the explicit routine of journaling didn't begin until march
of 2021. the sections on this page for january & february
were retroactively reconstructed from tumblr posts


january 1st. as rain freezes on all the dead branches outside my room,
i see a bird perched on one, sitting very still. i clap to get it to look
at me, because i thought it might have frozen into an ice sculpture


january 3rd. i've been making my bed like this.
looking at it makes me happy. nonsense bed


january 6th. i go to a music store & look at a bunch of music. i take about eighteen photos of vinyls with
covers that i like, but they'd be kind of a hassle to include here! i find a tape of halloween music & sound
effects that intend to buy, but a girl walks up, picks it up, & walks away with it. so what can you do


january 7th. i wake up in my dark bedroom, grab my phone, look at the push notifications, see a discord dm
that just says "count!" with no context, open it, & hypnotically type & send numbers all the way up to 176


january 10th. around this time, i post big dumb rant about feeling chronically disconnected
from my body, yet next wednesday i'll make a post that says "needles in my mouth day"

winter is when i'd go on a long walk to offset the experience of being inadvertently
exposed to as much as a single w-j-k picture in a given week, but it's really cold out

i irrationally send lovelorn messages to an abandoned discord account with a default icon, which saw
maybe fifteen minutes of usage then became permanently inaccessible when the browser tab was closed


january 11th. i make yet another ryoji ikeda-inspired audio file in audacity


january 13th. it's needles in my mouth day. which is to say, i'm back at the dentist to get my root canal finished up. there's a good
poster in the clinic that says "be good to people for no reason." the root canal ends up being a failure. they don't charge me for the
second visit, & refund me for the first. they give me five shots of novocaine, but they still can't get the tooth numb all the way.
eventually the dentist tries injecting the novocaine down in the root itself, which entails the dentist putting the syringe all
the way down in the canal & jabbing it directly against the nerve, which makes me whimper in pain. & it doesn't work!

so they give me two options: if i raise my left hand, they'll go ahead & proceed with the root canal, with the acknowledgment that it'll be very
painful. if i raise my right hand, they'll refer me to a specialized endodontist who can sedate me during the procedure. i would take a medication
before i went to the clinic, then have no memory of the procedure. i raise my right hand. but to this day i still haven't scheduled the appointment
with the endodontist. i haven't scheduled the appointment because i'm afraid of the idea that i'll take the medication, go in, & that version
of me in the present will end up having an agonizing experience. then i'll lose that memory, & the version of me after the procedure
will be none the wiser... "this day" is june 30th now. i'm getting on a bus tomorrow to visit Iowa

i upload to youtube a collection of songs by Katrina Vasquez, a dream pop vocalist who was
unfortunately killed in a car accident in 2000, just as her career was seeming to begin


january 14th. i do something mundane in my living room that i explicitly don't tell the internet
about, for the sake of knowing for sure that there was no subconsciously performative aspect to it

my futile crush on _ lingers on...
i upload the album "i want to live!" by john maus to youtube


january 17th. i just can't stop making minimal music in audacity. Sweet Pea finally manages
to jump up onto my bed. it takes about three months, the bed is like four times her height

i upload the album "bisherigori" by anne gillis to youtube


january 20th. my futile crush on _ lingers on... it's absurd. but it'll have to fade
eventually. still, could you forget someone saying they want to "protect you from owls?"

my friend O paints me


january 21st. this image has been periodically creeping into my thoughts
for several weeks: someone else's pov as they throw a snowball at my head


january 23rd. my friend O paints me again


january 29th. i have a dream about eating pencils. their crunch is really satisfying. but
there is something stomach churning about it too, though, in a way i can't articulate


january 30th. the tornado sirens go off. on january thirtieth. ironically, this turns
out to be the only time they go off in 2021, at least of today, which is still june 30th


february 5th. i make myself sort of nauseous by drinking snapple
then dancing around to jazz. then i multiply polynomials


february 6th. i upload the may 2003 section of the wfmu 365 days project to youtube


february 10th. when i lie on the floor & try to ignore Sweet Pea,
she burrows into my hair & it hurts enough that i have to react


february 22nd. a girl sees me walk out of a building & have the wind instantly
blow a paper out of my hand directly back through the door which then closes


february 23rd. it's warm out. i stroll


february 27th. it's the first "window propped open" day of the year & i'm already watching an armadillo
root around in the brush outside my room. fixin' to be a blissful spring. sometimes i walk around the empty
apartment constantly saying things like "ow, i got decapitated. i hate getting decapitated" & not noticing


instead of occasionally making text posts about recent events or activities, i'm going to try relegating them to a
single draft of diary entries, which i'll post at the end of each month. it's march 27th. i probably won't have
much to say for this one going forward. i guess my life could radically change in the last five days of march,
but it probably won't. well, there are still things i can fish out of my recollection. what happened in march?

i listened to kraftwerk a lot. i walked to the antique mall & ambled around there again. i found a vinyl of duck stab! very unexpected. i got
it & a wooden pink bunny that hangs on my bedroom wall. what else? i walked around the woods. i walked around a cemetery. i walked to
a park. i walked to another park. i walked around another cemetery. spring is arriving, so i'm doing more walking. a big tub of stuff
that isn't mine got moved out of my closet, so i put in a lamp in there. now it's a very small space to sit & maybe read in

the four-year anniversary of the first time i ever met face-to-face with friends i met online went by. i didn't
notice. i haven't really interacted with them in, um... next month it will be a year. that was a chaotic saga!
i'll leave it at that, but the details may exist faintly in your recollection if you've been following
me since the time when i absolutely could not shut up on this website for even an hour

on the 26th, i got a vinyl of kakashi. i suspect it's been sitting in that store in the mall for about two years,
waiting. (i've never cared about physical music, but it's sort of caught my interest lately. it's something i want
to be exclusively opportunistic about. i don't want to make a shopping list of my favorite albums & sink my spare
money into it. i do have one more vinyl coming in the mail, only because it's about three decades old &
my friend found it in mint condition for only fourteen dollars including shipping. it's i like you)

then i ate a bunch of sushi. i got the classic philly roll & tried some deep-fried jalapenos filled with spicy
tuna & cream cheese. i didn't like them much, didn't eat the last two. right before i left, the waitress,
Cordelia, said "don't worry about getting out of other people's way! make them move for you, girl!"
then i got twelve syringes & a medication that will be injected with them, possibly on the 30th. i
am typing these last two sentences on the 30th. i did not receive an injection on the 30th

on the 27th, because i was mildly drunk, i did the most personable, unrestrained thing i've done face-to-face in probably a year,
at least. i was mildly drunk because i'd sat in a coffee shop all day, downloading music. it closed, so i went & sat in a bar
nearby, & kept downloading music. a girl i'm acquainted with appeared & sat in my booth. she was there to see a drag show
happening that night. we chatted a little, & she non-flirtatiously got me a tasty cherry drink. i drank it. i was mildly drunk

she ordered a blt & asked me what the condiment was that came with it. here is the thing i did: i said
"ranch dressing, or," then thought for a moment, then started laughing because i knew there was another
condiment like ranch, but i couldn't remember what it was! then i remembered! it was mayonnaise!

on the 30th, i had an essay on a chosen piece of media due for my gender roles class. in the early morning,
i decided to write about possibly in michigan, & did so. we were expected to present the essays in class,
but anyone was free to simply decline & lose the eleven points. the teacher stressed that to me in
private because she knows how much i dislike speaking in public in any capacity

because i'll update the proceeding drafts in realtime, i expect them to be either far more sparse, or strictly made
up of more significant events. we'll see. maybe i could experiment with typing at least a brief summation of each
day, maybe an adjective & a noun at minimum. the april entry will probably open with me getting my blood drawn


april 1st. i didn't get my blood drawn. my sociology teacher passed me in the hall & said "good morning." then she stopped & said
to me that i should talk sometimes, that she's sure my voice is fine, that people, women, have all sorts of textures & timbres of
voices. i shyly held my book over my mouth & nodded vigorously. my book was The Complete Cosmicomics. i still opted
not to present my paper. i might have, if i had written a different one, but i got insecure about the actual content of it. later,
i nearly fell down stairs because i was distracted reading her comments on some of my papers. then i went home,
took a nap, woke up sick to my stomach, & nearly cut my thumb open pitting an avocado


april 3rd. in the early morning, i met someone on omegle who... i don't know what to say. first
we tried to guess each other's names, which was very amusing. i gave him these three clues:

1. it begins with a vowel & ends with a consonant
2. the places of the letters sum to forty-two
3. a vigenere cipher, with the name itself as the key, yields "awiu"

it didn't take him that long to work out mine. it took me three or four hours to guess his, which had this format:
xyxyn, where x's are consonants & y's are vowels. you can't imagine how many names i came up with that fit this
template, all while missing a very common & obvious one. i was curled up against my bedroom door with a
notebook, swapping letters into the blanks. when it finally hit me, i couldn't believe i'd missed it

then... he said lots of things that were like he'd read my most private thoughts for years & had a detailed
understanding of the ideal sentences i could ever want a person to say to me, to the point that it felt surreal. this
made me tremble unlike any previous occasion in my life that i have trembled. then nine hours sort of disappeared
in a dreamlike state. light conversation with him, not expecting to sit on my bed for nine hours, foggy, periodically
drifting in & out of light sleep, hungry, thirsty, feeling the buildup of a weary feeling that wraps around my whole
being if i jerk in & out of sleep cycles. now, more than anything, i just feel very drowzy & disoriented... maybe i am
just one of many types of people & each type's ideal sort of sentences are like a preexisting body that one can learn

anyway, i can't do this, it's not how i'm supposed to form relationships... i'm. supposed to develop relationships, build
friendships that can, if it's right, blossom into romance, or, i mean, people do meet each other & be primarily romantic
from the start sometimes, i think, it's just. i mean. the conversation was unique, yes, but. i can't be washed over by
first conversations with people whose conversations wash over people who are washed over... i don't know. i'm
very hungry & tired. i feel very frail, physically & mentally. i can't wait to get a lot of sleep tonight


april 5th. a squirrel in the mouth of the parking lot of the apartments just stared at my brother's car as we drove right up to it

i got my blood drawn. then i got a shot. i ritualistically wore the outfit i had on the last time i got my blood drawn. prior to the draw, i anxiously
ambled around a park near the clinic, listening to cheerful music, trying not to contemplate the immediate future. right before i went in, a freaking
wasp landed right on the door. i was kept outside for a whole minute because it wouldn't go away! long story short, i now have less blood
& more estrogen. that's the situation, not sure what other descriptive frills to apply. one of the april specials at the coffee shop was
a latte flavored with lavender & roses, called the "leather & lace." i had to go up & ask for a "hot leather & lace."
it tasted okay, not as strange as i hoped. the one with just lavender was more strange

when i got home, i had received a gift in the mail: an lp of "wee tam" by the incredible string band.
only "wee tam," because although it's a double album, it was issued in america as two separate albums


april 6th. i went into a sparse patch of forest to discard some mozzarella sticks i didn't want anymore. a squirrel
must have failed to navigate some branches, because twigs rained down around me, then the squirrel itself landed
right by me with a bassy thump & took off in a panic. later i received more gifts in the mail: fake flowers, a
cross stitch kit of a chihuahua in its water bowl, & two big bags of strawberry grandma candies


april 8th. at half past midnight, i brushed my teeth. a big chunk of the back of a molar that i have a
filling in just cracked off, all the way from the top to the bottom of the tooth. fortunately, with
the filling, the nerves aren't exposed. but i guess i'm not saving that tooth. i really thought it was
going to be ok. i'm disturbed & upset... later that day, i set a date to get it looked at: june 1st


april 9th. i lied in bed listening to birds & addictively ate spicy lime chips that have a tendency to make me kind
of sick. a tiny bit of the dust got in my eye somehow. i convulsed in pain. then i took the trolley to the coffee
shop. it started storming really hard during the ride. the stop is about two blocks away, & i had to run with my
backpack over my head. when i got to the shop a girl walked up to me with a puppy in her arms & said "my
dog keeps obsessing over you." she & her friend expected me to appease the dog by petting it. i did


april 11th. i sat under a park pavilion while an alienatingly normal white nuclear family had a cookout nearby. because i was sitting near them,
i guess for some reason i briefly felt like i was associated with them, like i'd drove there with them & i was just sitting there reading as a
comfortable member of the group. i could have never really felt comfortable around them, realistically (the dad saw the son playfully
chase a girl, & expressed relief at him apparently being straight), but for a second i was able to not think about it beyond that
feeling. i felt a sense of unconcerned belonging that i don't think i've felt, or been able to remember feeling, since i was maybe
around ten. i've been totally alienated from how it can actually feel good to comfortably feel like one is part of a family


april 12th. i received another gift in the mail: an lp of "the big huge," by the incredible string band


april 15th. i stopped by my sociology teacher's office to turn in a late assignment &
she gave me... socks, she bought me socks. ten cute pairs of socks with koalas &
flowers & polka dots... i thought about it the whole time i was walking home


april 16th. i watched "portrait of a lady on fire" with my friend dawn. it was very good


april 17th. i woke up to a fan blowing under the carpet, a trash can under a leak in the ceiling... our hallway & bathroom
sort of flooded again. it's actually making me kind of nostalgic for when this happened around the same time last
year. i'd like if it were a tradition haha... later i poked my eye with the corner of a chocolate bar wrapper


april 19th. i'm blissful today, i'm blissful in spring like a seasonally adapted creature, this is how i'm choosing to think of
myself... the weather is perfect. on campus the clouds shaded patches of the landscape in a way that was beautiful & surreal.
i chased a squirrel into a tree it had no egress from & shook the branches to antagonize it. i got a shot. i made the nurse
laugh. she said, "let me just confirm, five ccs- er, zero point five ccs," & i said, "one gallon..." i packed rubber
gloves so i could go get a burger & be able to stand touching it (oil). i took nice photos. i went to the
coffee shop. when i got there, a song from velocity : design : comfort was playing on the p.a.


april 22nd. i received a gift in the mail: a stuffed estrogen molecule


april 23rd. in the early morning, i took a long, hot shower in the dark. i'm not sure i've ever showered in the dark before. it was good.
when i got up for school, though, i had to blow dry my bangs in a hurry, which had me really neurotic about them during class. immediately
after, instead of just waiting a few hours to go home & blow dry them better, i walked out into the hall, took a pair of scissors & a hand
mirror out of my purse, examined my bangs, & mistakenly cut a band of hairs in the middle a good deal too short, creating a narrow arch.
i immediately realized what i'd done & got physical anxiety, face hot with pinpricks in my cheeks. now, well... there's nothing i
can do but wait for the hairs to grow out again. at least it's not as bad as the time i had one eyebrow visible, just one...


april 24th. bad cynical music was playing as i woke up. i sprang out of bed & started uncoordinatedly getting
dressed, ready to leave the apartment & sprint wherever my whims took me first thing in the morning,
in frustrated opposition to the music. by the time i had gotten dressed, i had calmed down

later, i got in a car after it had been sitting in the sun & accumulating heat like a greenhouse. it seemed
like i hadn't done that in a long time. i was struck, because i'd forgotten how good it can feel. later, i
motivated myself to read a chapter of a textbook in this way: for each tenth of the chapter, i ate a sugar
cookie, a babybel cheese, & a maraschino cherry, then walked around in the sun for three minutes


april 27th. the humane society brought dogs to the college. i sat in a circle with some people &
pet dogs. one of the dogs would try to eat people's phones. later, i used my phone to record
a squealing hawk. then i found a lost bracelet on a picnic table, it said "small soft boy"

that night, as i was putting ingredients on a tortilla, the image of a particular nondescript roundabout at the south edge of town appeared in my
head & inexplicably gave me an emotional glimmer of pure ease, everything about existence feeling so ok & comfortable in a way that felt so simple
& familiar that it seemed impossible that i could've ever forgotten it or lost my grasp on it. like the chirping bugs outside assumed a constantly
delightful & peaceful internal meaning that they'd once always had until i became constantly distracted from it, or prone to pressure myself
to feel it, & maybe, briefly, i was living back in a time before i could care enough about my body to feel trapped in it, & also, briefly,
it felt like i might make a friend without incessantly gnawing at over-complicated questions about my motivations, or what it means to
make a friend, etc, pulling me into my own head & removing me from every moment. then, in spite of what i said about the familiar
simplicity, it disappeared in less than a second & the feeling of always being just a tiny bit spaced-out took hold again


april 29th. at the start of class, i dropped my pen. it landed point down & left a little line on my shirt. i immediately felt anxiety well
up in my face again. i had trouble focusing on the lecture for a little while. i guess having unfavorable physical permanence shoved in
my face out of nowhere can kind of freak me out even if it's very minor. not that it was actually permanent. when i got home, i easily
removed the stain by dabbing it with rubbing alcohol. i wouldn't have felt so anxious if i had realized at the time that i could
do that. as i walked home, i managed to scare another squirrel into a small tree it had no egress from & stare up at it

later, as i walked home from the store, two unrelated men, each on a different form of two-wheeled
transportation, called out to me as they passed. the first, on a motorcycle, said "hey girl!"
the second, on a bicycle, said "readin' 'n walkin's dangerous! (smile, chuckle)"


april 30th. i found a new umbrella identical to the one i lost, the one i was trying to recover
on a certain day in late 2019 when i first heard the song "small car big wheels" by enjoy

i watched some geese graze in a field. i managed to detach myself & view the scene in that really beautiful & somewhat
childlike way where, in some sense, you may prefer a photograph or video of an unknown place to actually knowing
that place, because your experience of it isn't subconsciously informed by its position relative to other locations,
placing a bunch of baggage on it. for a little while, i faced forward towards a field, not southeast towards a
field with the buildings past the treeline inhabiting the back of my head. i opened my umbrella & spun it
around out of a desire to teasingly communicate with the geese in some vague animal way. they didn't react

during my walk home, for the first time of the year, i stopped to cool off in a
gas station's "beer cave." that's the last thing that happened in april, i guess


may 1st. i ate sushi. because i was alone, the waiter made an awkward joke about sitting & joining me. this time i tried a
california roll. i didn't like it much. i went to a music store, thumbed through each spot on the vinyl rack, moved my
favorite albums or covers to the front. i ambled around a cemetery. i often end up at the same grave of an infant
from 1902, the one most tucked away in the northwest corner. i walked around unfamiliar suburbs in the
dark, listened to "chocolate girl" a lot. i nearly went all the way downtown at night, a barrier i've
never broken. one of the songs during my walk back was "cinthya's unisex..." walking on a pitch
black street with jamie stewart going NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO in my ears


may 2nd. right by a computer i use in the student center, a lady gave free massages as part of the college's initiative to
help people destress during finals week. the idea of getting one felt very... wrong? it really feels like letting anyone
touch me who isn't my (nonexistent...) soul mate would be some kind of weird, manipulative, or treacherous act...
later, i climbed up on a small tree. then i got a shot. i showed the nurse my stuffed estrogen molecule


may 5th. my teacher wrote "wow - you are an amazing writer!" on my essay about Ernestine
Friedl's "Society & Sex Roles." that made me feel good. on the back, she even wrote:

I hope having the room to read, reflect, & write about these topics has been beneficial to you.
I would urge you to continue writing on your own. I can imagine a book or blog actually, not
for the public, necessarily, although that would be your choice - Anonymous/pseudonyms
exist for a very good reason. / I hope you are considering graduate school at some
point because your academic abilities & intellect are truly stellar!

i went to the math building. i wrote the quadratic formula on all the hallway whiteboards, in case it could have benefited
anyone to see it there prior to the exam
. in the library, i found a book from my childhood. i checked it out. it's a very
good children's novel called Maniac Magee. i walked around a patch of forest, stewing over the quality of "tackiness"
& the idea of a style of images of nature looping around to corrupt the perception of actual nature. on the
bright side, what put me in this mood was maybe one of the prettiest photos i've ever taken

i bought a scented candle, like i had at the start of the last summer break. i decided very quickly on the one i wanted. something
about it really caught me off guard, like a chalky or waxy quality some of them have. i smelled a lot of them & thought about a
nostalgic time bomb my mom sort of planted in my brain by constantly buying scented candles for my entire childhood then dying

at the cemetery again, i loudly said "is that a fresh grave?!" & ambled over to investigate with my boba tea & my
Bath & Body Works bag. it was, which freaked me out... the woman buried there passed on march twentieth

later, as i walked home across a big parking lot, a streetlight went out & made the
whole place dark exactly at the same time as the first cymbal hit in "grass"


may 6th. the crazy preacher was on campus again. i got him to say that capitalism is in the bible. i just immediately dropped to the
ground, lied face down on the pavement... later, i walked up & stood next to him. he said i wasn't associated. i loudly said "yes
i am! we're associated!"... then, over several minutes: "i swear to god, during the drive over he was saying we were gonna talk
about marxism! what's gotten into you, brother tom?! what's happening?! this isn't you!!! I'VE KNOWN YOU FOR FIFTEEN
WATCH THIS ANYMORE! YOU'RE DEAD TO ME!" ... then i walked away squeal-crying really loudly for a long
time. he just brings this really dumb humor & energy out of me, it's like i'm a different person...

oh, i also reminded him of the fuit gummy incident a year ago. i showed him i still have the packet
of fuit gummies a guy gave me. his response: an exasperated "what did we learn from that?!"


may 8th. i writhed on my bed & rubbed my forearms on my forehead, then realized i must look like when a cat
is doing something really weird. i have a sad tendency to get endlessly distracted by tasks, never just revel
in the joy of physically existing like that. later, i got really excited out of nowhere, jumped around my
room, yelping? (no closer verb). the lighting in my room, the smell of bleach from the laundry, as i
remembered it's the end of the semester, it all just made me really happy for a few seconds


may 10th. i took the first of my three finals, for gender roles. we simply presented our media reviews. the
teacher brought cookies, juice, & fruit gummies. after we were done, i was the last to leave. she felt
compelled to give me a paper menu she had from a nearby vietnamese restaurant. i've never been there.
i don't think i've ever had vietnamese food. i've decided i have to go, that it's my fate... that night,
i tidied up my room, made it feel fairly akin to how it did at the start of the last summer break


may 11th. i took some nice photos. i tried a black bean hummus wrap at the coffee shop.
it was really good. "ruler of everything" started playing on a p.a. as i typed this


may 12th. i walked around in the sun, drank snapple, read vonnegut, like the last summer break. a small truck with a diesel
engine drove by. i remembered how my school buses forced me to love the smell of diesel exhaust. i also loved the smell
of a cigarette a woman smoked at a picnic table. she was with a coworker. it wasn't the first time i'd loitered around
while those two women talked at that table, one of them smoking. i loved an orange cat with a missing eye that
watched me from under a truck. i wore the bunnies in hot air balloons shirt, the long black floral skirt,
& to tie it all together... limited edition jerkcity socks featuring pants & deuce


may 13th. i took my final final, my algebra final. i walked around in the sun among geese. i saw goslings. a guy
spraying stuff on plants asked me if i like wildflowers, if i'd like to see some. he showed me blue-eyed prairie
grass & bee balm. he talked to another guy who laughed at the name "spiderwort." i saw big turtles, a hawk, a
black snake, a baby bird up close, & there were bits of dismembered shellfish all over. there was a good moment
with warm sunlight & birdsong where i felt like i was being treated so sweetly by the world just for existing

i banged my leg on the chair in my room for the first time in a long time, as if inaugurating
spring. the recurring scrapes, bruises, scabs, on the exaaact same spot. like the day the
hummingbird flew by my head, & i banged the scab on a doorframe, & it oozed blood

i'm a communications major now. i've been hoping for several years
to work my way up to having a radio show at the college


may 14th. yesterday, goslings, freedom, sunlight, unfettered happiness. today, surrounded by the lush greenness i've waited months
& months for but eaten alive by guilt, whimpering out loud even, feeling inhabited by so many terrible things, desirous of the
ability to voluntarily forget, lacking distraction from rumination... well, this is all ok. important, even. it's good that
guilt can deny the delight of lush greenness, & it's good to have a sufficient conscience for it to do so

to be clear, i got out to the nature trail. i veered off into the brush, making a pact with myself that i'd hurry out once i had to
brush a single tick off of my leg. this happened quickly. i had to brush off three more as i ran out. that was upsetting. so i
spent a while longer on the paved path. there was a whole guitar abandoned in the grass. i went to a park, sat near a young
child's birthday party while i had an uncomfortable conversation over text, got splashed with water balloons, was
conciliatorily offered a slice of cake but declined. i found chalk hopscotch that went all the way up to 154.
the back of a man's shirt informed me that his rights didn't end where my feelings began

i left, started listening to "ale" by xiu xiu on repeat, explored rural roads. i passed a spot that still stands out to me
as a randonaut location. i passed a small path leading up to someone's porch step, on which there sat a tiny rubber
figurine of a hen
. it started to rain a little, so i ran several blocks back to the park. when i got there, it hadn't
quite started raining, & i suddenly found myself desperately wanting the little hen figurine as a memento of
the day. so i walked all the way back to that house, risking getting rained on, & took it. i made it back
! i sat for a while, trapped by rain under the pavilion, still listening to "ale"

my brother arrived to pick me up. i got in the car & stopped listening to "ale." when we were almost home, i realized i'd
forgotten the hen. i actually felt kind of hot in my face, it made me so sad... i told him i'd forgotten something. he
drove me back. i didn't tell him what we were driving back for, on account of it being a little figurine of a hen


may 17th. in the early morning, i went on omegle & ended up having an incredibly difficult &
unexpected conversation. i think to go into any further detail would be very inappropriate

i went into my bathroom to put moisturizer on my face but went on autopilot & brushed my teeth a whole second time
almost without noticing. later, i got a shot. there was a poetry night at the coffee shop. i quickly improvised something
around a thought i'd had on the trolley earlier. i went up & read it in front of six or seven people. it was this:

public transportation takes each person past the same geography, but they find wildly varying permutations of
fixtures & angles to lock their eyes on & dig their thoughts into, intimately familiar with their own internal
geographies, the inarticulable significance of this awning or that balcony. until the bus passes maybe
a statue or monument, & maybe the passengers rally around it, albeit without realizing

even in retrospect, i feel incapable of gauging whether there is anything pretentious or
insufferable about this, because it feels like... all bets are off when you're writing on
the fly for six or seven people at a poetry night in a coffee shop. it's ok if it's stupid

i scheduled my covid shot. i walked around downtown at night, saw what there was to see, tested how
far i could go from the safety of a certain pub before i got too nervous. everything was very bright,
quiet, empty, still, backed by a/c units all over. i took some nice photos. i felt very spaced out,
dreamlike, desperate for affection, whispered to myself about aspects of affection & how delightful
they would be. when i got home, the frogs & bugs in the field were really loud. i went inside &
found someone loudly playing frog & bug sfx on their phone as a sleep aid... makes you think!!!!!!


may 19th. someone called my hair "very 'just got rescued from a cult but living the life'"


may 20th. i walked along a street lined with booths, filled with people. i was careful. i saw a girl wearing a
billed hat with buddy on it. i saw a guy wearing a hoodie covered in melting buddies. i experimentally ordered
a coffee that turned out to be maybe the worst coffee possible. i investigated a used book store. i walked up
a really tall staircase on the side of an apartment building, which made me super nervous. i discovered
a baffling secret building on a rooftop. then i got my first covid shot

in the back of the coffee shop, the p.a. played "the book of love," "ghost," & "true love will find you in the end"
consecutively. i wrote "Anyone can be innocent" on the chalkboard in my ongoing inability to resist weird chalkboard
. i left my expensive umbrella at two different places, but retrieved it both times. a girl said she
liked my outfit. another girl, who works at the coffee shop, said i'm "so cute," which is perhaps the most extreme
compliment i've received from a person standing in front of me in at least two years


may 21st. once again: my break starts, & i start pacing back & forth in my room so much while i listen to music that my legs
ache terribly. i had a sore throat. around the start of the day, this gave me waves of anxiety. i kept thinking, "what if
i have covid? what if i got it the day of my shot? how will i confidently distinguish it from the side effects?"

i got to see the inside of another person's house, which i hadn't done in a long time. it was an old house. i adored the way
the bathtub looked. i'd love to live in an old house like that. i got to pet a cat. the house was my dad's friend's. i went
with him, her, & two of her friends to a loud event in a loud building that smelled funny. i mostly paced around parts
of the building that weren't so loud, or out on the patio, or in an adjacent bar. not the best time ever

afterward, my dad & i waited for our ride under an awning as it started to rain. he abruptly said a bunch of things
that centered on explicitly asking my pronouns. i kind of just... went selectively mute, but he did eventually
arrive at "is it she??" to which i could nod. & he was like, "well ok you're my daughter!" so that's that then


may 22nd. the vaccine really hit me. it was like the flu. i felt kind of bad at first, but then the sore throat
subsided, & it was like... i had just the medium amount of sickness that feels nostalgic. like a reward


may 23rd. in the early morning, the sick feeling grew past tolerable nostalgia to being
mired in bacterial death burning alive. so i lied in bed for a while like that. i almost cut
my thumb open pitting an avocado again. guess i know what technique to avoid now


may 24th. as i slept, i started having dreams about lying in my bed with the phrase "man under my bed" running
through my head over & over, then woke up with sleep paralysis. only for a few seconds, & no hallucinations,
thank god. i opened my eyes, knowing i had sleep paralysis, knowing i might see the man come out from
under my bed. then i sorta tore myself out of it, lurched up, went "NOOO" out loud. no thank you...

nine days ago, i found an interesting album listed on rym. it's an educational album from 2001. it looks
cute. the listing is totally ignored, & the album now seems to not exist anywhere else on the internet. the
cover art is very low-res. but it has a hotmail address! so i sent an e-mail on the chance that anyone
was still checking it. today, she finally got back to me! she's going to mail me a cd. i'm excited

for most of the day, i just coughed. but late at night, the body aches came back, especially in my legs. i walked
to the store for more cold medicine. i wore a long, flowy skirt that constantly brushed against my legs as
i walked, which isn't what you want when you have flu-like body aches... why didn't i change?!


may 25th. i ate a spicy chip while my throat was still sensitive from the head
cold feeling. it made me cough uncontrollably so hard i almost threw up! my
face was covered in tears. someone on omegle saw this happen to me


may 28th. i bought three more scented candles, then ate a philly roll at a
park. the candles were about sixteen dollars a piece. i need a new plug


may 29th. i almost got sleep paralysis again. i was drifting in & out of sleep, suddenly i opened
my eyes & it was like i could feel it tightening around my limbs. i yelled & thrashed around


may 31st. i accidentally stained the top of my copy of breakfast of champions with jelly, very badly. it
hurts so much to look at that i might buy a new copy. i don't know. i feel dumb when i rely on the existence
of mass produced copies of things instead of just e.g. coping with staining the book. i guess this was the
last thing to happen in may. the june section will open with me getting my broken molar looked at


june 1st. well, i promised this one would open with me getting a dental exam. i did do that. i waited a month
for it, but it was a very awkward & hurried thing. i expected them to tell me the molar needed to be pulled
but, shockingly, they told me a root canal was still feasible & referred me to the same endodontist

about two weeks ago, while i was in the funny-smelling building, i went into the bathroom & cut my bangs
far too short, short enough that both of my eyebrows are still visible. because of that, i'm walking around
with my full upper peripheral vision for the first time in about five years. my desire for them to
just hurry up & grow out again is the defining feature of this little time period


june 3rd. an orange streetlight & the very last sunlight bleeding out from deep under the horizon
made the view from my porch feel like an attic or a theater stage in the best way. it felt totally
fresh & new to look at. it kind of appealed perfectly to one of those really personal aesthetic
fondnesses you never expect anyone else to understand. i'm really thankful for it

i got an excessively sugary drink just so i could offset the sugariness by drinking it in some autistically
satisfying prolonged way like having the duration between sips be [1/20, 1/19, 1/18 ...] of three hours etc.

i went on a chilly late night walk around my neighborhood & refamiliarized myself with the snaky length-
maximizing path i take. i listened to "the shield that pierces the earth" by dylan nyoukis. i forgot how
good that activity can be, especially with an album like that. i'll have to start maybe going on those
walks in a regimented way again. i saw a fox in someone's yard. it pawed curiously at a tree for
a bit, then hurried away. i also saw a luna moth lying in some grass. i could almost pick it
up, but it would flutter out of my hand & back to the ground, unconcerned


june 4th. i spent much of the day walking large distances, very sleep-deprived. the deprivation manifested as an
anxious meltdown over the music app on my phone bugging out & freezing a lot. i was in a pretty, lush, green place
next to a stream, too, which was sad. i was supposed to be appreciating all of that, not freaking out over a gadget

i had to repeatedly perform a process that rapidly drained my phone's battery, & it died.
i exasperatedly headed back to the student center to charge it. there, i managed to calm down.
i got out my laptop & found myself unexpectedly having an introductory conversation

later, i went to a certain pretzel stand for the first time in over a month. there is an extremely,
sweet bubbly girl who works there. she has been a very appreciated presence in my life for many
months. when my debit card worked on the first try, she instantly recognized that i must have
gotten it replaced & she was excited for me. i saw the chair i got my bangs cut in

overall, i had a nice day. i picked up my medication, scheduled its next injection, went to the coffee
shop... & lastly: i made a friend who i am excited about. she lives one hundred & seventy miles
from me. with my situation thus far, there is a big implied "ONLY" preceding that number


june 5th. ms. boss' album arrived! unfortunately, the cd drive in my laptop didn't work, so i had to walk
out to the store & buy an external one. while i was out, i also bought seven cds. this was on an unrelated
whim, i'll probably never actually play them in the drive. they were: Pet Sounds, Since I Left You,
The Soft Bulletin, Give Up, Skeleton Tree, Crystal Castles II, & Haunted

finally, i got home, ripped the cd, converted it to mp3, tagged it... it turns out it has bit rot!!! that
leads me to believe this is one of the original cds she burned twenty years ago. i'm not really upset about
it. i'm holding off on putting the album on youtube until she e-mails me back & confirms that it'd be ok


june 6th. evie got back to me & said it'd be okay to put the album on youtube


june 7th. at three am i went on a walk to the entire two hour forty six minute album "popular soviet
songs & youth music" by zoviet france. a random black cat followed me for about a block. each time
it came up to me i would sit & let it rub against me insistently. the walk lasted well into sunrise.
i repeated "awk awk awk" to a crow on a building like fifty times. i saw lots of bunnies


june 8th. i spent seven hours combing through my blog, looking for posts i could incorporate into a retroactive
2020 diary. for the first time, i have purchased a used book filled with another person's underlines, highlights,
etc... i enjoy the feeling of distant, anonymous companionship that this elicits. i started reading it today.
it's "an introduction to the three volumes of karl marx's capital" by michael heinrich


june 9th. i paced back & forth in the small parking lot behind the clinic. there was an overhanging tree which had rained
hundreds of obscure berries, possibly mulberries, down onto the blacktop. so i had no choice but to stomp them into juice & jam.
a nurse came outside to throw something away & noticed me. she asked if i'd like to be seen early. i said yes. so i got a shot.
this one hurt more than any of the others, it hurt a good deal. with the thickness of the medication, i guess there can be a
curiously wide variability in how much it hurts. the nurse told me she has to use a bit of force to get it out of the syringe


june 10th. i let a moth cling docilely to my hand for three hours. it had been terrorizing me for the past two nights,
flying around my room while i was trying to sleep. i would cower under my blanket. but we became friends. i walked to
the store & back with it, reading intro to capital. i would try to budge it off onto some other surface temporarily, so that
i could prepare some food, but it'd resist. i got really hungry because of this. eventually i deposited it on my
window screen for possible future re-obtainment, ate some fried pickles, & fell asleep for a while


june 11th. i spent one hundred & fifty dollars on non-refundable bus tickets to iowa, so i can go
& meet my best friend of two years face-to-face for the first time over the fourth of july weekend. then
i realized how terrifying of a prospect this is when i have literally never traveled out of my city alone.
so i then had three weeks to deliberate about it. then i read the children's novel i read in elementary
school & found myself curiously filled with sharpened disdain for 1000 gecs as a direct result


june 12th. i woke up & found a frog in my kitchen. i trapped it in a tupperware container & released it outside

i wrote a tag called "soulseeknote_soulseekcutie" to all 35,500+ of my mp3s. it said this: "if you're reading
this, it means that this file once passed through the library of the soulseek user "soulseekcutie," aka alex,
aka me. that is, unless someone specifically decided to mess with me by coping this tag onto their own
files which i had never interacted with. hopefully not, though. i hope you have a nice day


june 14th. i felt sort of anxious that my friendship with the person 170 miles away was just petering out after
a week or so. maybe not, but i felt anxious that it was the case. i felt like i'd been talking about myself too much.
i guess that would scan with so much of my talking being here, in this format. i had a feeling hanging over me like
if i drag myself to the rightmost .05% of the "encountering people" bell curve, that's what waits there... a briefly
exciting friendship that peters out is significantly exceptional. meaningful friendship meanwhile waits in the
rightmost .001%. it feels like waiting one geological eon per tentative candidate of friendship

it turned out to be ok, she reached back out to me & asked for my username on a different
app... ultimately, though, our interactions definitely did sort of diminish over the coming weeks


june 15th. the big moth was still living in my room. i was glad to find it still alive. a moth doesn't have what
it needs in a bedroom. it was missing a bit of fur from its back, & seemed like it was having trouble flying.
i hoped it was okay. i plucked off a bit of fuzz that was stuck on its wing, brought it out to the porch

i haven't been taking the best care of myself lately, but today i drank a lot of water & got half an hour of sun
light on all my limbs. i walked around the backyard & read more of breakfast of champions. i'm near the end

i came back a while later to find that the moth had died on the porch. i felt a bit monstrous about that, that
i'd formed a connection with it yet neglected for so long to simply grab it & bring it outside. i picked
up its husk, brought it inside, placed it on the top shelf of my cabinet. i don't know

i fell asleep listening to sun ra & the incredible string band. as i dozed off, something told me to
place a shot glass over the husk so that ants wouldn't find it. the idea of using a shot glass
felt strange. kind of... strange. trashy, gnarly, seedy. regardless, i dozed off


june 16th. i woke up to find that ants had discovered the moth, & were dismantling it

oh well

my dad took me shoe shopping, then we went & got sushi. when i got home, i watched a youtube tutorial on how to tie my
shoes. maybe twenty-two will be the age that i truly, definitively learn it! then i spent a lot of the day continuing to put an
obsessive degree of time & effort into my retroactive 2020 journal. when i fell asleep at around one in the morning,
i had only pushed forward to may 20th. i think the density of things to include will start to thin out, though

around ten pm, i took off running aimlessly through my neighborhood in the dark on a tiny whim. i wasn't following the whim
while i crossed my living room to the front door, it only took hold once i'd wandered onto the parking lot. a little embarrassing
that this represents a significant spike in my usual spontaneity, it should be closer to the average. i thought i had more to
say. i hope i'm not forgetting anything. i had most of this description, or at least this first paragraph of it, written
& looping in my head as i headed home, of course. i can't ever stop writing things out in my head

in my head, i wrote part of a post about something i only imagined, too. i imagined that i met someone
else who was aimlessly running around the neighborhood on a tiny whim, who i got along with.
i imagined him asking me what i was doing & me collapsing onto some grass as i answered

i also imagined the things i'd say to try to reassure a paranoid person who confronted me like i was a miscreant, that
i needed to exercise this spontaneity but i would only stick to the roads, i would never dream of disrespecting someone's
right to feel safe & private in their own home. i also imagined that black cat running up to me again. i also imagined
slipping on a patch of gravel along a pitch black stretch of road & falling in a way that left my face bleeding,
or a big gash on my hand. i probably imagined throwing up from exhaustion at some point

i also imagined the motion jostling my compromised molar & causing an unprecedented wave of constant pain that left
me screaming on the ground in a woman's yard, & that she called 911 but for the police instead of an ambulance,
& the police were mean to me. i imagined framing their cruelty more clearly by specifying in my description
that the moment at which they arrived only reflected pathetic helplessness & not the spontaneity with
which i had been running around, which perhaps they could have read some unhinged quality into


june 17th. i wrote a short review of charles dodge's "synthesized voices"

i once again walked along a street lined with booths & crammed with people. i got my second covid shot. the
lady who administered the shot said the side effects might be worse this time. but the old lady who observed
us for fifteen minutes, who was very sweet, said they'd be better. so i guess we'll see. the way i incessantly
moved my arm after each shot looked like i should've been singing a sea shanty. based on how
my arm feels four hours later, i think it's going to ache a good deal more this time

i walked past a jeep with a qanon sticker, an "i heart my yorkie" sticker, & an "i heart my german
shepherd" sticker. i went to the coffee shop. i drew a tangly thing on the chalkboard. i heard two
abba songs on the intercom & firmly decided to look more into their music after years & years of
thinking of them as music for dr who fans. i wanted so badly to know the title of the first one
(angeleyes) that i cursed at a music identification website on my phone as it loaded very slowly

i was unexpectedly taken aback by a short, unexceptional description of two people roman-
tically dancing in a short story in a magazine. i sort of wheeze-sobbed, precisely once

i petted the fluffiest dog i've ever touched. it was a baby pomeranian. i went into a little art gallery
& briefly talked to an old R. Stevie Moore-looking painter named Philip about three of his paintings that
were on display. they were of Andy Warhol, John Lennon, & a police car "burning rubber." we talked a little
about early electronic music. he said he likes Switched On Bach. he said he likes my hair. someone else
had a $150 photo titled "Revolution" on display. it depicted a guy fawkes mask sitting on a table

i walked up & down a very compact sort of spiral staircase that i've never been on before. i went into
a bar & encountered C again after a good deal of months. i briefly sat with her & two of her friends.
everything was suddenly very loud & vicariously social for a few minutes, then they departed.
her farewell side hug was my first friendly physical contact in a long time

while i was sitting with them, i felt sort of awkward & out of place, like there was an invisible barrier between
me & them. it elicited a familiar sensation in my eyes, like they're broadcasting sadness against my will.
i'm never sure if they're really doing anything that other people can see. regardless, i tried to hide it by
opening my book & staring at it even though it was too loud for me to process any of the words

i ambled around the area alone for a bit, walked along a sidewalk reading breakfast of champions, sat in the bar &
did the same. a girl who works at the coffee shop & always says "hi" to me & called me "so cute" in may said she
likes my bangs. another girl ("J," i would come to know her as) asked what book i was reading, & said she loves
vonnegut. palahniuk too, but she understood if that stuff was too stomach-churning. at some point i realized i'd
left my phone's charger in the coffee shop, so i had to quickly get a ride home from my brother before it died

during the ride home, i stared out the window & thought about how usually when i stare out the window of a car
i still fixate on the little story of how i'm in a linear transition from one part of the night to the other, instead
of trying to forget all of that & just spend a few minutes calmly feeling like a detached awareness
of a bunch of locations. so this time, i did manage to do that & it felt good


june 19th. i felt weird today. i made a song. i didn't do much else. it felt like i barely
thought anything the whole day. i finished breakfast of champions. it was my third night
after getting the second covid shot. the soreness at the injection site disappeared,
& no symptoms replaced it. maybe this one will be smooth sailing!


june 20th. i briefly woke up & drowzily ate a frosted sugar cookie. while i was eating the frosted
sugar cookie, i felt a tickle on my leg. i looked & saw what looked to me like a small black spider but
was probably just a mosquito running insistently toward me. i flung myself out of bed, flung the frosted
sugar cookie to the floor... later, i spent a while making minimal arrangements in audacity
& watching them scroll by like staring at a fish tank or model trains driving around


june 21st. i messed up my bangs so badly in may that i feel like i've had to just temporarily, but harshly,
kill off every visual aesthetic aim i'd been trying to keep to, like going cold turkey. i have no choice. my
eyebrows are unavoidably visible, it's just over. until several weeks or months from now. it's probably just
good for me, i mean, "visual aesthetic aim," how disgusting! look your body in the eye, alex, you scared ape!

the temperature today was perfect, so i decided i had to get out to the nature trail. i decided to take a more
roundabout four-mile path there, which i suspected would have less traffic & thus be quieter. well, it turned
out to be longer & about as loud, but i still enjoyed the novel terrain, walking among farmland

i reached a very busy road, made a very dumb decision to try to jaywalk through some
backed-up traffic until, as i was halfway across, it started moving in both directions
& i had to hold up one lane briefly as i sprinted back to the curb

eventually i found myself exploring unfamiliar suburbs. an alphabetic sequence of songs played
that felt perfect. it was during the first, the magnetic fields - courtesans that i looked up, saw two
large birds perch on the top branch of a tree, & the time of day & everything else began to feel
beautiful, separate from the mundane din that had mostly characterized the walk up to that point

then crystal castles - courtship dating. then incredible string band - cousin caterpillar as i walked along
a stretch of road so pretty that i'm sure it'll have a lasting association with the song, & also as i saw an
old woman exit her house walking two big dogs, & it felt like i was supposed to see her in that place,
at that time, with that song. she wore a pink sun hat, a tan dress, white leggings. it all seemed to
communicate a good soul. then they might be giants - cowtown as i looked up & saw a street
sign with a highly relevant name, even flinched at it. then fleet foxes - crack-up

later, i abruptly found myself at a small yard sale. i was the only person there, aside from the owners, of
course. an old married couple who ate popsicles & put great effort into removing a big blue tarp from a trailer
so i could look at the stuff under. a yard sale can be such a melancholy & bittersweet thing, with too much to
meaningfully document or describe, bearing witness to the expulsion of what feels like so much speculative
personal history encapsulated in objects. a stack of waterlogged vinyls. i pet their cat. it had
a stubbed tail. the wife told me that the husband had cancer in his kidneys

they were giving it all away for free. i took these four things: the white bear on the left in that last photo.
a stuffed bunny. a very soft stuffed possibly-bunny, & a cassette recorded in 1997. it features a local pastor,
whose name i've heard before. the title suggests he is reading scripture, but it may be a recorded sermon.
i took it more as a curiosity than as a religious... tool, or whatever. they gave me a plastic sack from
a grocery store to carry it all in
. so i set off for the nature trail with the bunny's head poking
out of the sack, showing it the world beyond its old home [1] [2] [3] [4]

by now, i was just brimming, brimming, brimming. i feel a need for everything happening around me to be a properly
written journal entry as it's happening. but i'm just out there on my phone, i can only take notes. endless eustress.
life constantly acts on me, forces me to think things, to daydream, & it's an endless flow of raw material with which
to produce, if i choose, to refine into descriptions that might carry any meaning or value for anyone. the endless
choice: to put in energy, to record, to refine, or to just abandon a given thing, let it fade from memory

as i arrived at the nature trail, i decided it should be another outing where i listened to current
93 - the bench & the fetch
over & over. so i started doing that. i didn't stop until i got home.
i ended up listening to it twenty-six times, totaling about one hour & forty-four minutes.
eventually i was whispering or mouthing the lyrics without really noticing

also as i approached the trail, i began to experience a rapid & causeless shift to an "everything is so beautiful that
i don't know what to DO about it" sort of causelessly special day, a kind of impossible-to-directly-cultivate thing
to only hope for. i ran up a hill to an elevated clearing off away from the path, to pee. it was after i peed that
this causeless shift seemed to peak. i must emphasize how fundamental of a shift in the day this was

i stood at the top of a small, gravely, sunlit hill & i became a child again for several minutes. for no reason! sometimes you just walk over
to a clearing in the woods & become a child again for no reason. usually you don't, but sometimes you do. everything cynical, & bitter, & akin
to the cultural hellfire that Italo Calvino said we form by being together, was gone. i felt free. i hopped around, i raised my fists, i skipped,
i mindlessly tried to pull an enormous tree branch out of a pit but didn't have the strength. i had to prance & leap the energy out of me, making
a raggedly happy sound, like a shredded up beginning of a laugh. it probably has a name. the best thing that can happen seemed to have happened:
the tyranny of the mundanity i seem forced to ascribe to every moment had lifted. i daydreamed of a friendly stranger approaching me, of
taking his hands & reciting the song's lyrics as i heard them, of this being delightful & stimulating & not disconcerting [5]

this was mostly all fixed in words even before i began to type about it on my phone, so maybe it was diminished
at that point. still, though, it was very real & i'm very grateful to have felt it. & after this point i still felt like
i was in a dream, walking along the trail, through the woods, sometimes carrying my bunny in its sack or
sometimes hugging it, sometimes holding its face to my neck as though i were really comforting a small creature

the setting sun filtering through the trees, butterflies, greenness, as i felt that the context around every moment was all
that separated it from being heavenly, how it was only the act of forgetting the context around this moment that made it feel
free-of-cost, unconditional, immaterial, God-given. just for a little while. i felt benevolently crazy & only wanted to lean
into it. i thought about how every physical action seems like a spiritual communion with every absolute concept or adjective
that can be tied to it, like exploring a dense immaterial web. at this point my phone was close to dying

this sort of headspace always comes with a buried fear, an anxiety, a need for it all to be real, valid, for
none of it to seem to other people like something ephemeral or juvenile or embarrassing, to not... to
not... to not come off like those screenshots you see. someone is on a psychedelic drug, & they post
a photograph of a bathroom tile & caption it "oh christ, oh my god," & you're "supposed" to laugh

i walked to a gas station & messaged my brother for a ride home. i ate fig newtons as i waited for him. as we drove home
i ate fig newtons & still felt like i was in a dream, & the current 93 song mingled with slipknot - psychosocial but
i didn't care. everything mingled in a stew to experience, the good & the bad, the song was still the opposite of
me, still representative of terrible ills in my eyes, but i didn't feel attacked by it, my awareness of its being
the opposite of me only stood as an unemotional confirmation of my self-conception, of my virtues

finally i got home, stopped listening to the song, & wrote all of this out restlessly. this is an
entry where i particularly hope i haven't forgotten anything, one where i hope i've portrayed
each thing in the manner that i found myself wanting it to be portrayed as it was happening


june 22nd. i tried to watch Mulholland Drive with my friend but there were internet problems, so
we just talked for a while. i picked Mulholland Drive out of a list of five movies they presented.
it was tough, i found them all very fascinating. the other four were "Who's Afraid of
Virginia Woolf?," "Paris, Texas," "Before Sunrise," & "Dog Day Afternoon"


june 23rd. a guy who does maintenance stuff for the landlord whistled very delightfully while he
screwed a garden hose onto the faucet on the back of the building. then i got a shot. a girl in the
waiting room said she really liked my new shoes. the shot didn't hurt this time. the nurse said
that was her gold star for the day. she said she thought my phone case was really cute.
she liked how the pop socket even matches. then i walked to the coffee shop

as i walked, a short story quickly came together in my head, almost entirely. as soon as i got to the shop, i sat
down & wrote it out frantically, not wanting to forget anything. later i ordered a soda flavored with pineapple
& rose. the rose taste was very strong in this one. it actually had crushed up rose petals in it, they were
embedded in the ice cubes. there was live music in the back. at one point a guy played a synthesizer, which
made normal piano sounds. it was actually really proficient (to my wholly untrained ears) & beautiful

later, i sat in a bar on my laptop. by this point the ice cubes had melted & i was just. getting mouthfuls of petals with each
sip. it was absurd. i called a taxi, then a nice girl named J found a stack of quarters in the back of the bar & invited me to
take turns competing at skee ball. i willfully missed my taxi while we were playing. i scored 230, then 170, then, with the
last quarter, i won with 250! OH YEAH!!! she asked my name & shook my hand. i decided that missing the taxi was my
lease to go out & wander the empty streets for a while, now that i knew the wait time wouldn't be absurd once i needed one!

well, i didn't actually wander that much. i stood outside. J came out & talked to me a little. i told her i like to take
photographs & make electronic music, that i use ableton, that i like to wander around at night. we were actually standing
in front of the window through which i took that photo of the creepy tables with drapes. i told her that. she despised
a fake Christmas tree visible through the window, called it dystopic & capitalist & some other adjectives. or maybe
it was the room as a whole. she sent me a Facebook friend request, then everyone went back in the bar.
fittingly, but coincidentally, i sat outside & read more of "introduction to capital"

eventually J came out & asked what book i was reading. i showed her. she said she was once in a leftist reading
group but, well, left because she was too lazy to read the books. then her friend & about three other people came
out & everyone started chatting. J's friend is the barista who has called my hair & shirt cute, etc. i've still
never caught her name. i just kind of sat against a wall & took in the incoherent overlap of voices. i thought
about something that i thought about yesterday too: loneliness in a crowd, & the idea that loneliness is
inside, that proximity to others, even proximity to a hyperbolic army of soul mates, means nothing
if some structure inside of you is truly devoted to complete reclusion

everyone went inside. i read for a while longer. i truly, truly wanted to go in & socialize with these two
friends who seemed to have a mutual interest in being my friend, but every fiber of my being simply
forbids anything like that. the bar closed. i called another taxi & waited inside with everyone

a girl told of a man named Patrick who had been stalking someone she knew. she said Patrick had left a roll of duct tape in that
person's car. it had "too crazy" written on it. or, as J noted, possibly "to crazy" or "two crazy," since we had only heard the
phrase. J also noted that every option was bad. the girl recounted meeting Patrick. she demonstrated on J the overbearing way
he had shaken her hand by taking both her hand & elbow, & had said "hi, i'm Patrick! & you are?" in a way that has been sort
of haunting me. because i understand the unsettling quality of the enunciation, but i can't articulate it. but i want to articulate it

eventually everyone but me had about dispersed. J & her friend
offered me a ride home, so i cancelled the taxi & went with them

J's friend played several songs, one of which J was involved with. i didn't want to keep them waiting, & in my haste
i left my backpack! we had to turn back & get it. then she played a cover of 4 non blondes - what's up & kept loudly
proclaiming it the "lesbian anthem" while J denied that. when we got to my house, J said that we're going to be
friends. it was presumptuously confident in a deadpan humor way that i could tell was characteristic
of her. they extended an open invitation to play video games at their house

there's an open mic tomorrow! i'm finally, assuming no complications arise,
going to go & play "meadow!" i've been waiting fourteen months for this!


june 24th. it's not apparent in the photos, but the white bear i got at the yard sale has a halo
& pink angel wings. today i realized i could use the halo to attach the bear to my water bottle,
then to my purse by the water bottle. so i walked around with the bear. i hope it doesn't put
too much stress on the halo's attachment to its head. i'll have to keep an eye on that

i arrived at the coffee shop & finally caught J's friend's name. unfortunately, it also starts with J, so with my
single-letter policy the two are indistinguishable. i don't know how much i'll actually be referring to either of
these people going forward, but i'll keep using "J" for the girl i played skee ball with & "J's friend' for the girl
who always compliments me. for instance, today she complimented my shoes which prompted me to spin around
& display them without really thinking about it, & she made a sound as if she adored that movement. she also
apologized, for being drunk & loudly proclaiming what's up the "lesbian anthem"

i've had a tradition going with J's friend for several months. there were several consecutive occasions
that i walked in & immediately ordered a cherry soda while she happened to be there. eventually, she began
asking each time i walked in if i was ordering a cherry soda. so i've acquiesced to immediately ordering
a cherry soda any time she is there, for the sake of fanning the fun little tradition

i spent a while adding to my 2020 journal. one of the sound guys arrived, & i consulted him to make sure i'd
be able to hook up my laptop without incident this time. he said he'd take care of me. he asked my name,
& said his partner's name is Alex too, that it's a good name. the other sound guy arrived. in retrospect,
i have no idea whether "partner" meant lover or just the other sound guy. i enjoyed listening to
their banter. they seemed to take great delight in knowing what the words they were saying meant

eventually, the time came. one of the sound guys played the first song, then i was up
right after. i rehashed my introduction from the last attempt, saying approximately this:

my name is Alex. this is going to be a twelve-minute electronic composition, called 'Meadow.'
i've never played my music in a live setting before. i tried to last April, but there were technical
problems. i was gonna come back the month after, but... the world ended. but it's reincarnated now,
so here i am. full disclosure: my involvement won't really go beyond pressing the play button
on my laptop. to humorously exaggerate this aspect of the performance, while the
song plays i'm going to sit on that chair & read this book

so i did. last time, the book was This Census-Taker. this time it was The Complete Cosmicomics.
of course, i didn't actually read any of it, i just stared at the book. i was busy overthinking
the situation. twelve minutes is a long time to sit there, thinking "is the feel of the song
really coming through at all? is the equalization just turning this into mush? aggravating
noise? is the gimmick just coming off as actively boring or obnoxious?"

still, i tried to be optimistic. after it was done, a girl said to me that she got "lo-fi vibes" & "Life is Strange
vibes," which was... i mean, i try not to think snobby things, but it registered probably about how you'd expect.
sort of tiring. not that it especially bothered me or left a bad taste on the experience, it was just there to report
here. i guess as long as i'm harping like a cartoon character, it didn't help that she went up later & sang
a Theory of a Deadman song. more than anything, the whole exercise was just... interesting

they did a last call that allowed for repeats, so i also went up & read the short
story i wrote yesterday... i read, they applauded! no frills. i hope someone liked it

after it was all over, a lady came up & asked if i have spotify. i said i had bandcamp, which i had to affirm was
indeed an app, a website, a thing. i wrote "Valleanenowe" on the back of a receipt since it's a confusing
thing to try to relay to someone verbally. as i left, a girl came up & said she really liked the story

i sat in the bar for a while, still working on my 2020 diary. i'm at september now. nothing
interesting happened at the bar. eventually i took a cab home, pretty late. during the ride
i spontaneously joined a discord voice chat with people i've never really spoken with before.
when i got out of the cab i started just wandering around my neighborhood, talking &
queueing songs to play. it was very windy out. the full moon was very bright

first i did the song i played at the open mic, then my song "blue chamber," then just whatever. i'll
probably put all the songs i played into a mundane-nostalgia-cultivating youtube playlist before
i sleep tonight. i said some silly & funny things on occasion, far more than i typically do in
a given day, but mostly i was quiet. it's something i tend to do if i join voice calls, just queue
music & appreciate the simultaneous experience of it while letting others do most of the talking

eventually i used up all my mobile data. all the voices & music were reduced to
glinting metal shavings floating in the air. so i hung up & walked home alone,
feeling very thirsty... i got home & ravenously drank a glass of milk


june 26th. after weeks of effort, i finally finished my 2020 journal


june 27th. i wrote a short review of peter gabriel's cover of "the book of love." i grappled with
visceral terror at the prospect of traveling 370 miles alone on a bus, which i tried to tame through
intellectual reaffirmations that i am liable albeit not guaranteed to have a great time where i am
going... there are two contradictory maxims. apparently, it's generally good to leave your comfort
zone, yet, apparently, you're always justified in saying "i'm not comfortable with this!"


june 28th. i went out & bought a new laptop charger, a new phone charger, & luggage for
my bus ride on the 1st. these things costed me a total of about two hundred & ten dollars

as i walked down a street clutching my old laptop charger, which i intended to bring in for comparison, the cozily
overcast weather reminded me of standing in a junkyard in new york in 2017, staring into a car trunk full of
stagnant water that teemed with mosquito larvae. it was very bad that this was occurring, but in the moment,
i was sort of transfixed by them. they're a very unique thing to look at. they don't seem like maggots,
or worms, or anything, just... disembodied flagella flicking themselves around

i sat my expensive umbrella down somewhere & walked away
without it, again. i don't think i'll be getting it back this time


june 29th. i went to Best Buy in search of my umbrella. they didn't have it

then: another day of sitting in the coffee shop on my laptop for about five hours, only leaving when they close.
i drew this & this on the chalkboard. i tried a strawberry shortbread cheesecake. it was ok. it felt more like i was eating
strawberry jam than strawberries point blank. i downloaded more music. smiths, les rallizes denudes, echo & the bunnymen.
not that i've heard a single song by any of these bands, aside from echo & the bunnymen's the killing moon. i simply
have an interest in eventually listening to them, based on vague feelings... this truly endless, undoubtedly
autistic accumulation of neatly tagged mp3s that i plan to listen to

early on, J briefly stopped by & asked what i was up to. i said it was kind of boring, just logging some purchases in
a spreadsheet that i use to keep track of my money. she said it wasn't boring, it was responsible. then she headed out

after i left, i walked around the block several times reading yet more of intro to capital. i am at the part
where there are actual capitalists. very scary! i thought to myself that regaining my ability to read has
this unexpected benefit: i look more superficially kool hiding from all human contact in a book than in
a gadget, while in a public space. then i sat in the bar for a little while, just feeling very aimless & alone

i finally decided to go visit the restaurant J works at. i'd never been. she had mentioned she works there earlier, said
i should stop by if i felt like getting some food & hanging out. so i went. it took a lot of willpower to make myself
go in. since J has paid even the slightest attention to me, i imagined that walking in would seem outright creepy
& obsessive. i imagined a system where people tend to say things like "we should hang out" as conversational,
ahh, tokens, but that people are expected to know that it's unnerving to take up these offers without certain
additional cues, which i theorized the existence of but couldn't imagine what they might be

well, i went in & everything was fine. it turned out i'd walked in fifteen minutes before close, but it was ok.
i tried some steak tacos. they were really good. J covered the tab for me. she talked about some science fiction
short stories she'd been reading. i recommended invisible cities to her, described it, said i'd be willing to loan
her my copy. i told her about the regimented journaling i've been trying to keep to. i told her i'd been
writing down lots of my dreams for three years. the bathroom sink was very strange

she told me she believes in reincarnation, but with a twist on it that i had never heard before: that prior
to being reincarnated we consciously choose to be reborn into the exact life that we feel we now need to
experience, based on the lives we've lived so far. then we forget making the choice, but... well, you get it

i sat around drinking water until about forty-five minutes after close. she would walk by while closing up shop, & make
amiable comments. i recognized a tension inside me: my desperation for amiable human contact left me willing to sit there
until it was no longer remotely practical, simply for the sake of any additional instance of being spoken to. but i wondered
if there was a threshold past which it would seem strange that i was just sitting there, staring at the decor, waiting to be
spoken to. or if my presence was just unconditionally tolerable, that i was just exhibiting the behavior of a social being

well, everything was fine. she offered to walk me out & drive me home.
during the drive she played a couple of songs by the band Meat Puppets


june 30th. i got all packed up for the bus ride. i lied on the floor in my room for a few minutes,
incapacitated by a muscle spasm in my leg. i went & bought some snacks. we drove past one of
those signs with the plastic letters, outside an insurance agency. it inexplicably said "LOADING..."