At the end of the The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966) the three gunslingers betray each other for the final time,
after almost three hours of screentime (more if we include A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and A Few Dollars More (1965))
we are faced with the fact that Tuco has again been tricked, that Angel Eyes has been beaten, and that although Blondie frees
Tuco, as was their agreement, in the final moments of the film he sets off alone. As a kid, watching this shot of Blondie
riding away through the scrub brush mountains I always wished he'd go back. I couldn't understand why he would choose to abandon
the relationship the film spends three hours building. To ride through the desert and into unknown futures. Leaving his friend to do
I was reminded of a night I went running last year, when I looked up at the moon and thought about the moment that my parents
will leave me. I thought about what that would feel like to be alone, genetically speaking, because sure I will have some
friends along the way but there will come a time when my close genes become held in my body alone, under this same moon.
It's such a prehistoric thought, your genes laid out there on the stone slab like every other organism that has come before or since.
I'll always have my brother, and this is addressed in the film too - Tuco says it's so good to have a brother you can always count
on for a warm bowl of soup, says this as he rides away, Tuco's brother throwing them out to the wind. The truth is that you and I
are always alone. Our thoughts will never be heard in every way that we mean them, we will die and be buried in an unknown grave,
unknown soon enough. Even those that do live on in some sort of quasi communal conciousness; Socrates, Shakespeare, Jesus Christ,
are not ever known completely in life or death. Sergio Leone didn't give Blondie a name until the final movie of the trilogy:
he is a ghost, he is what we take him for, and as he rides away we are shown that he does not belong to us, and that we all meant
nothing to him in the end. The film builds a sense that this will all be soon forgotten, that even as the soldiers
battle through the dirt and the cowboys roam through beat down towns everyone is ephemeral, names misplaced, or remembered
wrong for a price.
I called my parents yesterday. I hadn't called them in a while and it became obvious when I had to try and explain to them
that M and I were going to Albuquerque in part to visit E, who by the way is now pregnant. I was using a goddamn fliphone
to call them and my mom sounded like a child, like she was curled in bed in her robe, speaking from a million miles away. She
said, 'We can't really hear you honey. Did they ever get married?' 'Yes they've been married!' I was angry, I was even walking
outside! It was raining and I was only in a T-Shirt, huddled over my phone at 8 pm outside my neighbors driveway.
'I just started this new job, I'm working with a bunch of kids and it's so surreal, it's such a surreal place with
these kids and cockroaches and tarantulas. It's like David Sedaris, and it's just so funny. Like the other day this
mom and her kid ask me if they can return this cockroach, a cockroach! Because she said it's not fitting in! As if it was
a pet, you know? It's just so funny.' There's a long pause on the other end and my mom starts to make noises like she's
laughing but she isn't, 'We really can't hear you but that must be a really funny story, you said it's about cockroaches?
I'm sure it's really a good one.'
For one of the first times in my life I've been feeling like I want to give up. I try and think about how much I want
to move to Berlin or how much I'd like living in the desert, or building my own house, or about being a man. And I start to feel
like I'd rather just do none of it. I start to feel like I'll never get there, and that it's all impenetrable, especially the
I think I should have told my therapist that I wanted to look into some gender reassigment stuff before she left for maternity
leave, but the problem I've had open in the other tab for weeks is that I wouldn't be able to get surgery before moving in
the fall, so I'll need to try and get surgery in Germany, or try and come back for that part, or just never get it at all.
It's funny that I think some people my age worry about the prospect of losing fertility, but I worry about
losing time for the testosterone to take effect. I want to feel like Blondie riding into the desert and I often
feel like I am close to embodying the exact opposite. I think that's why it feels useless to move forward, after all of this
hard work I've put into my life I'm never going to be thought of like that, and really it shouldn't matter. In the end,
we are never known, our genes eb and flow and whether I had breasts in this life doesn't really matter at all, my genes
still code for them, I don't have a horse and don't really want one, I'm not in the desert. The beautiful thing about Blondie
is he wants nothing. But then again most days neither do I.
ENTRY 16 March 8. 2023
I finished (!) my last graduation requirement thereby making me now lost without a purpose again. I have been crying a lot, I can cry on command
Last night I got up to go to the bathroom and saw the wooden slats of the ceiling with new eyes. My good friend was sleeping (or maybe pretending) on the
loft opposite my bed, we used to see each other almost every morning, I'd pick her up in my subaru and drive us both to AP Bio, I'd take her back to my house
every afternoon and we'd do our homework in the living room, in the snow my tires would slip in the ice and we'd scream and laugh, she would tell me about some Brody
or Brendan she talked to out in the gravel lot as the trucks revved in the bright sunlight, I trust her so deeply. I looked up at the dark ceiling with the
hanging lamp I bought at the antique store 4 years ago, the lamp I love. I looked at the decorations of my little house and felt for the first time that it was
perfect, that I had created a place that I wanted, that here was something to be proud of, a reflection of myself in wooden boards, framed walls holding taunt to
the elements and the sadness all around. I got into bed again, and the wrongness fell on me like a blanket, fell on my thin bones like snow,
held me tight to the bed and seeped around us, in our perfect nest, I didn't used to feel like this.
I felt like a doll. M drove us to
Cable World around 5 pm as the sun lowered on buildings that stretched in grey white storefronts and corporate signs and parking lots that could have been in
a Tumblr post back in the day. Cable World sat between the JU JITSU place with the green-belt family silhouettes and the travel agency with resin-blue tropical fish window art. Inside was
white-walled desolation and product signs printed out on yellow printer paper and taped to PVC pipes. Just floor tiles, HDMI hybrids, and LED lighting. Behind the counter
were hundreds of signs the owner had found on Facebook and printed out, such things as 'Working out give you the confidence to dance naked, then again so does
Tequila'. A man came in before we could ring up our cables and started talking to the owner, saying 'sorry kids' and telling the guy about his T.V. hookup
problem, their tone made me feel that they were in love. Later we drove home as the moon back lit the clouds, making them turn to blue blankets over the
strip malls turned plastic as the workers slept, back again in their apartment complexes and fumbling with the wires crawling from the walls. The blank framed
portraits, purple mountains, above our beds.
ENTRY 15 February 23. 2023
Three Things That Change:
Snow came heavy last night and it occured to me as I walked through the bright white neighborhood that we love snow because it is change.
Herbs and Alters released a video today talking about his time as an alcoholic. He said when he was near his lowest point he called an ambulance to his house.
The EMTs listened to his chest and told him that they heard another heartbeat, so Dorian went to the hospital to have an ultrasound. There was no baby, but he stopped drinking.
Big Thief described change like this:
Would you live forever, never die
While everything around passes?
Would you smile forever, never cry
While everything you know passes?
I sat at the bus stop, freezing, phone dead, and watched the snow get swept from the gables of the next door apartment. This day was so different than I had
imagined just last night, as I found myself waiting at a bus stop I'd never even noticed, the city looking alien. When all I need is change, I don't even notice
that I miss it. I wonder how much I want to change, that I don't even see right now. Of course, how much do I have that I don't see either?
ENTRY 14 February 16. 2023
The middle-aged woman at the Arbys in Fargo North Dakota is staring at me. I move before she does, going to her in the half lit dining room and leaning on her table as she
chews her steak sandwich. She looks up expectantly, unbothered by the sharp edge of my shoe pressing into hers under the table.
'I'm waiting on you.' I say.
'Me?' She said, slowly and giving me a smile, 'I don't even know you.'
'Aren't you supposed to tell me what to do?' I press my boot into her pink ked. Grinding her toes into the tile floor. She doesn't let on that she even feels it.
She sips her coke through a plastic straw, leaving her lipstick on the rim. 'Oh, that's funny.' she sips, she acts like she's thinking
and smirks, 'I think you should just give up.'
'That's a really great fucking idea.' I lean in farther, bearing down on her as she sits there calm - legs crossed delicately, 'I've come all the way here, I've drove how many miles - and you know what kind of sacrifices I've made to get here too?
I could have stopped with Zoe you know? I could have just fucking stayed there in Montana and everything would have been fine. We'd be sleeping out in the
bed of a pickup right now, under a whole bunch of stars and I'd be happy ya know?' I take my boot away and sit down across from her at the table, it teeters with
my weight and I grab both sides as I slam it into the tile. 'And another thing-' she looks up at me, still smirking, and sips her straw, 'I could have stayed in
Germany too, I didn't even have to come back, I could have hid out or something. I could have just started over, but I didn't. I came all the way back here
just for you, so that I could be here to have this conversation, and you're not even going to have it. You know how good it was for me there? You know how happy I
was? I'll probably never be that happy again, and I don't know what the fuck to do with myself. Everything feels wrong everywhere now.' With that I grab the plastic cup out of her hand and
crumple it, getting coke on me as I throw it into the paper bag she's left on the table. She laughs,
'Oh my god, you're really so sweet.' She picks up the last half of her sandwich and takes a bite, turning her head sideways and gripping the bread with
hot red acrylics. 'You think I can help you? You've already decided all of that, you didn't do it for me or for yourself or anyone, you just did it. And
now you have to live with it. What do you want now? You want me to just give you directions and you'll be off, huh? Since when has that happened? You know that
you have to just wait here for that better life, that one you've left again and again, the one you always dream about to come around again. And then you'll
leave that one too, and you'll be back here, and I'll say the same thing.'
'What the fuck is wrong with you!' I can't help but scream at her. There's only a few other loners in the restaurant, quietly pretending to look out the drawn
blinds at the burnt dirt hills all around us, the sky is turning as the storm comes in.
She's finished her sandwich and is dabbing her mouth with the napkin, still smiling as she collects her trash and places it carefully in the bag. I push the
chair back and get up as she does, 'No, you can't leave! I'm dying out here, I don't know where to go now. I know I should have taken all those other
roads but the thing is I didn't, and now I just need to get moving again, or get back to one of those old exits, or just settle down here, but
I can't think right when I know all I've done is throw things away.' I trail off as I watch her toss the bag in the garbage. She approaches me cautiously,
looking up at me with pity, taking my hand for a moment and holding it out between us,
'You won't ever be happy staying here. Why don't you try actually trying.' she drops my hand coldly and walks to the door, the bell jingles as she opens it and
she walks quickly into the parking lot, doesn't look back.
ENTRY 13 February 7. 2023
I've been shaking back and forth for a few days, I think I'm on vacation but it doesn't feel like it. I just want to make progress, and I feel like I almost can, but
then at the last second I move on to something else. I need to give myself permission to wait, but I feel like if I just push harder I can make things easier for
myself down the road. There we go again, always worried about kicking the can down the road. It's funny because my problem right now is I don't have a can to kick,
and I'm so worried that I'll be overwhelmed later on that I'm overwhelmed now.
Been thinking about my presence online, about people reading my writing. A long time ago people used to have piles of letters that they wrote to each other, and in
those flimsy papers were the words that created change in their physical realm. If someone really into german romanticism were writing this they might go into a
anecdote about a sweet shoemaker in the 1500s who was knock knock knocking with a little hammer on the inner sole of a dress shoe when a letter arrived from some
faire maid living down in the valley where the purple thistles and clovers bloom. The letter would say something like hark ye - oder besser: ye alte Schuhmacher
kannst du bitte sehen! ich bin verliebt! then the shoe maker would carefully place his hammer back on the hook and put the Magd's letter in the carved
wooden canister he recieved from his grandmother when he was a boy. Someday the maiden might look in the canister, after they were married for some time - and
the shoe maker would be embarrassed, nein my poor maide they are only scribbles! but she would see something else: my dear these are the words that built us!
The light from the Kamin, the sod above our heads, the life set here before us: these words built love.
Hark ye: these words built love, so I love them too.
ENTRY 12 February 5. 2023
Sometimes I get afraid to write, this is one of those days. Sometimes I fear I have left too much of myself out on the countertop to be slowly
trimmed with the old deli meat slicer, that some user named ihatestreetrees69 is about to log in and tell me that I'm really not very interesting. More
likely though they won't say anything at all, they'll just leave me to fill in the blanks.
I applied to be a busser at Claim Jumper, then I drank a lot of the very-good $2 coffee at Common Grounds and fucked around with google sheets for a while. Someone asked
me how is it being in limbo? It sucks, I said. Today is an off day, was from the moment I tried to upload some files and the website errored - leaving me stranded
without a purpose, no way to keep moving, and too tired to find another way around. Seems I'll camp here for the night, but it's only 1 pm.
Last night I left the coffee shop and held my jacket to my chest walking walking briskly but soon the understanding began to set in that in the dark I did not know
where my car was. This wasn't too bad since I wanted to walk anyway, and I never was really trying to find my car at all, I had just been walking. Then I looked up and
saw the clouds were many small rectangles that looked stitched together like a quilt, a quilted sky I thought. The quilt was being pulled quickly over the moon which
was of course, full. If I made music I might make a song called A Quilted Sky, then I would make one called Bugs in the Curcuit Lounge which is the subject line of
an email that M forwarded to me yesterday.
And while we're on the topic of yesterday, I saw the girl in red yesterday. I call her that because she always wears these ridiculous red cowboy boots and is just so obviously
a lesbian. I didn't like her for the longest time because she also wore plastic bug earrings and only I can wear those. But really it's comforting to find your mirror,
once you get used to it. I wasn't seeking her out exactly but I did go to the insect zoo where I knew she worked, and since it was a full moon she was of course, working.
She seemed happy and startled to see me and offered me an orange jumping spider to hold. She told me they watch TV together.
I like girl in red because she usually reminds me of my mom. That's also why I usually dislike her. Later that day (yesterday) I was looking for some way to kill the
flies that burrow into the shit sitting in the plastic tub beneath my composting toilet. I used to use this strange brown powder I bought off eBay but I can no longer
find it, so I just bought more fruit fly traps. I walked into a beautiful nursery with a mural of native birds and fern fronds on the outside and started
searching for some sort of toxic chemical. Wait, the lady said - how do you even know they're fruit flies?
ENTRY 11 January 30. 2023
* Removed for the time being *
ENTRY 10: January 23. 2023
Film students. We all know one. Film students are to writers what a shiny purple rock in the souvenir shop is to refined post-processed pure uranium ore. All bark and no bite.
Ha Ha Ha. I'm just kidding. I got to meet some film students this last weekend at a fun little house party. I made my rounds and talked to this
one named G a lot, he asked me what I study and I said the typical: Biology and German. He didn't really seem interested in that and started telling me about this
movie he directed, it's this surreal psychological thriller about coming of age or something. Have you ever heard of Heidegger? It's like completely sein v Sein ya know?
No, Ha Ha Ha, really everything is about perception. Recently, I've been obsessed with the notion that my thoughts become my reality, so for example
I believe, that thoughts can change your body. And then it dawned on me, your body can change your mind.
Now, I'm sorry to ask but were those car seat headrest lyrics? While I'm at it, I don't really
see what Heidegger was concerned with perception at all, it actually seems like you just threw that in willy-nilly. Now, I on the other hand am a writer. I know I said I was
a Biologist before but just forget that, I actually am a very accomplished writer.
Oh. What do you write?
Oh, I write .. I would call it magical realism. Surreal. Like Kafka, I have a blog. It's very cool, and I write about my life and what happens to me but like, better.
Are you writing as a character?
Yes, I mean we are all characters right? You and I are playing characters right now.
Hey, can I have your number?
Film students. If you ever want to hook up with a film student just tell them you've been thinking a lot about how our perspective changes our reality, like
how the lens of the camera can change the perception of the viewer, yeah I'm actually on prozac right now too, yeah it's been weird.. and go from there.
G: You should really try writing as characters. So in a film script it's all about action and dialogue, right? And I'm fine with the dialogue but sometimes it's
the action parts that get me.
H (in character): I thought your background was acting, wouldn't that be the easy part for you?
G: God you're aggressive. Have you ever written any screenplays?
H: Um. no. I just write on my blog mostly.
G: It's like a travel blog?
ENTRY 9: January 18. 2023
A Strange Dream
I've been feeling strange, I guess you could call it sick. Sometimes when I look at a window the glass seems to move like water. Other times I feel that if I
go to sleep I will never wake up. I start to listen to my heart beat and it begins to feel unfamiliar. I worry that I am dying.
Strange thoughts came last night, I was again confined to the bed - somehow unable to straighten the room that seemed to slide downward into a lifetime of this
strange feeling. I opened my eyes and looked at the wood grain of the ceiling as I wondered when it would happen, that I would die. I thought about the Burnside
Bridge then, a place I used to always walk to when I was feeling out-of-sorts, when I lived on that side of town. That seemed to do it, yes, I'll walk to the
Only a short walk down the hill and I came upon a figment, a man huddled over in the cold night, holding a loose blanket to his chest and leaning over the
grass along the road. Of course I knew that I was meant to talk with him;
Do you have a flashlight?
No, but I can light something up for you.
Yeah, these are definitely not Psilocybin.
You're looking for mushrooms? (Laughs)
I studied Mycology.
I hand him a cigarette. The mushroom searcher stands in the road, his backpack on his hip, his face carved in deep grooves, all the while he is young, only 40.
You ever find magic mushrooms out here?
Here, no. Once I took a whole quart of cubensis, that was horrible. The whole ego death thing.
I had that once, I took salvia, it was crazy, I thought I had become a letter.
Oh salvia, yeah that stuff will mess you up. I took some once and died.
Yeah, exactly - like you think you're fucking up the whole universe -
No, not like that. I really died. I fell off the Burnside Bridge.
The mushroom searcher asked me if I believed in God. 'It's half and half' I said. I don't believe in Free Will.
I just do what matters to me now. I just go where I want. I screwed my whole life up, selling dope on Couch - getting shot up. But I value myself now, I like myself.
It's strange you said the Burnside Bridge, I'm headed there right now.
That's a long walk, you'll screw your feet up.
It's okay, I probably won't make it.
I have a bus pass if you want, the bus driver is a nice guy - thought I was sleeping on the streets just because I had this - I'm actually headed somewhere right now though.
It's okay, I'm alright to walk.
Take care of yourself. I hope to see you around.
I continued down the road, then, make it to the train yards, maybe that will be my ending? The machinery and the many colored boxcars are still and silent,
only the sterile lights above the yard seem to roam along the ground. The ground below the overpass is a great mud puddle, reflecting my face back to me. I keep going,
until the walk has gone on much too long. At some point, long to far, I begin walking back. My feet are killing me and I see racoons playing in the tree on Divison.
I feverishly make my way up the last hill. The sky is becoming light beyond the buildings.
ENTRY 8: January 17. 2023
A few lost days here and there, a few days spent between the floor boards.
I wouldn't say things are going great with the whole Germany thing, I got an email back from the school I was interested in - they said I'll need
to be basically native-speaker-type-fluent in order to take classes there. That wasn't exactly good news. Then my German professor here
at PSU said, H---- I can't help you with this at all, frankly I'm not sure why you are asking me, why would I know anything about graduate school
in Germany, I'm here aren't I? No, she didn't say that, but it was between the lines.
Well, I'll keep it moving. The last few days I think I've gone numb, like repeated hands in the fire.
I'll just keep trying, maybe going to school here wouldn't be so bad, so long as I could move for a while. Maybe I just need to take steps towards the
individual things that matter to me? i.e. talking to hot people
I got around to doing my year tarot spread, my theme of the year is the eight of swords - not the highest swords but we're getting there! Kim Kranz describes as follows:
Surrounded by obstacles and threats on all sides, you find yourself the victim. You see no way out, no available choices. Your perceptions
keep you from opening your wings and taking flight. What keeps you suspended here? Yourself or others? The Eight of Swords demands an answer. You
cannot hang here much longer.
She even had the audacity to draw the card as a butterfly (we read: moth) pupa hanging precariously above a bed of swords, presumably before the moth will
climb out - dry its wings - and take flight, the swords below revealed to be merely an illusion.
ENTRY 7: January 16. 2023
WHERE THE NIGHT ENDS (TOGETHER PANGEA)
waking here by bonfire flames
rasp revolt the smoke climbs in
haunting our lip pink throats
fire lights your neck,
crouching morning sun behind
all bruised eyes in hillsides
land calls out from our new center
meet my eyes - the edge of glass
stars tear 'round our circle
black fields of starved
prairie town skeletons
dead weight in hot wind
drive me out just drive me out
leave me rotting in the road
drive and drive
but it's still here
green of the dashboard light
drive and drive
but it's still here
green of the dashboard light
ENTRY 6: January 15. 2023
I just can't seem to move, I can't seem to get to it.
I don't feel well.
Moving Right Along: B's Blog (Breezeblocks) got me thinking about legacy today, which is always a bad sign.
I think we all fantasize about having our writing published posthumously, it's fantasically passive to think about someone else valuing your work
so much that they do everything for you - all the editting and the fretting about whether anyone will even like it. Plus, you don't have to go through
the embarrassment of peddling your thoughts around, the hubris of saying 'yeah, I actually think you guys should listen to me on this one'. It sounds
delightful. Of course, you do give up control. I'm thinking particularly of the tale of old Nietzsche's nazi-loving sister. Still, you are dead anyway,
and future historians can probably sort the whole thing out.
I think I like this sort of thing, passivity. Perhaps not in a way that I should. I was thinking today that if someone offered me to be back in the hospital
with an exploding lymph node for a week I would take it. I would be so glad to be taken care of, to finally have absolutely nothing to do and no reason to
pull up my god forsaken knotted crummy crusty bootstraps. I could just lay there
letting god take my hand and lead me as They pleased.
Earlier this week, L and I talked about why I am restricting food. I told her it's because I'm trying to signal that I need help. But Help's A Fickle Thing and
I realized as I was talking with her that I don't actually want any help at all. I mean, sure, if someone could just figure out what I'm doing for me that would
be great - but it also wouldn't, because I probably wouldn't even like what they came up with. I think that I want support but I don't even know what that would look
like, so I'm just restricting food into the abyss. That's kinda how mental illness goes though, huh, it doesn't usually make sense.
I think I need routine, or maybe rest. Or perhaps Prozac? I just don't feel like moving forward, mostly because the place I am feels so dismal, why
walk when there is only another dark tunnel ahead?
ENTRY 5: January 13. 2023
Ummm. hey guys.
I think I accidentally made my blog too clean and then stopped wanting to write on it. A few years ago I had this old notebook I repurposed from my intro to
calc class or something and goddamn that was a good notebook, it was like falling apart, and yellow, and had coffee spilled on it a bunch of times. I wrote in that
thing daily. Then it got stolen out of M's car, anyway.
I invited the folks from E2 to my blog, if any of you guys are reading this - glad you made it... crazy weather we're having right now, huh?
To get into it - the last few days I've felt a bit strange. I keep ending up drinking too much coffee and then being unable to form long-form thought. It's like
I'm bumbling around (babbling about) and staying right
outside my ability to think straight. This is what happens when you can't use weed, let me be a cautionary tale.
I went through all my old posts, cleaning things up a bit, and I guess it taught me a few things. They weren't as bad as I was expecting, most I still respect. I talk a lot about Germany, which is sweet - wanting to go there, wanting to be there, wanting to stay there. I
met with L today too and talked about this, can we call it a hyperfixation? I think I need to chill out, but also I'm not sure where chilling out will get me? I'll
feel better? Okay. But maybe I should just let my anxiety take this one and I'll ride 'em like an old filly ("ain't never met a filly that could throw me" -
Brokeback Mountain (2005)).
Another point: I wish I was a higher level on E2 just so I could put this photo on my profile (young kafka):
At least it's good to have goals. The problem is: how do you cope when your goals are so all-consuming that you appear to be wildly depressed and struggle to
find any reprieve in any activity that you try and do? The thing is, I desperately don't want to do anything. I feel like I'm bare-minimum existing, and daydreaming -
all the time. Here's my new one:
I'm back in Berlin (side note: my computer booted up with a picture of the Brandenburg gate today, how fucking dare ??), I'm in the middle of the giant
asphalt plaza (not limp/nor stale) that is Tempelhof airport, I'm back at the music festival watching Enumclaw perform, I yell up to them that Holy Shit I'm
FROM Enumclaw ! The main guy sees me and is like, no way! I say 'Yeah I'm A MotherFucking Horse Fucker' we all laugh. C is there and we're married, also to Enumclaw.
they're part of the polycule too.
it's really good to have goals.
ENTRY 4: December 30. 2022
I have a favorite mug. Sometimes I don't like to think that I do, since I have so many mugs that I like i.e. have been gifted by close friends,
have sweet memories attached to them, remind me of old feelings and old things that I used to do, or still carry the tea stain of this or that time,
similar to cliff-side stratigraphy. But I have only one favorite mug. It's on the small side, the size of your hands clasped together. It's white
with a cute little clef note for a handle, and on the top it has a ring of fifteen tiny strawberries, a thin green border, and two big strawberries
entwined, drawn in that speckled classroom style, and colored in just plain green and red, simple as can be.
Sometimes the mug itself can transport me, other times it is a vehical for me to move myself. I used to connect the mug with a hardened memory or perhaps
it was really a tightly held dream.
In the memory my mom has taken me to her friends house to play, the friend and most of the walls and
contents of the house never appear, just a downward view of the kitchen sink (stainless steel) as though I am standing far above it, perhaps held? On the
white wax sill of the kitchen window are many glass trinkets and a small spongey orange frog. I love the frog, I see wood cabinets and dirty brown carpet,
I am new, and seeing for the first time with eyes that are hooked to memory, long, long cords of memory.
After the new association between my strawberry mug and the orange frog, the mug began to gain power. Now I can make it show me other happy little notes,
like itchy sawdust, sidewalk chalk, green gardens. It's kitsch, sure, but I place a high price on nostalgia. Why live if we do not spend time
looping through our favorite memories? Plus, some people say that growing up is only learning to love again what you did as a child. I find my mug
meditative, maybe even grounding, although I worry that using it when I'm really lost could form new tainted associations, so instead I usually seek it
out when I'm feeling just plain. My crystal ball to mundanity.
ENTRY 3: December 28. 2022
Yesterday, M and I went to the beach to see some thirty foot waves promised on the news. The day was stormy and blustery and much of our
drive was spent winding through dark forest trees that swayed and shook their mossy arms over our heads. Rain was everywhere, sometimes turning the windshield into a blurry mess
when the wipers couldn't keep up. It was really coming down in sheets, as though you could see the lines of rain in the air coming in
vertical waves, the sky looked like rippling fog.
On our way home, M asked me about my plans for going back to Germany. I happened to be looking towards the line of beach houses out to the
west, focusing on one in particular that formed three concrete sections, harsh things that sloped down to reveal a car parked beneath its
sallow body. The far wall was open, a bright square of light that showed through to the sand spraying from the ocean and the ocean itself, another body.
I pretended to be thinking about the question and instead thought about labyrinths. About hopelessness.
I answered agressively and then went back to picking apart the open window, the bright square of light that appeared sunk below the belly
of the neighborhood. Thought about turning around and around in that concrete, looping through tunnels to come out at that sea window. Thinking
you've gotten close enough.
ENTRY 2: December 17. 2022
WATER TABLE (COLA)
Been thinkin' a lot about 2002. Probably due to Everything 2, which of course peaked in popularity around that time. I wanted to write a hommage to
one of my current favorite nodes on the site:
I was riding shotgun in the Acura on a peculiar blue day at the beginning of the Christmas holiday. My partner needed to get gas at Freddys
since was freshly under 4 dollars - everyone else in Clackamas must have had the same thought because the pumps were thronged with
cars all huffing and puffing cold exhaust in the mid day sun. We were behind a dirty CRV with vulva bumper stickers and two greasy lesbians at the
wheel. Behind us was a shitty red pickup holding the object of my affection, disheveled Tank soon to become a folk hero of my mind. He was lighting
up a bowl in the cab of his truck, through the rearview window behind his head waved large grasses and ferns in dirt buckets, the fronds so tall they surrounded
his cab in his own personal ecosystem. Tank was slow, languid, lovely. I thought about him leaving his landscaping job to wait for gas in the Fred Meyers parking lot,
how he made out quiet so none of his favorite co-workers would ask to come, then let time come to a stop as he inhaled and exhaled the weed he grabbed from his
center console. When it was Tank's turn at the gas pump he got out and tried to help the attendant, walking circles around the truck and revealing to me, his
guardian angel, his god, his shiny belt buckle. Tank gave the attendant a dopey smile and watched the pump, eyes never meeting mine. When Tank drove off into the
neighboring Taco Bell drive thru I felt grief, that I would never know him. Moreso, that I would never be him. That I was fated to anxiously weave the memories
of passing ants like him into my daily life while he waited calmly at the pump, looking bashfully at the cracked concrete. Call me, Tank.
ENTRY 1: December 12. 2022
Yes, I'm starting 2023 with a clean slate, launching a newer yet older version of StreeTrees. I've wanted to
recreate Windows 95 for a long time, yet never had the patience (n)or time to fully implement my vision for
the site. Pulling up my old blog now feels like a cheap prototype, which has been a common theme in this
web-journey. I'm considering adding a few poems to the archive folder that I want to keep lugging around,
but otherwise I'm looking forward to a new START to StreeTrees.
I wanted to launch with a brief rememberance of what I've accomplished this year (in the virtual
realm) and a look ahead too. After all, what is more 90s than dreaming?
StreeTrees Version 1:
☆ The blog was launched on Github for the first time on April 21st 2022, I didn't even take a screenshot
on my computer at the time so all I have is a few screenshots from my phone showing the first version. This version
included a blog and writings pages, the original name of the blog "CYBER HUNTER" in large ascii letters, and
a few cyberpunk type gifs.
☆ About a week later V.1.1 was released, adding a more cohesive 90's coffee-house aesthetic. I changed to a calmer brown
background and added the first music to the site, Zero 7's Polaris. This was the start of adding story and
ambiance to the site itself, independent of my writing. This version also included a music page.
☆ On May 13th I released V.1.2 bringing this epic background and a more exciting entry page with bulletin
board elements to provide updates and nonsense. I actually don't hate this format and will probably
return to it if more people start to visit the site again. I think about 5-6 people were semi-regular viewers
at this point so we could perhaps consider this StreeTrees golden era, although the background did become overwhelming
☆ V.1.3 was released around May 28th and kept largely the same bulletin board style but with less abrasive
colors and a bit more free format, I added a guest board and a few links to other pages with individual stories
/writings/videos. I also changed to the name Street Trees at this point and started the official streetrees domain.
☆ V.1.4 is lost to time but I remember it as a shittier version of V.1.5 without the tab links at the top of the
page. It was also during this time that I started adding a page before the landing page that would hold old art films. Remember
the australia one? Or the really long one about Berlin streetlights? V.1.5 was released July 12th and the site remained
virtually unchanged until this new V.2.1. This previous version included a cleaner landing page and cute
rounded boxes to put poems and songs. I also used 90s textbook covers to create the title visuals and DALLI to create
AI paintings that would fit this theme.
All of this is to say, I'm happy with the progress that I've made in coding over the last year. I know that I'll look
back at this version in another year and be amazed at how simplistic it is, but that's the fun of web design. Also,
the joy of having noone around. Still, it was very motivating to have people viewing StreeTrees regularly and I do
hope to be ready to take the site public (!) in the coming year. My hopes for V.2.1 are:
☆ More long-form writing that stands on its own or is part of larger projects. Individual pages dedicated to
stories in progress or finished chapters.
☆ Creating music to accompany elements of the site i.e. poetry with synth ambiance
☆ More focus on community elements like connection to forums and other blogs that I like, as parquet
courts always says it's all community!
If you are reading this, thank you. This blog has helped me to feel confident in my ability to create and
express myself - something that I've struggled to feel ownership of throughout my life. For someone who's
always wanted to be an artist/writer first, it's been slow going to find my place, and I've
been helped so much by the encouragement of readers like you, thank you.