i met molly (left) in portland many years ago now. she insanely agreed to meet me at lone fir cemetery around 10 pm. if you’ve ever been to lone fir, it’s an entire city block in the middle of southeast portland, where i lived, and it’s absolutely pitch black at night, and littered with obsidian tombstones inscribed with russian epitaphs. my friends and i used to walk over there with lanterns and pig wine and get drunk by the mausoleum there (you had a hop a wrought-iron fence . . . very treacherous). you could go over there any night of the week and have a real good time for free, and meet some other midnight freaks if you were lucky. it was my favorite place in all of portland.

anyway: if you were a young woman, this is not the kind of place you’d want to meet a strange man in the middle of the night. but molly said yes anyway. she got there before me and was sitting on top of a stone slab in the dim center of the cemetery. she was dressed kind of like wednesday addams. it was october and chilly out and approaching her in the gloom, i said: “girl, are you sure you’re warm enough without a jacket??” she had brought a bottle of red wine called VELVET DEVIL and we sure did drink the entire bottle together.

molly and i became good friends and she would come over all the time and we’d make tea and have fires in my fireplace. and sometimes i’d hang out with her and her sister daisy at their place on belmont a few streets over, or else we’d go sit in the back of the gold dust meridian on hawthorne and stay until they kicked us out.

later that winter, when portland got hit by two blizzards in a row, she invited me to come over and watch the final episode of twin peaks with her. and i walked through the ice and snow that night to get to her and we got drunk on pig wine and watched it on her laptop on her bed in her little attic room. we fell asleep around four in the morning and i held her all night under the frost-covered skylight above her bed.

i moved back to oakland a few weeks later, only neither of us knew that yet. in hindsight, this adds a little sadness to that memory. she told me as much years later.

molly turned 27 today, which blows my mind. how did i go and meet this cool british girl who for some reason ended up in portland?? i wonder. molly is a good penpal who has excellent penmanship and we’ve been writing each other letters nonstop since covid began . . . but i’m excited to see her in the flesh again in new york in a few weeks. i wanna go back to alligator lounge, where the doorman called me “mr. california”, and get free baby-sized pizzas with her and monty:

WELL: happy birthday, molly. i love you forever. ok??

My cousin Jack and I talked about this spooky shared experience once . . . but whenever I move out of an apartment, I always find a hair tie or a bobby pin behind some furniture or something. Always. And I always kind of know which girl left it there. And upon discovering it I feel a sadness.

Anyway yesterday I found both and it gutted me. I threw them away. What else can you do?

Other than my house in Portland, I think this last apartment is the one I feel least sentimental about. It faced a back lot and there were no animals or grass or plants, which I know was a big bummer for Dante. People always said that it felt cozy in there which was true. But at the beginning of summer it came to feel like a sad place. I won’t miss it at all. And really most of this year had been a total waste of time until Bex and her band stayed with me. That’s when it felt fun again. I’ve written off the rest. Maybe the next half will be OK. In fact I know it will. I’ll tell you why very soon.

Though yeah: that god damn bobby pin. It was the last thing I tossed. And then I put my key on the kitchen counter and left my apartment for the last time.

emma and i walked over ten miles through oakland and berkeley. we dropped off a bottle of pig wine at stella of CHALK TALK fame’s house (she wasn’t home so i left it on the porch with some star ☆ mail ) . . . then to strada on campus to get coffee . . . and finally all the way down university to get burritos at la mission. it was a cute little night (CLN)

stella texted me when she got home . . .

so emma and i circled back to stella’s house on the way to alcatraz avenue where we had come from, and she showed us her house, which was very nice, and i played with this gigantic sword i found in the living room, and lo and behold, on the back of her bedroom door was the poster for the tour i had briefly bore witness to. so of course we posed by it to send to BEX herself. yeah!

now i am lying in the dark and very tired so good-night neverland~ ☆彡

whoa. this was like exactly one year ago. am i gonna get in trouble for posting this?? in like an “ugh ryan no don’t use that picture. i’d been driving all day” kind of way? probably! but i think she looks cute obviously . . . and definitely kinda british

anyway: bex came to stay with me when i was in self-exile in virginia last august. i think she was camping inside her car up and down the east coast or something. how she ended up near DC i can’t say, but we got thai food and walked around and drove around and had us a good ol time. it was nice to have her there. she is one of those people where we can basically do nothing and still infinitely generate a conversation. as far as i’m concerned, that’s the very best kind of person to know

in the morning she and her trio of stuffed animals drove me to union station in DC where i caught a bus to new york city to see my friends there. it was raining and she was dreading the thought of camping in the rain. i wanted to stay with her. i said: “listen baby i’m hip about time, but i just gotta go.” and so with sadness i went. (a week later i moved back to california, which maybe i shouldn’t have done . . .)

though yeah, i’m gonna go visit new york again in a few weeks. i’ll probably have the same exact trip, which is Fine By Me. that sounds great actually

and then i’ll see bex again in october in berlin. and hopefully get thai food and definitely walk around again with her. yeah~

I was supposed to have been in Europe from August 3rd until the 17th . . . I had tickets to Lisbon and Madrid and Amsterdam and Berlin, and then I was going to go down to Italy, to Milan, and catch a ride with my good friend Katrijn and her daughters, who were traveling all the way from Brussels to the countryside south of Tuscany. She had booked a few nights at this beautiful house there, that had a gate and a pool and everything. Look at this god damn place:

Man! It would have been so cool!

But it’s Totally OK, because something better is about to happen . . . something better by orders of magnitude! I’ll tell you soon!! Yeah!!!

NASA recently took these composite photos of jupiter with their james webb telescope

jupiter is my favorite planet

yeah these look insanely cool lol