

What is the point of this post? I think to tell you, whoever you are, that I was sick, but I’m all right now. Or at any rate I’m working on it. You can’t get these things right in a day you know. My god, you should see how many fine people, my friends and total strangers, came out the god darn woodwork to rescue me. It sure did mean a whole lot, so thanks y’all. The suicide hotline was a total bust, but for those of you who came to be to keep me company: at least we got to watch some cool movies and drink a whole bunch of bad coffee!!!

13 November 2018

Well, California is on fire, and I’m back outside the Wolfhound breathing in all that terrible smoke through a filtered mask. Yes, I’m moonlighting at the bar I used to work at in 2015 . . . the last job I ever had in Oakland before I left to spend a dismal and forgettable year of absolute poverty in Portland.

Why am I doing this again? I guess I want to finally be able to save a little money, and do some reading. That’s really all there is to do outside on that stretch of San Pablo Avenue: read books. Thing is, everyone who comes outside to smoke will invariably start talking at you, even if you’ve got your head down in a book, and it’s miserable as hell. They always need someone to talk to, and I indulge them out of some misguided sense of diplomacy. I protect their feelings when they don’t care much about mine. It’s fine. It is, I have learned, just part of the job. If you’re a certain kind of person, you go to a bar to talk to the bartender or your neighborhood friends or even total strangers about what you got going on in your life, most of it being little sadnesses. And when you go outside to puff on a cigarette, you confide in the doorman, and tell him how lousy your life is, and reveal all your personal politics whether you mean to or not. Sometimes you say, “What book are you reading?” and then no matter what his (my) response is, you say, “Yeah, I read a book one time. It was pretty good.”

(Let’s not even start questioning the wisdom of smoking a cigarette while the city is engulfed in wildfire smoke, by the way. We’ll get way too depressed!)

I wrote an essay about being a doorman one time. I wonder what ever became of it. Maybe it wasn’t any good, and so I trashed it. I tend to do that. Oh well. It really doesn’t matter, truth to be told. It’s a boring job through and through, even when people are screaming in your face or tossing your book in the street, or racing out of the bar with a beer in their hand, or pissing on the wall, and on and on. You’re crowd control more or less. You just go around telling adults that they can’t do things they ought to have had enough sense to know they shouldn’t do in the first place. Sometimes they get angry. Sometimes they just sheepishly walk away. I like it when they do that more.

(Twice in this post I have used the second-person pronoun ‘you’ to describe both bar patron and doorman! Whoa~)

I’m not worried if anyone gets in my face anymore. I know the entire bar. Some of the bigger dudes have told me: “If anything happens, you come and get me.” Sometimes the other doorman, this big bastard named Chris, is already drinking at the bar even though it’s his night off. He told me no matter how drunk he gets he’ll come and help me push someone out the door. You can’t buy that kind of fealty! (Or is it more of a ‘fraternal bond’, given that we practice the same trade. . . ?)

Anyway: If you’re in the neighborhood come on by. It is such a joyless job, being a door sentry, but the money is too good to pass up. I already have a full-time job, though hell, I sure do show up at night and do this thing too. I feel like it keeps me out of trouble, and anyway like I said I get to read as well. I’m always worried I’m not reading enough. The other night I read half a book. I could have kept going and probably finished the whole thing, but I got so cold I had to get up and move around every so often to keep from freezing, and so it kind of screwed up my momentum. I need better winter clothes for this shit. It’s five god darn hours out there on the street, man. It is a lonely street. Please, for god’s sake, come keep me company.

13 November 2018

This morning I was reading this article in the NYT about two dudes who are currently trekking Antarctica on foot with no accompaniment, which is apparently a first. Previously we human beings have attempted to reach the bottom of the world in groups . . . but these sorry sons of bitches are going it alone. Needless to say, I am deeply jealous. I scrolled down the page and saw their proposed route:

. . . and then I remembered my own route:

I have never been to Antarctica before. My route is based on practically nothing . . . just a few things I read, or whatever. I’m so dumb I don’t even know how to maneuver around the Ross Ice Shelf. Really, my route could begin where theirs ends: right in that little alcove in the ice shelf. Why do I need to start on that patch of earth way the hell down there? There are two bases right smack dab where my Ross Sea purple star is: McMurdo, which is a US base, and Scott Base, which is owned by the New Zealand government. I guess that’s why I thought that would be a good starting point. By far the most amount of bases are around where these two gentlemen set off from, on that little snake tail near the Weddell Sea. The rest are scattered around the perimeter of the continent.

McMurdo looks nice as hell actually. I found a picture of it at night, where it looks like a little Christmas town, and thus it is much cuter at night:

It’s Ross Sea vs. Weddell Sea I guess, and hell, who knows if they’d even let me within a hundred yards of any of the Weddell Sea bases. Hmm. Maybe by the time I have decided I’m primed for extinction, no countries will exist at all anymore, and I’ll be free to charter some sort of floating ball of garbage from the southernmost point of Chile, and I can begin my death march from wherever it is those seafaring marauders and I make land. And what will I have used to pay for my journey, now that all money is even more worthless than it was before? An eyeball, maybe, and a few bags of irradiated rice. Lord, and maybe even my flea-bitten time-rotten soul as well. . . .

And listen: If you absolutely must mark the place where my skeleton sleeps, make my grave a moderately-sized snowman in my likeness, which is to say a sort of hideous frozen statue. It should stay intact for at least a few months, maybe even a year. Right? There are twenty-four hours of sunlight during the Antarctic summer, though hell, with temperatures dipping well below freezing even then, it should be relatively safe from the sun. . . . it could even exist just long enough for one or two of my more insane friends to make the trek down to see it. No matter what the fate of my death snowman may be, let’s face it: the thing is gonna be an inverted Ozymandias. Instead of a spiritually bankrupt tyrant who lords over an arid wasteland, I will be the nameless idiot nobody who gave up and died somewhere cold and far away from everything I ever knew, to wit: My name is Starsailor, King of Losers, and so on. . . .

Well, that’s enough self-loathing and narcissism for today. Thing is, I’ll probably never get away with any of this anyhow, because there is one person in particular who would sooner stomp my balls out than let me get on that boat, or that military aircraft, or however the hell else you get there, and I know if she knew I was going on down to Skeleton Town so to speak, she would be able to convince me otherwise. I’d sure as shit rather be warmed by her friendship than frozen by the cold winds of absolute indifference! Though hell, sometimes you got no say in the matter . . . most times, even, and who am I to muck with iron-clad fate? I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.

12 November 2018

i think i’ve figured it out. i gasped in dark a few minutes ago when the thought came to me, which is one i’ve had before: that i have died and the life i am living now is a perfect facsimile of my old life, except that it is actually my own personal version of hell.

wouldn’t that be the worst sort of punishment of all? to be in a familiar place with familiar people, except everything is designed to torture you? and what is the worst torture of all except one that is slow and invisible to you? that is true psychological terrorism: destroying someone from within a nightmare of their old life, now that they are dead!

(i’m like 87% serious by the way)

((now i just need to piece together how i died))

(((let’s face it: in all likelihood i did it to myself)))

;-(