September 8, 1998

Now it all runs together and I don't know what to make of any of it; not writing things down is bad in the end because you're left with only impressions, none of those small, concrete details that are important in communicating the essence.


I am drinking even though I have to get up early tomorrow morning. It's been that kind of empty week. I walk around very disconnected now. And I read a lot. Or sit, inert. I like to watch the city streets, people. Traffic. Lately I am obsessed with traffic, city, dirt, noise.

They cleaned part of a building by where I get coffee. You can see the half black, sooty stone, and then the clean side. They could be two completely different buildings. I like the dirty one better. I never realized it was dirt that made the black/grey color -- I thought it was supposed to look like that, and the clean part looks, somehow, wrong. Now.

I went for coffee twice today; double espresso each time. Perhaps that's why I can't sleep now.

Someone the other day -- an older man in tan pants -- offered me a ride "into town," as I was sitting at the bus stop, which is the steps of a Lithuanian church on the corner, across the street from a giant community garden that takes up an entire city block and a baseball field slash elementary school slash basketball courts.

This was odd as we were already in the city; I mean, there is no "in town" -- we're already there. Also it was just creepy. He had a clean newer Volvo and I might have done it -- only ten blocks to where I was going anyway -- but I was bored and I like riding the bus.

The sunflowers in the community garden died in the most spectacular fashion this week, maybe due to the heat or that it's the end of the summer. They are taller than I am and there are lots. Such an aggressive flower.

Anyway, now they are all burnt and blasted -- it looks like someone used a flame-thrower to incinerate the heads of all these plants. Just the heads. So standing at the bus stop, you see waving stalks of charred sunflowers and a few people -- there are always a few people in the garden, no matter how early -- stooped over gently watering and weeding.

The point is no one ever offered me a ride like that before, and I wasn't shocked, just bored and dismissive. I always think interaction with strangers will be more exhilarating than it actually turns out to be.

For example: stopped in traffic by city hall, windows rolled down and the radio turned up, the top of a little girl, nose to crown of head, appeared in a Jeep window next to me. Then she grew and this little hand came up and very timidly she slowly waved, by opening and closing her fingers, kind of like a gesture you'd use to make a hand puppet appear to eat.

My reaction was to give her a violent thumbs up with this huge grin, a sort of manic "WHOOOOAOAAAAH DUDE! ROCK!" and then poof I was gone, threw the car into first and floored it. I got the impression she was sort of happy-startled. I hope so; either that or her parents got my plate number and are hunting me with a shotgun.

Oh, I got e-mail from my ex-girlfriend turned lesbian ex-roomate. I am an asshole apparently. It hit me harder than I thought. I was actually mad but I didn't do anything. I am listening to a Pizzicato Five CD. They have a good design sense. I like their photography.

Speaking of which I am engaging in old hobbies, I think. I am looking for a violin. And I am taking pictures again. As in more than I used to.

I grow too fond of people. When it's winter here will it be summer there?

The world fascinates me, but it takes so much.


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