Thursday, January 31, 2002

sunshine state, here i come

a couple of days ago, my mom asked me if i could have a plane ticket to go somewhere this weekend, would i use it. i said hell yeah, and sort of forgot about it, assuming that the free ticket did not manifest itself.

but this morning, my dad woke me up at about ten, saying i had a phone call. it was my mom. i was super groggy. she asks if i still want the ticket. super alert - groginess went i don't even know where. she asks me how quick i could get to the airport. i said about half an hour, threw on some pants, and ran out the door.

i got to the airport, and met up with my mom and her friend from work. her friend had a free ticket that needed to be used by this weekend, because he got bumped off some flight. my mom's office is always flying to army meetings all over the place, and they occasionally get bumped, even volunteering to be bumped so that they can get a free ticket as compensation. so, we were tranferring the ticket to my name, and booking a flight. i was so happy with this man for being so nice, and he was so cool too. guys that have been in the army for twenty or so years, are usually pretty cool people, with a really weird sense of humor. they are one of my favorite types of people - they are always real nice too, with a sense of moral purpose and wry humor. the airline dude, though, was basically abe simpson, and took ten years to book my flight. making old man noises while he looked for each key before hitting it with his index finger, one at a time. slow slow slow.

anyways, i got the free ticket, am still feeling like i won the lottery or something, so so giddy, and will be flying into tampa tomorrow morning and leaving on monday afternoon so i can start working at b and n on tuesday. i am so excited right now to visit florida. whoo! even though it is the cloudiest, foggiest day ever - i am in fucking heaven right now.

i cut my hair today - as close as you could shave it without shaving it to the scalp - and my mark beckham haircut feels so fucking good - shaving my

i was supposed to meet maggie and rebecca at the ballston metro stop at seven to see amelieor/and black hawk down. i was running real behind, having to wait forever at both transfers i had to make. i had to tranfer onto the blue line and then onto the orange line. i felt so weird getting on the blue line. i never ever ever ride the blue line. yellow is my home, and so i felt oddly out of place on the blue line even though it is still the fucking metro. i just felt as though the passengers were different than the yellow line passengers - that they were a little too pretty or something.

anyways, i got to ballston at seven fifteen, and as i am riding up the escalator - not walking up it, because lazy mofos were just standing there blocking my path, thinking the escalator is a fucking ride or something - no, it's there to help you move faster - you're still supposed to walk - irritating me to no end - nearing the top of the escalator, gritting at the lazy man ahead of me who was stopping me from walking like the dynamic animal in motion i wished to be, i spot miss maggie ray of sunshine standing at the top of the escalator. i smile sincerely, greet her, and she says that rebecca's going to be a little late.

we take a seat on some steps and chat away the time, waiting for rebecca to arrive. meanwhile, we are missing the start of both movies which started at seven thirty. we are waiting still, wondering where on earth rebecca is. we decide to run across the street real quick to grab some food, sure that rebecca would not come in "the two minutes" we were gone. i got a gyro. maggie got some pizza. and while we were waiting, maggie asked me if i thought that sarasota had better food. and i did think so, weirdly enough. we both longed for some good ol' sarasota food. listing all the fun places to eat in sarasota. bangkok. sahara. publix subs. primos. ricos. that pizza place on main. and on and on. wondering why this was that sarafuckingsota had restaurants that we liked better than the places in dc. thinking about it now though, i realize that it probably has a lot to do with memories of eating there with nc people, and the fact that going to eat is a favorite way to occupy time of nc people.

j-walked back across the street, sat on the same set of steps by the escalator, watching all the people, hoping one would be rebecca. we finished eating, sat some more, talked some more, and then i tried to convince maggie that we should walk down to the theater to see if rebecca was waiting in front of there - that maybe we missed her while we were getting food. maggie insists that we were only gone for two minutes, and is very worried that we will miss becks if we go the theater. i suggest that we check the time. we find out that is eight eleven, and maggie finally decides that we should go the theater.

we get there and rebecca is waiting there. she got here during that brief window where we ran to get food. no movies are showing at eight eleven or anytime soon after. and the ones we wanted to see weren't showing again until ten something and the metro stops running at twelve, so we decided to see in the bedroom at nine twenty. we sat in the food court, eating and talking. i got a dollar o'nine ice cream cone from mickey d's, so excited, not having had an ice cream cone in so long. cake cone. super white vanilla ice cream about four times as big as the cone. i don't even think they have to dye it to get it this white - i'm pretty sure this is it's natural color. that is amazing that any food product can be such a bright white - looking so clean and pure and yummilicous.

we went and bought our tickets, sort of dreading seeing the movie, since we were in the mood for a decent comedy (aka - not kung pow). we went into the theater, decided we didn't want to watch a drama, spastically ran back to the ticket booth, to see what our other options were. realized there were none and so went and sat down, waiting for the movie to start. maggie didn't want to watch a drama because she said she can't stand sad things - that they make her cry. i thought she was exaggerating, but the preview for i am sam came on, and maggie started crying. after the preview, she said through sobs something like, "see, if there's any retarded fathers or anything in this movie, i am leaving." oh, also none of us knew anything about in the bedroom. it was a yeah,-i-think-i-heard-good-stuff-about-that-film type decision. so we are already with way too much energy to be sitting through a drama. laughing and talking loudly through the previews. pretty much doing the same through the actual movie, which i really liked - it reminded me so much of you can count on me. they both had the extended sense of time, a creepy rural noir type feeling, and short abrupt scenes. i know there most be some term for these types of films - god i wish i had taken film studies or something. oh and marisa tomei is such a good actress.

okay, this entry is really bad because i keep writing little sentance spurts, because i am also trying to hold a conversation with bonnie on im, and i'm getting tired, so we're going to circle in these wagons and bring the shit to a close so i can go catch some z's.

halfway through the movie, maggie went to pee. me and rebecca left too to go see if we could steal candy out of the food counter that they have in the back of the theater, in case you didn't get candy when you were in the lobby like a normal fucking person, and cannot resist the urge to buy upon seeing a second food counter. but the food counters in the back of the movies are never occupied anyways. they are pretty useless. pretty sad and represenative of something. i don't know what exactly - but are representative just to make things artistic - they're ghost townness represents something sad and deep. again, i don't know what.

so yeah, back to rebecca and i, playing bonnie and clyde and trying to rob the unattended food counter. maggie comes out of the bathroom and serves as lookout. i hop over the counter, hoping to score some goobers, and try opening all the cabinets, but they are all motherfucking locked. i jump back over the counter, and rebecca tells me that i should go see if there's anything in the back room. so, maggie tells me that no one is coming. all systems clear for go. i hop back over the counter, how can i help you? would you like butter on the popcorn? - enjoy my moment as a movie theater employee but not for too long, worried that someone might walk down this hall soon, i run into the backroom. nothing but trashcans. no goobers. no raisenets. no nothing. we go back into the movie, laugh some more at inappropriate moments. maggie occasionally cries very silly like, grabbing rebecca's knee. getting emotional about everything sad. me and rebecca laugh about this.

this movie's been sort of plotless for a good while now - there is no end in sight, i wonder what time it is, since the metro's stop running at midnight and i have to make two transfers. we find out that it is about eleven, and maggie and i have to leave in half an hour to catch the metro. of course, right when the plot starts picking up and getting real suspenseful, we have to leave. little cinderellas rushing towards the metro, hoping not to be stranded out in ballston. me especially since i live the furtherest from ballston.

so upset that i watched the whole movie except for the last twenty minutes and have no clue what happened. but, bonnie saw it, and filled me in, giving me a detailed description of the ending. not seeing the end was so frustrating. but i also think it was sort of beneficial, making me like the film a lot more, allowing me to make up endings in my head. dimino went on for a while once about the tendency to "privlege the ending" in literary criticism, by focusing so much on the ending. and so by not seeing the ending, i really do have a greater appreciation for all the cool filmwork in the beginning of the movie. i don't know. cinderella remember, it is almost twelve. i will have no carriage, and will be stuck trying to get home with some lame pumpkin.

we board an orange line train towards rossyln at 11:40. two more transfers to go. i say bye to rebecca and then to maggie. the blue line doesn't come until 12:01, and i am ready to cry because i am postive that no more yellow trains will be coming by the time i get to king street, and that i will somehow have to get to my car at huntington. the stupid blue line finally gets to king street at 12:17, and oh hope - there's a couple people still waiting on the platform after the train leaves. maybe a yellow train will still come. i watch the message board that tells how long it is until the next train, and as soon the train left the station, the sign said "yellow line four car train approaching," and yes! motherfucking yes!!! i do not have to pay for a cab, whoo! i board my cozy yellow line train, feeling comforted like it were my favorite blanket or something. no more blue line and intimidating blue line passengers. this is my yellow line. with dishelved yellow line people.

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

joie de vivre

how is it possible that the company of another person can change your mood so drastically? do humans have no free will - no ability to resolve to be angry? are we so easily molded by the objects and people we encounter? is this idea of an independent self hogwash?

i am becoming more and more convinced that this is so. my mood shifting with the fact that it was seventy degrees today, making me happy. my dad's presence making me unhappy. so, so unhappy. i got in contact with joni, knowing that i needed to change my surroundings to change my mood. joni was doing some stuff at the library and told me to come meet her there. and so i did. i haven't seen her in a while, nearly two years, and she changes her hair style a lot, and i entered the library thinking that i might have seen joni sitting at a computer. the girl was black and skinny, but lots of girls are, and so i wasn't about to say hi to some possible stranger. i sat down at the computer next to her trying to get a glance at her face, and her hair was covering it. finally i got a glimpse and saw that it was joni and, this is the point at which some new bouyant mood emerged from nowhere.

i bounced around the library with joni so excited about seeing her, talking about our lives, and looking at the religion books since joni was looking for some system to explain life. i started looking too, not really finding anything that seemed suitable. i went and picked upinterview magazine, sat down on a couch with joni, and sparkled. marveled like a kid listening to a bedtime story as joni told me wild story after wild story in her exaggerated way.

we then decided to rent some movies from blockbuster. joni got her little sister whom she was baby-sitting, brianna, out of the children's books and we went to the evil blockbuster where i had like ten fucking dollars in late fines. we picked out sugar and spice and while we were waiting in line to pay for the movies, i saw that the thirty year oldish woman behind us in line looked real familiar. i had no fucking clue where she was from, i was thinking and thinking and then there was that a-ha moment and i quickly turned around, saying: you're the cafe manager at barnes and nobles! as if she did not know who she was. she recognized me and i told her how i tried calling her this morning and how they wouldn't let me start training until next tuesday. she was real nice and friendly and it was sort of real random running into her at this blockbuster half an hour away from b and n. seeing her and talking to her made me so happy about this magical idea of conincidence.

we went back to joni's house - joni still having to babysit her sister until her mom came home. we listened to the new wu-tang cd that joni got for free as a promo working at kemp mill. the album is soo good. while we were listening to it, the three of us played sorry. i was doing so bad, being bumped off the board every time i got out of start. i was laughing hysterically, for some reason taking so much enjoyment out of getting all competitive with an eight year old. we played two games. the first time i lost. the second time i came in second.

joni's mom came home, and we were about to leave to go to sharmain's apartment to watch the videos, when joni's mom, just like the last time i saw her, started yelling at joni about not having brianna in bed, about leaving a pair of shoes out, about a messy living room, and about a glass in the sink. while joni was running around the house doing her crazy mom's biddings, i sat on the couch, and bit my tongue trying so hard not to laugh. her mom yells about the most petty things, in the most serious manner, and in a thick jamacian accent. the three combined to make me want to laugh out loud. i did my best to hold back my laughter, but then between the yelling, her mom would ask me how i was doing, and she could tell that i thought this was funny. started to giggle and asked me, now would you just leave a pair of shoes that you borrowed sitting on the stairs and not put them back? except the question was much more detailed and much more funny when she said it.

finally joni finished her chores. her and her mom bickered some more to my amusement and then we were out the door. some jay-z song started playing on the radio, and joni to my further amusement went on how about how lame jay-z is, and how much she loves nas. i agreed with her about how lame jay-z is, but said that nas is pretty lame too with how obsessed with jay-z he is. we argued over nas's abilities, both agreeing that he is a fucking awesome lyricist, but that was as far as we could agree. we got to sharmain's, who i have not seen since high school, and she was living in an apartment with her boyfriend and two massive dogs, redman and sierra. as soon as i got in the apt, these dogs were tackling me, and i was so excited, i have not gotten to play with any dogs in so long - missing my dogs - rolling around playing with charmaine's, so happy - dogs seriously make me happier than anything in the world. joni put in the new dilated peoples album, we took shots of smirnoff, bobbed our heads, ate some food, talked, and then started watching sugar and spice. the movie was pretty lame except for the robbery scene and this one cheerleader who was obsessed with conan o'brien, making me so happy. throughout the movie, the dogs would jump over joni and hop in my lap and lick my face and knock me over - and charmaine asked me if i was wearing dog cologne, and i was made so happy by these hyper dogs.

the movie ended, charmaine went to bed to get up for work in the morning. and i really didn't feel like watching another movie, so me and joni made for home, having another conversation in the car about music. and i was so glad that i could have a decent conversation about music with someone. i got home, saw the full moon shining wonderfully, felt the oddly warm air, lingered on my doorstep, savoring my feelings of joy. i came in, and my dad was still up, watching cnn on the couch. he didn't even annoy me tonight. his drugs had taken effect and he was the normal dad i knew forever, balanced and stable staying up late watching cable news.

and the writer of pipi longstocking died yesterday and there was an article in the washington post that i just read that i really loved, and here's a section that is making me smile with delight:

We all want to be Pippi, but the truth is, few of us are. More likely we're a Tommy or an Annika, Pippi's normal friends from next door. They are the foils to our outrageous Pippi: Annika, always concerned about the state of her dress, and Tommy, whose ordinary-boy bravery seems feeble by comparison with Pippi's. Before Pippi, brother and sister "played nicely with each other in their garden," Lindgren writes with some disdain. Most of us are the average ones, the easily cowed ones, the ones whose complacency is belied only in our dreams.

"Do you live here all alone?" Annika anxiously asks Pippi when she first surveys her ramshackle house.

To which the redhead replies, "Of course not!" There's the horse and the monkey, too.

Pippi is teaching us to live outside ourselves. There is a decisive moment in the first book when Annika spills coffee on her own dress, but by this point, Pippi has freed her from such a mundane concern. "First it was warm and wet, and then it was cold and wet, but that didn't matter to her."

Through Pippi, Lindgren posed the question of what really mattered.

"With laughter and seriousness, fantasy and a little audacity, one becomes tall even if one is little -- that's what she taught us," said Prime Minister Goran Persson of his country's wildly popular children's author.

Pippi Longstocking doesn't need anyone, which is not to say she doesn't need anyone. There is always something mysterious and sad about Pippi's distanced relationship with her father, who lives as a pirate on the South Seas. This, and Pippi's occasional loneliness, are the only elements that hint at something deeper.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

another scene from todd solondz's latest suburban black comedy

my dad is crushing a pill right now on the kitchen counter, preparing to snort it. this is my life. today, i was a lot more together than yesterday and was not in such emotional trauma, having to deal with my dad’s bullshit. okay he just snorted it – real fucking weird. anyways, today i was just stone cold towards the whole thing, not getting emotional, just looking at my dad like he was very pathetic.

i drove him out to his doctor in fair oaks in my mom’s minivan. he was obnoxious and gave me far too many directions at every fucking hundred feet. we finally get there, we are waiting in the waiting room, and he is called to go in. he tells me to come in with him. i say that i don’t want to. but he asks me again, and i feel like i have to go with him since his doctor is looking at me like i’m the most horrible person in the world for not wanting to accompany my dying father into the doctor’s office. anyways, he sits down in one of the chemo chairs – he wasn’t getting chemo today, he was just getting a refill of his oxycotin and morphine. the doctor writes him a prescription and then leaves to get him a lab test form. during her absense, my dad said, see, this is the chemo machine and it just goes whoo – making a motion from the chemo machine cord to his inner elbow, showing me the path of the chemo with a little whoo noise. at this point he starts crying, trying not to though, probably thinking about his approaching death and who knows what else. i sat there, stoic in my chair across the room, not saying anything to comfort him or hugging him or anything. i didn’t know what to do, i felt like i should not have seen this – i did not know how to react. the doctor came back with the lab form and showed sympathy and asked him what was wrong and gave him tissues and talked to him. and i sat there ten feet away, but mentally miles away – i was so distant from that action in that room. i really was mad at my dad that he basically forced me to come with him into the doctor’s room even though i stated that i really did not want to go.

he then drops of his prescription, seeing some 30ish blonde women that he knows and they talk for a while. i stand to the side, staring at the tv that is playing headline news, but not processing anything that was being aired. i might as well have been starting at a wall. he gets his labwork done and then we wait for his prescription – he starts talking again to this woman. they finally call his name, we go and pay for it and my dad goes into the bathroom so he can take some of his medication. i am waiting outside the bathroom, when i see that woman move across the waiting area when she sees that my dad got his prescription. moving to a seat closer to the bathroom. and at this point, i realize that this woman has been waiting here all day because she knew my dad had an appointment today, and she wanted to score some oxycontin. he comes out of the bathroom, and they talk, and then the three of us ride down in the elevator together to the parking garage. level p2. i am already getting upset because i know my dad is about to be involved in some drug transaction that is going to make me pissed at him even more. they keep on talking, i don’t pay attention, i walk about twenty feet ahead of them to my mom’s white minivan. i am sitting at the driver’s seat, pissed as hell, and they both get in the middle seat, and my dad tells me to wait a minute. they start crushing up a pill. i can’t even believe that my dad is about to snort oxycontin with some white-trash broad in my mom’s white minivan in this suburban parking garage. it just does not seem real. well, my doubts about the reality of the situation were proved false as i turned a quick glance around and saw my dad bent over snorting shit through a rolled up dollar bill. this is o.o.c. and not in a good way. she then buys two pills off of him, and says she’ll call him tomorrow.

it upsets me to no end that my dad is involved in this little middle-aged suburban drug circle. he tells me on the way back all sorts of crap about what snorting it does – “the medicine takes effect quicker” and he doesn’t feel sick anymore. fucking bullshit – you’re a fucking junkie is what snorting it is. i stared ahead the whole time, focusing on the road, and not responding to his attempts to make conversation. anyways, the person he snorted with is the person’s house he used to live in – he said that he moved out because the roommates were asking for pills everyday. so my dad is not only a fucking drug addict, he’s also dealing stuff. he gets fifty pills a week, and he told me that he can sell ten and then still have enough to get through the week, which is very obviously not true, since he was going through withdrawal on sunday night.

when we got home, i went up to my room and called my mom and told her that i was not taking dad to the doctor anymore and i told her about him snorting and about how emotionally draining he is. and she sounded sort of annoyed when i told her about his antics, and she told me that i would not have to drive him anymore. and i really want her to come home, and tell him he needs to go back to manasas. but, i think she’s to worried about his health to do that.

and anyways, i’m not that mad about all of this – just sickened – i haven’t cried once today. i just sort of wanted to document that this actually happened so later when i recall it, i will not think that i am exaggerating or making it up. and i just want to get out of the house and hang out with someone, but no one is fucking home – this is another reason i am writing this, to occupy time. i’m considering a trip to wal-mart just to escape this house for a while. oh, i hope sarah gets home soon and will go do something with me. this is what is not so hot about va – i know about three people. the few friends that i hang out with over breaks are far away actually going to college. and so i know sarah, who commutes to college, and joni who’s taking a semester off, and rebecca, who lives about half an hour away, and is busy tonight anyways. i really do know just three people here. how does one make new friends? this is why i need a job so i can meet some more people. i guess i can read more of my book. okay, i’m going to quit whining and end this here before i make myself sound even more pathetic.

b to the n is b to the o times two - bobo

okay, i woke up at ten thirty this morning on my own, real excited about the bright blue sky, but realized i could sleep more, and so lied back down in bed and half slept and half masturbated and just woke up about ten minutes ago. there was a voicemail from barnes and nobles. lindsey, the cafe manager, offered me the job and told me that i could start training tonight at six, and to call back if i was still interested.

whoo-hoo! i call back real excited that i can start working tonight, and the person that answers the phone tells me lindsey is gone for the day. train fucking derailment. uh? what? when will she be .. um well - and then i went into a long story explaining the message and she was like, let me let you talk to a manager. i retold my situation to him and wanted to know if i could still come in for training tonight. he told me that i could start next tuesday. i told him that the message said tonight, and then he again told me lindsey was gone for the day. okay, i said, telling him that i would start training next tuesday.

this is somewhat dissapointing that i can't work for a week, but also exciting that i finally got a job. i might apply for other jobs in the meantime, to see if i can find a better one. i have to drive my dad out to fair oaks in about half an hour, which i am not looking forward to.

Monday, January 28, 2002

roger clinton and me

my thoughts have been incoherent since yesterday, unable to write because of frustration and anger directed towards my dad. he came to stay with us last night. i've already cried a couple of times today. and it's not so much the stuff he's doing now that's making me cry, it's the recalling of past things he's done that's making me cry.

barnes and nobles has not called. another reason to cry. they said they would call me back today after calling my references and that if everything went all right that i could start training tomorrow night. but they did not call. i guess i'll call them tomorrow and see what's up, and the job hunt is back on i guess.

i got an e-mail from mezey saying that he wanted my isp on feb. 1. shit, i did not realize how late it was already. i emailed him about my chaotic mental state, told him i was taking time off from school, and got an extension.

i went jogging today, got catcalled at by some punk high school girl making fun of me. that was a little discouraging too.

and now to the subject of my father, the drug addict. he came here yesterday to stay with us for a while (i thought just a night, but we'll get to that later). he fell asleep on the couch in our living room at about ten o clock last night. he would not move to sleep in the empty bedroom upstairs or the futon downstairs. and he stayed in this position until about two o'clock this afternoon, obstructing my normal routine of sitting on the couch reading, wathing tv, and playing around all day on the internet which is right next to the couch.

he is again asleep on the couch right now as i write this, irritating me to no end, since i asked him, why don't you go sleep on jamie's bed? and he said he planned on it. and rolled over and is motherfucking asleep right now, and i want to sit there and watch tv. i hate you. --- anyways, today after "waking up," he still lied on the couch, complaining about how sick he is and his chemo treatment and his drugs. oh, and he's completely bald now from the chemo which is sort of weirding me out big time.

okay, obviously i am not being the best or even a coherent writer right now, tripping over my anger and upsetness. so, check back in couple of days, if this is really annoying you. i just feel like i need to utilize the therapeutic values of diary writing tonight to try to lessen my frustration or at least attempt to demarcate it.

so yeah, my dad's a drug addict. he was prescribed oxycotin and morphin for his pain or something, and because his doctor is wicked. so, he came over here without any medicine, and when he woke up, he was basically going through withdrawl on the couch. wrapped up in blankets, even though it was a warm day and even warmer in the house. occasionally crying at his frustration, complaining about how sick he was. asking me to dial phone numbers for him. he said that he couldn't even see the buttons, crying. at first, i thought he was kidding, but then i got real scared realizing he was serious. dialed all these numbers of his various drug dealers around manasas for him. he left desperate messages at each number saying he needed a pill and to call him back. i dialed one number for him, handed him the phone, about ten seconds later he asks: "did you dial the number?" "yes." "what?" "YES." and as you can see there is no exclamation point at the end of that second yes. i was not yelling, i was merely talking at a level at which his deaf ears could hear me. but he yells back very upset: "don't fucking yell at me! i'm on narcotics! i need my medicine!" he walked to the other side of the room, i stood by the computer upset and scared. within a minute, he starts crying, apoligiizes, and continues to cry about how he needs a pill.

after that i pretty much hid out in my room all day, reading the amazing adventures of kavalier and clay, and crying about everything. it wasn't all about my dad, but crying about him did provoke more crying about my lack of job, my lack of direction, my cluelessness about what i want to do with my life.

my mom came home at about 6 or something and soon left to go to some meeting. i was hoping she would stay and not leave me alone to deal with junkie dad. at about 8:30, my dad pathatically asked me if i could drive him out to manasas so he could get a pill. i couldn't really say no and then just sit around all night on the computer or watching tv. i really had nowhere to go. so, i begrudgingly said okay. and we were on our way to manasas, to visit some drug dealers, so my dad could get his oxy pill. it is like an hour drive out there, i listened to brucie bruce, but not even he could help rescue me from this bout of sadness. i didn't say anything to my dad the whole way. he said way too much to me, giving me directions at every fucking step. "turn here" while i am already in the turning lane, and stuff like that. i don't know why, but when someone gives you directions and you know what you're doing, it pisses the fuck out of you. it's basically an affront to your intelligence and capabilities - a slap in the face with a glove. okay, not really - but it's still fucking annoying.

i looked ahead at the dark interstate, the green signs, the full moon, and held back tears so as not to upset my dad - thinking of how pathatic this is that my dad is addicted to oxycontin and that i, his son, am driving him to a fucking drug dealer. on the way there, he's telling me how addictive the stuff is, sort of cautionary like, saying "it's more addictive then herion ... or any other drugs i've ever tried." then i remembered that this was not my dad's first drug problem and so not feeling too much sympathy for my dad. in the late 70's, i know he got in trouble for drugs, and was supposed to be deported. i guess i never thought he had tried herion. i always just assumed coke was the worst he'd done. well, he never was deported, and then when i was in ninth grade he went to vegas with some friends and got arrested for something drug-related and spent two months in jail and was then deported, since the ins got tougher with newt and company in 94. and all of these thoughts plus others rushing at me, as my bobo car is rushing forward at 70 mph towards manasas and some drug dealer, and possibly towards the other cars, as i comtemplate veering into thme.

we get there, i'm told to wait in the car, and my dad goes into some random suburban house for about ten minutes. they didn't have any pills, but they gave him some methadone. he pathatically makes more phone calls, goes to whom i suspect is his girlfriend's house, tina. he spends about 20 minutes there, as i wait in the car, kisses her goodbye, and then we start driving away, my dad unable to score any pills. tina starts running up to the car. my dad tells me to hold on. my dad is so dopey that he cannot get the window to roll down. i roll down his window, and i don't even remember why she stopped us, all i know is that she called me handesome, and told me that she had an eighteen year old daughter and that i should have come inside to meet her. this made me want to cry more than anything. but, we started out towards home, my dad bitching and moaning about how sick he is without his "medicine" - that's what he calls it. a couple blocks aways from tina's house, my dad's cell phone rings- come back, tina says, someone is bringing a pill. so, i turn back, and we park, and my dad tells me to come in when he sees that i am not getting out of the car. i say no, that i just want to wait in the car. he is about to cry and asks me to come in about four more times, each time getting a more and more angry response from me. i wait in the car for about ten minutes, before i see tina and her eighteen year old daughter whom i should meet, wondering around the parking lot looking in cars. i don't know what they were doing, maybe looking for me to invite me in, but i was crying at this point. wiped my tears and ducked my head. then went in. my dad came out and asked me to come in. i said no a few more times before he went back in. i cried some more in the ten more minutes that i waited before he finally came out, sedate, because he had taken his drugs.

he was basically passed out the whole ride home. finally three hours later, i was back at home, still upset. getting more and more upset each time my dad dopeily thanked me, saying: you saved me life, thanks. for some reason those repeated words were making my blood boil. i went upstairs, and my mom asked me where i was, i told her and asked how long my dad was going to be staying here. she responded that she thought for a while, but she didn't know, saying that she didn't think he had a place to stay. she then asked me why i asked, and i started ranting about his jerkiness so glad that i could bitch to someone. and she agreed saying that he is pretty obnoxious. but, she's too fucking nice and charitable. and, i have to take him the doctor tomorrow at fair fucking oaks, so i guess i will not be going job hunting tomorrow. and this is not why i took a semester off, to deal with this crap.

if you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all. okay, the weather was real nice today and served as my escape to go jogging. it felt so nice to be an animal moving in the gorgeous weather, feeling out of breath, strained leg muscles, and loving the feeling. in motion. choo choo. i actually think i might go jogging right now to release some of this aggresion. the diary therapy idea didn't work.

"i used to drive you to work in the morning. friday night, i'd drive you all around."

blue skies. low sixties. happiness. a cold front is coming though. enjoy it while it lasts. must go outside to jog while i have the opportunity.

just had an interview to be a barista at barnes and nobles. the interview went well. they are supposed to call my references and then call me back tonight. fingers crossed. drove there with my windows all the way down, blaring born in the usa, singing as loud as i could, not worried at all about people hearing my bad singyelling because everyone was weird and had their windows rolled up. i only saw one other car with their windows down, and i turned the radio down when i passed that car, not wanting to seem completely weird. always worried about others' perceptions, even strangers in two door cars.

Sunday, January 27, 2002

french words you'll never understand

Fucking go Bucs! Way to fucking kick some fucking ass and the goal is for "fucking" to appear at least twice in every fucking sentance.

And so, I live in fucking rock n roll hub of this universe Sarasota, and fucking, I work at Best Western, where I was tonight, downing pepperoni pizza, ranch dressing, and Lipton tea like I was living in the fucking end times, and I fucking was. The Bucs fucking whooped ass, and here I am in the geographic area that they are supposed to represent, the Gulf Coast and I feel like a fucking winner. Fucking it is not just them, for fuck's sake. Fucking forty-seven points or whatever, that is all of us, fucking kick some ass, we are fucking motherfucking winners. Ha-ha, it feels so good, and you can make fun of football fans all you want, all those backwater hicks, until you watch a fucking motherfucking game, and your team is not only winning, getting by, but fucking kicking every sorry ass city's fucking ass, then you know what it is, what that imperialist thrill is all about. Go Tampa, show those Californians, how we fucking do it here in the goddamn motherfucking Sunshine State.

And fuck yeah, I sympathize, cause I am a goddamned motherfucking winner, and maybe I was at Applebee's tonight dowing two for ones, and maybe I am at home downing something for ones that I made myself in our new mixer, and maybe I am listening to motherfucking French rap, to mothefucking MC Solaar on repeat, but yeah motherfucking maybe, because we, I, and motherfucking you, are fucking winners in this Super Bowl. Bucs! And I want to fucking fuck you, and me, and me, and me, and fucking forget about you, cause everyone else has, and I am like everyone else, and what the fuck, when you don't call me, when you are lame, and stand with worse posture than me, I think you can suck the probverbial dick, but not mine, because mine is not the proverbial one and because you are fucking lame. And fuck, let's go fucking Bucs! And fucking I want to sneak into some fucking Film Fest parties, tell me how, invite me to come with you. I want to go to Apollo Beach, and see power plant loving manatees. Fuck yeah, Bucs, fuck yeah, life and le le le!

fuck off

i'm playing around with html right now so go to hell

Saturday, January 26, 2002

play outside

i woke up this morning to a phone call from barnes and nobles. i have an interview monday at eleven to be a barista. whoo!

the sky was real beautiful today. low 60's, bright as bright can be, and just plain wonderfulness. like a nice, early spring day. i sat outside and read the paper, and then decided to try out my handstands. i didn't do so well - i somehow banged my leg super hard against one of the patio chairs as i was hurling my legs into the air. fuck! my shin hurt so fucking bad. i limped into the house making those barely audible gasps of pain, very tempted to cry if i wasn't so distracted by the burning pain that expanded out from the spot of impact to consume my whole being. i was nothing but ouchness. curled over in pain, making what was the center of my mental state, the center of my physical state. shin lifted and pressed towards my chest.

it has been far too long since i have injured myself. this pain was so consuming that while in the trance of this pain, i told myself that i was never going to do anything to put myself at risk again - that that was the last time i attempt to do a handstand or a cartwheel. that i will keep my feet firmly planted on the ground, and stay safe and not hurt myself ever again.

i rolled up the leg of my pants so that i could see if i had a bruise, and motherfucking shit, i had a huge two inch long gash on my shin, that was bloody. how the hell can you cut your skin without cutting your pants? my jeans were not ripped or torn but my leg had a huge cut. oww! most of the pain eventually subsided, i'm still sort of limping on it over an hour after it happened. but, now i want to go try handstands again. i'm sort of excited that i have this scar. it's been far too long since i have had one. my just-conceived rationale is that if you haven't had scars, bruises, or cuts in a long time - so long that you can't even remeber when except some vague memorey of yeah maybe when you were a kid, you fell off your bike - if your skin shows no sign of injury, then you have been living too boring and too careful a life - too cozy insdie. you're lazy and need to climb shit more often.

and so, i am resolving to play outside more often, since i cannot remember the last time that i took a nasty spill.

in inside news, while lying in pain on the couch, i watched the numerous news channels, and got so excited that this enron snowball is getting bigger and bigger. i am have been very pissed about this thing for a good goddamn while, and am very glad that new revelations are being made daily and that it is starting to dominate the news. ha-ha, the cookie's starting to crumble. you're going down bush. whoo! it is very sick, how much i love watching political scandal news. but whatever, to each his own.

break it down. broke.

car trouble can be so frustrating. especially when you know nothing about cars; when it occurs far from home; and when it is motherfucking cold as "a polar bear's toenail" outside. it is the feeling of impotence you get when your car breaks down. why does this car not want to work? please, don't do this, car!

i went to barnes and nobles today to drop off the application. i did not go until four something because it was such a beautiful blue day out, that i just felt like eating and reading the paper and soaking in some of the light. the brightness making me bouncy and energetic. the pineal gland suppressing melatonin release. i ran around outside for a bit so excited that yesterday's gray skies were gone, replaced by a blue sky out of an allegra commercial or something. so yeah, i didn't leave until four - i drop the application off and then i start driving back home. it is now about five o clock, and i'm driving down route one through old town in the direction that everyone is heading since it is rush hour. in the dc area, it is not rush hour, it is stand still hours - sitting on the same block through three lights before finally making it to the next block only to sit there for three lights.

it is fucking horrible - enough to make an impatient person cry. i am an impatient person. i did not feel like crying, and so i popped born in the usa into the tape deck and started singing along. i sort of got really into brucie bruce, becoming completely oblivious to the fact that i was stuck in traffic - rising above the surrounding chaos. and yeah yeah, what is it frank costanza? serendipity now! damn right, i was on cloud nine, completely spacing out. i realized how oblivious i must have been, when i look to see how much gas i have, and see at least three warning lights blinking on my dashboard. the car's tempature is all the way over to hot and smoke is pouring out of the hood. fucking hell! i start screaming obscenities to my stupid car and then to the stupid cars to the right of me that won't let me get out of the middle lane even though my car is smokin up all of route one like some bad dance with a fog machine gone haywire.

i manage to get off of route one, get onto some sketchy little side street. get out of my car. it's cold and dark. lift the hood, get splashed with steam. wait for it to cool off. walk a couple blocks in the fucking cold (i didn't wear a jacket because it wasn't this cold when i left, i fucking swear). buy some water. come back, pour water and coolant into the thingamajig like the owner's manual said to. wait for the engine to cool off like the owner's manual said to. and then once it has cooled, resume driving with the heat on like the owner's manual said to.

waiting for the engine to cool, sitting in my car on this fairly empty street, so annoyed that i am so reliant on cars. that i, a human, am at the whim of this derelict piece of machinery. and i was just so fucking ready to assert the superiorty of the human form over the entire race of machines by going into caveman mode, saying smashee smashee and wildly kicking this stupid car until the sun rose. but i didn't. i couldn't. i sort of knew that it was not true - sadly, i accepted that the machine's reign very well may be reality. impotence is probably the most accurate word to describe this sort of rage that i felt at this point. in do the right thing, buggin out says: "I'm just a struggling black man trying to keep my dick hard in a cruel and harsh world." and yeah yeah, the assertion of Man over contrivance, that's what this is about - trying to keep my dick hard in a machine run world, when i know nothing about machines.

anyways, i finally get home after getting stuck in the same traffic - make myself some dinner, watch iron chef, and then started reading. i haven't read a book in so long. i have been telling myself that i cannot read for fun until i finish ulysses. today, i decided to scrap that stupid plan, have abandoned that stupid book for a while, and am now reading the amazing adventures of kavalier and clay. and, i'm really loving it so far. okay, i'm going to go read some more.

Friday, January 25, 2002

entry #2 of this cloudy day

i went with sarah to watch her sort-of girlfriend play basketball in an elementary school gym. it had boring written all over it, and so i was somewhat worried about going, but it ended up being so much fun. the kind-of, sort-of girlfriend's name is hillary, and her and sarah are in a kind-of, sort-of spiff, and so sarah and i peeked through the gym's door for about ten minutes, laughing, deciding to go in, then turning back right before getting to the the door, then pushing each other in front of the doorway, before we finally got brave enough to go in. we sat at the top of the bleachers, and basically laughed at hillary the whole time. sarah kept on making horrible jokes about her weight whenever hillary would miss the ball or miss the basket.

we then got into a good long parade of lesbian jokes. this started the ball rolling:
sarah: wow, there sure does seem to be lots of dykes here.
me: yeah, that's because it's an adult women's basketball league. what do you expect? adult women's anysport equals lesbians.

sarah (unlike hillary) ran with that ball for a good while. when that ran out of steam, we began laughing at the players again. some of them were pretty goddamn awful. anyways, hillary's team lost big time, sarah talked to her for a while after and then we went to the barnside diner to meet sarah's friends, vince and lisa.

they were already seated when we arrived. i got a pepsi when what i really wanted was a coke. sarah also got a pepsi, but she actually wanted a pepsi. and it was at that point, when the waitress kindly said that they only had pepsi, that my mood shifted from super happy to super sour. the heat was just past the point of comfortableness in the diner. it was so fucking hot in there, making me big time agitated and restless. in addition, vince and lisa smoke like no one else. no breaks even between the cigarettes, just constant smoke in my face making me even more upset. but smile and laugh, don't look upset. i realized that i am not friends with any smokers, and so i am not used to having to deal with smoke. i have been lucky that i haven't had to be around people that have a habit that seriously gives me headaches. perhaps, this is why none of my friends are smokers, because i probably had no desire to try to form a friendship with them after they do something that makes me so want to throw shit at them. i seriously wanted to leave so many times - to just escape the heat and the smoke, and the having to listen to tedious conversation about people whom i really did not even know. but i couldn't leave, sarah drove. so for probably three plus hours, i sat in this diner, seriously fantasizing about taking their packs of menthol marlboro lights and stomping on them repeatedly, right before fleeing into the cool night, laughing maniaclly. but, i didn't have a getaway car since sarah drove.

mariah carey came on over the radio, and vince got so excited and asked me if i liked mariah. i said i hated her, but ended up singing along just because i knew the lyrics and it was some escape from the diner table dynamics. a mariah discussion ensued.

sarah: hey did you hear that her label paid like 15 million dollar for her to tear up her contract?
all (except sarah): yeah, yeah
lisa: i think it was actually 28 million.
vince: good job. see, you've been keeping up on mariah. everyone loves mariah.

is this for real? am i really happening? when sarah said 15 million, i corrected her in my head, thinking that it was really about 28 million or something. when vince said "good job" to lisa, i was like what the fuck? why do i know this? i am watching far too much tv, if i know all this mariah gossip. i need to quit watching so much tv.

finally they asked for the check, and then sarah and i went to tower records and listened to all the listening stations. we left and then weird thing #1 happened that made me wonder how me and sarah are still friends: she said she needed to stop and pick up some "feminine products" without any hint of irony. she then stopped at safeway, and we went in. she told me that i couldn't stand next to her when she bought them. what? are you for real? and yes folks, she totally was. we got to the aisle, and she was so embarrassed and gave me her keys and begged me to wait in the car. i could not even believe that this gay girl was being so silly about buying motherfucking tampons in front of a gay boy. what, might i see the box? whatever, i went and waited in the car. she came out about five minutes later with no bag, saying they didn't have what she needed. i didn't even want to ask what type of tampons she couldn't find in the entire motherfucking tampon aisle. we drove to a couple more stores, none of which were open.

weird thing #2 that makes me wonder how we are still friends: she was telling me some story about when she was riding in hillary's car, giving lots of details, and one of them was hillary was listening to "black music." abruptly lift the record needle.
-you know, she was listening to wu-tang or something.
-okay, whatever. go head with your story.[meanwhile, i am still a little apalled by what she said, but not feeling like arguing with someone that's been a close friend since ninth grade.]

weird thing #3 that makes me wonder how we still are friends: we're listening to z104 and the dj basically does a target promotion, saying something like, "and u2 just released a new album of b-sides and remixes that is only available at target stores." lame, right? but sarah exclaims, "whoa! that's so exciting," in a way where you can't tell if she's being serious or sarcastic. so, i asked her if she was serious? and she said another real enthusiatic "yeah," explaining that u2 is really cool, and that she needed to go to target tomorrow.

but whatever, i know why we remain friends. because we both are immature and love to laugh at everything together, and we have so many shared stories and all. i don't know. i'm tired. i'm going to bed. i'm supposed to go job hunting with sarah tomorrow at ten. but most likely both of us will oversleep. and that's another reason we're friends.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

re: sam

the job hunt continues. today, i woke up at noon, ate some oatmeal, and drove down to old town to see if any places were hiring. driving down king street towards the potomac, i spot a great parking spot. sweet! but, wait! motherfucking stop the presses - what the hell are they playing on wpfw? i can not even believe that they are playing gil scott heron's "it's your world." this has got to be a sign of some sorts - this was one of my favorite songs last year, one that i would listen to over and over again. and i have never heard it on the radio. ever. i get far too excited by the song, decide not to park - to cruise around old town listening to "it's your world." the sky was grayer than gray today. it was about sixty degrees and dark dark dark, and i did not/do not want a job. i do not want to work. why again, am i taking the semester off? i don't even know. job hunting is the most depressing thing in the world, especially when the word work is anaethema to my sleep all day lifestyle.

i get out of the car, walk down king street, see a couple of help wanted signs in restaurant windows. ugh, being a waiter. i don't want to do that, at least not yet. i decide to go into the torpedo factory and wander around looking at all the artists' booths. i decide i'll apply to these restaurants tomorrow. i would just break down and cry if i had to apply today.

so, i decide to go to target since i am already half way there and i have some store credit left from x-mas returns. barnes and nobles is literally two stores down from target and i wondered if they were hiring, but i didn't feel like walking in to ask. so after i left target, i drove past barnes and nobles to see if they had a hiring sign or anything. nope, okay good. i drive home and the classic rock station plays springsteen's "i'm going down," another one of my favorite songs that i have never heard on the radio. i kept getting all excited at every verse, hoping for the "i remember when my kisses used to turn you inside out" verse - it finally came, and i was so so happy. radio cranked as loud as it gets. me singing even louder over it. and i forget for a brief moment that i have to find a job. all i can think about is remembering when his kisses did used to turn me inside out.

i get home and call some bookstores in the phonebook to see if they are hiring. and of course, the barnes and nobles is - so, i drive all the way back out there to pick up an application. i pop in the 10,000 maniacs unplugged tape since i was feeling sort of down, and natalie picks me right up, nurses me in her arms back to happiness.

during this drive through traffic snarls, traffic meows, and traffic growls - i maintained a detachment from the chaos around me - instead, totally involved with natalie's words and the guitar strums and the harmony of their overlap. thinking about lots of non-traffic thoughts. boys, my life, my lack of one, my lack of knowledge about colors (i really wish i knew how to describe what color the sky was - it wasn't really gray, it was sort of blueish, but not even, ahh, i don't know).

also thinking about what sam said in his last diary entry about familiar music: "I just put on either something I’m familiar with or something that sounds like something I’m familiar with and sort of fill the void with these sounds that I do not form a direct connection with, sounds which only serve to distract me, or sounds which complement whatever phony lifestyle I’ve chosen at whatever point. But then all it takes is one real rock and roll experience moment, really feeling it, and all the bullshit is worth it."

i don't know what diary etiquette is (or if there is such a thing). i feel sort of weird about responding in my diary to something someone said in theirs. about making what was monologic (sort of) into something that is dialogic (or at least more so). so whatever, if i ain't got no etiquette, then i ain't got none. what?

i just don't think listening to the same stuff over and over again, is a bullshit listening experience. perhaps, this is because i get sort of obsessive about albums and songs that i like and listen to them over and over again. for example, me and bonnie have listend to that nelly furtado album about eight million times. no joke. okay, not the whole album. mainly just "turn off the lights."

some songs just have an incantatory power that is heightened with each listening. and no, not "re-listening". each listening no matter how many times you have heard it is a "listening" without the re- precedding it. it's a brand new experience. it's seriously a trance-like state that some music can produce. a familiar song can just totally turn your mood around. those songs remind you that a frown is nothing but a smile upside down.

saying that listening to familiar music is bullshit seems so offensive to me. i mean, would you say that sleeping with the same person more than once is a bullshit experience because it's familiar? that monogamy is "the safety of dull repetition"? no, because it's obviously not - each experience is new and different, even though the partner is the same. and perhaps, this is a bad example, equating sex with music - but, i really don't think so. i think that music holds just as many spiritual properties as sex, if not more so. but whatever, maybe you think of sex as the highest form of experience. so, let's use an example that is more purely sensual: ice cream. is eating the same ice cream flavor over and over again falling into "the safety of dull repetition"? maybe, but each time you let a chunk of coffee ice cream melt in your mouth, it is absolute heaven, no matter how many thousands of times you have done it before.

it's the same thing with music. i have heard some albums countless times, and each time i listen to them, i am elevated to some sort of heightened state. midnight marauders. born in the usa. under the table and dreaming. baduizm. wildflowers. mellon collie. odelay. post. al green's greatest hits. 10,000 maniacs unplugged. like a sex partner or coffee ice cream, you find something magical each time you sleep with one of these albums. r

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

eventually it will plateau

because i have no common sense, i went all the way down to dupont circle to apply at melody records, without calling first to make sure they were still hiring.

RETAIL POSITION AVAILABLE at Melody Records for bright, energetic customer individual with excellent customer service skills, superb attention to detail and hard worker. Please apply in person, 1623 Connecticut Ave. NW.

i didn't leave my house until four something because i started listening to sade's "love deluxe," and got very mellowed out and did not feel like leaving the house to apply for jobs.

i rode on the metro to dupont next to some twenty-something girl who is listening to go-go very loudly on her headphones, which made me very excited. sitting ahead of me by about two rows, sitting facing sideways, was the cutest boy ever, circling ads in the want ads. he was very cute, and i think he saw me staring at him a couple of times. i kept on turning to the side whenever he lifted his head to look our way. i get off at dupont, and i don't know what the fuck i was thinking - i don't know why i thought it would be fun to work in a snotty gay neighborhood. at the top of the esacaltor, i suddenly get intimidated by having super hot gay dudes walking next to me, walking past me, walking every which way. crowds of gay men intimidate me more than anything and i'm not exactly sure why. but whatever, i walk as fast as i can to melody records. i enter the store and ask: are you still hiring? music store dude responds: nope, we just hired someone yesterday. me: okay, well thanks. (but really i was thinking: grr-what-a-waste-of-time-another-reason-i-hate-dupont-grrr-double-grrrgrr).

so i rode the metro back home very sad, feeling very silly for feeling so lame around gay people and also upset because the motherfucking store was not hiring anymore. i get on the red line. get off at gallery place/chinatown and switch to the yellow line. i manage to grab a seat, sit there depressed and observe all the people crowded around me who just got off work and look so glum.

-the man next to me was reading some book of poetry. i kept trying to glance at what it was. finally, i saw the back cover and it was by tao te ching. he also would occasionally consult a paperback dictionary to look up certain words, i guess.
-a really loud set of two females behind me kept talking and talking. i overheard one of them exclaim, "eventually it will plateau!" i didn't know what that was in reference too, but for some reason that quote seemed real appropriate to the current moment and my mind chewed on its meaning for a while.
-a businessman in a nice suit was wearing cowboy boots.
-a woman across the aisle was reading, "in it to win it?," which sounded like a real lame self-help book. and in addition, she was hi-lighting it with a yellow hi-lighter.
-some ad in one of the metro stations said, "anticipation of things to come." i don't remember what the ad was for.
-a few people were reading the washington post.
-a 20 something girl was wearing a cordoroy jacket, like the type jordan catilono used to wear, and it made me really want one. i am going to keep my eye out for one of them the next time i go to goodwill.
-an old man, wearing a usa baseball cap, was asleep in his seat, leaning forward, with a copy of "harry potter and the goblet of fire" in his lap.
-two strangers were sharing a seat, both asleep. one with his head leaning forward, the other with her head leaning backwards.

and, i guess i'll go job-hunting again tomorrow, once it reaches five o clock, i just for some reason don't like to apply for jobs. i tell myself that it is because it is better to apply in the daytime, but most likely it is because i am sort of lazy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

"anyway you want it - that's the way you need it"

my heart beat scares me sometimes. i stuck my hand under my shirt, placed my right hand over my left breast, sat silently and felt my heart pump pump pump. for some reason, it creeped me out, but i'm going to try to do this more often because it makes me aware of my fragility. it's a pretty cool feeling, that helps keep my inflated sense of self in check, reminding me that i am mortal - that i am just a tiny little animal.

today i decided that i am taking a semester off for sure. i am going to call hunter and new college tomorrow, and apply for some jobs around here and think about what i want do with my life. i am listening to a journey album that i just got at target, and i sort of really love it. monster ballads always make me feel like i am just about to graduate from high school - both giddy with excitement and sad with nostalgia about life's potential.

we're not in kansas anymore

starbucks, diners, and wal-marts, oh my! starbucks, diners, and wal-marts, oh my! okay, so it's not lions, tigers, or bears - but what do you expect? the road wasn't made out of yellow-bricks either. it was black asphalt. this was not the land of oz - this was the land of NoVA: shopping centers, strip malls, and subdivisions with hoity names like stoneybrooke. but whatever - that does not mean that us suburbanites can not still seek the wizard. the emerald city can be found in any chain bookstore; in any denny's; in any laundromat; in any starbucks; in any strip mall parking lot. it lies there waiting with a man behind the curtain pulling levers and pushing buttons, constructing some reality. it just requires a little looking. dorothy and toto knew this - they battled apple-throwing trees and flying monkeys to get to the wizard. of course, there will be the suburban equivalent of naughty trees and scary monkeys, but that should not discourage one from finding the wizard of suburbia. the wiz is there waiting.

this afternoon, i told my friend sarah that i would go with her to the kingstowne starbucks to hang out with her. i drove to her house, listening to wpgc, and i was like what? what is this that they are playing? it's a hip hop station and they were playing some jammin oldies type song. i then realized what it was - it was stevie wonder's "happy birthday" about mlk, and it was super beautiful and gave me chills of all the right kind, thinking about the civil rights era and where we are now. after the song ended, the normally loud djs talked so sincerely about how grateful they were to mlk, about how they have benefited from his efforts and chill chill chill came over me - they said that they hoped everyone took some time today to reflect on mlk's message and how we could progress more. i felt sort of real bad for being so insincere about mlk day in my last entry, and took time to reflect like they suggested, realizing that he was a huge force in bringing about significant positive change.

quite often, i forget that a struggle actually did occur in this country not too long ago for liberties that i assume are permanent. very comfortable in my suburban life, rarely feeling the effects of discrimination, i just assume that whatever, it's not a big deal. i am resolving to try to be aware that a struggle did occur fairly recently, and to quit being so flippant about the benefits i have inherited from the efforts of that struggle. i resolved pretty much the exact same thing about two years ago. i was working at borders and some old guy wanted me to help him find a book. it was some book about the civil rights struggle, "crossing border street." and i was making small talk with him and he then told me that the book was about his family. i became intrigued and asked him about it, and he told me basically a really long story that i am still so grateful i got to hear. he told me about his youth when his family was the main force behind the deacons for defense. he told me that he armed himself, and that the kkk once surrounded his house, but his family showed their arms. and just such wild shit that i forget actually occurred in some peoples lifetimes. this was just a slightly old man that i would normally have thought nothing of, but fuck wow he actually lived through this struggle and was an active part in it. i was so awed by this man and his stories and was so happy he shared them with me. and well, anyways i made this same resolution right after meeting him.

the djs spoke with a sincerity that also awed me and just gave me chills. i am becoming more and more convinced that sincerity is the most beautiful thing. when someone lets down their guard, and just exposes them fragile selves, speaking raw and truly, it astounds me. and it shouldn't be astounding, it should be normal, but when someone is sincere, i really do feel privileged to something special, like i’m seeing a shooting star or something, it's just like wow, thank you so much for showing me that.

the djs then segued into the next song, the new outkast single, and i sang along so so happy. i sang along to a couple more songs before i got to sarah's house. she drove to starbucks, and we arrived, ordering our coffee drinks like all good suburban kids who like to play grown-up. while sarah was ordering her drink, i managed to snag a frank sinatra cd that they were selling. i am listening to ol' blue eyes right now, and so loving this cd. it's one of those loungy compilations of his love songs. but sadly, the cd does not have "fly me to the moon" on it (my favorite frankie song ever!) and i have a two-disc set of his greatest hits that also does not have it on it, it is sort of upsetting, but not even that much, cause frankie's pretty much wonderful all the time.

we then sit in comfy chairs by the window with our froo-froo drinks, watch skater kids hop onto the curb, do tricks, and show their beautiful teenage selves to all the strip mall's patrons, most who look on with disgust - but not me and sarah, we both sort of love skater kids, and look with love out the window at kids who are making beauty out of ugly curbs, and even uglier big concrete blocks - converting them to a stage to wow us with their performance. is this what butler meant by resignifying? maybe. wouldn't that be so pomo of those oh so cute skater kids to make drab suburban architecture into the emerald city.

we talked about school, about being gay, about photography, and about bad movies forever, before falling so eagerly into the oh-do-you-remember-when game, recalling very fondly stories from high school. talking trash about people we hated and exchanging gossip about what people are doing now. we both agreed that we would kick miss coile in the shins if we ever saw her in public for being such an evil woman. sarah told me a story about one of our spanish teachers, mr. munoz. she saw him at a gay club a couple months ago and he was very obviously rolling and started petting her. she was very freaked out by it, and we had a good laugh at the expense of all the fucked-up teachers who composed the faculty at wonderful west potomac.

and then, because the world has gone mad, she out of the blue asked me if i wanted to go see nelly furtado. i said are you fucking kidding? of course, joni just asked me the same thing yesterday. she was real relieved, saying that she was sort of embarrassed to ask me. and then we talked about nelly, getting all giddy to go see her, and planned to buy tickets and make matching i heart nelly furtado t-shirts.

after sitting in starbucks for a couple of hours, led by our stomachs, we left to go in search of some grub. as soon as we got out of starbucks, i showed sarah my loot, and she was real surprised and impressed asking me when and how i took the cd. her being impressed with this loot, led into a discussion of me bragging about my klepto godliness, itemizing all of the many expensive things me and bonnie managed to steal last semester. she was real impressed, boosting my ego, and then we sat in the car some more deciding where we wanted to go eat. she suggested this random diner, and i was like sure, whatever, i am hun-grr-ree! drawn out like that to emphasize to her my state of hunger.

and we were off to the barnside diner somewhere out in landmark. i think we sat down around six or so, looked at the menu, and what is this i spy? they have gyros. i told sarah about my resolution to stop eating meat, and being eve the temptress, she told me not to worry about it - to eat the gyro. i wavered between a veggie omelette and the beef gyro; between not eating meat and eating meat; between sticking to my new year's resolution and being a cowardly poltroon with no will, giving in to every whim and craving of my ravenous stomach. i chose the latter. c'mon, a fucking gyro! god, i haven't had one of those in so long.

we talked and laughed, and then when our food came, we ate. and then we talked and laughed some more. and some more until a little after eleven when we paid our check since our waiter's shift was over, and decided to depart. sarah decided that she wanted to dye her hair, so we made a run to wal-mart. on the way there, i confessed my love of adult contemporary, and she said me too!, so excitedly and then she showed me what her presets were. one was 107.3 and two was 104.1. dude, all right! we sang along to our beloved adult contemporary songs, exchanged more stories, and then made our way through the brightly-lit aisles of wal-mart in search of hair dye and the wizard. i somehow convinced sarah, a really light blonde, to dye her hair red, and we looked at all the various hair dyes forever, examining those really fun hair samples under each product. those dyed hair samples are so fun to pet. i felt every single red hair sample, connecting myself with every other person who entered this wal-mart wanting to make themselves new, and sought a little help from hair dye.

we heard the ten minute warning, because this is not sarasota and for some reason the wal-mart closes at midnight. the wal-marts in NoVa are all cinderella wal-marts - there are no 24 hour wal-marts by my house. we ignore the intercom's demand to bring our final purchases to the register, and instead make for the cd section. i told sarah about how i really like the new garth brooks song, "wrapped up in you." the song is so awesome - the lyrics are kind of cheesy - but the tune itself is so fun and boot-stomping good - it is my favorite pop single of the moment. i scanned the cd under the tv to show sarah what i was talking about - it showed a clip from the music video. and sarah did not have my back on this one, she was like ick, country! but, whatever, the song rocks. we played around in the cd section ignoring closing announcement after closing announcement, until we were sort of swept out of the music section by some employees. so, we made for the register, sarah purchased her hair dye and we left, ready to end this very long day of suburban adventures. we get in the car and we hear that synth drum opening, and fuck yeah, it is! we sing along at the top of our lungs to inxs' "i need you tonight," dancing madly, letting out the occasional woo-hoo, reveling in each others’ company, and basking in her car's heavy duty heat. feeling even hotter from the singing and dancing. twist the temperature knob to the left, placing the dial in that shady area between heat and a/c.

we enter the street to her subdivision and citizen king's "better days" came on, and yes i know it's the worst kind of crap. but we didn't care because we knew the words. so, we sang along excitedly to some bad music, nearing sarah's house. sarah says that she wants to hear the rest of the song and keeps driving. so she starts circling the subdivision of vantage. houses with lights off. station wagons and minivans lining the block. the occasional spot under a streetlamp colored that orangey-yellow color. we drove around vantage past the end of "better days." past the end of about two more songs before we finally pulled into sarah's driveway. i said goodbye, told her i'd call her tomorrow, clicked my heels, and departed for home in my mom's minivan.

Monday, January 21, 2002

i did not leave the house once today (seriously) and i don't give a shit

the snow had pretty much all melted by the time i finally decided to get my lazy ass out of bed. lonely looking patches of snow fighting tooth and nail to stick around. no longer whites only. green grass, brown puddles of mud, unraked fallen leaves of a sort of browish color all with the remaining white patches of snow. how appropriate that on mlk day, white dominance ends and integration occurs. kind of. or at least, on our back lawn.

so, i am 99% sure that i am going to take a semester off. tomorrow, i am going to try to apply for some jobs around here. tonight, i talked to my friend from high school, joni, and she is also taking this semester off. talking to her was so great because i have not talked to her in forever, and she is one of the few people from high school that i actually still find interesting. she called at like ten fifteen, which i was sort of sad about because i am a big loser and was watching queer as folk and was sort of getting real into the plot, and did not get to see the end. isn't that real pathatic that i am such a tv addict? but whatever, talking to joni was probably a lot better for me than watching trashy late night cable. the fact that she is also taking a semester off makes me feel a lot better about myself - about hanging out in NoVa rather than being in school. because, people in NoVa are rather weird and they all go to college and are like, "what, you're taking a semester off?" sort of looking at you like you would a crack addict, like what the fuck is wrong with you? most people already think that i go to a joke school anyways, and this will just seal the deal, i fear, about me being perceived as a grade a slacker.

and even though, i am about to take on this role of the i'm-just-taking-some-time-off-from-school slacker, when joni was talking to me about her life, i was thinking the what's wrong with you thoughts about her. she's working at springfield mall at a record store, and today after she got off work, she went to the library, checked out a bunch of art books and got stoned at home, looking at pictures of the sistine chapel. i was like greeaattt. am i going to be another sad case of suburban youth gone awry?

i was just sort of thinking that. most of the time i was laughing silly because joni is one of the few persons that has the ability to make me laugh non-stop. and she really loves nelly furtado and wants me to get tix with her to go see her in march. and i was like, are you kidding? fuck yeah. i sort of really love nelly furtado, and was real surprised that one of my friends other than bonnie, really liked nelly.

i sort of don't have a fucking clue what i am doing with myself. i'm pretty sure that i am taking a semester off, but not even positive about that. i don't know what i believe about anything. i am fucking numb to everything - i don't reactfeellive. i sort of sometimes hate just about everybody lately. i don't know why i don't want to be in school. i don't know why i am in school. and, i don't know what i would do with my time if i wasn't. i'm soon probably about to find that out. i kind of have no urge to leave my living room ever. at times, i think: charlie, you do not want to spend an entire eight or so months living at home, you'll shoot yourself - look for something to do; someplace to go. and then other times, i lie on the couch, watch tv, stuff my face with various junk food products, and think to myself, why would i ever want to do anything other than this? i have no life drive at all. i am a zombie. and it doesn't bother me except when i'm writing these motherfucking diary entries - making my loserness all too explicit to myself and i guess to whoever the fuck is silly enough to read this crap.

Sunday, January 20, 2002

the weathermen were right for a change

i woke up this morning so excited. lifted myself up in my bed so i could peek out my blinds. yes. snow snow snow still falling from the sky. i finally got my long wished for snow. i went back to bed, still tired, but so so happy that there was snow on the ground. cuddled up in my covers, squirming with delight. it snowed. squirm squirm squirm. curl up in a warmer position. it snowed. and more squirming. i woke up about an hour later so happy for a change. i ate some oatmeal, read the paper, and then went outside to eat some snow. and then played in it for a while. there wasn't much to play with, it was only a couple of inches, but it was still wonderful to see white lawns, white streets, white roofs, and a grey-whitish sky with no sun in sight yet still brightness everywhere. snow gives a brightness to normally stodgy winter days. and snow tastes so yummy. the second i got out the door, i grabbed a fistful, and started chowing down.

then i did some apt hunting and called this one. the rent was only 300 a month, and it was in a really cool neighborhood, and so i called and talked to this kid patrick who was so nice and babbled and babbled about him and his straightedge roommates. he wanted me to come and look at it and meet the other roommates, but i told him that i was in va, and so he said that i should come and look at it next weekend. it's sort of really hard to find an apt when you're not in the city, and also when you are only going to be there for six months. it's sort of really frustrating and time consuming.

so ny? or no ny? i'm getting closer to a decision and right now it is a 90% chance that i will be taking a semester off. my mom said to me today something like: "charlie, you haven't found an apt? you know you need to be up there in a week." and then i got real brave and told her that i was thinking about taking a semester off. and i braced myself, stiffening my body, getting very anxy in expectation of her yelling. but no! she was a normal person that i would talk to about this and was real cool with whatever i wanted to do. she told me that my many possible plans for taking a semester off sounded real cool. just as long as i went back to school in the fall. i told her that i was definitly going to, and woo-hoo, that was such a good reaction from her. these are the days when i really appreciate my mom - when she shows her kind, cool self. a lot of the time, i do not give her enough credit for being so nice, usually feeling that teenage tension towards her since she's my mom. but whatever, she's my mom and she made me feel a lot better about my plans and myself. no child-parent tension - at least not today.

i've not touched my isp in a few days, and i'm about to send mezey some long pathatic e-mail asking for an extension. oh, and i'm no longer freaking out about being lonely my last semester if i take a semester off, because rebecca told me that that's the semester she will graduate and so she will be my compadre then.

okay and it's saturday night and so here is the obligatory discussion of snl and jimmy fallon: snl was so so good tonight, it made me even happier than i already was. although, it did sort of make me add a few more percentage points to the possibility to me going to ny, because of beautiful beautiful jimmy. and snl was so fun tonight, really good host and really fun band. no sean william scott or ja rule or eve. and because of this, the show had far less ingratiating grr-this-is-why-i-hate-that-celeb moments. the host was jake black and the band was the strokes. and even chris kattan was funny tonight. he made me laugh out loud playing a white-trash mullet-sporting dude in florida in a tiny t-shirt and tighty whities. it was mucho mucho funny. and then after snl, i flipped through the channels and saw american beauty, and watched the last half of that. oh, and one more snl comment. during the closing credits, jimmy fallon was wearing a coliseum books t-shirt. that's the indy bookstore in ny that's closing due a doubling of its rent. and that made me so happy that jimmy was all about this indy bookshop and pointing to his shirt during the credits. isn't he the cutest?

and can i just say how much i hate cake! okay, not really. in fact, i love them, and that's why i hate them - because they played in dc about a week before i came home for thanksgiving, and now they are going to play in tampa on feb. 10, when i will be nowhere near tampa. i was real in love with them in high school and saw them perform on my eighteenth bday, but the crush has sort of been fading these past couple years. but today, i had a cake jonesing and have been listening to them pretty much all day. and so right now, i want our paths to cross again, motherfuck tampa.

and here's a story to make you pissed. it's about a usf profesor being fired for basically being pro-palestine. but, salon does such a good job on this story. it's real good. it surprises me a lot though that it is their top story. i just always think no one cares about usf, but whatever, it's pretty interesting just because it's about usf stuff.t

Saturday, January 19, 2002

the magic of retail

ripped petal after ripped petal. he loves me. he loves me not. and the petals drop one by one, and a decision is closer and closer. i'm going to go to ny next weekend and start school. i'm going to take a semester off and do i don't know what. and, it is very likely that the actual decision may be decided by a flower, because right now i have no idea what i want to do, and i am looking for someone to tell me. i called rebecca this afternoon and she didn't have much advice other than that i should take a semester off just because everyone should. it's a decision that i'm going to have to decide and that is what is bothering me more than anything.

i'm just not feeling like being in school right now. last night after my mom made that non-serious comment in passing about me taking a semester off, i started seriously considering it, feeling so relieved to think that i don't have to go to school next semester. that i am at the helm of this ship - that it is not a ship out of control with a course being determined by rough winds and the flow of the tide. fuck no, bitch, this is the twenty-first century, this is a motherfucking power boat. not no inky dinky raft. and now, that i am somewhat aware that i am in control of my life, i have to decide where to steer this boat - what i actually want to do with "my life". my fucking life! last night i laid awake thinking of the possibilities and realizing that i am living my life right now. sometimes (in fact most of the time) i sit on my ass or go through the motions, completely unaware of this fact - that my life is (present tense) being lived. when am i going to actually start doing stuff that i am excited about - stuff that i want to do? i'm going to wait a couple of years, at which point i will be saying okay i just need to finish this and then... and van halen, break it down for us: "Right now, hey / It's your tomorrow / Right now, / C'mon,it's everything / Right now, / Catch a magic moment, do it / Right here and now / It means everything!"

what is holding me back from taking a semester off is my sense of social norms - of what i tell myself that "good" college students would do in this situation. come on charlie, just finish school, graduate and then fuck around. ahhh, i don't know what to do. maybe you can tell that by how i am trying to work out right now to myself what i am going to do. i am going to think about this over the weekend and have a decision by monday at the latest. i woke up this morning very determined to take a semester off, looking at cool resort jobs out west, and jobs at ski resorts. my decision was made. then, i checked my e-mail and niki e-mailed me that she found a two bedroom apt for 775. then my plans changed again because that sounded real fun.

then i talked to niki later in the day and of course we could not get the apt for many reasons that will just further annoy me here to relist them. so anyways, niki is having thesis trouble and it is not looking so good for a graduation at the end of january. and so, i would be living by myself which doesn't seem as fun. okay, we're going to work this out and do some pro con stuff:

pros to taking a semester off
-i would not be in school, stressing out about classes that really don't even excite me that much
-i would not have to worry about finding a place to live in the next week
-i could collect myself mentally, spiritually and all other those other fun -lly words, before throwing myself headfirst into ny
-i could travel, work someplace fun, and do whatever the fuck i felt like. i could be mary poppins and go whichever way the wind blows.
-i could probably get an extension on this stupid joyce isp
-i could read whatever i wanted.

cons to taking a semester off
-i would not be able to graduate in four years. i'd have to do it four and a half, and that worries me because i already know so few people at nc, i fear that my last semester would be lonelyville and depressing. i envision the end of charlotte's web where all the baby spiders go their own way and leave wilbur all my himself. new college was so depressing over fall break with no familar faces around, and a whole semester of that seems like it would be so so painful.
-okay, that is the main reason. but also, ny would be lots of fun.
-i don't know how my mom would respond to me taking a semester off, and by going to ny, i would never need to find out.
-my sister would make big time fun of me.

okay, the con side is looking pretty pathatic, but i still don't know what to do.

that's enough talk about all that. i went to shopper's food warehouse tonight to get my mom some sugar. i drove her minvan. passed an old piano on the side of the road with a piece of wood sitting on it that said free in spraypainted letters. i parked really far away from the store just because. the walk into shoppers felt so good. nice cold breezy weather. i passed two old women, caught a snippet of the conversation need to get to a shelter, you know you should with the... and i didn't hear the why, but i was assuming what followed was some mention to the snow. tomorrow we are supposed to get 4-6 inches of snow in the afternoon. as excited as i am about the snow, i felt pity for this woman whose face i did not even see, who needs to get to a shelter. the line was killer long at the checkout since everyone in va goes haywire at the mention of snow and buys enough food for a nuclear fallout.

and i don't know how to discuss this without sounding cheesy, perhaps there is no way. but whatever- standing in this long line with my bag of white, granulated sugar. long lines paralleling mine to my right and to my left. people with carts full of groceries standing there. i could feel the occasional chill air coming in through the automatic doors opening and closing. i saw magazines with young, pretty white faces on them before me. muscle and fitness. teen people. cosmo. etc. the fluorescent lighting and my position combined to place a huge glare on the magazines, so that they couldn't be seen too well. i glanced over them. no one else was looking at them. people were looking ahead, to their side at their kids, at whatever. and, i'm stuck on race, yes i know, but probably about ten percent of the people waiting in line were white. about half were black. and the other near half were salvadoreans, puerto ricans, indians, immigrants from all over. and we were all standing here bundled up in winter coats waiting. together and waiting. for something it seemed like. an event commensurate to our numbers and greatness seemed like it should have happened. maybe it did. it was not the consumerist exercise of buying groceries. no no no. it was the commonality of man -- the sense of shared identity/shared experience. none of us got anxy or impatient in line. we took it for what it was and enjoyed it. that's why we came to the store in the first place during a snow buying binge - to stand in long lines with animals of the same species and feel some sort of connectedness to something. the he and she and i merging into the we. and besides that wonderful feeling of oneness, we all also left with our desired food product(s).

Friday, January 18, 2002

the downward spiral

okay, time for some more high school rock analogies. i think to borrow an awesome album's title, that i am in "the downward spiral." i told myself that i was just going to sign online, check my e-mail and then go to bed. i was not going to write a diary entry. i spend way too much time doing these when nothing even happens in my life.

more of the same today. i woke up at 2:43, real depressed because it was already so late and here i am staying up real late again, meaning i will probably wake up real late again tomorrow and feel like shit again. i did not look too hard for apartments today. my mom came home and asked me if i found one. i told her no. and she said that i did not seem very excited about going to ny. and, you know what, she is damn right. i don't know why, i just am not excited at all. she told me, (i think, jokingly) that maybe i should just take a semester off and work. i lied and told her that i AM excited about going to ny.

but then, i started thinking about how i kind of don't want to go - how i don't want to be in school - how i don't want to have to find an apt, but i have to be the somewhat responsible one since niki is even lazier than i am. so, i am appearantly going up to ny next weekend, which seems sort of real soon considering my lack of housing and my lack of progress on my isp. i am now on page 323 (not even halfway done) of this book that i have fantasies about wildly burning on my back porch, screaming and laughing maniaclly, doing a little dance around it, maybe even a jig as a nod to the stupid irishness of it all.

i get so bored reading ulysses. boring section, who the hell cares? okay, i'll just skip to the end of this paragraph. okay, i'll just skip to the next page. okay, i'll just skip the next twenty or so pages, i'm sure i'll be just as bored and clueless there.

i went to power video tonight to return some movies. this was my excursion out of the house today. while i was walking back to my car, some boy was walking in my direction. i saw a fucking mirage. i swear to god, i got the biggest smile on my face, so excited to see marky mark. i don't know why he would have been in the belle view shopping center parking lot in alexandria, va - i did not even bother to think that it obviously was not him. i was just so excited to see marky mark, and as i am about to say hello to "mark", thank god, one of the boy's friends ran over and said hi to this boy before me. he was just some random skater boy, in a hooded sweatshirt that looked nothing like marky mark save for his cute hair.

i sort of got in my car real quick after that, worried that the skater kids would be very creeped out my smiling at them and kick my ass. i caught the end of "linger" on z104. dolores' lyrics seemed all to appropriate a soundtrack for my lameness. i came home and pretendend to read some more joyce on the couch. my mom asked me if i wanted to go for a walk with her. i told her no. and i don't know why, but i just started feeling so pathatic. as soon as she left, i let ulysses fall to the floor, hid my face in the couch pillows and started crying.

and there's really no cause for my recent emotional outbreaks, i just don't know. okay, now i'm for real going to bed.