I was out to dinner and had a glass of tequila but I would have rather been drinking mezcal. Something with a story to it. Caught up in the lime lights of my glass, all my friends talking, and I didn’t want to hear any of it.
I’ve been trying to reset my schedule. I’ve been waking up earlier, pushing back the hours. Bedtime, though, isn’t budging. I get under the covers at 9:30 and I’m restless, or something comes up. Last night I dreamed about college. Old as I am now and back in it, taking chemistry classes, skipping all the lectures, worried I’ll fail the tests. A classic dream. Driving back from the restaurant, my friend said he’d also had it. We were in the same classroom, I guess. We’d had the same pressures. Closer in those dream-time labs than reality.
It’s a cold night. Maybe I’ll feel better once I find the covers.
Blood-red back of the eyes when you’re waking up late, sun already exasperating your room. I had dreams about you. I left those dreams for another day.
Later, in the evening, surrounded by friends, tv on in the background, sound like rolling in an inner tube down a wet ride at the water park, I check Facebook and see an old friend getting married. He’s all smiles in pearly white photos. She’s all smiles too.
Soon, another bedtime, to dream of drowning cities so stuck in old ruts they have to paddle.
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.
It’s burned in my brain – a dark bar, or a cabin on an asteroid far in the future, with star drunk skies either way, a beer, a cigarette, piano music, two sheets of paper, mid-sentence letters, a suitcase, displaced ambition. I grew up watching sci-fi series and reading jazzy books. I can’t help believing that all roads lead to the same place, a dark bar, or…
I’m still low. A persistent hangover, though I haven’t had a drink. I wake up tired and go to sleep antsy. But I’m not upset. These things happen. And you learn a lot when you’re off point.
But the short of it is: that’s all I’ve got for now. I’ve got the same fixed dreams of anonymous tar smoke spinning in orbit. Of crossing your legs at the edge of a deep, gluttonous ravine. It’s what I have to offer. Forgive me, but I hope it’s enough.
The most important thing is not to work on things that other people are working on because otherwise all you’ll do is get the same result as everybody else and you won’t make any discoveries, you’ll just confirm what’s already known.
David Jewett, On Asteroids – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, BBC
The clouds looked like down caught in the lint trap. A little dirty, but you know they’ll be soft. A cold, remorseful sky. The trees have already started blooming flowers.
I went to The Remedy diner in Raleigh as a belated Christmas present to my mother. She’s been vegetarian my whole life and I wanted to buy her an impossible burger. The restaurant is one of those places that’s right on the verge of trying too hard to impress you with it’s apathy. The art’s all edgy and every third waitress has a bull-ring. But the food was good and everyone was nice enough. It was a fine afternoon.
And now it’s nighttime. I’ve been getting into this routine where I’m afraid to go to sleep. Once or twice a week, I’ll wake up after a couple hours in a hot panic – heart racing, head throbbing, a pudding of sweat – and then I’ll sit in that directionless terror for a while before finally falling back to sleep. I’m not sure what’s causing it. I’ve tried monitoring my diet, sticking to an exercise routine, but I can’t find a connection. And so the midnight terror has sprinkled outward like a lawn hose and I’m strung out for a few hours before bed.
But it’s not all bad. I listen to music. I talk to friends. I might wake up wasted but I’m getting extra time in the evenings. The great trick to life is to realize that nothing bad is so bad as to damn you, or if it that you probably won’t last long enough to realize it.
I’ve got a youtube channel playing calming rain sounds. I might make some tea. See you on the other side.
Novel Count: 23,209
Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami
Slush life, you wake up too early, your bed’s not made, your breakfast sits on the counter long enough to make lunch; twigs in the window punctured by streetlights; toothpaste grin.
The hot water says ‘shower’ but you don’t want to. There are dirty knives in the sink. You turn up the radio. Your roommates are sleeping. You turn it back down. Bone-carved pyramid – your elbows, arms, head on the table next to speakers. ‘Passion Pit’ – Charlotte loves you, you only used to hear them in the city. ‘Sleepyhead’, a song… you planned it but feel lucky. You’re old enough to know all the work that goes into magic.
Strings like a spider’s web, the bad old times try to snare you. Every night, you wake up for the bathroom, only to settle in the arms of a different dream.
Currently Reading: Nothing! Still poking through some books, will settle soon.