I have been watching the time, and have been making this awful face every time I see another minute pass by. They want me to be somewhere in a half hour. It’s a five-minute walk from where I am, so I have twenty-five (now twenty-four as of three seconds ago) minutes to do whatever it is I do here on Hawthorne Boulevard. Man, this place is Snoresville. I don’t wanna go out there. I’d rather stay right where I am with this big cup of coffee and this bizarre dumb music reverberating off my living room walls.

Dante is not on my shoulder anymore. He found something better to do, and I don’t blame him one bit.

D’ye see the junky pile of boxes behind us? Inside those boxes are most of my things. I reckon all that’s left is the few pieces of furniture I own (a desk, a small bookshelf, another small bookshelf, an apple crate) and my clothes (three pairs of black jeans, one pair of purple jeans, 10 black T-shirts, a denim jacket, a leather jacket, a fur coat). I’ll toss that stuff in the van when I have good reason to go rent that van. I hope that’s soon. I am doing everything in my power to make sure that is soon. In fact, I have diverted all my limited time and resources to getting back to California. It won’t be all that difficult. My Bay Area babies are excited I’m coming back. I just gotta find a job that’s worth a damn.

You know: I really do like that place. And I really did need to be away from it. Though, I don’t wanna live in Oakland again, if I can help it . . . but there are dozens of cities in the Bay, so we’ll seeeeeee~

Last night I was regaling my friend Kerwin of the early Oakland days, and how weird and cool they were. Man, that was a hell of a thing. Kerwin said: “By the time I got here everyone just wanted to sullenly sit in the dark and watch movies.” Yeah. That’s because everyone we knew started to really act like they were in their thirties, which they were. Though hey, who am I to say anything about that. I too spent most of 2015 sullenly sitting in the dark and watching movies. (Uh . . . and maybe a good chunk of 2016 too.)

I am not going to use the word “renaissance” . . . but maybe when I return I can shake these creeps around a little and make them remember they’re alive. Hah! They’re good people . . . they’re just older, and tired, and maybe they feel like they’ve seen enough. I wouldn’t dare tell anyone they’re wrong about that. We can still have us a good old time anyway though.

Time’s up! I have four minutes to put my shoes and jacket on and get to walking. Lord help me, it’s going to be a rotten time, though I don’t suppose there’s much I can do about that now except enter a Zen-like state and stay there as long as possible. The thing about an unshakeable fate, even a small one like this, is that you have to accept it and glide right through it until you’re free again. What else can a person possibly do? I will seek to rid myself of it completely when I am outside of the thing again later tonight. Yes, OK. Putting on my shoes now.