sometimes at night i’ll drive through west oakland, through ghost town where i used to live, and where i first moved to when i came to oakland over half a decade ago now, when i was twenty-five years old . . . and i’ll go out of my way to visit my old house on mead avenue, which is where i lived with many of my friends and had many strange nights and bad mornings, and on and on (hah!!), and i’ll think that probably my whole life didn’t matter before that point. i mark that time and that place as The Beginning Of Whatever This Is Now. you know? the mead house was the rosetta stone of my own cosmic truths!! i know that i killed off whatever i was the first night i slept in that weird old house. and i don’t mean that poetically ok!! it really did happen. it’s incredible when i think about it. i was nothing before. i’m not something now, but i’m a different, better kind of nothing these days i think . . . but i am also rapidly decaying from inside-out, and will probably be dead soon as a result.
anyway: there is this really good letter my hero herman melville wrote to his friend nathaniel hawthorne—the one where he refers to planet earth as “that queer little hole called the world“.
how did i miss this part? herman melville was my age when he wrote this:
My development has been all within a few years past. I am like one of those seeds taken out of the Egyptian Pyramids, which, after being three thousand years a seed and nothing but a seed, being planted in English soil, it developed itself, grew to greenness, and then fell to mould. So I. Until I was twenty-five, I had no development at all. From my twenty-fifth year I date my life. Three weeks have scarcely passed, at any time between then and now, that I have not unfolded within myself. But I feel that I am now come to the inmost leaf of the bulb, and that shortly the flower must fall to the mould.
whoa. yes. whoa!! he was writing MOBY-DICK at the time, too! whoa baby.
he also says fame is awful, and that he doesn’t want to be famous or even remembered at all:
I have come to regard this matter of Fame as the most transparent of all vanities.
YEAH. me too
dude just needed to finish THE WHALE aka THE ONLY BOOK before he died, and then who gives a damn about the rest!
what a cool dude. thanks meville