Dispatch ??? of ??? from the San Francisco Bay Area, California
10 April 2020
Low on supplies, and the outlook is grim
WE ARE IMPRISONED
IN AN ENDLESS
SEA OF ICE. . . .
We have told all the tales, real and imaginative, to which we are equal. Time weighs heavily upon us as the darkness slowly advances.
I am in a sort of fortress in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, having escaped Berlin before The Big Lockdown went into effect. And now back in the great state of California, the governor has told us to remain inside and away from people for an indefinite period of time, maybe forever, and so I have done as much, having no other alternative. At night I go out alone, which apparently is just fine as long as I don’t touch anything, though, come on . . . what the hell is there out there to touch, really, other than stray cats? And anyway, pandemic or not, my Howard Hughesian reflexes require me to wash my hands upon entering any domicile, what with my aversion to germs and human filth, so I’m a person well-suited for this sort of thing. I will ride this thing out the lonely way, here in Northern California, much as I have been doing for years now. The channels have changed, but it’s all television. . . .
Up in the Berkeley Hills at night, with my head swimming in my own cosmic trash brought on by a cheap commodity I’ve been having a lot of fun with recently, though grim about the mouth otherwise, I have determined that I would be absolutely screwed if I were still in Germany. I got out just in time, is my conclusion. I had a fine life there for as long as I had it, living in a massive and ancient room in Kreuzberg, right in the middle of all the good stuff. It was such a sadness to leave, but I’d be stranded in a visa limbo right now had I stayed, and away from all my friends there. Probably I will give it another try some other time, when any sort of life outside your own house is possible again, though god only knows when that will be. I will say this though: I sure as heck don’t miss the food. I love Germany, and Germans, and so on, but that food had me crying. They only have like two kinds of apples at the grocery store, if you can believe it, and they’re both bad.
And I’ll be back around there sooner or later anyhow, what with Air France having refunded my return ticket, which is worth something like 300€. That’s about enough to get me over the Atlantic. This girl in Moscow said to me recently: come on over when this all goes away. So probably I’ll go there first. Hain’t never been to Russia before, so OK. Lord, is her accent good. That’s the best one, the Russian accent, if you ask me. I told her that and she said she was glad to have it. I mean, I would be too.
ANYWAY: While I got the time, I want to change this website and make it better. Not so long ago I used to write long posts and stories, and on and on, and then something happened and I stopped caring about doing those sorts of things. It is not an indifference so much as a failure on my part to find meaning in any of it . . . and I mean that in a big way, and not a small way. I’m talking about the Big Bummer, which I pretty much run the franchise on. Maybe I have felt the crushing defeat of whatever it is my life has always been, and it has made me disinterested in talking about it anymore. I don’t want to feel that way anymore and so I won’t. I don’t want to write that way anymore either. When I really get down to it, when I am alone and deep inside my head with the aid of something outside of myself, if you catch my meaning, that is not how I really feel. In reality I care so much about the things in my life that I killed off those feelings, or else put them on ice, because I was too sensitive to bear the burden of being this thing for a time. I’ll get over it . . . I always do. And the wheel will spin again and I’ll go back to how I am now. The spinning is what keeps me from having anything to show for my life, and what keeps me alone, and so on. But the longer I am around, and the more I suffer, the more control I have over the dark and humid constellation I find myself living under, even though it is not much control at all. It is more than before. Or at any rate that is the lie I have to tell myself so that I don’t dive off the sheer windy cliffside by Point Reyes. I can’t abide that.
Yes, and: I have begun redesigning this here starsailor dot co, whatever it is anymore, though it will remain mostly the same. Thing is, I need to ramp up producing things for it. And I don’t want to stick to the old ways necessarily, though that will be there of course, all you can eat, now that I am shackled to it forever. I always was . . . it’s just that I have acquiesced to the inevitable, not that it ever needed my permission. Though yeah, I need to stop with my obsession of making things perfect in order to put it out there. Every time I open anything I’m working on, I strip it and rewrite it . . . even things I’ve been writing for months and years. It is of course ideal that you rewrite everything you write, even three or four times, but I have frozen them in time far away from the world, and that’s no good for anybody. I always thought I could maybe get paid to write things, but if I carry on this way, I’ll go to the grave with the song still in me—with a bunch of unfinished stories rotting on my computer. I don’t know. Maybe I got something to say that other people aren’t saying anywhere else. It is such a sadness what this has all become, now that everything is homogenous and sterilized. I have written about this before. The point is that I can’t abandon what I have made here . . . but it has to be better, or else I’ll eclipse myself. Repetition is mere imitation and all imitation is worthless, like the fella said. If I start to imitate myself, I’m finished.
Two of my good friends have taken it upon themselves to carry on the tradition of What Things Use To Be, which is to say: they pay homage to a time when people had individual websites that they themselves designed, and where they wrote whatever they wanted to write. Baby, we need those back alley websites! The alternative is a dismal tide of everything else. While we are still here we must resist all that horseshit. It would be devastating if people did not know that there is an alternative which is superior to what the other guys are pushing.
I mentioned this recently I think, but this big redesign is gonna happen right here in the wide open world. Make it public as I go about it! I’ll create a subdomain and code it in real-time, or whatever. Why not. Maybe I have already begun. I feel like what I got now is what this website is supposed to look like, but it needs a new backend to it. It’s gotten real creaky since I built it in now-defunct coffeeshop in Portland, when I didn’t have anywhere to live, and when I had a shaved head and wore the same exact clothes every day, on account on my not having anywhere to wash anything. And it is now exactly four years later that I find myself with the same sort of desperation in me. This is a good place to be when you want to make things. The closer you are to the abyss of death, the better The Work is. Bad for health, good for education, and so on. Whatever.
I think also that I have discovered a path to working for myself and making my own money by making my own stuff. This guy I worked with in Portland, to keep bringing up Portland, has offered to give me a chunk of change to produce a pilot episode of something. I have told him that yes, for god’s SAKE, of course I’ll do that. I wonder if I could use this to find more “”investors””. Hell, at least exactly one person believes in me. It might be possible that there are a few others. I have already written most of the script for whatever this thing will be. I will either shoot three 15–20 minute episodes, or just go right ahead and shoot a feature. I’ll have Gayle play a princess, what with her owning all those princess costumes, and I’ll have Brandon Sheffield play an older version of me, or my brother, or whatever else. I’ll get McCune and Grant to shoot it. I’ll bet they’d do it. Later, once the virus finishes decimating the world, I could rent out the New Parkway Theater in Oakland and invite everyone I know.
(Come to think of it, I should probably publish that Patreon page I wrote six months ago too. But of course imposter syndrome has kept me from doing so. I’ll get over it soon.)
This is the way out. It has got to be. I don’t want to help someone else make money anymore. I am fortunate that, for all my misery, I have not had to compromise whatever ideals I still have left. I think that’s true anyway. I have never had to sell someone a vacuum cleaner, if you know what I mean, or work for a tech conglomerate that helped elect the current president. I have not had to become a scumbag to make a living wage. That has got to count for something, though it could just as well mean nothing. If I stop believing in it, that might be so . . . always a precarious thing for me. I just got to do the work and I’ll feel better about it all. The Work is all the matters anymore, when I really get down to it. I’ve been fucking around too much. The quarantine has curtailed all the strange and secret things I had been up to before all this. Yes, maybe it is for the best that those things are gone for a while, if it forces me, for instance, to temporarily give up my “”hobby”” of driving about a hundred miles per hour on dark California highways with a stranger in the passenger seat. I love it, and I’ll go back to that later once I got some cash, but not yet. . . !
So: trapped in ice; walking around the East Bay ripped out of my head; eventually go to Moscow; redesign starsailor dot co; raise money for STARPUNCHER pilot; finish drafting my Patreon page; continue to live uncompromisingly in the meantime, et cetera.
Oh, and finish my portfolio:
GOOD-BYE FOR NOW! I’ll return soon with more trash. ☆彡