27 June 2014

laps around lake merritt

‘siberian breaks’ on loop

and then, spontaneously:

little farm & nature area

up, up, up into the mountain

fog everywhere

went there because everyone else was asleep

and lauren’s window was dark

(maybe she won’t talk to me again)

at the top there were three cars and no faces

and two people fucking in an old police car

i parked my old police car by a log and got out


the fog covered the lights below . . . no san francisco, no oakland, no berkeley

just waves of the stuff swirling in the dark

and black shadows too

on my way down i stopped to let a deer cross

it hopped up the side of a hill and i sat there in the middle of the road with my foot on the brake

and we watched each other for a while

another car came and the deer took off

when i got home dante caught a moth and i collected it in a mason jar and set it free

25 June 2014

Here it is: The only thing you can ever hope for is more existence

The best sounds are the ones that say nothing at all: the wind, the ocean, the trees

The best things are the body things: sex, sleep, walking, jumping, breathing, taking a dump, et cetera

Put that thing down

You don’t need that thing

You have everything you need—you always have

There is nothing new under the sun

Have fun, don’t be a jerk

Open your god damn idiot eyes and see something for once

24 June 2014

Months after that, I would receive a letter from NIH. The letter would say, among a lot of other things, that the vaccine had worked, and that somewhere out there, a sixty-eight-year-old molecular biologist named Dr. Joe Cohen was a very happy man, having spent twenty-four years making the damn thing work.

And I would be told I was the third person in the world to be immune to malaria as a result of the vaccine. And upon reading this I would feel nothing.

It took twenty-four years, I thought, to create a vaccine that could prevent a parasitic disease from killing over one million people a year. And now it was swimming in the veins of a twenty-three-year-old man in Texas who didn’t really want to be alive, anyway. I would go on to lose my temporary invulnerability to malaria, would lose my best pick-up line (“Hey babe, I’m, uh, immune to malaria”)—would again be wary of mosquitos.

Some kid in Africa would go on to let a white man inject a clear fluid into his bloodstream. And maybe he wouldn’t understand that it would save his life from the greedy bites of tiny insects. But now he would go on to grow up into an adult. And though he wouldn’t ever have to face malaria, he would feel something else instead. And if I could, I would tell him that the pain never goes away—it just disappears from time to time. But when it is gone, this whole thing is worth it, maybe.

And maybe he would blink. And maybe he would shrug. And maybe he wouldn’t give a fuck either way.

23 June 2014

i played “spook the squares” again tonight

where i drive around in the police car in berkeley, haunting those idiot streets

spooking all the squares there

and so on

hence the name

then i parked outside the auto zone on 27th street and smoked a cigarette and listened to music

the wind was blowing, it felt like fall

i hoped lauren would say hello or something, so i waited a while

she didn’t!

i went home

19 June 2014

I think pure invention is way better than writing about all the stupid crap I do

Maybe I will stop writing about the stupid crap I do

Maybe I will just invent stupid crap for fake people to do

19 June 2014

Something I realized about The Dance of Reality this morning: it is one of the few things that makes me want to get old (???)

19 June 2014

There is still a little mark under my right eye from way back in April when I had a strange and terrible night and ended up with a black and swollen face. Does this ever go away? I have no idea. I don’t really care. It looks all right.

19 June 2014


“Nice police car. You undercover?”

“Nah man, I quit.”

19 June 2014

A few hours ago I took my friend Lauren to the California Theatre in Berkeley, which, as much as I hate Berkeley, is the best theater in the Bay Area. It’s weird and old and nicely kept up and before the movie starts an usher walks down the aisle and quietly announces that there will be fifteen minutes of previews before the feature begins. It’s old fashioned in way that doesn’t seem quaint or put-on—it’s just a nicer way of doing things that most of the world has forgotten about or decided was unnecessary or whatever.

I had been trying to take Lauren to this theater for weeks. . . . Several times a month my brother McCune and I, feeling like garbage, will decide to go see a movie there thirty minutes before it starts. It’s a great thing: to spontaneously decide on a Tuesday night that you’d like to see a movie, and you don’t really care what it is as long as you get to see it. Usually there are only three or four people in the place, most of them older, most of them alone . . . and you just sort of chill out with your popcorn or whatever and let the thing go inside you. It is darkness and time alone and there are deliberate images projected on a screen and most of the time they’re good images.

Anyway: she said, “I’d love to see a movie with you” and I said “Oh boy!” and so I took her. We saw The Dance of Reality, which is Alejandro Jodorowsky’s first film in 23 god darn years. Man I had a good time. I would have let that movie go on forever if it had wanted to. But I reckon 130 minutes is what it took for that dude to say what he wanted to say.

. . . actually I have forgotten what it is I wanted to say. I have forgotten why I began to write this. I guess it doesn’t matter.

Maybe to say that, during the film, I thought that it was sad and weird and beautiful that I needed this thing to make me feel OK. And that the only reason death is “bad” is because once a thing is gone it is, as far as we know, gone forever. And sometimes we miss a thing so much because we can’t keep it here with us and we can’t go with it where it is going—at least not yet. And even then there is no guarantee. Not even a trace of one. Who knows.

“God does not exist. You die and you rot.”


The Dance of Reality: ★★★★ (out of four)
Lauren the Human Being: ★★★★ (out of four)

(Yes, I just rated my friend out of four stars. It was a dumb joke. But seriously: she’s the best person there is. She said to me afterwards: “I’m not sure I liked that movie. It did something to me, for sure. But if there’s anyone I could have watched it with, I’m glad it was you.” Jesus, lady. Thanks.)