man i was going through some ancient emails and found a bunch from one of my best and oldest friends. for 11 years she has been sending me emails about what she did that day, or dreams of hers where we did something together, or music she wanted me to listen to, and on and on. she has never forgotten my birthday. sorry to get all TENDER but: i think about you every day. i love you so much ☆彡

STONE (1974) absolutely rules lol

damn!!! inspired stuff

happy father’s day to my beloved pep-pep

this was taken on a forlorn beach in northern california in the summer of 2019, the final summer before The Plague . . . back when life was beautiful. my dad and my sister and i had driven north from the bay area and stayed in a big cabin in the woods in sonoma county. that was one of the best trips i ever took. and when i returned home, i returned to my cool life, where i lived in a nice apartment and was surrounded by friends and even in love with someone who maybe loved me too. oh well lol

anyway: my father is one of my best friends. i am lucky to be his son. ok?

people tell me this often, but i know one day i’m going to suddenly age all at once, like dorian gray. they’ll find my ruined body crumpled up on the floor, my face to the ground, and upon rolling me upright, they will be aghast . . . as i am now some hideous 200-year-old-lookin freak ass!!

you always kind of feel like a dork quoting the guy, but every now and then i’ll read something of his and think “yeah . . .”

i wrote to my old boss and told her how much i missed her and everyone else I used to work with . . . and she sent me a sweet reply. wow! i sure do wish i still worked there. also those are obviously not real tears though they may as well be lol

Around this time last year, I watched SHANGHAI EXPRESS, which I had never seen before. Like pretty much everyone who ever laid eyes on Marlene Dietrich, I thought to myself: “That woman sure does have some cheekbones on her.”

Sternberg knew exactly what he was doing when he lit her face:

After the movie ended, I of course realized I’d fallen in love with her. I knew she was from Berlin, so I decided to look up where she was born and where they had ultimately committed her to the deep. There in the dark, I was surprised to find out that not only had she been born in a house in the same neighborhood where I lived, but she was also buried nearby. And so with nothing else to do with my life, I decided I would wake up the next day and pay her a visit.

This was in late April, and the weather had just gotten real nice, almost summer-like. After I’d painted myself with sunscreen, I went down to the street and pointed my body in the direction of Städtischer Friedhof III cemetery and got to walking. Most of the 40-minute walk there was familiar to me since it constituted the area where I spent most of my time. However, the area around her cemetery was especially beautiful . . . it was quiet and forested and felt like a secret place. I walked through the gate and was inside the place. There were a handful of people there, mostly older people who were tending to the graves of their loved ones. In Germany, family members regularly visit cemeteries and take care of the plots there. Or anyway, that’s my perception of it. They even have their own watering cans there, which I had seen my first winter in Berlin:

Back in April 2023, in the Here and Now, I knew right away that I was the only person there to see Marlene Dietrich, and so did everyone else in the cemetery. Well, I thought, I have good intentions, so what difference does it make? I’d read she was buried in “Section 34”, but I took my time finding it. I walked down the little paths and read the names on the graves. It looked like a pretty nice place to be dead:

And then finally, there it was: the eternal resting place of movie legend Marlene Dietrich. I just happened to walk up on it:

On my walk there, I’d searched everywhere for flowers, but could find none that felt OK to take. And being that it was Sunday, all the stores were closed . . . so I placed a little grape hyacinth upon her grave, which you can see in the bottom left corner of the first picture. I stood there for a while at the foot of her tombstone, which says “Here I stand at the marks of my days.”

An old woman approached me from the left and went to work watering the flowers on the grave next to Marlene’s, which belonged to a woman named Hannelore. I wondered who the woman had been, who had only died a few years ago in 2020, and who must have known for 30 years that she was going to be buried next to one of the greatest actresses of all time. I guess in death we really are equal.

I did one more lap around the cemetery and then departed from a side gate. Rather than retrace my steps, I walked home a different way so that I would walk past the building where Marlene had been born, which is Leberstraße 65 in Schöneberg:

Her plaque says she’s one of the few German actresses who achieved international fame. And despite offers from the Nazi regime, she emigrated to the United States and became an American citizen. In 2002, the city of Berlin posthumously awarded her honorary citizenship. “Thank God I am a Berliner.”


. . . I thought about ol Marlene and realized I had only visited that one time, when I had intended to go every few months. So next day I walked back to Städtischer Friedhof III cemetery. It just so happened to be one of the most beautiful days I’d ever seen in Berlin . . . one of those dreamy Sundays in June where there is hardly anyone outside and the city is quiet. Under the shade of many trees I turned a corner and saw a familiar throughway and knew I was close:

I stepped through the iron-wrought gate to a practically deserted cemetery. There were maybe five people total in the whole place. I once again took my time walking around the cemetery . . .

. . . until I found her grave:

A mother and her little kid were passing by, and they stopped and stood beside me when they reached Marelene’s grave. The mother said, “Ahh, es ist Marelene . . .” with affection, and kept walking.

I stayed there for a little while. I did not particularly want to be anywhere else just then, and anyway, I figured both Marlene and I could use the company. I found a bench nearby and sat down. Across the way some old dudes were talking. I could tell they had just happened to run into each other at the cemetery. I thought that was nice.

When I felt it was time to go, I announced to the cemetery and the dead which were buried in it that I would return soon, and then departed. I walked the mile and a half home to my fortified compound and climbed the high tower where, not unlike death itself, I am cursed to wander around aimlessly in the dark.