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Bad choices made, constantly

Leaving Cleveland

Leaving Cleveland at dawn to come back here

A creepy dark blue and bloody sky leads me home

Black Sabbath as loud as daytime

A perfect hour or so with them

The drive grows much more quiet after that

Arriving here wondering

What was the right decision?

When will the next one of these decisions be made?

I hate this fucking place so much

But obviously I love it even more

There is nothing but everything ever here really

After however many stops and go’s

I can stop here again for now

I never feel settled anywhere

I can’t help it that I never want to sit still

It’s boring like a rock

Almost way past 4:00 AM now, every movie you have ever seen plays in my head this late at night. I am on my way to being this forever. Thinking about people and grinding my teeth reading their crap. Their attention getting devices, the men and women, all the same use the same techniques, like you somehow need to care about their problems. I can’t get behind this shit. I like a one on one deal, but these people shooting black flares into the sky with a silver gun are out of my eyesight. I don’t even look at them now. I’m not going to give that urine soaked beggar a nickel, and I’m not going to hop on the thousand wadded tissues bandwagon you helm. Get it together without us, you can do it. In the end it’s the only way. Don’t push things. They push their shit on you, their blogs and their bands and their articles and their poetry and their ideas and their opinions. Remember back when we would all go down to the beach at night and sit around a fire and talk about The Doors. Now we get news snippets about whoever got a new puppy, or pushed out a fifth child. A three second reading of the great and significant ideas of a lonely fool you haven’t seen in thirteen years. I need to get it all out of my head before I drive myself crazy with it. I get dizzy reading it all and then even dizzier when I invent what I know will exist and does. Arriving here. Meeting all of those women I spent time with. Brief five-hour interview and vibe sessions. None of them anywhere close to what I need. You spend all of this time with them and realize not only are they all crazy but you are not well either.  There’s no reason to still be doing this bullshit at however old I get before I go to bed at night. Eight trillion lonely crazy women knocking on my door while I knock on theirs trying to figure out the secret knock. I end up being an asshole nine times out of ten. Well, just because I’m funny doesn’t mean I’m a nice guy.

Flagstaff, AZ to Amarillo, TX

January 16, 2012 (Amarillo, TX)

 

I was thinking about it once I got into Texas today and maybe because I made the joke before. I always imagine when you get to Texas some guy just comes up and says “Welcome to Texas, faggot” and then punches you in the face. I was totally ready to throw Texas under the bus. When you think of Texas you think of George Bush and steak and the Dallas Cowboys and tumbleweeds and white people and long stretches of highway and giving retarded people the death penalty. Well, I’ve only been to this area of Texas (Amarillo) about four times now and granted it’s just that little piece up top I like it here. I forgot that people don’t actually come up to you and say “Welcome to Texas, faggot” and then punch you in the face.

 

I held the elevator door at the hotel for an older gentleman and he obliged by engaging me in a little small talk in the elevator that didn’t feel forced, like he was just naturally a nice guy. I went to a restaurant to grab some takeout and a guy in the bar started talking to me about football, which was on the television, and then about my drive across country, and our jobs. He even offered me a beer. There was nothing creepy or weird about the whole thing, just a guy sitting there shooting the shit with me. We both checked out the natural redhead that walked in, but didn’t make any kind of eye contact like “aww yeah” or anything. But I saw him checking her out. Not sure what she was doing with a guy that looked like Barney Rubble in a salmon Izod shirt with a goatee, but hey I’m just passing through town anyway.  So far my experience in Texas has been great.

 

I’ve obviously spent a long day driving today if I’m talking about different small talk conversations I had. That leaving early plan this morning worked out great. I was on the highway by 7:15 AM. The highway was amazing at this hour, the sun wasn’t fully up and there was a picturesque cloud pattern all over the sky. I made it to a small place called Santa Rosa in New Mexico. It is one of these towns that Rt 66 slices in half. There is very little going on, but a good amount of motels and shitty fast food and old diners to keep boring people like me interested. Well, I stopped and took a number of pictures of old signs and that kind of thing. I had been driving for over seven hours. I decided to cancel my hotel reservation in Santa Rosa and drive through another two plus hours to Amarillo. I’m glad I did all of that driving, even if it was on about two hours of sleep. I did drink three Starbucks drinks throughout the day each with four shots of espresso in them and I’m still awake here.

 

The drive through New Mexico is long. It’s obviously one of the more beautiful states you can see in this area. I went through a number of Indian reservations, stopping at a gas station at one and buying a couple of bottles of soda in glass. I went outside and realized I had no opener. The woman behind the counter went and opened a new one for me and I sat there fumbling with it, two other women came and watched me. I was briefly paralyzed with fear that maybe I was using the bottle opener wrong. I mean really, there is only one way to use one. For whatever reason though, this one didn’t work. It was evident when you inspected it closely that the gap between the okay why am I explaining this. We went and got another one and I opened my bottle and was on my way. Holy shit Mexican orange soda (made with cane sugar) is fucking intense.

 

At one point today I realized I could probably make it to the Cadillac Ranch, which is here in Amarillo, before the sun went down. I was racing the light as I watched it in my rear-view mirror disappear into the ground hundreds of miles behind me. I made it to the place just as it was dusk though. A van full of young guys that looked like a hardcore band was emptying out. I noticed one of the guys had a Red Sox hat and the license plate was Massachusetts. I walked with one of them chatting about music and mutual people we knew; they were from Worcester and blah blah blah. I have to say it was pretty surreal. The dude I met took some pictures of me with my phone but I must have forgotten to tell him “don’t make me look fat(ter)” so I deleted them. The ground around the cars is littered with spray paint cans. I wonder how many layers of paint there truly are. At first you notice the litter when walking up to it. If it were anywhere else it might bother you, but this place is literally right off of the interstate (I-40 which I’ll spend a total of 1500 miles on) and it’s just dirt, it’s not a field, it’s just acres of dirt.

Driving through some desolate area I came upon a roadside monument and I thought of how awful and lonely it would be to die on one of these highways. Nobody drives by for hours you could just be dying for hours and not getting to say goodbye to anyone. At least you’d get to see the amazing sky before you went. Maybe you had a nice Mexican dinner earlier. They have pretty good Mexican food out here (obviously).

Los Angeles, CA to Flagstaff, AZ

January 14, 2012 (Flagstaff, AZ)

Early on into this trip this morning I was thinking about different times I’ve lied to women about music or food or something to impress them. The most memorable one was in the early 90’s when being a “music person” didn’t mean anything; everyone was a music person in the 90’s. I was working at a small record store in New Hampshire in this beach resort area that was like a less good (wait, better?) version of the Jersey Shore. Next to the store was a small coffee shop. There was a girl my age that worked part time there and often we would kill the day chatting about life and music. She knew quite a bit about music, which is always a good thing. I considered myself and still consider myself to have a good knowledge of hardcore, punk rock, metal and stuff related to those genres. There are always holes in someone’s taste of knowledge though. She mentioned she loved The Repalcements and held up a copy of “Let it Be” asking me if I agreed it was a classic.

“Of course, what are you shitting me?” I replied

I had never heard the album in my life. I immediately grabbed a copy that night and listened to it over and over just in case she “tested me” on it at some point. A short time later she stopped working there and evidently stole money from the coffee shop to support a drug habit. It was nice of her to introduce me to that album which is obviously a classic I will tell any woman in the future.  I can’t remember what this has to do with this trip.

Another time I lied to a woman to impress her was every single time I’ve ever talked to a woman in my entire life.

Saying goodbye always sucks, even if it’s temporary. Last night was laid back. I went with one friend to a restaurant that is basically one of these chain bakery/restaurants that old people go to. My friend had wanted to go to one before he moved (he is also leaving LA). For my last meal in Los Angeles, really? It turned out to be just what I expected. Gross. I barely ate it. He enjoyed his meal but I enjoyed the scenery in the restaurant. Some observations: Every customer had some sort of problem walking. Limping. Crutches. A hunchbacked woman. Some woman was wearing these weird winter gloves that looked out of place with short sleeves indoors on someone that isn’t playing drums. There was a guy that looked like he was probably in some horrible rock band in the 70’s. He even had like a vest and frosted hair. Him and his date sat on the same side in their booth. She was older than she wanted us to think she was. I wasn’t fooled. Obviously he was 57.

We said our farewells and then I shot to the other side or some other side, I don’t really understand valleys, of the valley and met “the girls”. We went for food and of course I didn’t think twice of ordering a meal forty minutes after another meal. Come on, I barely ate the first one. I’ll miss all of these people and Los Angeles.

This part of the drive is easily the best and thankfully I had bright blue daylight to make it even easier. Eventually this will turn grey and ugly and I’ll be back home.  I’ve never been happier.

January 15, 2012 (Flagstaff, AZ)

It’s 5:00 AM. I can’t really sleep in this area of the country because of the altitude and just sleeping on an actual bed at this point is hard. I think I slept a total of two hours last night. I slept three or four the night before, and drove a little more than seven hours. I may just leave here soon for the next stop. It’s still dark here and, well sleeping is boring when there is so much to see out here. Everything here is standing still so it’s not like I’m going to miss anything. If I leave this early I can drive in daylight for the majority of the day though. Fuck this?

Leaving California

January 13, 2012 (Los Angeles, CA)

 

Since August 4th 2009 I’ve been pretty much living out of a suitcase. I’ve not slept on a bed more than twenty times during this period. I have no idea where to say I live, but I’ve seen quite a bit now, met quite a few people and for the most part been completely fine with this lifestyle. Why would I want to sit around and watch nothing go by?

 

This trip out here, out west, felt like a vacation from the get go. Arriving with no job and a job prospect here was fine at first and then I just kind of forgot to be responsible. Aside from a half dozen resumes sent out this is pretty much what I did for two months here: went to restaurants: by myself, with friends or with dates. I went to Disneyland. I saw some famous people, none of them white (!). I almost had a girlfriend. I saw The Cure. I saw one sunset at the ocean while surfers mingled out in the golden water.  I went back to Boston for ten days.

 

It’s time to go back to work and be responsible again, so I’m out of here. For now.

 

Trying to prepare for this drive. I’ve become much better at it now. Everything I own has been shipped or is on it’s way back to Boston so my car will be relatively empty. Having a car packed with things is a surefire way to stress me out and have me peaking out of the window of my hotel every five minutes.

 

You turn yourself into something out there in the middle of nowhere. Nothing like it in the world; black sky with holes in it so the light from the other galaxy can peek through. You wonder who is over there feeling as alone as you out there. It feels intense. It’s hard to raise your hands to the sky when you can’t feel them anymore.

(I’ll be updating as much as I can about my trip across country the next week or so)

The Great Bake Sale of Spring ’82

With the prospect of winning free tickets to see any Broadway play of your choice, Winnie made her prize winning (in family circles) cupcakes yet again. Winnie worked night and day to perfect the cupcakes. Making phone calls to unknown relatives who have passed the recipe around for years, Winnie was determined to win yet again. Like the New York Yankees, she took the prize again. Winnie immediately called Harold when she heard the news.

“We’re going to New York again Harold!”

“Wonderful Winnie, I can’t believe it! Well, yes I can, those are some cupcakes”

Harold had been eating the “test” cupcakes for the weeks approaching the bake sale, and one would have thought he had his fill already.

“I’ll see you when you get home Harold”

“I love you honey” Harold answered.

“I love you too”

Winnie hung up the phone and approached Mr. Higgins to collect her prize.

On her short drive home Winnie wondered if that Peggy Roberts deserved the prize instead of her, her cheesecake was delicious. Pulling into the driveway she shrugged, shut the headlights off, and got out of the car glowing.

Nine Short Stories About Being Buried Alive

“Leave Us Alone We are Working on Blueprints”
Try this we are walking into the bar you and I and I turn to you and tell you I am scared to go in I am scared to be in there with them all I am scared to go outside now I don’t want to feel the aggravation and anger like I felt today I listen to this cd and I have to fucking shut it because I don’t give a fuck who broke this guys fucking heart I don’t give a fuck who broke anyone’s heart for that matter.

“John Travolta’s Facial Hair in the Film ‘Swordfish’”
I pissed out what seemed like a gallon and a half of beer, and then got in my car. The drive home was intense and dangerous. Art Bell telling me that people spontaneously go invisible. I took the barrel of the 9mm and pointed it at the woman and her son driving by me in the mini-van and lit another Kool.

“Oh, I Didn’t Realize Your Parents Molested You”
So when we arrived at the apartment of Timmy and Jenni I initially thought we were going to be surrounded by thieves and men with insurance plans; instead, we were surrounded by good drugs, and good jazz music from the late 70’s. One wants to believe that Timmy would not have good music, but for the remainder of the night we discussed how great the tone of Pat Metheney was in this particular year.

“A Visibly Drunk Liza Minneli Being Eaten by a Giant Orange Scorpion with Wings”
The first time one hears the song “the Magic Power” by “the other famous trio from Canada”, Triumph, one is filled with such a feeling of hope, you literally feel like Rik Emmett is going to jump through the speakers and give you a big hug. Hi, my name is Christian, and I am addicted to rock and roll music.

“The Drive Home to Your Wife After You Pay For Sex the First Time”
Oh how I enjoy that crisp wind that blows brown and bright blue air all over the world in the fall here in New England. Right now, the tail end of a winter I didn’t experience and it feels fresh and nice outside. I need to move myself somewhere good. Yeah I said this and did this already. Wait what?

“Adults Who Think Vampire Stuff is Cool”
I love fucking cole slaw, love it, absolutely love it. All of the cold “pre-made” salads are great too. My wife made this wonderful potato salad last week. I ate it all week at work. Her sister makes a great macaroni salad. I once knew a man from Ohio who made some pretty intense bean salad that was just delicious! Fuck I love it all! Fuck!

“The Ticket to the Jethro Tull Concert in Your Wallet While You Get Arrested”
I remember going to this day camp when I was a little kid. One weekend, they had a sleep over. I didn’t want to sleep over. I don’t like sleeping outside to this fucking day. I was supposed to meet a couple of friends in the middle of the night to get in trouble or whatever. The next day when I showed up, this big kid Kevin, his Kiss belt buckle glimmering in the hot summer of 78’ sun says to me “where were you last night?”. He was going to beat me up for not showing up to do whatever we were going to do. One day I fell on the trampoline and hurt my head crying and yelling, I felt paralyzed and freaked out. I think this is why I have problems in general now.

“Last Friday, When We Quit Smoking Cocaine”
Last night I dreamt that I was swimming in the ocean with a German Shepard, I was worried that my wallet was going to get wet so I asked him what to do, he said we couldn’t do anything, and to worry about it later. Great, talking German Shepards in my dreams now. He was cute. I have no idea what we were doing in the ocean, as I steadfastly refuse to swim as soon as someone suggests it.

“The Guy Doug Your Wife Fucked When She Was Nineteen”
The other night at dinner a friend asked if I was going to get a cat when I moved into my new place. I replied, “I can’t because I don’t want to deal with the inevitable death of the pet, the same reason I don’t want to get another girlfriend. I don’t feel like dealing with the eventual end of a relationship” I guess it’s part self-deprecation “humor” and partly true. I barely get attached to anything, people, places, opinions. This kind of rampant unsettling train of thought happening 27 hours a day. I guess everyone is like this right?

The Toy

Back when I initially started listening to the Grateful Dead, or rather following them, a friend of mine somehow became friends with a man named Dan. My friend used to get all of our tapes from this guy. He was a taper, and the way my friend, (I’ll call him) David, explained him I was kind of scared to meet the guy. Often times, we would get tapes within a week of a show. This sounds crazy in an era when you can get a CD copy of a show you just saw on the way out of the venue. Also, listening to shit on tapes. Come on.

(yes that’s me wearing a “Jamin (sic) With Jerry” shirt)

At one point, David took me over to Dan’s to pick up some tapes. The only reason I remember this guy and story is I recently drove by near where he lived. So we pull up to this small ranch house in Lynn, Massachusetts. David mentioned we were supposed to just “go in”. What David didn’t tell me is we would have to walk through the kitchen and see something horrible. There in a torn old nightgown was a young heavyset woman sitting at a table. Her face gave away that she was either blind, severely retarded or both. She was sitting there picking at a plate that had what looked like what a plate that used to have baked pork chops on it. It was all over her face and hands. Needless to say this was at a time when I was pretty much listening to The Dead and smoking quite a bit of marijuana. I was probably high as a kite when we walked through that kitchen and I’m sure I was probably standing with mouth agape, eyes half shut startled.

We made our way to the basement where Dan would be. My initial impression was he looked kind of like a cliche of a used car dealer…or “Artie Fufkin from Polymer Records”

David had mentioned he was a bit off, and although I am not making fun of OCD here, this guy was out of control. His face up close was all raw and red and clean shaven. I noticed razors around the room randomly so I assumed maybe he was an obsessive shaver. The room was cluttered with piles of papers, little stacks of rubber banded index cards and of course boxes and boxes of Maxell XLII-S blank tapes everywhere. Amongst the clutter on the floor, in the corner of the room was what David and I eventually ended up calling “the toy” It was one of those fake vaginas that you plug into a wall. For the same reason I will probably never fuck a robot, I can’t imagine putting my rock hard cock into something that is plugged into a wall. That’s just me though. Anyway, the discovery of this thing surely brought on some elbow nudging.

When you talked to Dan about the tapes, he was one of the early audiophile type so he would be telling you things that would fly over your head fast like speeding bullet. I remember him being serious about the low end and making sure your levels were down as “Phil will blow your speakers”. Phil Lesh is the bass player for the Grateful Dead, and sure he has probably blown a speaker or two in his time.

Over the next few years we would go by Dan’s after a tour and get tapes of shows we heard were particularly good and that kind of thing. Oh, the index cards…I remember at one point David and I were going to Hartford, CT to see the band and asked him what the best way to go would be. He pulled a stack of those index cards out and flipped through them eventually finding what would be “Hartford Coliseum” with turn by turn directions listed on the card, exact time it would take to get there from his house, miles away, etc.

We eventually lost touch with Dan, and then CD’s happened, and then Jerry died of course so who knows what happened to him. I know he worked in the mental health field and that house he lived in was his parents house but they had died so it was him and his sister. Oh yeah, the porn. How could I forget about the porn?! The porn went hand and hand or perhaps “cock and electrical socket” with “the toy” The porn was kind of the whole point of this story. Also in piles all over the room were video tapes, still in their cases, out of the cases, flattened video cases on the floor and then…eww just thinking about this is making me upset….wadded up tissues all over the place in that room. It was like some sort of Orgasmic Grateful Dead Shaving and High End Audio Tapes Palace of Masturbation this basement room. And that is where this story can probably end I guess.

1000 Different Women I Know

In the hills of Whereversville California
Far above gross strips of orange and grey
Hollywood on one side and an area I should never call home on the other
Trying to locate the first second
The best way to my heart
Looks of frustration
Contentment
And just that look

“every single one down there is a liar”
“stay away from me I’ll only hurt you”
”these sunglasses and hat will make it easier to deal with”

My first, but really second moment like this
Interrupted over and over
Spilled directly into awkwardsville
“oh well then”
Months from now in the middle of the night
Months from now in the early hours of dawn
Months from now we’ll remember this time and laugh
We’ll look back fondly
Speak of fucking and taking things fast
Speak of how better everything gets
Months after things get worse
Weeks after things get worse
Even days after things get worse
They seem to get better

Her gaze even better in real life
Better than hours of phone calls and letters
letters on a screen that have something
“nothing will ever stand in the way”
Not women you’d never meet
Not men I’ll never meet

Eight months later
Almost to the day though
Light in my eyes that makes it hard to even sleep
Darkness that makes it easy to sleep
Why is it when I feel I’ve done wrong
I can sleep better at night?
I always have more light in my head
The way I pull information though
This gigantic flashlight
A flashlight made of fire, frustration and sixteen other words that begin with the letter F
Even without a flashlight though
I can always get deep into their heads

Adventures in Online Dating Part 8

Ah loneliness, there you are again, just in time for that time of year when you’re the biggest enemy in the world. I knew I would see you again; we are such great friends that I was surprised you were gone for so long. After all this time though, I realize we need to be best friends. The other choice has obviously proved to not be such a good friend. This weekend is Christmas; at this point a holiday I care less about each year. People ask what I am doing out here for the holiday as “nobody should be alone on Christmas” I don’t subscribe to this belief at all, especially nowadays. I am perfectly fine not dealing with the gift giving and taking. I’ll see some friends and eat amazing meals and that will be enough.

 

I went on quite a few dates this past year, mostly with women I wouldn’t be caught dead caring about. I wrote about most of them, some I left alone. If nothing that exciting or horrible happened I just didn’t need to talk about it. One date I never wrote about was the one I met at a chain restaurant near my place. Earlier in the day I discovered a hornet’s nest in the drivers side mirror. I decided to deal with this on the way to the date. Spraying it with a little bottle of perfume my mom had left in the car. It was about 90 degrees out and I had the windows closed up tight. The air conditioning in the car didn’t work and the hornet would have made their way inside the car had I left the window open. At red lights I would crack the window and spray the mirror with this perfume, closing it immediately after. I was sweating and now smelled of perfume. When I arrived to meet my date it was yet another “oh jeez” muttered to myself when she arrived not looking anything like her pictures on her profile.

After dinner, I asked my date if she would take me to a store to buy some hornet killer. There we were, this girl I wouldn’t have been caught dead with on a date anytime prior to this year doing “normal shit” Running an errand. After this, we went to a closed car dealership as I was in the market for a car and I wanted to look at some without having to deal with a dealer. After this she invited me to her place where we watched television and did what adults do when they are alone together.

 

Driving home thinking about the night, I don’t think I necessarily had a great time. Dinner was okay, taking this poor woman to a store to buy bug spray and spend time with my neurotic personality and me for a few more minutes than she needed to was funny (I know I can be an obnoxious handful if I am in a mood where I’m trying to impress or be funny). Empty sexual experiences are just that though: empty. Driving home is always a sad place to be. At least for me, I feel like a scumbag.

 

I had a few other non-eventful dates, even one I set up in California for when I was visiting here for a week that I think ended abruptly. It was so fast I hardly knew what happen. “Women out here are different” I thought to myself. Not really.

 

My best dates ever though, they happened out here. I met a woman on the website that I immediately hit it off with. We spent hours and hours talking about everything we had in common and had a number of dates after that. I was just about ready to let her know I wanted to move on to something more serious. A short time later, just this past week it ended. Out of the blue. Fuck, wait; I really liked this girl!

 

As it turns out, it doesn’t matter if I liked the girl. Right now, the way life is I apparently don’t get the girl at the end. I don’t want to go on dates anymore. I find them exhausting. They drain all of my energy and personality out in one sitting. At the end of the day I ask myself, is it better to have one thousand nights in a row falling asleep alone? Singing some sad hopeless melody in hopes that I lose my way and make it to dream land one verse in. Or is it better to sleep one thousand nights in a row with someone. Keeping them awake with my constant tossing and turning, waking up over and over. Sleeping a total of three hours. Well, three for me, probably more like two for them. I have no idea what the answer is, but the further and further I get away from the second  choice, I realize I am ready to deal with singing those made up songs in my head as I fall asleep in whatever state I decided I needed to be in that night.

 

 

 

 

 

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