july 1st. i woke up at seven-thirty to make my rapid disappearance. i had not gotten quite enough sleep for even a normal day, let alone
the leviathan day that this was sure to be. just to name two events that presumably stood between me & my next period of sleep: two
hours in st. louis; five hours in chicago. chicago would be without a doubt the largest city i'd have ever as much as passed through

this was my friend & i's last morning in each other's company. i woke him up at about eight & asked him to call the uber. he did so. we waited fifteen
minutes for it to arrive. i was glum. it arrived, & we parted ways. i teared up a little as i walked away from the building, & a few times during
the drive too. endings are sad for me. the driver was playing yellow submarine, then good day sunshine. various beatles songs in general

i arrived at the clinic one minute before the appointment time, which i thought was pretty lucky given the slapdash nature of cab rides. i was in
the waiting room for half an hour, though. somehow i still had on the band-aid from a week prior, & i pointed that out to the nurse. she found
it amusing, or at least humored it with a chuckle. i got a shot. it hurt more than usual. it was also the last of that vial of medication

i walked to the coffee shop & spent about two hours there. i got a black bean hummus wrap. a scam telemarketer called
me, & every time he said a plosive sound it was like a burst of static. i told him he needed a better mic. the June
specials were still up, & i got one before i left: an "aloha mocha," a latte with coconut, almond, & mocha

my brother drove me home. all my packing was basically done for the most part, as the various
packing i'd done for my trips out to the farm was essentially also the packing for the bus ride

i put all the finishing touches on the june journal. i finally posted it, & the june anon asks. then i wrote this
entry. i felt kind of out of it, & had difficulty critically reviewing the way i'd described things to make sure they
felt personable or natural. i finished this entry up to this point at one-eighteen. my bus would depart at four-thirty-five

i would be travelling in the same outfit as last time. i would have the same brand of protein bars that i had
last time. they would be peanut butter bars, though. i had hoped to find strawberry, like i had last time

i drank my latte & we headed to the bus stop. the guy there who prints the tickets recognized us immediately
from last year. i got my tickets. he told us that the bus was running eight hours late, though. i would
be departing around midnight. so we went home. i had sort of wasted the caffeine in my latte

i spent the next eight hours becoming totally loopy as i descended much further into lack of sleep than i had expected to be by my
time of departure. i also spent that time unlisting albums that i wasn't particularly fond of from my youtube channel & reuploading
them on a new second channel that i would relegate my less discriminate music archival too. i also did some math & determined that
i drink just under seventeen gallons of water per month. i walked to the store for snacks & another coffee. it was blazing
hot out, unbearable really, the sun like a death ray, making it unmistakable what side of my body it was on

around ten, i called the bus stop for an update. it was still slated to arrive around midnight.
the girl who answered said, while looking it up, "let's see where this bad boy is"

finally, we headed back so i could get on the big lousy bus.
i left my bottle of coffee in the freezer. i had not opened it


july 2nd. it arrived. it was really crowded! it turned out that it had been running
late because of something that had happened in Albuquerque, just like last time

my dad told me to be wary of a guy in a green shirt who had stepped off the bus, because he thought he was on meth. but the guy turned around & the
back of his shirt said "march against meth." my dad also said i should try to sit by a guy about my age who was wearing a stocking cap. he liked
the cut of his jib. the guy reminded me of Nardwuar. i liked the cut of his jib too so i accepted the directive to sit next to him if possible

i didn't get a seat by Nardwuar, though. i sat by a young, twitchy guy in a blue hoodie who sniffed constantly. when he wasn't sleeping, he spent
most of his time hunched over, with his hood up, studying a book or a cd case very intently. the book seemed to be about... theater, maybe

there was no room in the compartment under the bus so i had to stow my luggage & my backpack overhead. both items were
at different spots separated from my seat, which disconcerted me. there were no power outlets, either. i sat in the dark,
untangling my earbuds by touch. they had maybe one of the worst sorts of knot they could get. a very tight, efficient one
that was immediately prior to each of the buds themselves... once i got them untangled i listened to lucy incessantly

we stopped for fifteen minutes at a truck stop with some restaurants. this was around where the taco truck had been last year, but it was two
in the morning now. practically everyone filed off for some food. during a stall in that filing, a lady said things like, "how does this happen
every time? come on, left right left right people, it's not that complicated." i amused her by tilting my head left & right a bit in time
with her words. after everyone was off, an old lady asked me what was going on, seemingly on the verge of panic. i told her

deep into the three hour span between there & st. louis there was a somewhat tortuous period where i was unavoidably on the constant verge
of dozing off, but my posture never permitted it. i would listen to lucy, semi-doze off, wake up, listen to lucy more, & so on. i tried to keep
my phone screens off for the most part, scared that i would bother people who were trying to sleep. for a couple of minutes a baby cried

finally the sky began to just barely change in a way one could tell was the start of sunrise. the driver whooped at a sudden, dramatic lightning strike.
it had been too dim for me to recognize that it was cloudy. as the landscape became revealed, the light & new wealth of visual stimuli relieved me from
my tiredness. "watch the fucking sunrise i swear to god i will kill you," i thought to myself, trying to dissuade myself from looking at my phone. all joy
for all eternity
by john maus pleasingly soundtracked the cloudy dawn gradual thickening frequency of buildings as we approached the st. louis airport

we stopped at the airport at about five-thirty. twitchy boy got off, securing me a window seat with no one by me for a little while.
about half an hour later i spotted the arch, & several minutes later we parked at that same old metro center from last year. i let
most of the people get off before me, since my backpack was behind me & going against the flow of people to retrieve it would
have been a nightmare. Nardwuar woke up, disoriented, & asked where we were, seemingly on the verge of panic. i told him

i went in & saw some old friends. i heard that we all might need our tickets amended, so i waited in line with
everyone. listening to cooper b. handy vol. six in that line was a particular feeling. i ate my first protein bar.
i did not spent nearly as long in this building as i thought i would, not even long enough to get some coffee

a charming Burlington Trailways driver, a Mr. Eggers, came down the line looking at everyone's tickets, commenting on
them. he wondered why they had me passing through Chicago when it was so indirect. he said i needed to get my ticket
amended to his bus if possible, because it went straight to Iowa City, but he said he was leaving in about ten minutes

i got to the counter. the lady there amended my ticket to Mr. Eggers' bus but warned me that i needed to dash to
the terminal immediately, or i'd be stuck in the building until the following day. so i dashed away. Nardwuar had
been standing behind me in line & i had really wanted to try to talk to him, because he really did seem
like a cool guy. that did not happen, though. i dashed away & became estranged from Nardwuar

i did make it to the bus on time. it turned out i wouldn't be seeing Chicago after all. nor even St. Louis for as long as i anticipated. i was a bit
disappointed by that. Eggers sat down in the drivers' seat while my luggage was still sitting outside, & i nervously went up to ask him if it'd
be loaded on. he thanked me for asking. it seems he would have drove off without it if i hadn't questioned him. we set off. the inane safety
video played. after that, it seemed i was denied the option of not listening to the radio. it was tolerable nineties r&b, at least

about ten minutes in, i had the shocking realization that we were going to pass the exact vantage point from which i had tried
to take a photo of an air traffic control tower framed against the enormity of the sky, exactly one year prior. i had missed
it while fumbling with my phone, & felt a bit anguished about it for a little while afterward. the time of day &
weather conditions were practically identical. it'd be perhaps another year of waiting if i couldn't get it!

i got this. i felt it wasn't ideal, but at least it was something. i think one can tell generally what i saw that first time that made
me want to take a photo, i guess. i had hoped the tower would feel bigger in the frame. i took four extra photos [1] [2] [3] [4]

we stopped for food again. it was here that i first noticed an old guy who was riding the bus with a chihuahua. we all ambled into a nearby gas
station for food. we were all adults, with everyone else seeming to be men at least double my age. but something about us all being permitted
to leave the bus to walk over to this building to food seemed to cast us all in the light of tiny elementary school children, which amused me

the man with the chihuahua was told by a cashier that he couldn't have it in the building. i saw him stop
at the door before he left & turn back towards her, with the chihuahua now riding on his shoulder, & say
"i was gonna buy five hundred gallons of fuel you old bitch" in his mumbly old midwestern guy voice

i got a yogurt drink & a buffalo chicken wrap. i suspect that unthinkingly eating this wrap with my unwashed
hands was the moment at which i caught an infection that would make itself known about twenty-four hours later

we set off. about half an hour later a guy across the aisle, about my age, who had not spoken to me or acknowledged
my existence up to that point, got my attention just to point out this house to me... it's like he knew me. i'm pretty
sure i even photographed the same house a year ago. that was the only thing he ever said to me

we passed a big dog riding in the back of a pickup truck... on the interstate! we crossed the mississippi, & the condition of being suspended
above it came very suddenly, caught me off guard. it was, again, the worst part of the whole drive for me - particularly the point at which
you're not on the primary part of the bridge yet, such that, from the bus, you can't even see what it's driving on, like you're just
floating in the air... the driver said that there had been a lot of traffic the day prior & it'd taken half an hour to get across

we drove through a charming little illinois town, then across the mississippi again! about ten minutes later i swear to god i saw a two
story house way off in the distance that said "TRUMP MOM" on the side, one line for each word, each line being a whole story tall

i had another two-hour layover in the strange little room where the unwell man named Michael had handed me
notes saying to get on his bus with him the year before. Michael was not here this time. i got a can of coffee

i decided to pass some time by walking to a nearby wal-mart for some hand sanitizer. in the parking lot a car drove
by with a young girl barking yapping out the window. i smiled at her. after wal-mart i looked around a little botany
shop next door to the bus station. finally i reboarded & we headed off for Iowa City. i was very exhausted

i arrived at Iowa City. i immediately walked down the block & around the corner to the same coffee shop i'd wandered
to last time. i bought a can of sparkling water, just like last time. i saw an envy-sparking beautiful woman, just like
last time. my pal & his mom arrived. i sent him a discord message that said, verbatim, "time to exit Starbucks,"
just like last time. i exited Starbucks. my pal was standing there. so now we were meeting in person!

as we drove to Cedar Rapids i laughed quietly to myself because i had a really vulgar version of that give me the beat boys song in my head. we
arrived at my pal's house. his house is like a hundred years old. i really adore old houses like this. you can feel it in practically every aspect.
flat level ceilings & old defunct wall outlets that have been painted over. hardwood floors & baby blue paint & an unmistakable smell

his dad has a music studio in the basement & it smells exactly like the tiny house
in the middle of nowhere that i lived in for the last third or so of fourth grade

this time the puzzle(s) looked like sleeping kittens, france, legos, & bins of berries. we went
on a walk around the neighborhood, looked at various parks & a big pretty middle school

after sunset we went out to the tent to sleep. i was very fatigued. we would be sleeping in a tent
in the backyard because he & his family had cleared out a bedbug infestation a while ago &
i was sort of terrified of the idea of bringing stragglers back to my apartment


july 3rd. i woke up with a sensation that i could immediately tell was going to become a sore throat after a while. we went to a local grocery
store & bought some food to eat at the biggest park nearby. on the way we passed some garbage on a corner, among which was the horrible
sight of five or six large, fat, dead fish emitting a potent stench of death. i really didn't like thinking about those big, dead, sun-parched fish

we arrived at the store. he got a salad, i got some sliders & red velvet cake. we
also both got bottles of sparkling water, & boxes of little cookie dough bites

the red velvet cake was kind of disappointing. it was dry, & i like when icing has a sort of acidic(?) quality to it. but it was just kind
of cloyingly sweet. we continued across the park, listening to jake tobin & slugbug. we passed a guy in a blue shirt who was very
rigidly sat on a park bench with his head down, looking pretty brooding. he was so still that i worried a little that he was dead

we walked to a nearby walking trail, at the entrance of which was a little playground. we walked down the trail a bit but turned
back because i was getting really exhausted. we set off back for his house. when we crossed the big park again, the guy was
still there, just as motionless. i was still a little worried that he was dead. we never checked on him, though

later we went back to the store to get some lozenges to numb my throat. we also picked up some cough drops.
on the way home we stopped & got dilly bars at a little dairy queen situated in the middle of the neighborhood

we went home. after sunset we fell asleep in the tent surrounded by the sounds of fireworks


july 4th. my sore throat woke me up in the middle of the night, having worsened significantly. it was a little past midnight. i staggered out
of the tent to spit in the grass, fumbled around inside for the backdoor keys, staggered into the house. i hadn't drank a meaningful amount of
anything in about eighteen hours, since it hurt to swallow anything. my hands were dry. i went to the spare room, sat down, stared at
nothing miserably, everyone else asleep. i was sat next to a sweetie cat asleep on a blanket that looked just like its fur pattern

i made myself take three ibuprofens, then lied down on my friend's bed for a while, brought my laptop up &
plugged it in. he eventually made an appearance to check on me. i went back out to the tent & fell asleep

he later told me that plugging my laptop into the extension cord in his room increased a minor risk of fire, since only the downstairs outlets were
grounded. so for the rest of my stay i was mostly on an odd system of bringing my laptop upstairs, using it for one duration of battery life, then
bringing it back down to charge for a while. this sort of functioned as a self-regulating measure against "computerification" of our time together

that day his dad drove us to Salvation Army & Half Price Books. i took a lot of pictures of vinyl sleeves.
covers of various versions of the soundtrack to my fair lady tended to be consistently great, for some reason

my pal got two books: michael chabon's the amazing adventures of kavalier & clay; a collection of short story anthologies by gabriel garcia
marquez. one dvd: a collection of three sherlock holmes movies. three cds: mountain songs, something called have you solved the code?
with the mona lisa on the cover & five layers of price tags, & a copy of vitamin c's self-titled (for me.) five lps: twenty-five polkas,
which had the wrong disc in it, six fat dutchmen, jethro tull's a passion play, kansas' song for america & leftoverture

we went home until it was time to go see the fireworks. while we were there i called
the grocery store's pharmacy to see if i could get my prescription sent there. i could

we went & watched the fireworks from the same bridge as last time. we went home. it felt less distinct in my memory
than the first time we went. it was also unbearably hot & humid out, so we slept inside. i had gotten over my bedbug
fears, everything seemed fine. his bed is pretty small, so i slept on the floor, on top of some sleeping bags


july 5th. the sore throat was gone, but i still felt ill. i called the pharmacy to see how much it'd cost to pick up my
prescription. my health insurance had gone out by that point, which apparently caused it to skyrocket from zero to
ninety-three dollars. they ran it through a "discount card," though, which brought it down to only fourteen

we watched monty python & the holy grail. i had never seen it. my pal's mom told us that a severe thunderstorm was going to roll in in
a few hours, so we had to take down the tent. we watched smoke signals. after that we got drunk in his room. i slept on the floor again


july 6th. i still felt very stuffy & funny. i wrote most of the journal up to this point - the part where we drove to
the bus stop, & everything after. i smelled the weirdest, strongest perfume that my friend gave me, to make sure
that i was just stuffy & hadn't lost my sense of smell entirely [it was basically just the exact smell of vick's
. i played frisbee with Grace, the family's german shepherd. we finished the france puzzle. we
worked on the puzzles in that little spare room next to his bedroom, our secondary hangout location

his brother & his brother's girlfriend came over for dinner because it was taco night. i didn't interact with either of
them much at all. after dinner we walked to the store to pick up my prescription & some snacks & sparkling water.
we got home & watched some foreign cartoons. i took a nap, then took an antihistamine. i liked how loopy the
antihistamine made me feel. we watched the adventures of baron munchausen, which was great


july 7th. his dad drove us to the library. we spent a little while there, went up on the green roof. on a chalkboard i drew the
apple that i've been drawing everywhere for years
. then we walked to the museum & saw an exhibit of work by richard pinney,
creator of the bricolage that i fell in love with last year. also notable was a section featuring abstract art, & a section featuring
numerous works by tomas & charlie lasansky, & eve drewelowe. i got another small original artwork from the art-o-mat

after the museum, we walked about a mile, crossed the Cedar River, to a charming little restaurant that specializes in hot dogs. it has a plane on
top of it. as we passed an apartment building, a gruff old guy sitting outside said, "you got longer hair than she does, & she's got long hair!"

at the restaurant, we each got a chicago dog & some fries. it was my first chicago dog, & it was really delicious. the fries were good too.
we walked back to the library. i sent an e-mail to the artist of the work i'd gotten, with a picture of it & some information about me. i also
included a picture of the work i got a year ago. we checked out the lighthouse & his dad drove us back home. we watched the movie that night


july 8th. i was awake a bit past midnight. i couldn't sleep because i felt
physically odd, lightheaded, getting chills. it eventually went away, though

he & his dad & i went grocery shopping. after we got home, he & i went on a walk around the neighborhood & got dilly
bars again. his dad made meatball subs that i liked a lot. i blissfully dozed off on the floor listening to the local jazz station

i was really craving lemon meringue pie today

after i woke up, we watched the making-of videos on the lighthouse disc, then the dark crystal, which
was okay. there were a lot of cool puppets, but the story was very generic & dull for me. we got drunk


july 9th. his mom drove us to Iowa City so we could pick up my bus ticket ahead of time. as we drove, his mom told me about her
wedding decorations three decades ago, & a ufo that she'd seen along a certain stretch of highway. we stopped to refuel the car
& at the pump adjacent to us there was a large pickup truck facing towards us with its brights on in the middle of the day

when we got to the little bus stop, we noticed that it had the exact same claw
machine in the st. louis metro building that has my old animal friends on it

after i got my ticket, the three of us walked to the natural history museum next to the old capitol building. we
stopped at a cafe & she bought us snickerdoodles. we passed a bench covered in stickers that communicated
the bleak "instagram-wholesomeness" that was inevitably endemic to the college town we were in

the museum was very nice. i thought the dioramas were beautiful. i took a photo of him in front of
three big walruses, because he associates himself with walruses. he took a picture of me in front of a
. later we saw a diorama of ourselves. in the gift shop he bought me a gypsum desert rose

after we got home, we started the fruit puzzle & worked on it for a little while while listening to music. he played
the end of music by morusque. we went downstairs & listened to his dad & his dad's friends playing rock music in
the basement, blissfully muffled through the floorboards. his mom sang when they played fleetwood mac songs

then we went on a long, pleasant walk to a pretty grotto with a lagoon & five structures dedicated to the virgin mary. on the way there,
along a very pretty street, we saw some slender four-legged creatures in the distance that might have been foxes. i also saw Snoopy

as we walked home, we saw a big hot air balloon way off in the distance. then i chased a squirrel up a
telephone pole & it just stared down at me, seemingly recognizing nowhere to escape to, so i left it alone

we went home & got drunk


july 10th. around midnight i drunkenly bawled my eyes out in my underwear while sitting on the porch steps with my breasts
visible & at least once drooling all over myself. i felt in the moment like if the same issue was going to torment me for like
eight years then i wanted at least once to just bawl over it in a way that felt a bit dramatic & unhindered... then i slept

his dad drove us to a civil war reenactment. i had been picturing something more dramatic than what was really going on. i thought it would
be some kind of detailed battle lasting all day, over a very wide area, precisely mirroring some historic account of the large-scale shifts in
a particular battle. instead it was a bunch of tents on a little old abandoned farm where people in period attire sat & gave educational
lectures with a tinge of roleplay. they had an actual functioning cannon from the war too! but we didn't get there in time to see them
set it off. you could smell the gunpowder, though. i went into a little shed & bought a dill pickle for a dollar. that was good.
it'd been a long time since i bit into a dill pickle. before we left, i bought a mason jar of peach jam for four dollars

we stopped at a grocery store on the way home to get two pizzas for dinner. i wanted all the food & snacks we went past, i felt ravenous.
his dad got us some black cherry vodka sodas. during the drive home, several songs by The Cars played & they were all really good,
so i resolved to listen to them more. when we got home i immediately tried the peach jam on two pieces of toast. it was nice

we worked on the fruits puzzle. i put the time on my wrists & noticed over time that it was making me feel just like
i did the night i saw inland empire, because i had been wearing it that night. there's so much potential in controlled
scent memory links! it's killing me how much potential there is relative to how little i'm exploring it

his dad's parents stopped by! they were very nice

we drank the vodka sodas that night as we watched labyrinth, which i thought was better than the dark crystal.
its pacing felt totally absurd, maybe "aggressive," which was engaging. i still didn't find it very good, though

this might be the night that i found a live bed bug on my sleeping bags & drowned it in the bathroom sink.
this didn't cause me to start freaking out or anything. it was the only one i had seen, & i hadn't noticed
any bites. sure, i had caught a straggler, but they really didn't seem to be a problem anymore...


july 11th. a little after midnight i rolled around & clutched my head & rolled around & screamed
uncontrollably into my pillow, despairing over the same things i had bawled about the night before

we walked to a bus stop. when the bus parked, it made loud hissing & beeping sounds that startled me. we rode the bus to the library to
return the lighthouse & check out parasite. we got lunch at the cafe in the library, the one that surprised us last year with how good
the sandwiches were. he got a roast beef sandwich & a gatorade. i got a blt & an iced latte. we were now pretty low on money

i refilled my water bottle at the same fountain from last year, the one of the sort that i am familiar with, with the little
digital counter of how many bottles it's filled. my bottle was #48,448. so it had refilled 2,958 bottles during the past year

a chalkboard invited me to try to draw a turtle, so i did

we walked downtown, then along the cedar river, over to the distinct "tree" sculpture which stands near it. we couldn't walk right up to it, because
of construction work. i looked down at the water from a bridge, at a point where the river flow collided with one of the bridge's piers. i admired the
unpredictable pattern of the waves which rebounded off, opposite to the overall flow. sometimes they were weak, sometimes a particularly strong one
managed to form. i felt like i was seeing something really complex. i tried to point this out to him, but we were standing right by the exact spot
where hillary clinton had once filmed a video of herself "chilling in cedar rapids," & he was very eager to recreate that video with me

we wandered deeper into the downtown area & looked around, then meandered
back to the library & spent about an hour there before we took the bus back home

i spent a while touching up my rym list of songs with lyrics that i like. his dad brought us a twin air
mattress, so i didn't have to sleep on piled up sleeping bags anymore. that night we watched parasite


july 12th. we walked to a nearby college & explored the library. there was a ton of original artwork, even a painting from 1710. i thought it was
probably better than the museum, even. they also had the painting old things by marvin cone, & next to it was the actual chair featured in the painting.
my favorite work was spanish model, by conger metcalf, 1978, for which there doesn't seem to be any photographs or even mentions anywhere online.
we went home & had chicken strips & french fries for dinner. we drank the vodka sodas & watched vampire's kiss, which was unexpectedly good

i imitated a distant train horn several times & he said "stop that, you don't wanna get its attention"


july 13th. his dad took us to two goodwills. i found a new skirt & a new dress. he found a couple of tapes & three lps. we had
beef stroganoff for dinner. we skimmed through the dvd that comes with ohm: the early gurus of electronic music, which was
sort of disappointing, then watched most of & now for something completely different. then we went on a night walk

a family who lived on a corner nearby had a fire going & they were playing basketball in the street. the moon was very big & the clouds
were playing across it in a way where it didn't feel at all like looking at the moon, but at some fluorescent fluid dripping down the sky
like honey. we walked past three bars with rowdy people congregating outside, & to a big, dark park, where we turned back

on the way back we passed a guy, perhaps in his twenties, walking the opposite way on the other side of the
street. he abruptly turned & yelled "check your snapchat!" very loudly & perhaps angrily, perhaps
at a woman who had just sternly walked past us like she was pursuing his drunken self

when we were almost home i twirled around several times in the middle of a street & my dress fell down, exposing my bra. when we got
home i frantically typed reminders on my phone of things i had seen & thought during the walk, because i hadn't taken the phone along

it was by around this time that we were kind of out of money & wouldn't get to check out any more restaurants or anything


july 14th. we went on a big walk, about five miles total. first we set out for a big lake. on the way there we met a very
friendly cat
that hurried over to us on its terraced lawn & pleaded for our attention. we petted the cat. i would hold my hand
over its head & it would hop up on its hind legs a little to give me a headbutt. he promised the cat that we would be back later

we walked along the edge of the lake, over to a bridge where some people were fishing, & back. then we went over to
a big, hilly, beautiful, forested park. between us & that park was a stretch of road which had no sidewalk whatsoever
due to road work, & it was the only way over a creek. we dashed across during a pause in traffic, & made it to the park

at that park we climbed a really big steep beautiful forested hill. then we made our way back to the walking trail from july third, & from there
back to the big park from that day. i kept using drinking fountains to cover my arms in cooling water. we went & got dilly bars again. this
time i tried a cherry one. it was good. we had forgotten to take the route back that took us past that cat, so he had broken his promise

i had worn the new dress, which left my shoulders & upper back exposed, & a bit after we got home i started to
develop a sunburn, which got pretty bad over the course of the next week. that night we tried to watch oblivion
from full moon entertainment but i found it incredibly boring so we watched trancers instead, which was okay


july 15th. we tried to catch the bus downtown again, so we could return parasite & maybe hang out at the library for a while. the stop is a
few blocks away, & we left the house shortly before it was due to arrive. i realized i had left my phone at home, so he gave me the house
keys & i sprinted back for it. the sprint killed me, but i wasn't quick enough, & the bus passed us. so we walked to a nearby park

then we decided to walk to a huge, preserved palatial estate that's open to the public. we couldn't go in the main building because it was
closed for repairs, but the property was really pretty. we saw deer, & there was a night garden, & a pond, & a weird blue & yellow stage that
looked like it was made of legos. it all was wonderful. on the way home we passed a pickup truck whose license plate said "gentle" [1] [2]

i walked around the house in the dress i had gotten the sunburn in, since it left my shoulders exposed & un-irritated. the reason it had
given me the sunburn was now the reason it assisted me with it. we tried to watch trancers two but i got incredibly sleepy a short ways in


july 16th. fairly early in the morning, his mom ran me through two whole scrapbooks of photos from her trips to
Rocky Mountain National Park with my pal's dad & brother over the past five years. they'd be leaving for the park the
following day, & be back a week after. she asked for help getting a park-themed charm bracelet on, but i couldn't get
it hooked. i didn't spend too much time trying since it made me anxious to be in physical contact with her

she went & ran some errands for a couple of hours, then came back & ran us to the supermarket for a grocery run to stock up for the week
that we'd have the house to ourselves. i brought my purse but left it in the car because it hurt too much to have the strap on my sunburned
shoulder... i found a box of blueberry tea! as we left the store, i also found someone's shopping list in the parking lot & gave it to my pal

a little while after we got home, we went & took a bus to the library so that we could return parasite & check out four films in its stead. the
first two we had placed holds on: one cut of the dead (which i was very curious about) & zappa. we also got sleepaway camp & good time

we lingered around the library for an hour, waiting for the bus to return. we got to see an auditorium that's usually off limits.
someone had left the door open because there was a wedding taking place on the roof, which the auditorium led up to. we wandered
across a skyway to the parking ramp next door. i wanted to walk all the way to the top, but he didn't want to, so he headed back to
the library while i pressed on. i got to the top & took a bunch of pictures of the surroundings, then took an elevator back down

we headed back home & had pizza for dinner. we started watching trancers two again but i got incredibly depressed a short way in because
of the women in the movie. i got really quiet & unresponsive for a while. we turned off the movie & went upstairs. i lied down under
a blanket on the air mattress for a while. my head felt like a pressure cooker. i lied catatonically on the bed for a while

i agreed to take a shower. so he finally cut off the blue armband i had gotten at the civil war reenactment. i had been
wearing it for six days as a gag. he had offered to cut it off many times. i took a long, hot shower. the water didn't
seem to irritate the sunburn, fortunately. after the shower i shambled over to the spare room in a towel, sat down,
stared catatonically at water dripping from three curling locks of my hair. it took me a little while to start to open
up. he gave me one of his shirts to use as a nightshirt. then we went downstairs & he made me some blueberry tea

we sat in the living room. i closed my eyes & tried to clear my thoughts while i drank the tea. i listened to the air conditioning
& Grace's quiet groans. i opened my eyes & described to him a scene that was right in front of us: a little table, with some wear
on the top surface, & a charming device on top of it that could play lots of physical audio formats. on top of the device was
a plastic-y doily-type thing, & sitting on that was three lion plushies. this was all situated in front of baby blue
curtains. prior to this, i had said that the curtains looked like the curtains that surround a hospital bed

i told him that this wasn't a visual i should already be so numb to. i said that the only times i'm not dissociated are
probably the ones where i can punch through & experience my life visually, not just in terms of the practical usages
of objects around me. i held the mug on my lap, on his very-dark-blue nightshirt, & idly twirled the spoon back
& forth with my thumb, middle finger, & index finger. i described all of this out loud in detail

he clarified that a thumb isn't a finger. i said that i hate encyclopedic knowledge. i thought out loud that maybe part of my
dissociation was overlaying too many maps over my everyday experience, "this is a finger, this isn't a finger." i said i'm
not a hand surgeon... shortly after i felt kind of mean for saying this. it might have come off like i was going off at such
a harmless comment, when i really did just mean to think out loud, using it as a jumping off point. i thought he seemed
kind of sad from this point on, & i wanted to ask him if he was okay, but i couldn't. i don't know why i couldn't. socially
proactive questions have always felt impossible for me. i feel like i can only be socially reactive. maybe he was just tired


july 17th. i stayed up a little while after him, a little while after midnight, typing
in this journal. his parents would depart at six in the morning. i fell asleep

we woke up. his parents were gone. we played fetch with grace & fed her. some petals had fallen
from the magnolia tree in the backyard & i picked up about four of them & brought them inside

it was a big day. the day of an annual free-to-attend concert with a lineup of ten or so bands & a food truck. a guy named
Fred hosts the event in his yard, about two blocks from my pal's house. so we walked to the concert & spent all day there

there was a middle-aged couple dancing almost constantly, which was very charming, & they kept at it
until about five hours in. there was also a caricature artist who sat under a canopy drawing each band

we brought two lawn chairs & sat under a canopy, but it was a bit close to the stage & i had my ears plugged constantly. so we moved
back a ways, having to sit in the sun. the bassist in the first band, who turned out to be Fred, came over to me, asked my name, &
said he'd look around for some ear plugs for me. a lady offered to let us sit in the shade with her but it was just too loud

there was a young child who spent the whole show dashing around the yard, talking to people, dancing & stuff like that. i heard
her call for my attention, & when i turned she was doing a scary upside down crab walk, which made me bust out laughing

my pal made occasional runs back to the house to refill our water bottles. i actually drank an absurd amount of water over the
course of the day, more than i'd imagine being capable of drinking. at least a gallon, i think. my pal brought back some sunscreen,
which i applied very liberally. on another run he found me some earplugs, so we were able to secure a spot in the shade again

i went to the food truck & got us two "pizza burgers" & some bacon ranch cheese fries. the pizza burgers weren't great. they were
like big mozzarella sticks in the shape of patties i guess, with a very slight amount of tomato sauce. but there wasn't much
detectable cheese in the patties, so the amount of breading just made it feel like eating a plain chicken sandwich

most of the bands were indistinguishable blues, rock, & country performed & perhaps written by guys who were probably fans of the grateful dead.
one guy had cds & i bought one just for the novelty. it costed five dollars. my enjoyment of each of these acts was primarily decided by how charming
their stage banter was. my favorite joke was something like, "everyone should be keeping hydrated so we've got some bottles of hydrogen hydroxide
over there." it turns out that really is just water, but to me it felt like he was just mashing up the word "hydration" with random chemical suffixes

there were a couple of actual standouts acts! the first was listed as "heavy metal," which had us both feeling pessimistic. but they turned out
to be... not remotely good, but entertainingly ridiculous. we thought it'd be like pantera but it was more like buckethead, a guy wearing a
cowboy hat, a cape, & a mask
walked out with no introduction & shredded to a pre-recorded backing tape of segued beats for forty
minutes straight. the tape included a simulated crowd shouting for him to play free bird, at which point he played the solo from it

then an ex-cop came out in a kilt & played bagpipes to segue into the next act, which
was a complete shoe-in for my favorite because they played beautiful irish folk music

what else... one of the later classic rock bands played the happy birthday song for
the food truck guy because, well, it happened to be his birthday. people line danced

my pal's chair broke, so i gave him mine. i had to either wander around or sit cross-legged. eventually i just sat on
a chair no one had been in for a while. but then, while my pal was making a run back home, a guy came & sat on his
chair! so when my pal came back i tried to ask the guy to move to another unattended chair, & he informed me that
i was sitting in his chair. so i gave him back his chair & one of the musicians let me sit on his extra chair

one of the musicians talked with chair guy about american oligarchy, & the two party system being a big distraction, & republican extension of
how much of the population one media monopoly is permitted to reach. a lady sang heterosexually gender-reversed versions of she thinks
my tractor's sexy
. another lady did the same for believer. but her backing vocalists were men, so i guess they were not heterosexual

the concert concluded with that young child going up & saying something to the effect of "um. hello
everyone. um, how is everyone's day going? i hope you all have a good rest of your day. thanks for
coming." we walked home. both of the cats were going crazy that night & it was very amusing


july 18th. we'd been out of money & on this day we resorted to the willfully dumb adventure of taking a bus to a dying mall with a bag of
thirty-six quarters so we could put them all in gumball machines & see if we found anything weird. during the bus ride the fabric of my
pal's shirt sleeve was lightly contacting my arm & the jostling of the bus made it brush against me slightly in a way that i enjoyed

in the mall we saw a ride for children of the exact same model as the deeply familiar one that i recorded the jingle from
back in december. it was out of order, so we couldn't hear the jingle. the escalators were narrow & i was wearing
the dress, which made me too scared to ride them because i had never been on one in loose clothing before

the food court had three restaurants called "koffi grill," "leafy bar," & "food stop," which we though sounded like fake
improvised restaurants that all led to the same shared kitchen. on the wall was the giant word "CHOMP" with a burger
for the "o." my friend thought it said "CHEMP" because the patties looked like the lines of an "E." we saw a dog in
a pink baby stroller, & i tried to get a picture but the owner came back right as i was getting ready to

while he was interacting with some gumball machines, i stood nearby repeatedly trying to do pirouettes. only the first one was any good. then
we went & got some pretzel bites with a cup of nacho cheese. i had an embarrassing moment while i was ordering the bites. the cashier couldn't
hear me, so i leaned forward, & she turned to me with a startled expression then asked me to please talk louder instead of leaning forward

ultimately i got a small figurine of a dog, a plastic watch, & a weird "stress ball" that felt like it came
from the same universe as like food stim tiktoks. he got another figurine of a dog, a cartoon cow pencil
topper, & a "blaster" that was clearly just a little plastic glock that worked as a little flashlight

during the bus ride home i saw one of those restaurant signs with individual movable letters that just said "eieio"

i watched one cut of the dead, which i thought was incredible, i adored it. the shakycam gave him a headache so
he had to tap out maybe twenty minutes in, then he read the synopsis on wikipedia. then we watched red letter
media's review of everything everywhere all at once. then we got drunk & watched manos: the hands of fate


july 19th. he's been bringing me oatmeal, toast, & juice every morning. it's very kind. today was the day that the peach jam ran out

in the morning he handed me his old copy of holes & i read a few chapters of it. i'm familiar with it, i think it's a great book. he said, "women
be visibly subvocalizing as they read," which made me start laughing every time i tried to resume reading because i knew he was watching for it

we watched part of hotel torgo, the short documentary about the making of manos. then we watched part of episode five of ernest
. then we listened to some songs by the cars. then his grandfather showed up to drive us to their house for dinner!

their house was really cozy & homey & beige, & they were still very kind, warm people. his grandma collected toy giraffes & dachshunds. i got to
look through a scrapbook of pictures of my pal as a baby, which was very fun. he's lived in this same house for his whole life, & i could recognize
it in some pictures from three decades ago. we had grilled chicken, carrots, green beans, some little crushed potatoes with garlic & stuff on
them, & turtle cake for dessert, with some coffee. the whole time, i kept thinking... "my god! i'm an orphan! i didn't even realize!"

after that they drove us to a nearby nature preserve type park to look at the diminished tree cover after a derecho that hit two years ago. the
car's sunroof was open. i had never been in a car with a sunroof, & i thought looking up through it was beautiful. the park was lush & green
& beautiful. afterwards we drove to a little park situated around a gigantic rock that had been transported to that spot by a glacier over
the course of thousands of years. shortly before we left i found a painted rock. it had a bumblebee about to land on a flower

after they took us home we got drunk & watched sleepaway camp


july 20th. i sat in the living room in my underwear, doing stuff on my laptop. suddenly i heard people unlocking the door, about to open it! i had no
idea what was going on. i had to jump up & flee upstairs. i told my pal. he looked out the window & told me the obvious answer, that his brother
& his brother's girlfriend were stopping by out of nowhere. they stuck around for a few minutes to interact with the animals, then took off

my pal found Chime Bird, a wonderful toy visible in one of those ancient polaroids. Chime Bird is a wonderful, rotund
plastic bird that is weighted at the bottom so that it will wobble if you tip it over a bit, & it has chimes inside

we took a bus to a stop near the hotel we'd stayed in last year. we walked over to the greenhouse, having to cross
a really busy street that absurdly had no crosswalk. it was hard to find the way into the greenhouse, we had to
circle halfway around the building twice. but once we were in, we looked at all the wonderful, diverse plants
in there. cacti, palm trees, succulents, orchids, orange trees, elephant ears, all kinds of stuff...

after that we walked to a goodwill. he found a charles ives cd, a michael daugherty cd, & a copy of the
crying of lot 49
. i found two blouses. i thought the pattern on one looked like the floor of a slaughterhouse...

we walked to a bus stop & had to wait there for half an hour. when we got home we watched a bunch of music videos that
we like. then we watched the first half hour of zappa. then i took a nap. i was feeling kind of humorless & dead & sad,
presumably from not getting quite enough sleep. he woke me up to eat dinner & we watched the rest of the movie


july 21st. we took the bus to the library & returned zappa, one cut of the dead, & sleepaway camp. we checked out bill & ted's
excellent adventure
. outside the library we found a cute children's book on the ground, called count my blessings, one to ten

outside, on the big abstract sculpture outside of the library, we found some unusual, severe
scrawlings. [1] [2] [3] [4] we got on a different bus route that took us to a huge park with
a playground, various sculptures, a swimming pool, &, most importantly, a petting zoo!

on the way to the petting zoo, we stopped by a little free library & found a copy of the sequel to holes. we took it with us

at the zoo there were ducks, goats, big fat rabbits, calves, pigs, sheep, & chickens. there was also a
big second duck area with tons of breeds of ducks. i also saw a chipmunk. he saw two chipmunks

i fed the goats several handfuls of feed, & one of them nibbled on my skirt. i think they tried to eat my shoelaces, too. in
their barn was a "corn pit" meant explicitly for people to play in & not to feed to the animals. the calves were very tranquil
& i think one of them tried to eat the same two garments. one of the pigs, the one with no markings on its head, was named
Ariel. i got a picture with Ariel. the sheep were named Daphne & Velma. i didn't get to pet them because they weren't
acclimated to people yet. they also didn't have the bunnies out in their pen. i saw a chicken dustbathing

we thought a goose had infiltrated the duck pond, but it turned out to just be a pekin duck. the utility shed at the
duck pond was called the Quack Shack. we saw lots of ducklings huddled up with a duck. next to the ducks' shelter
there was a radio playing a talk show. he joked that maybe the zoo kept it on all the time to keep them company,
& i didn't realize it was a joke & genuinely considered it as a possibility until the following evening

my sunburn didn't really hurt anymore, & around the time we headed back to the bus stop, i noticed it had
reached the freaky stage of healing where the skin looks bubble. we took the bus back home & watched
good time & hands of steel, which was on a big collection he has of fifty cheapo sci-fi movies

i messaged the awesome irish folk band on facebook & told them about some venues that i hang around
in my city, trying to create a slight chance that they might come down & play there someday. i also
e-mailed the college we'd walked to & asked if they ever took hi-res photos of their collection


july 22nd. we took the bus to the library & returned good time. then we walked downtown for a little while. we went to the
veterans' memorial building & looked around. there was a big stained glass window, a wonderful auditorium that felt like a big
school gymnasium, & a room with a bunch of model planes. we found a postcard & took it, deciding to send it to my dad [1]

we walked over to the big steel sculpture of a tree & then down to the waterfront & i stood at the edge of the water staring at the
river for a little bit. then we wandered around the streets downtown & back to the library. we checked out the man who fell to
, big trouble in little china, & a ghost story, the last of which i've been pretty curious about for several years. i refilled
my water bottle at that same fountain. my bottle was #48,613. so it had refilled 165 bottles over the past eleven days

the bus that we meant to ride home just drove right past us, so we ambled back into the library & sat down. it wouldn't be
back for another hour. but then he got the idea to walk a few blocks to the transit center & catch a different route
that left the center every fifteen minutes & stopped a bit further away than the one we'd meant to catch

at home, i spent a bunch of time transcribing Lucy songs on genius.com, because there weren't very many of his songs on there

around six pm, four police suvs, a firetruck, & an ambulance pulled up outside. the cops were talking to a guy who was reclining on
a grass slope. he got loaded onto a gurney & taken away. the firetruck also drove off. my pal told me that a little while ago he'd heard
about twelve pops that were probably gunshots. i hadn't heard them. so we figured he'd been shot in the leg. the cops were looking
around a nearby alleyway & taped off the area for a little bit, taking photos & collecting evidence. after they took the tape down,
they called another firetruck in & used its hose to wash off the parking lot. i didn't see any blood, but maybe there
was some. they definitely washed off a lot of space where there wasn't any blood, though

i chopped a cucumber into slices & we sealed them in a container & put them in the fridge. i wrote the journal for yesterday &
today up to this point. he wasn't interested in a ghost story so i watched about half an hour of it. but it took more than half an
hour because i kept getting thoughts & pausing to write them down. eventually i postponed the movie & we got drunk as we
watched big trouble in little china. the last fight scene was completely incomprehensible to me after three vodka sodas


july 23rd. his parents were slated to return that evening. i wrote on the
postcard, then we walked a couple of blocks to a mailbox & deposited it

that evening i spent a while transcribing more lucy songs. we went on a walk around the block. it was warm, humid, &
overcast. i balanced my water bottle on the palm of my hand as we walked. when we got home, his parents were back. his
mom showed us lots of pictures on her phone. that night we watched bill & ted's excellent adventure, which was real good


july 24th. we went on a walk to the nature trail with the playground near the start. on the
way there we passed the big park & saw a dog playing on a splash pad with lots of kids

we walked a fair ways along the trail then turned back. we saw a split fallen tree trunk
that looked like an alligator
. we listened to red sea's sugar & spice as we walked

as we passed the splash pad again, we saw that the dog would look down at a water spout & bite at the water. some girls
would hold a cup over the spout so that the dog would put its nose close to it, then they would lift the cup & the dog
would bite at the water with its nose almost to the ground, which was the funniest-looking way for it to happen

after we got home, we went on a grocery run with his mom. we picked up ice cream sandwiches,
which i had been craving. that night we watched the man who fell to earth & he made grilled cheeses


july 25th. it might have been around this time that he finished the lego puzzle. he had
done pretty much all the work on it, & i only really stepped in around when it was done

we walked to the bus stop. on the way there i saw a wasp dragging a dead cicada & unsuccessfully trying to take flight with it.
we took the bus to the library & returned bill & ted, a ghost story, big trouble in little china, & the man who fell to earth.
i refilled my water bottle at that fountain. it was #48,632. it had refilled 19 bottles over the past three days

we started walking to an area historically defined by lots of Czech immigrants & now defined largely by depressing, hipster-y,
gentrified stores. on the way there we passed the apartment building outside of which that guy had said my pal has long
hair. i noticed that there were lots of painted rocks among the many little rocks that bordered the building

we wandered around the Czech area for a while. we saw a pretty bandstand & a tree trunk carved into a big
morel mushroom
. i looked around a very dense, charming antique store. outside we found a painted rock,
which i carried all the way back to that apartment building so i could put it with the others

we went back to the library. we checked out the two bill & ted sequels & the lost
& he bought a book bag. we went home & i added some art to my rym list

we went on a walk along the same pretty road we'd taken to the grotto. i picked a flower. we saw a chipmunk.
we kicked a walnut down the sidewalk several times. we passed a guy telling his daughter that you had
to be sixty-two miles up to be in outer space, & she said she was gonna go a billion miles up

this time we followed the street further, to the big park. i found a crab apple & carried it a ways. we passed
two very friendly dogs who ran up to the fence of their backyard & greeted us, hardly barking. we went near
the playground of an elementary school. when we got to the big park i squashed the crab apple under my foot

we went home. that night we watched bill & ted's bogus journey, which wasn't quite as good but still nice


july 26th. we walked to a nearby park we hadn't been to yet. on the way there we were approached by a husky puppy that was unambiguously
the cutest puppy i had ever encountered. then we walked over to his old elementary school & looked at it. then we walked to a little park
that's just a triangle of grass with an old sculpture that used to be in front of the old library. he had nostalgia around the sculpture

on the way back a guy kept asking if he could ask us a question, if we weren't racist, & he followed along
with us on the sidewalk for a bit on his bicycle calling us racist, then left us alone but not before
yelling some nasty vulgar stuff at us. then he started yelling at some random person in a car

we got home & he made grilled cheeses again for lunch. that night we
watched bill & ted face the music, which was an awful, awful movie


july 27th. i watched him use an image editing tool built into rateyourmusic to crop a picture he had uploaded, which
is apparently done by rapidly clicking a minus sign button that only narrows the picture by one pixel over & over

his dad took us to an army surplus store where i found a print of a rabbit for one dollar

then his grandparents had us & his parents over for a big dinner. before dinner he & i walked over to a nearby catholic
elementary school & investigated the playgrounds. we found a really awesome thing that you could cling to & spin
around on, it was probably my favorite playground structure i've ever encountered. he took two videos of me on it

we went back & his dad brought up the idea of my pal & i playing pool, if we were bored. we went along with the idea. we went with his
grandma down to the basement & she put great effort into clearing a bunch of stuff off the table for us & getting out a little vacuum
so we could clean it. & we played pool. i hadn't played it in a long time! the few times i'd played i'd been pretty young, so i had
just been kind of messing around. & we basically messed around this time too. he forfeited after he pocketed one of mine

his forfeit was sort of emphasized four distinct times, once for each other person present, in a kind of amusing play-gossipy way

we went outside, sat under a tree roaring with cicada buzz, walked over & saw one clinging to a leaf. then it was dinnertime.
there was roast, potato casserole, green beans, watermelon, jello, coffee cake, chocolate milk, & i had a cup of coffee...
his grandma serves coffee with a little teacup of milk & a porcelain container of sugar whose lid is a rabbit figurine

the chocolate milk was a brand i've never had before & it was really good. i tend to feel like chocolate milk tasted very
good when i was a child & then became sort of unpleasant, generally. but maybe i am getting the wrong chocolate milk

after dinner we went back out to the playground & i spun on the thing more. i also hopped across a hopscotch
court really fast. while we were walking back to the house, he lightly knocked on my head & said "bonk."
i purposefully fell forward into the grass. his mom & grandma happened to be standing at a window,
so when we got back inside his grandma asked if i had falled on purpose or for real

we drove home with his mom. comfortably numb played on the radio & i nearly teared up at the same few lines as usual

that night we watched magical mystery tour. then we got drunk while attempting to watch the lost boys but he didn't like it
much at all so we switched to a few other things tentatively. i guess we didn't really commit to watching a movie that night


july 28th. around four in the morning i had painful psychosomatic pressure inside my skull from
compulsive romantic daydreaming paired with my estrangement from the person i envisioned

we walked around the nearby college campus again. we hoped to explore an art building that was supposed to have student-made
art in it, but it was off limits. we looked at a big bell instead. we went home. that night we watched both wayne's world movies


july 29th. shortly after i woke up we went grocery shopping with his dad. i was in a daze & sort of a bad mood for a lot of the day. i was so
sucked into my phone throughout the morning that i barely processed the drive to the store, or walking around the store, or the drive back

while i was in the store i came up with a single-panel comic with no dialogue that i really needed to draw, & as we drove
home i mentally ran through all the little steps i'd need to go through in an image editor to get it just how i wanted
it. i was frustrated that i was picturing the steps instead of doing them. i drew it shortly after we got home

in the evening we walked down to that big lake & back again. that night we watched the first two
volumes of computer animation festival, which was real fun, then we watched yellow submarine


july 30th. shortly after i woke, his mom gave us a ride to the petting zoo again. i fed a goat again. i pet the cows.
i watched the pigs root around in the gravel. this time we got to feed the sheep a few handfuls of food & pet them, which
was great. in the chicken pen a young child chased the chickens around & would wantonly pick them up & clutch them.
she also went up on the hill which was meant to be a private space for them. she wasn't reprimanded for this, i think
because she was the child of an employee. that was fine, i guess. i hope she didn't scare the chickens too much

we walked a little path that led around all the duck pens, to a place at the far end that was a nice vantage point into a beautiful stretch of the
dense greenness surrounding this place. i closed my eyes & tried to clear my mind & melt into the nature sounds melding with the distant blur of
the ducks' radio. then we walked off along a trail into the woods a bit. they were beautiful. then we went back & went through the duck exhibit

as we headed back through the opposite way, we got a very clear view of a chipmunk on the sidewalk. i didn't realize how long their tails can be.
it was also cool enough out that they had brought one of the big rabbits out into its pen - the one named Benny. that young child was in the
pen, & i crouched by her & pet Benny for a little bit. she kept saying, "he doesn't bite, he only nibbles." i let him nibble on my fingers

the cows are often sort of shy, but one of them poked their head through the fence & i held its
head & pet it. it tried to eat my hair & got slobber on the ends of a lock of it, which was fine

as we left, a young child passing us on the sidewalk held his ziploc bag of pretzels up to
me & said "snacks!". i shook my fist a little & said "hell yeah." we rode the bus home

i spent a lot of the day reading about rabies. around sunset we walked to the store. i brought a bottle of
sparkling water along, & he wanted me to finish it before we got there, lest they suspect me of stealing
it. so i had to drink it pretty fast & uncomfortably chug the last of it as we crossed the parking lot

at the store we used the last of our money, a ten dollar gift card, to get some chips, cheese
dip, & chocolate chip cookies. we watched two more volumes of computer animation


july 31st. in the early morning i went to the spare room & sat in the dark with the diaphanous
curtains & the shadow of the window sill on ceiling cast by the streetlight for a little while

we walked to an art-themed event at a nearby park. there were booths set up along the street by various local
artists, organizations, & businesses. there was live music, including a bunch of kids playing string instruments.
the caricature artist from the music event was there, drawing people for free, & i got myself drawn

there was also a free painting class, where a nice guy named Braxton led people through drawing a different painting each hour. i did the first one,
i think it was called "lilac dreams" on the schedule, & it turned out okay, i suppose. i don't think the lilacs really turned out looking like lilacs.
he had use make the leaves using four q-tips held in one hand, but he was real good at it & i couldn't get the leaves as dense as he did

i convinced my pal to join me for the second one, "cosmic creation." i was pretty frustrated for the initial half or so of that one, because
i wetted my canvas a bit too much. all the paint i added would start spreading around uncontrollably. but i got a handle on it & wound up
with something i liked a fair amount. i particularly liked how the shooting starts turned out. my pal's turned out sharper-looking, less
impressionistic i guess. i had no way of safely transporting any of the paintings home, so he got to hang them all up in his room

when we got home i preemptively packed up a bit, which naturally was a bit morose. he let my have his copy of holes, which he'd
had since elementary school. he also gave me a john grisham book that was lying around, which he thought my dad might appreciate

i called the pharmacy back in my city & asked them how much my refill of the medication i'm injected with would be. the
bad news was that it would be about one hundred & fifty dollars. the good news was that i had expected losing my health
insurance to boost the price by more than thirty dollars, i honestly had expected it to be something way more crazy

dinner was pulled pork with shells & cheese, which i liked. we went on probably our last evening walk,
to the store to drop the remaining dvds off in a return bin. then we spent the last last of our money
on a bag of watermelon gummies, a jar of salsa con queso, some more chips, & a bottle of wine

i had been falling asleep around four in the morning the past several days & we had
nothing to wake up early for the following day, so we agreed to both stay up late

my bus back home would depart the following night

endings are sad for me!

we watched more computer animation

i will close this set of journal entries in the same way verbatim that i closed the entries which concerned the previous
extended span of time that we spent together: he wants at least one mention of himself of himself as a "boyfriend" rather
than a "pal," although i typically don't care to refer to such things unless it is relevant to the anecdote. this is the mention


august 1st. midnight passed. a storm rolled in. i drunkenly went upstairs to sit in the spare
room in the dark some more & watch the lightning flashing through the three windows with
the diaphanous curtains, & the billowing clouds & red light flashing way off in the distance

i fell asleep on the air mattress for the last time

i woke up to make my non-rapid disappearance. i ate the last breakfast, got dressed

i tried to call my clinic to talk to them about how i was broke & needed to ask about the funding they get to help pay for refills.
it was impossible to reach them, though. i tried two different locations & the phones were totally unresponsive at both of them

we went on our last little adventure. we walked to the dairy queen to spend some tiny last final drippings of money on two more dilly bars.
when we were about halfway there, i realized i had forgotten my wallet! so we went back & got it, then set out again. we got the dilly bars
& ate them. after that we walked to the big park. we picked up & took a foam dart in the grass that he had stepped on when we walked
to the lake three days ago. we hung around a playground. we sat on a distinctive bench on top of a hill for a little while

we walked home. he deflated the air mattress & put it in its box. we ate the last dinner - a frozen pizza. i did
a lot of final packing up. he gave me a strawberry energy jar & some packs of peanut butter crackers
& let me have a little bottle of hand sanitizer. i took the box of blueberry tea with me

earlier in the month i had covertly rotated the top row of a rubik's cube on his shelf by ninety degrees & it
took him at least several days to notice, maybe even like a week. i did this again not too long before we left

i was wearing almost the usual outfit that i wear on the bus, but i had to wear
a blazer on top because i didn't have any more room in my suitcase for it

i interacted with each of the animals a bit, said goodbye to each of them. i'm not sure if i've
mentioned either of the cats. there is grace the german shepherd, then two cats named apollo &
athena. apollo is very cold & mischievous, while athena is very loving. she purrs when she eats food

just before we got in the car with his mom, she picked a flower from their front lawn & handed it to me.
i laid it in the seat next to me. i was surprised when comfortably numb played on the radio again.
it felt like a very sweet little reprise. i teared up a little at the same lines as usual

we parked near the bus stop. as we walked there we passed an envy-sparking beautiful woman,
which seems to be an absurd inevitability nearly any time i am briefly passing through Iowa City

my pal's mom took a photo of him & i together, & he took one last photo of me. we waited. the bus took a little
while to arrive, it was a bit over five minutes late i believe. i was holding the flower in my hand as we
waited, & i carried it in my hand as i boarded. after i sat down i placed it in my purse, sticking out

i was very attentive to the flower for the entire trip, checking
on it a lot, not wanting it to undergo any physical trauma.
i took it all the way back to my apartment

i listened to lucy's whole discography again. i ate the strawberry bar my pal had given me. it was good. each time the bus
passed some radio towers (or just one?), the light reflecting between all the windows created a really convincing illusion
of an entire landscape of them in perfect sync... it might have been one of the most amazing things i've ever seen

i walked back to the bathroom & the inertia kept very nearly toppling me over
into people's seats landing on them. it was a struggle getting the door open

at one point a single giant firework randomly went off just a bit of a ways off the side of the
interstate. it was absurdly big but not especially luminescent, just an enormous orb of sparkles

at the layover in Des Moines there was a lady with a poodle. she went on to match all of my transfers &
turned out to be going to my city, i think, unless i missed her getting back on the bus at the end of the trip


august 2nd. midnight passed. i didn't secure a window seat on the next bus. i sat next to a nice-seeming girl who said my purse was cute,
though. i could barely lift my backpack up to the overhead compartment, & it didn't fit anyway. at various points i think i heard her quietly
crying & wished there was something i could do to help her feel better. i didn't talk to her though, out of fear of being intrusive

the bus stopped to refuel at an insanely happening spot & i got out to stretch my legs & spend some last scraps of
money on a gross coffee energy drink that i planned to drink during the terrible five-hour kansas city layover

there wasn't much else to report between then & my arrival at that purgatorial building. the drinking fountain wasn't even
operational. i hadn't had a chance to refill my water bottle since i'd left my pal's house, & i was getting pretty dehydrated.
i spent most of the time standing near a desk with lots of power outlets. i was surprised that no one else was
congregating there, since it seemed like one of the best spots if you didn't mind standing

i noticed that part of the thread which forms all the geometric patterns on my blazer had come loose, which distressed me

as the hours passed i started to get kind of delirious & depressive. the sun rose. i went outside & looked at the city, took a picture of it

the bus finally arrived. i boarded & ate one of my protein bars. my lack of access to water left me
unable to wash the iffy pseudo peanut butter taste in my mouth, & that plus the coffee drink was
also leaving me with unmitigated tooth decay until i could get something to drink again

that drowzy leg of the trip where the sun is rising over the land bordering the missouri highway is
a nice one. at some point i listened to all joy for all eternity again & it was almost making me
tear up. i've heard it a good deal of times but i guess it kind of clicked for me just then

i hopped off the bus at about eleven in the morning & rejoined my dad & brother. he figured i was pretty hungry so we drove to a fast food
drive-thru & got me a burger & a large diet coke. we went home. i started unpacking. i put all the clothes in my suitcase & on my body in
the washer, less to wash them & more to have them eventually run through the dryer, which would ideally kill any possible bedbug eggs

i was awake until a kind of absurdly late point in the day because i had stayed up past that
threshold where i stop even feeling drowzy & just feel very loopy with no urge to sleep


august 3rd. my brother drove me to the clinic. my dad rode along because he needed to be dropped
off at his new place of work. we stopped at the clinic first. i had to sit in the waiting room for
quite a while, since i was walk-in & there were about four people with appointments

finally, my time came. the nurse asked me if i had my new vial of medication, & i said i didn't, that that's what
i was there to talk about. i told them i couldn't presently afford a refill, & asked about the funding they get
to help pay with that. i figured they'd coordinate with my pharmacy to cover the out-of-pocket expense,
in full if i was lucky, & then by the time i'd need another refill i'd have gotten my student grant check

they phoned the nurse practitioner for less than a minute & it was established that
she would write a script to a new pharmacy & that all i had to do was wait & a new
vial would show up in the mail at no cost to me... planned parenthood is great

we dropped my dad off & started back home. we were a moderate distance away when he messaged my brother
saying he needed to be picked back up. this aggravated my brother. on the way back we passed an old two story
building that was mostly painted blue but on the side was exposed brick that traced the outline of a staircase
leading up to a line representing the floor of a balcony on which there was a bricked up doorway

we picked my dad back up. it turned out he had meant to go in & clean the kitchen, but had found it spotless. he'd acquired
something while he was in there, though - a package from my sister who i had spent time with for the first time back
in april. it was a print of the photo of the three of us. when we got home, he hanged it in the living room

i felt intensely depressed for much of the rest of the day, maybe because i was still fatigued from the travel


august 4th. i recorded & edited a silly video called "music facts," my first "skit"
type of video that i've done in a long time. i used to do a decent amount of them

a fake medicare phone scammer called me. i started rapping
superflypapertrailblazer. he started laughing, which
made me start laughing as i was going

my pal & i tuned in to a livestream of an event in Cedar Rapids called jazz
under the stars
, which we had been sad about not being able to attend

i composed a document which had my student e-mail, & said the following:

in your own words & in only the most honest terms, tell me what you think of love as a concept. you
can be as brief or as descriptive as you please. think of this as an opportunity to express yourself
in an unguarded way & be seen in that capacity, without the stress of having your name attached.
responses will be collected & artistically utilized in some way (anonymously)

i planned to print out a dozen or two of these & leave them
in each building on campus at the start of the semester

it took me a while to find the gypsum desert rose he had bought me, until
i remember i had placed it in the zipped pouch in the lining of my purse

my dad gave me twenty dollars so i went on my first
walk to the gas station for snacks in a good while

for a good deal of months, probably at least six months prior to june, the building had slowly been undergoing expansion & more fuel pumps
had been installed. now the shelves had been overhauled, most of them were a lot taller & some of the sections were a little shuffled
around... i left my wallet at home, so i had to tell the most familiar cashier that in one of my few occasions of speaking to him

i walked back to the store a while later. as i crossed a nearby parking lot, a toddler on the other side
of said parking lot kept yelling "HEY. HEY. HEY." at me while doing a weird waggling bouncing
dance. so i waved a bunch of times & then started doing the dance in reply as i walked

as i was returning home, Bruce, my neighbors' black pomeranian, sat in the window of the highly
nostalgic upstairs apartment i used to live in & watched me cross the parking lot towards my front door

ween's eulogy for david anderson reminded me of a text post i'd once made, to the effect of:

songs about missing people hardly faze me. songs about dead people hardly faze me. songs about missing dead people kill me!

i heaved, once, slightly, at the mere idea of a song about missing a dead person - somehow
it was at the idea of such a song & not at the one i was actually at that moment listening to


august 5th. i drew a scribbly picture with a pen. i uploaded the first album to youtube in a while


august 6th. i woke up at just the right time to see absurdly beautiful overlapping shadows of thin blowing
tree limbs on the bathroom door (they had a "collage" feeling). my phone was dead so i didn't have time
to record them before the sun had moved a little & the effect wasn't at its strongest anymore

i lied in bed with hunger pangs, thinking about a kind of petulant-teenager-esque notion of committing to slowly & painfully starving
myself to death in lieu of having to hear jimmy kimmel's voice for the one minute that it would take to retrieve some kind of food item

i walked around outside in the sun & finished italo calvino's how much shall we bet?. B called me & we had
a nice, long call. he added me to a blog he'd made, which is dedicated to coming up with hypothetical people.
i wandered around outside, meandered to the store, coming up with a lot of people as i went


august 7th. in the early morning before sunrise i played with sweet pea, letting her attack the cheetah
blanket as usual. she slept in my room, cocooned in a bedsheet. i scrapped a text post instead of
knowingly indulging the self-contradiction of typing six paragraphs about desire for simplicity


august 8th. my dad was crying some about the death of olivia newton john because she was
his first crush. it was consistently so hot in my room that i was barely able to think all day

some random person messaged me on soulseek out of the blue, asking if know anything about a band they
found an ep by... i didn't, & i couldn't find any trace whatsoever of either's existence, beyond this person
asking me about them & sending it to me. i thought the ep was kind of great! i uploaded it to youtube

later, i noticed that another person happened to have uploaded the ep nine hours before i did, & the description said
someone e-mailed it to them. this made me wonder if it wasn't someone trying to spread their own music around under
the guise of it being some project they can't find any info on. but i could also see it being an effect of a person
simply asking around about it. i didn't really care either way because it was a nice ep

my friend also figured out that the the isbn sticker on the cover seems to have been cropped out of the archive.org scan of immanuel
kant's critique of pure reason & edited onto what appears to be some random textbook, possibly about the american civil war

eventually the person who had sent it to me came clean as the creator & we chatted for a little while

later i pored over at least a thousand album titles in search of ones i thought were especially good & spent several
hours intensely focused on sweet feelings evoked by curatedly sweet music & lyrics. i felt kind of manic, maybe


august 9th. i moved my chair to where i had it in my room in january 2021 & it induced a visceral feeling of it being january 2021

i got a call from the pharmacy that planned parenthood had contacted. they said there'd be a delay in getting my depo-
estradiol to me because i was prescribed estradiol cypionate, which they were having a lot of trouble procuring.
so they said they were going to switch me to estradiol valerate & that it should arrive the following day

my friend R called me for the first time in a while & we had a nice talk

i ate the yolk of a fried egg, to see if i could get away with spending the rest of the
night not stuck with a vague indescribable sensation i get inside my skull seemingly
from eating fried egg yolks & otherwise never ever feel. i got away with it


august 10th. in the early morning i sat in my room with only my stress-inducing, seemingly inescapable, & highly
confidential mental phenomenon to keep me company. i wished i had materials with which to paint, or i would
have tried to paint more, cathartically. someone interesting named G appeared out of thin air on soulseek, of all
places, so soon after that thing a few days ago, & we talked all night. there was a span where i felt pretty manic

after i slept, i got a phone call from a guy representing a student loan service i'd been transferred to. he was shocked & laughing
because the balance was only around $42.18. he said that was the lowest he'd ever seen. it was so low because, for the entire duration
that i've been in college, i've been taking moderate loans each semester then just feeding my student grants back into paying them
off, even though that has literally no cost or benefit to me. i also have a slightly convoluted system to decide how much
i pay back each month. it's like i do it just so i can watch my spreadsheet about it evolve over time

the guy, having to follow his script, said i'd start with payments of $53 in 2025 or
something in that range, but, laughing, said he was sure i'd have it paid off before then

the estradiol valerate arrived but it was a bit too late in the day to go have it put in me. i idly popped the bubble
wrap that it came in. i walked around in the sun reading italo calvino's the dinosaurs, which was very engaging.
for some reason i had feared that it would be boring, just because its theme wasn't all big & cosmic

i also got a birthday card from my pal but waited to open it

i walked from my room into the hallway, & my brother saw me unconsciously gesturing towards my chest as if to say
"join me on my walk" to a person i was imagining having a conversation with. i went on a meandering walk intended
to eventually arrive at the store where i would spend just about the absolute last of my money on a peach tea

i walked the perimeter of a blacktop parking lot as the sun set, reading more of the calvino
story. i passed a guy looking at the full moon through a telescope that he had set up out on
the sidewalk. the store was out of peach tea so i got one of those tall, sugary cans of "tea"

neocities reverted to its activity of taking an hour to display any update to a page for me, but showing it instantly for
other people. i found this extremely exhausting. i spent much of the night & the early morning transferring my june
journal onto a scratchpad webpage on my computer, for eventual pasting into the html of the 2022 journal page


august 11th. i went to a private club that my dad landed a job at. it was my first time seeing the
place. i liked the way that it felt. there was a stand-up comedy open mic, & i was tasked with
manning the sound booth & playing each person's requested intro music as they went up

prior to the start of the show i got to just play whatever music i wanted, which i really enjoyed, & i immediately
started poring over hundreds of songs in search of ones that felt "mellow" in the way that felt right for
the space. i didn't get to play a ton, but i amassed a playlist with one hundred & eleven songs

the show started. there were a few hiccups, but after that i managed just fine. i got
a seven-inch pizza & it verified my dad's assertions that the pizza there is super good

prior to that night i had really considered signing up & just going up with tons of
notecards with hypothetical people written on them, but i didn't go through with it

these were the intro songs:

1. electric six - danger high voltage
2. dj shadow - nobody speak
3. onr - love in suburbia
4. relient k - crayons can melt on us for all i care
5. imagine dragons - enemy
6. ac/dc - the jack
7. tom jones - what's new pussycat

pretty much all of the acts were... very rough. you know, comedians who go up on stage under the preconception that they're
going to make an event of speaking as a very frank & honest voice, & then proceeding to basically just propagandize
that basically all that sits behind that usual veil of pretension is just cynically-minded sexuality, & as if it's usually
concealed by conservative sexual norms that in reality are just blatantly transgressed by the internet & by thousands
of tv shows that broadcast across the entire planet. women who go up & reinforce this under the guise of being an
underrepresented voice who is now Speaking Out! as if Amy Schumer didn't appear fifteen years ago

after the show my dad & i got stuck at the place for about an hour because the owner
had mistakenly headed home without leaving behind any means of locking up the building


august 12th. deep into sunrise the full moon was still huge & bright & clear in a really beautiful way. i made a mix of three songs
that would be replicated when i started making radio shows again a few weeks hence. i listened to the three songs repeatedly

i went & got a shot, finally, for the first time in over a month. on the drive there i caught
an intensely memorable glimpse of a woman walking in this canal at this junction

at the clinic, i received the thrilling knowledge that estradiol valerate is even thicker than cypionate. the shot
was actually a little hard to bear, although i think this may have just been a circumstantial thing, because
just the needle's passive presence in my skin burned & that doesn't usually happen. maybe dehydration

that night i heard my dad bugging out about something, so i left my room to investigate. he told me he had done some shrooms. he was
bugging out about the unremarkable smell from my brother microwaving a frozen chimichanga, which he was convinced was the worst thing
he'd ever smelled in his life. he went on jabbering & talking to himself & laughing all night long. he seems to have had a great time.
it got to be a bit much for me at one point, so i walked out to a parking lot somewhere & read part of another calvino story


august 13th. in the early morning, for the first time in a good while, i went out
walking, filming with my camcorder, & just talking about whatever came to mind

i went & bought a bottle of cherry wine. my pal & i watched grey gardens,
which was very nice. i drank about half of the bottle of wine as we watched it


august 14th. a moment in the early morning: "why, that's funny!
my voice didn't come back to me!" (laptop bluescreens)

i felt all day like i was verging on some kind of mental breakdown. around ten-thirty my pal
called me & we got drunk & listened to lots of music past midnight, to around three-thirty am


august 15th. i turned twenty-four years old. in the early morning i hoped to go on a nighttime-sunrise walk across the city
& arrive at the coffee shop around when they opened. this didn't pan out though because i ran into some guy on omegle
who i found stimulating to talk to. i showed him all my lps & stuffed animals & danced around to music. i fell asleep

i woke up around four pm. my dad made stuffed peppers. for my birthday i gifted myself a "reset point" & it really did work. from
today on i genuinely felt pretty okay. i also made plans to meet J, the dinosaur onesie guy from april, over coffee on the seventeenth

the light bulb in the little lamp in my room went out. i found a replacement, but it had a garish green tint that i did not
like much at all. so i used this an excuse to go on a long walk to the store. i listened to the first animal collective
album, & this is the walk on which it really, finally, fully clicked for me. i envisioned music videos in my head

the energy of april & the phantom drove me to run across a big busy street while the traffic had paused
& down a grassy hill on the other side, where the jostling caused the earbud wire to tear my phone from
my pocket & fling it from itself, somewhere into the grass, where i had to turn back & search for it

taking the small nature trail, dimly lit by the floodlights of a nearby tennis court, i entered the darkness of the furthest stretch
& heard a rustling in front of me. i nervously paused my music & shined my phone's flashlight, worrying that it was a person

it was a possum, who tried to flee, but was caught between me & a fence which ran parallel to the trail. so it had no
choice but to anxiously follow along with that fence as i proceeded, until it reached the end & climbed to the top of
the fence post
, clung to it & watched me indefinitely. i stood there staring at it for a little while, then moved on

on my way back home, as i crossed a parking lot, i watched my shadow from one of
the lights & slowly raised my grocery bag above my head almost ritualistically

i tried to take the small nature trail again but found myself getting intensely nervous. then
it clicked - the floodlights weren't on anymore. those were what i needed for my bravado

so, as i walked the dimly lit paved path, adjacent to the big empty field, i noticed what
i could have sworn was a person lying in the grass, just at the edge of the light's reach

i wasn't completely sure that it was a person - maybe a set of discarded objects arranged in a way that created an illusion in
the dark. i even entertained the idea that it was a kind of small, decorative scarecrow type figure that had been abandoned

still, the prevailing idea in my mind was that it was a person. this opened up various questions for me: are they okay? can i resist checking on
them? should i be afraid? are they lying in wait for a victim? should i anticipate the trauma of finding a body? what if it's a child? or is all
this trepidation the unfortunate effect of what is really a romantic thing to see - a person lying on their back watching the stars? would they
not want to be bothered? should i contribute to a world where a person can lie down & watch the stars & not expect to be bothered?

i turned on my flashlight & approached about as close as i could handle, which wasn't very close at all, not close enough
to better make out that ambiguous shape. i said, nervously, i imagine inaudibly, "hello?- ah- nevermind-," & carried on

naturally i spent the remainder of that paved path envisioning them leaping to their feet & charging after me, maybe even having
accomplices lying elsewhere in the dark. i imagined shrieking, fleeing, making it home safely at the other end of a kind of
adrenal blur in my memory, how terrifying that would be but also how substantive of a journal entry, for better or for worse


august 17th. i stayed up all through the early morning, listening to Charles a lot,
waiting until eight am. i lied in bed completely & fully sedated by the song my lamb

at eight, i would put on my rain boots & walk all the way across the city to meet J for coffee. i was
sure i wouldn't fall asleep. my commitment to not ghosting him would prevent it. if i began feeling
super drowzy, i planned to just leave immediately so that i simply could not feasibly fall asleep

around seven-thirty, i walked to the store to get a bottle of coffee. i handed the cashier a five dollar bill. i noticed, in my
wallet, that there was a target receipt nestled among the bills. this wasn't right. the wallet is supposed to bilaterally
sectioned into bills versus receipts & whatever other small miscellaneous papers & cards may make their way in

i picked the target receipt out. i then extended my middle & ring fingers in order to snag the rightmost bills
& pull them away from the side of the wallet, so that i could replace the receipt in the resulting cavity

i realized my dexterity was maybe not going to be sufficient to do this before the cashier had retrieved my change
& extended his hand with it. i instantly developed a pointless devotion to preventing the slight pause that would
result, & the crux of this paragraph for me is the sentence that i thought, which was, "just let me have this"

as i was walking home, a huge moving truck pulled up beside me. the woman driving it handed me my umbrella. i had sat it on
the counter, instantly forgotten that it existed, & walked away without it. as i have shown myself to be prone to doing with
umbrellas to an extent that i find genuinely shocking. i wouldn't be surprised if i left it behind at the coffee shop later

when i was almost home i imagined someone ruining a mall santa's life by sitting on his lap & willing
themselves to begin decomposing in realtime. i considered adapting this into a @hypotheticalpeople
post but didn't feel that it "clicked" for me well enough to be its own standalone thing

my coffee inexplicably had some gelatinous coffee at the bottom & when it went in my
mouth i fled into the kitchen fully prepared to type the phrase "living fucking insect"

i put on my boots & set out

the walk was really wonderful, a drizzly early morning. i listened to the animal collective debut again, & this
time it really super clicked with me & became one of my favorite albums i've ever heard. a memorable moment
was avoiding cars in the parking lot of a starbucks while the exclusive elusive in houston part was playing

i saw "keep our city fascist free" spray painted on the underside of a bridge. i encountered some people replacing
a sewer line, which was a visual of the ground opening up along a sharply defined line. i passed through some
residential streets i've never been on before. when i got downtown, i saw that a bridal shop which has been a very
familiar fixture for a long time went out of business. i arrived at the coffee shop with twenty minutes to spare

i ordered a ham & cheese sandwich & ate it. i sat waiting for J to arrive. i thought about a barista who didn't work
there anymore. he had music taste that was identifiably cool by the pattern of what would play when he was
clocked in. his girlfriend looked exceedingly like me such that he once turned & mistakenly said "oh, hey"
to me in what was identifiably a more personal greeting. these qualities simply live in my memory

J arrived. he got a standard coffee. i got one of the monthly specials, a blended french toast latte. we talked for an hour & a half. it went well.
topics included uncomprehending infant sadism towards animals, the movie cars, people denigrating others' ways of speaking & how it's his
biggest pet peeve, Immanuel Kant's metaphysics, Erich Fromm, David Lynch, randonauting, a story he read about a guy who set up a script
to mark him as going to completely random events listed on facebook & he always forced himself to attend... he told me about a band
called Beborn Beton. towards the end i got a semi-agonizing protracted muscle spasm in my leg for no apparent reason

he departed for work. as he left he said he could talk to me all day. now i was simply downtown with no obligations,
a little money, no cell service, a coffee shop with wifi to take refuge in... the back room had closed, so it was a little
crowded. a guy came in with a puppy & got a little dish of whipped cream for it, which was so freaking baller

i thought about pushing myself to make the most of the outing, but decided i had done a lot, had fulfilled a rare social excursion, &
had been awake for nearly twenty-two hours, & i didn't have to pressure myself in that way. i messaged my brother for a ride home

that night, after i had slept (a little...), a guy sent me a random instagram message & it inexplicably caused my phone to notify me of
the past two hundred messages in that window consecutively, playing the notification sound over & over. when i turned the screen on
& saw the messages piling up in the push notification, i briefly thought, with earnest excitement, that he was using some kind
of computer script to carry out a socially experimental act of sending a gigantic deluge of questions in sequence


august 18th. in the early morning i spent a long time combing through one hundred pages of my blog,
picking out only the most unfetteredly positive sentiments to collate them on a dedicated webpage


august 19th. i spent a long time talking to A, a guy with a ph.d who i had met
on omegle one day in may of 2020 & hardly talked to at all in the interim


august 20th. i became committed to skipping the full way to the store & back for a bottle of coffee, with the hope if not the
expectation of psychologically benefiting an onlooker! but i underestimated how exhausting it would be... i thought it
would take only the spirit to do such a thing, not physical endurance too. i couldn't manage it, unfortunately

when i was almost at the store i turned away to escape a near sense of romantic tension with a person who was essentially
a literal silhouette on the horizon who looked like they might have been turning & looking at me standing on a hilltop


august 21st. i got a ride to the store for multivitamins, d12 supplements, & fish oil pills. i could't find d12 in particular, though.
as i stood in the vitamin aisle i was abruptly hit like a truck with low blood sugar feelings, & by the time i got to checkout i was
shaking & lightheaded. i got two candy bars that totaled five hundred calories, sat down on a bench near the exit, & ate them

after i stood up, an old-ish guy stopped on his way out to remark that i have long legs & ask how tall i am. he also
said how tall he was (5'5). he managed to come across more dopey & surprised than overtly weird in doing this

i went back into the store to see if they had cherries in stock. they
did, so i got some cherries. then i walked to a nearby starbucks

i ordered a frappuccino. a guy came through the drive-thru who an employee said tells them a different
name every day while tipping a consistent amount. then i watched a bald middle aged guy abruptly skip
across the room to the counter, saying, in a high voice, "a hee hee! a hee hee! starbucks a hee hee!"

my brother drove me home. i discovered that the fish oil pills were gigantic, way too big for me to
feel comfortable swallowing. so i just kind of... forsook them. i took two, just to gauge how
well i might be able to handle it, & that was enough for me. then i ate all the cherries


august 22nd. the first day of the semester. on the second floor of the building that all my classes are in i passed a guy with a
box of donuts, handing them out. i took one. then i went downstairs & persevered through a vending machine rejecting about
six of my dollar bills consecutively just so i could get a candy bar & feed the lion sculpture in front of maybe twelve people

my second & final class of the day was sure to be the most interesting of the semester: "Cults in the U.S." the instructor is a charming
guy who sort of reminds me of Doug Dalglish. the final project for the course will be to make up our own cults & present them, no joke

later, in the student center, a girl called S sat next to me because i "gave off queer vibes" & proceeded to talk my ear off about the sexual
identities of disney & marvel characters in a way that reeked of having internalized some culturally diffused predefined model of how to
interpersonally project as an lgbt person. i stared blankly, nodding occasionally, unsure of how to steer the interaction into something
that didn't feel like tv static. i told her about @hypotheticalpeople & my instagram handle & excused myself to go obtain a textbook


august 23rd. i woke in the early morning to such a beautifully, passionately incoherent seven-hundred-word sequence of discord
messages that it made me a little worried about the condition of the sender but also a little sad that i have to let it live only
in the chat window instead of sharing it with the whole world. i wouldn't feel respectful in even asking such a thing

my walk to school meticulously delivered me into the company of S, the girl from yesterday. i walked
with her, told her about my radio show, dispensed lore about how there'd been all the construction
work last year & how this wasn't really the "classic" form of the campus for me anymore

we went to get breakfast. i guided her through the process of ordering & paying & everything. she seemed very
overwhelmed by it. i paid for her stuff. i just barely had enough money. when i had agreed to pay i had been
a little unsure that i would have enough, & i had been prepared to try to negotiate with the cashier a little.
i pointed S towards the building her next class was in & hurried off to a class i was slightly late for

it didn't turn out to matter that i was late. it was essentially ninety minutes of absolute basics, how to turn
in assignments online & things like that. i think it was primarily intended for exchange students who
happened to constitute a majority of the class. i'm not sure why i even stayed the full duration

i learned after class through a very belatedly-read e-mail that one of my old instructors, briefly
my advisor as a computer science major, had died in may of complications from kidney failure

on my way home, i stopped in a field & recorded an improvisational twenty-one-minute video that i found cathartic

when i got home my dad was tackling the grim task of using a pot to spoon old
stagnant water out of the broken washing machine & into a five gallon bucket,
& dump it outside one bucket at a time... it was a stinky apartment day

i had been out in the brush a little bit recording my video, & because of this i must have found at least six or seven seed ticks
crawling on me. this created a moment where i was standing in the living room & decided the shirt i had on must have had more
of them on it. so i tore my shirt off in a moment that was very single-minded, disconnected from the space around me, sort
of panicked. then i processed that i had plainly just done this in front of my dad, & darted out of the room


august 24th. i drew my classic apple on the whiteboard before cults class. a guy
who sat next to me said, "what is that, some sorta little fella?" i said, "an apple."

i read an e-mail from my radio instructor, informing me that the girl who had previously occupied the student worker
position of station manager had quit, & that i was his first pick to replace her, if i was interested. i responded affirmatively

i wrote the outline for the first episode of the semester


august 25th. in the morning i got my bangs into a kind of controlledly disordered look that i sort of
liked & wanted to try, but then i ran a comb through them like a dummy & couldn't get them quite the same
after that. ironic given how much time i have spent stressing about them having an ordered appearance!

i agreed to do sound stuff for another stand-up comedy open mic at the private club my dad works at. it
amounted to playing a playlist for basically no one & then playing two youtube videos at the right times

there was a moment prior to the start of the show where i felt, viscerally (it's not usually visceral) how i
& a weird middle aged guy on his phone on a bar patio were both equal protrusions of humanity as a globally
particulate life process. but i could only feel it briefly before visceral sensations of identity took hold again

the show was powerfully boring & alienating, & forced into my head the classic awareness of nearly the entire fabric
of social reality seeming wholly devoted to being completely opposite to me at some fundamental junction. this
awareness was paired with a contrasting reality that i will almost certainly never talk to raccoon guy again

i almost fell asleep on a couch-like piece of furniture on the big wooden second story of the patio while whispering
comforting external statements to myself inaudibly, staring up at a star that was directly overhead. i enjoyed that

until this night, i had a very cozy sleep cycle that had me waking up about five hours
before class each morning. i unfortunately disrupted it through this unrewarding endeavor


august 26th. i woke up & unslept my laptop. it bluescreened instantly, which was deeply fatiguing

i walked across campus in the sunshine, eating a bagel

during cults class, the professor excused himself to go retrieve a copy of dianetics from his office

later, i took the time to write down one of my texts posts that i frequently
write in my head to recount things that aren't actually happening

exited the student center, caught a faint smell of death, immediately assumed it was from a bird that had
slammed into one of the huge window of the protruding stairwell i was next to, searched the perimeter
of the stairwell, & found the bird... felt a little bit powerful (perceptive, prescient)

the part about stepping out of the student center & faintly smelling death was true

i went & got a shot. the desk lady broke into laughter when i asked, having been in the waiting room a while,
"would you happen to have any water bottles?" this was because it broke open a relating between us around
the a/c in the waiting room being broken (which i hadn't realized it was, i just thought it was hot)

i noticed that my soulseek client had been totally reset somehow, meaning i could no longer be "soulseekcutie" for a while because
i'd never anticipated having to actually remember the password. i also lost all my chat logs, download logs, & my wishlist. oh well

i went on a walk. i saw a rainbow & this incited it to feel very natural to say the word "rainbow"
to myself many times, rhythmically or otherwise. eventually it reproduced with some other
thoughts i was thinking, into the phrase "rainbow & less cold. the concept is dead"


august 27th. i took an alarmist propaganda book out of the "little free library" & tore it to shreds. as i
walked with the shreds, proceeding to the convenience store, i passed a bush out of which burst a cloud
of small birds. just within reach was a bird left behind. somehow, one of its feet was tangled with a
branch, or a viney bit of material, & it was literally dangling upside down by its leg helplessly

i reached out, pet it lightly with my index finger, took it, gently took its leg, worked its foot slightly
along the branch until it dropped free into my palm for the briefest instant before taking off in a panic

it made my day. i happily laughed some as i walked on. i am very grateful that i was where i was, when i was


august 29th. i screwed up big time. i caused my friend to miss his flight back home. he had told me his new airbnb
address the night before & i had neglected to pass that along to my dad & brother, so they didn't know where to go.
i was asleep by the time it all played out. both he & my brother had tried to call me, but it hadn't woken me

the instant that i woke up & saw that i had unread messages, everything clicked in my head & i felt
really embarrassed & terrible, fully ready to pay for another plane ticket if need be... fortunately
he managed to get his airbnb stay extended by a day while he acquired a bus ticket

i arranged to meet the guy in charge of student employment later that day. i saw a kitten on
the way to school. i dumbly approached it & naturally scared it off. when it scampered off,
a second, grey kitten revealed itself, fleeing from behind the little concrete wall

after class, i walked to the bank. i was wearing my boots that day, & on the way i decided to wade across a shallow pool of
water & back. my left foot got wet! i inspected the boot & saw that the rubber on top had gotten a split in it. unfortunate

at the bank, i acquired an "account verification form" for the guy i'd be meeting with. i also deposited six dollars.
these would go into my student account so that i would be able to print a short paper that i would write later that
day. printing the paper would cost ten cents per page, but there was a five dollar minimum to add to the account

i made it back to the student center a starving, woozy wreck. i managed to scrounge up a few dollars mysteriously
lingering in my paypal, & get lunch. i had to pay for the lunch by splitting the payment between my debit &
student cards. it was also logistically crucial that i used them in that specific order, or i would
have fully drained my student account & not had the funds to add another five dollars

i met with the student employment guy. he had lots of pictures of peppa pig in his office. peppa pig & n.w.a.
i signed a bunch of forms, mostly tax-related. i also had to finally sign my little social security card that's
been with me probably since the day i was born. apparently they're not "official" until the owner signs them

that night my dad got sweet pea to run laps around the apartment &
i tried to throw a blanket at the right moment that it landed on her


august 30th. i saw both kittens on my walk to school. i guess this
is all that happened today. i did not write down anything else


august 31st. around one pm i met with my radio instructor so he could preliminarily show me around the radio station area a bit more, my
office, a storage room lined with shelves & shelves of unneeded classical cds... he also showed me some unfamiliar aspects of the software,
stuff like that. we spent maybe an hour & a half on it. i spent a little while familiarizing myself with the office, discovered a bunch of
candy that the previous girl had let in one of the drawers. the computer mouse's scroll wheel was also sticky for some reason

before i left, i recorded the spoken parts for the next episode. i walked home. the weather was very nice. i felt
good. i spent a while writing pretty much all of this journal since august twentieth. that part was a bit draining


i can't deal with doing the usual centered formatting on the journal pages anymore

september 1st. i made myself late to class over a soulseek download. it was the only time i'd ever seen the album in question come up! (self-titled by stephan barbery under the name "image par image"). i put the album on youtube later that day, & it... honestly wasn't that interesting. oh well

i went in for my first day at the radio station. i spent a lot of time cleaning old shows out of the system's library of audio files & archiving them on "the cloud." at a rate of $10.30 per hour, i got approximately $2.37 for doing a conversion of the files from wav to mp3. i also designed the paper that i would later print out & pin to my door. i couldn't print it in color yet, though

someone randomly bought my album lumiere for fifteen dollars, which meant i'd be able to get lunch the following day


september 2nd. i walked to school in the rain. i cleaned out more audio files. after my shift, i walked to the library & printed out the thirty-four flyers about love that i planned to distribute - approximately two to each building. i also printed out the "plaque" for my door

on my way back to my office to pin it up, i stopped & picked a white flower that i would pin to the top right corner. i had to kind of sever it by pinching the base between the nails of my thumb & index fingers, & when it gave i got a small thorn jabbed into my index finger. i pinned the paper up

around this time i started drinking a fair amount of diet soda in what i chose to interpret as a redirection of compulsive energy that might have otherwise gone towards potentially breaking what was now an eighteen-day streak of zero psychic contact with tumblr notes

i answered the discussion board question for my mass comm theory class with an unnecessary eight hundred & fifty word essay because it genuinely didn't feel meaningful to respond with something less than that

at home i noticed chocolate girl playing in the living room - a rerun of lamplight seven was airing


september 4th. in the early morning i ran into someone on omegle named D who i have run into numerous times in the past. we like each other. i did lots of goofy stuff, danced to music, at one point i was dancing to angela's theme with a cane balanced on the palm of my hand simply in a bid to entertain him, it was fun

as i was falling asleep later that night i felt physically nonexistent, no sensory impression that i was lying in a bed. i turned my eyes & was surprised when i saw my hand lying where it was, because nothing was telling me it'd be there. it had the otherness of another person's hand


september 5th. that process of downloading all the 433rpm albums from that guy back in june never really panned out. but i started skimming through what i had & found a really gnarly ep (single?) by some enigmatic group from the eighties or nineties called the beasty snacks. i also found a nice album called callous friends by rig veeda


september 6th. in the early morning i shed tears over the phrase "drive through the zoo"

my second class was cancelled, so i spent the time between classes & work walking all around campus, listening to music & distributing all the love fliers. i accidentally sat the last six in a puddle of coffee so i had to print replacements

at work i was tasked with rooting through a room lined with shelves of redundant classical cds & picking out ones to rip & add to the music library, just on gut judgment. i got pretty fixated on this task over the next week or so

mushrooms were popping up all over campus, all over the neighborhood


september 7th. i had to help move two heavy desks & it was decently strenuous, probably the single most strenuous thing i anticipate having to do at this job. after B (my supervisor) thanked me, i replied "thanks" then corrected to "you're welcome"

very odd experience after i got home. i've posted on tumblr before about intermittently feeling a sense of loss about having lost contact with a really nice guy who i met on omegle in may of 2020. well, i went on omegle & got someone whose first two messages were "may 2020" & "u remember"

at first i entertained the idea that it was really happening, but i was naturally skeptical, & tested their knowledge. over the course of the conversation i became almost positive that this was a person who follows me on tumblr, pretending to be him, trying to simulate that reunion i had expressed a pining for

they refused to ever answer any sufficiently specific questions about him or the conversation we had had, just wanting me to do all the answering, to "prove" that i "remembered." i am not sure if they were just doing this to toy with me, to manipulate me, to draw personal information out of me, or what...

we talked on discord some over the next week or two & it was all kind of stimulating in its manner of being a kind of... puzzle, an "informatic drama." whoever it is, though, i do not consider them a friend


september 8th. during my walk to school i thought there was a rock in my boot but when i stopped in a parking lot to take it off it turned out to be a grasshopper which flew out & made me drop the boot in surprise

later in my walk i remembered something good that had happened recently, but i forgot it while i was writing down the grasshopper thing so that i wouldn't forget that... tears in da rain

B had me write a script for a little transitional interlude between the syndicated classical block & the student programming block. after he provided his input i recorded it & added it to the system. i also ripped a cd by a guy named Robert Honeysucker

my "social interaction" professor gave me a B on 1,700 words of careful introspection for the first discussion forum because i wrote it all on the last day. i hadn't realized he had wanted a minimum rate of one post per week for each two-week unit

i started putting together the long-overdue dedicated Lamplight webpage


september 9th. i placed what i would estimate to be thirty coins (composed almost entirely of nickels (the absolute last money on my person)) into a vending machine without confidence that they would add up to the dollar seventy-five that was needed for a diet soda. they turned out to match it precisely, though

i uploaded all the cds i'd ripped to mega & shared them on tumblr

after work i went to get my shot. my teeth were chattering in the waiting room because it was cold. it was one of the shots that hurts for whatever reason, it ached all day even

on the way home my brother & i briefly stopped at a store that sells a diverse range of alcohol. i determined that i could get elderberry wine there

there is a prophecy that i have to try elderberry wine at some point. the reason it's a prophecy is that i started jokingly thinking of it as one, & that was long enough ago now that i can't just not think of it as one

it hit me that this jokey sense of it being a prophecy has accrued a degree of internal validation that can be hard to come by. the result is that i can't just buy some & drink it as soon as is feasible, for the sake of concluding the joke. i have to wait until a certain important time...

on the way home with my brother a pink dump truck passed us at an intersection. we also stopped by a yard sale but didn't get anything. i considered a sort of pretty red hat with black... webbing? a black bow too i think


september 10th. i went downtown to spectate a local pride event. my brother & i picked up S on the way, stopped by her dorm so she could change into more fitting clothing then proceeded there

my dad took a photo with me, him, & a friend of his named M who later went up on stage & strummed an acoustic guitar while tenderly singing a semi-comedic love song she'd written about how she wants to be with someone who makes her laugh like Andy Samberg of The Lonely Island

at one point two guy walked past me on the sidewalk carrying actual swords, maybe not swords but huge swingable metal blades. then i noticed a third guy walking around with a huge sheath on his back that looked like it had a machete in it. this had me bugging out so i ran down the block to my dad & his cohorts (some of the people involved with arranging the whole event) & notified them. they already knew the people by name, though. they said they were just doing 'cosplay, in a weird way.' eventually i saw some staff go & talk to machete guy, & he disappeared for a bit then reappeared without the sheath. i didn't see the sword guys again

the comfortingly familiar golf arcade game in the back of the bar was replaced with a speedboat arcade game

late at night i went on a really nice walk to the store in my red coat with the night sky all bright with light echoing around in storm clouds that were rolling in & it made islands & regions from various sources of light pollution on the horizon or closer & what i think was the moon making a brooding reddened patch. during the walk i felt very alert & real. i listened to fair weather by current 93 a bunch of times & quietly repeated each line out loud


september 11th. while listening to xiu xiu's cover of the song falling i walked slowly across grass & blacktop in the sun while staring at the ground through one eyelid opened as little as it could be while still letting through an image clouded with eye floaters & flickering with involuntary microscopic muscle twitches, all tapering my cognition down to something dreamlike, reeling my awareness in towards my deictic center until i'm curled in the private space between my pupil & iris, living the warm & flickering quality of a memory, enveloped bodily & mentally in something a filmmaker could only hope through editing to reduce disgracefully to a projection on a surface


september 12th. i started to cry quietly in the dark unfrequented space behind two large racks of radio hardware then stopped. i turned up the radio in my office & went into the control room. i experimentally pressed the button that totally silences the broadcast, to verify how directly that button corresponds to what goes out over the air. the answer was that it corresponds fully & immediately

i found a cd by dave soldier with artwork by komar & melamid - "naked revolution: a socialist realist opera." i also found the totally absurd alpha & omega by attila gibson

on my walk home i started laughing to myself at an image in my head of a really basic computer generated image of an empty room with the american flag for each of the six walls


september 13th. i got a sandwich from the food co-op & it was really good, i really felt like someone had made it with love. i was just sitting there in my office blissed out about it, during & after eating it

there had been some paul lansky cds lying around which drove me to listen to lots of his old experimental electronic music during my shifts

busy day. i went with my brother to go cash my twelve hundred dollar check. then we went to an autozone to get a new battery & air filter for the car. we spent a while there getting that all sorted out. it reminded me of a day in 2017 when i was stranded outside an autozone with some people & one of them put a gas station pork rind on the sidewalk & we watched ants discover it & take it apart

on the way home i stopped & picked up my medication. i had been without it for a little while

i stepped out onto the porch with a styrofoam cup of cherry limeade & unconsciously muttered "person who exists." i remembered the existence of thirty-two acres of jogging trails mowed through a field of tall grass right by where i live, & wasn't sure why i don't spend far more time there than i do... i intended to go today but decided i felt way too drowsy


september 14th. i walked to the little nature trail & noticed someone had made a little caterpillar out of clay & left it subtly on a tree. i also noticed a groundhog which hid in a little cement enclosure, inside a pipe. i figure the pipe must drop very steeply into the ground because it just disappears on the other side of the wall like the hallway from house of leaves

that evening i went out to the jogging trails. i thought i was too drowsy but i managed it & it was really nice & i listened to the songs feel the lightning by dan deacon & feels like heaven by ariel pink a lot. it got dark fast but it was really one of the most beautiful places i have access to... & i'd been there before, i knew how it is, so i'm baffled that i spent so much of the summer neglecting it. every dusk from now on, if i can help it...

a guy i held the door open for at the gas station asked me how tall i am. i told him. he said "oh, you got those high heels on though." i didn't have high heels on. he said something else as he got in his car but i didn't hear it over my music. i wish i had heard it. i was curious


september 15th. my second alarm didn't go off so i woke up right as my only class of the day started. i didn't bother going. my phone's loudspeaker seemed broken, permanently i thought, but the following day the alarm went off & the speaker began fully working again. so it must have been "locked" by a quirk of the alarm system in some way

i left the apartment drinking coffee from one of my cups that has a handle. i walked around with that cup all day. i had realized several months ago, from watching a tmbg live video where john linnell had a cup with a handle, that i like the look & feel of holding one. it only really set in today

in retrospect, there may have been mold in my coffee. the creamer did not have a date on it, but if it did, i think it would have been well past that date. but that i didn't actually notice at the time speaks to the severity of possibly having mold in one's coffee, which i guess is not a ton aside from the discomfort of the knowledge. so, not much to complain about really

when i got to the building my office is in, i saw that two benches in a small area near the entrance had been replaced with sofas & a chessboard. i said, "sofas?! ohh, that's so nice… & chessboard?!"

i sat in my office reading the comments on the 2021 obituary webpage of a former high school teacher who uploaded lots of youtube videos of him playing piano or talking about chess puzzles, math, atheism, friendship... he is honored on a plaque in my office as the "grand prize winner" of the 2000 "fine arts radio international award" but it is unclear what relationship he had to the station or the college, if any

after work i wandered around the building for engineering & medical students. i heard lots of voices in the cadaver lab. a girl in a foyer said she really liked my outfit, that it was cute. i wandered outside, over to the manufacturing plant, & encountered maybe the biggest spider i'd ever seen, which had built a web spanning the exterior of a door

i went back to the little nature trail & started noticing more clay caterpillars on the trees. i took photographs of lots of them & counted at least fifty

i stopped by another location which, like the jogging fields, i'd been neglecting the existence of: the food court for the students in the dormitories

i determined that i can just eat there for free because the cashiers never stop anyone as they walk in. they are basically just there to watch people past them, assuming that everyone just lives in the dorms & thus has a meal plan that's already accounted for. so i went & had a small dinner there. at one point i accidentally got a plate of grape jelly because i thought it was something else

i went home, then later i went out to the jogging fields again. during the walk i kept willing my eyes to go out of focus a lot. i wanted everything to feel indistinct & fuzzy, free in some way from exactly what it specifically was. i crossed my eyes & spun around or walked around a small tree staring up at the irregularity of its leaves criss crossing visually into an incomprehensible mess of stimuli. doing these things made me feel like i was seeing without seeing anything, a self-contained seeing machine seeing for its own sake, severed from sight's communicative relationship with the outside world

that night i had my window open & i could have sworn i kept hearing someone calling for help... i nearly succumbed to the bystander effect, but i didn't, i took off running in that direction & found an old lady at the retirement home who'd gotten locked outside on her balcony. i went & told a worker in the lobby about her & he went & unlocked the door... my mom once told me about having an experience almost identical to this, probably in late 2014 or very early 2015


september 16th. i walked around all day with that cup again. it was really heavenly outside. i made a dedicated webpage for all my hypothetical people. i started using yik yak again. i kept posting the hypothetical people like clockwork

i messed up. i knew the cashier in the food court wouldn't have stopped me, but i caved under the fear that she would, & stopped on my own behalf, unretractably introducing the issue of payment... i paid, umm, i think five dollars or so to get in

as i was talking with the cashier, my ex who i hadn't directly interacted with in a long time appeared behind me & said hi. i laughed & said hi. he asked how i was doing. i said i was doing ok. & that was that. we both went in & ate & otherwise didn't acknowledge each other's presences

my first radio show of the semester aired that night. well, "aired." a technical issue prevented it from going out on the actual radio, but i still did the youtube stream. it wasn't a huge deal for me

late that night i thought i'd gotten banned from yik yak & it made me have a kind of tiny App-specific near-death-experience-epiphany about trying to use it to be as positive as i can. it turned out to just be server issues


september 17th. i got out of bed, looked at my laptop, & saw what looked like... a blue screen of death, but it was grey text on a black background & the text was just scrolling by endlessly. so i bolted over with my heart now going fast, & the text was gone. i touched the touchpad & it turned on, completely normal. i think it was some kind of shifting artifact in my vision that looked like grey text when imposed on a blank laptop screen

the J who i got coffee with invited me to his birthday party on october first the J who i got coffee with invited me to his birthday party on october first

i felt very dissociated all day & it occurred to me that all my diet sodas were acting as a source of caffeine which was preventing my neurochemistry from being the placid pond that it should be


september 18th. i went out to the jogging trails again. i made a pilgrimage to a building that i used as an album cover. my brother brought home a jar of pickled okra from the store. i hadn't had it in so so long...


september 19th. in the early morning i recorded a video of my string puppet Silly dancing to a magnetic fields song in front of a bunch of vinyl sleeves on my bed

i got a phone call in my office for the first time. someone asked me why the station had been off the air since yesterday afternoon. i realized the radio in my office had been silent! i recalled a loud bang i'd heard yesterday, simultaneous with the lights in the house flickering & the modem in my house having to restart. i figured that had probably reset our computer

i went & got B & explained this to him. it turned out that all that had gotten reset was the mixer, & all i had to do was press the same button that i had used to briefly silence the broadcast that one day. he mentioned hearing that a transformer had supposedly blown up because a possum got into it

immediately after work i inanely went to a small building on campus on the behalf of a yik yak post that said, in its entirety, "come to {name of building}."

in the building i had a brief happenstance encounter with my old composition ii teacher. she looked... a lot more... gaunt than i would expect, & it made me wonder if she was sick

i peeked into the computer lounge & saw two people sitting with their laptops. i said "hi." one of them said "hi." i said "bye." i closed the door

as i passed through the student center i passed the president of the college & waved to him. he smiled & waved. i went downstairs & refilled my water bottle at a fountain. it was bottle #20,662

i went to the cafeteria again. the cashier from before wasn't there, so i just walked in. they had crazy good cheese dip that day. i saw "X" again but we didn't interact still. shortly before i left i started audibly laughing to myself at the idea of being bludgeoned to death by someone swinging a single human molar with a string tied around it


september 20th. in the early morning i found a bunch of eerie youtube videos from the mid to late 2000s & it felt bizarre that i was finding so many with an air that felt so consistent in its uncanniness

after work i ambled around slowly, weak, insanely drowsy in the heat, barely present, then sat on the floor in the gas station for seven minutes out of earnest fatigue until my brother could come pick me up... caffeine sux. i got home & felt terrible. until i drank a bottle of soda, i didn't even want to sit up in bed. i had a terrible headache all day

around seven pm i saw a yik yak post from someone saying they'd had a bad day & asking for a gatorade. so i put on my shoes & walked to the store, bought two gatorades (one for myself), then walked to their dorm building

i used to go on a lot of walks in that building while listening to albums, if it was too cold out. it is just three floors of hallways, & i would snake back & forth & up & down. i stopped on the night of june 21st, 2018 when a campus cop got on my case while i was on the walk to listen to david bowie's black tie white noise... so, in short, it was a little nostalgic to be in the building again. two of the three back doors that i usually got in through were locked, but one was ajar

i went up & knocked on the door. a girl named Lexi answered. i gave her the gatorade. she thanked me, seemed very touched, & gave me a hug. she asked my name. i told her. her roommate gave me a box of macaroni. i only accepted the macaroni because i agree my way through interactions like a deer in the headlights

i said bye & walked home. later i went back out, stopped by the store for a bottle of ibuprofen, then walked to the food co-op & dropped the macaroni off there. i went up to my lair at the top of the library & took a photo of three distant asynchronous radio towers, snagging the brief moment where they were all on simultaneously. on my way home i passed two girls climbing onto the campus' central animal statue in a riding posture while their friend took a picture


september 21st. David Teledu, an obscure musician whose 1996 album witchkitchen i spent a while trying to track down the unabridged contents of (which proved seemingly impossible), & who i figured now existed totally off the grid, replied to my facebook message six months later... it seemed like some kind of automated reply, but it gave me hope

before i left for school, i stared blankly like a reptile as my dad openly wept in the living room & said he was going to move in with a friend for a week as a means of getting himself to stop drinking alcohol, said that he loves me & my brother, that he doesn't want to be seen as a loser or live in a cloud or have his brains turn mushy

all i thought about... was my total lack of inclination to say anything, to offer any consolation or support, to even move a muscle. & i feel little hope of ever being more than comatose in this way. all i can say is in the opposite direction is that i at least recognize the deficiency

on monday, my cults teacher had written "dual-seedline" on the board. i changed it to "apple-seedline." a few people laughed when i did it, & he laughed when he walked in & saw it

at work, B showed me the workings of a device made for recording podcasts, so that i could in turn show a group of aspiring podcasters how to set it up & use it when they showed up at one pm. they'd be returning to record each wednesday

after two weeks, i finally got a reply to one of my love fliers, from a certain G:

To me, love is something defined by repetitiousness; the kind that lasts & the kind that I want, anyway. A love built upon hope gets you nowhere without action, & a love built on memory never fits the person recalling it since they've moved forward in time since then. Love in my own terms is a continual act, one done repeatedly, without cession, & without tiring. Soren Kierkegaard talks a good chunk about his ideas on it, & I find myself in his party most of the time.

Love, in a romantic sense in particular, is something that gets misused & mistranslated & is overall very messy with most people, myself included at least for a while. I used to think there was a chance I was aromantic, but I think I may not have really grown into the concept until more recently. It is something that certainly requires work, but what is overlooked is that it requires one to be able to find solace & contentment even in the same thing - repetition does not offer new shock value or the excitement of exploration, but security & happiness in the established normalcy of a longtime connection. That is what I think of when I imagine real love. It is what I want more than anything, when I think of my future.

i wrote back:

i think this is a great response! it's actually the first one i've gotten since i distributed the flyers on september 6th (two for each building on campus, more or less - i think many of them quickly vanished)

i get the impression that you feel strongly about it & have really thought it through. i've recorded the response in my text file. thank you!

i recommend "in praise of love" by alain badiou, if you're not familiar with it

he wrote back:

if i had a nickel for every time someone recommended me a badiou book, I'd have two nickels, which isn't a lot, but it's weird that it happened twice

thanks for the recommendation though I'll look into him more

the internet went down for the whole campus for a little while, which took the station off the air for a bit

the podcasters arrived, six girls & an older woman who seemed to be occupying a supportive role towards the project, writing down on a notepad things they should purchase. the project was headed by a girl named A, i believe. the concept was... students telling their stories? maybe international students in particular? i'm not sure

i showed them how to set up the device & operate it. i felt a little... annoying? like i was over-explaining very basic things. but i think i underestimate how little plenty of people really interact with technology, online publishing, stuff like that. they seemed grateful. A gave me her phone number so we could stay in touch, & i told them they could come to my office if they needed any help

later, B & i investigated the playlist issue that prevented my show from airing. we didn't really figure it out, but he did randomly air the show to test if it was an issue with the playlist or with the audio file. so episode twenty-six went out at three pm

at one point i peeked into a room hoping to find B & ask him a question, saw him talking with someone, ducked back out of view, then the guy he was talking to said i could ask a question if i needed. i was quickly seized by an impulse to leap back into the doorway on one foot smiling with my hands spread in a "showbiz" kinda way & it made them laugh


september 22nd. it was chilly & drizzly out, a total inversion of the weather for the past several weeks. i wore my red coat

i started this journal & wrote pretty much everything up to this point, cobbling it all together from notes, feeling i'd probably still neglected to record a lot. up until today i didn't even have an empty draft made. this was all i did in my office that day, until two cool people stopped by

first K showed up, then M. these were the two people i had seen in the computer lounge. i stayed there with them for about three hours after i usually leave. M is insanely good at tetris. they seem to have been friends for a long time. i essentially met them on the "school discord," which is a ghost town, we are the only people active on it & not in a very committed manner

i played music the whole time, but i didn't talk all that much, due to the effect where when two people are good at talking to each other it enables me to not have to talk at all. & they were very good at talking to each other, so that additionally intimidated me a little

plus there was the quality where if i am still getting used to some people it makes all my attempts at jokes come together like extremely rudimentary, baby-like manipulations of concepts, like i'm the babbling sixth grader again... i was also really hungry with a low blood sugar feeling, so i couldn't actually think very well

overall, though, i enjoyed having them there

M kind of stuck out to me in particular, they had like... i don't know, like an ideal balance of... 1. seeming to see things that i see, like:

dislike of thinking in terms of categories

experienced grasp of online culture & mechanics but also valuing the act of stay grounded in one's surroundings, locality...

dislike of image macros as pre-packaged dynamics that take the place of more varied expression like original metaphors for the same dynamics

but: 2. calmly putting all these things in quick & simple terms in the midst of conversation, not sounding like they're trying to write a book about it

i told these people in our first in-person meeting (barely even prefaced by online interaction), to their relatably incredulous concern, about there having at one point been a kf thread about me, so you know there was something real (being funny in writing this here)

something that made us laugh a lot: they showed me a song by an old friend of theirs, they lovingly just did not think the song was very good & thought it was funny for that. i randomly went to his last.fm artist page & one of the top "similar artists" was Freddy Fazbear. i went to Freddy Fazbear's page & he had exactly one song, whose title was in Spanish


september 23rd. i didn't go in to work because i counted staying after the day prior on my timesheet, & hit twenty hours for the week, which is all they'll pay me for. i did stop by to get the most recent episode added to the system, plus the block transition clip that i recorded

i went to the little building with the computer lounge & spent some more time with K & M. it felt a lot less conversational this time, like mutual laptop usage... at one point M said they don't like it around here, that it feels like everyone just tries to ignore each other. K asked if we were contributing to that. M said they just didn't have anything to say at that time. so at least it was acknowledged!

my brother picked me up at about four to get a shot but when we arrived the clinic was closed. i had misremembered the appointment time by an hour

weird dissociative day wherein i wrote about six hundred words of sincere argumentation on Yik Yak. i do not feel like i was a "chill" person today

basically i shared a brief video of myself & this single handedly turned the app into a strange blizzard of intermittent "transphobia" all day

(i am at a point where i do not even want to type "transphobia" outside of quotation marks because even the preliminary mental categories that these people have to establish in order to conceive of a "trans" which they may then impose "transphobia" on feels so rotten from its base that it makes no sense at any point past that, it's just densely contaminated with the fixedness of identity & so on (not that i can say this globally applies to people who conceive of "trans" so as to occupy the category... it's complicated))

as usual, i tried as best as i could, though imperfectly i think, to come at all the interactions less in any interest of catharsis & "owning" the person & more in the interest of tearing apart their statements in frank & personable terms that i felt might constructively serve as positive counterexamples to anyone spectating, rather than destructively serving as negative rebuttals that reveled in the self-evidence of their positions. it feels important to me to always diminish the snappy zingers & clapbacks & to always try to speak to something beyond the preconceptions that even the anti-bigoted people might bring to the table

& it was somewhat addicting to do this because it was so easy, i was sort of animated by the assumption that the people i were dealing with were like... completely standard issue Missouri guys that do not even exist on my radar most of the time & here they were completely failing to present like they even had anything going on behind the eyes, just voids that i could contrastingly occupy with personality

i disconnected & noted to myself how the air outside smelled great that night. odd how sometimes it smells more neutral & sometimes it smells great. i restoratively danced around to a fleetwood mac song (you make loving fun ?), then went crazy flailing to an animal collective song (did you see the words)


september 24th. M invited me to get coffee & then go on a walk at the nature trail the following afternoon. i agreed

i scrounged $2.30 in change because i wanted so badly to go on a walk with a prize (a vending machine drink) at the end. i was broke, two weeks after cashing a twelve hundred dollar check, because a ton of it had gone into various necessary expenses. my dad & my brother said they intended to pay it all back

i hadn't gotten a paycheck yet because i had joined during an unusually long pay period, such that i started on the first & wouldn't get paid until the thirtieth...


september 25th. strange early morning... forgave & reconnected with someone even though i would still maintain that they can have some pretty unpleasant, even deeply unfortunate social tendencies. but i realized i had built up a kind of one-sided, demonized image of them in my mind that, while maybe not entirely undeserved, no longer corresponded 1:1 with the truth of their issues. & i felt i had to dismantle that. i also acknowledged that, even if they say things i could dislike, i don't actually have to let them bother me

separate from all that, mr. teledu left a comment on one of my youtube videos:

Hello and thank you very much for your interest. I still have my master recordings of this album, plus a lot of additional compatible style &personnel material from that period. I'm hoping that I can put together a revised version of it later this year through Bandcamp.


today was wonderful. one of my best days in a long while. i went & got coffee with M. then we went to a nature trail & ended up walking nine & a half miles. it was a shockingly cozy span of social interaction, i mean i was thrilled, i mean it felt like a breakthrough, i mean... mirror neurons

i was nervous that i'd have nothing to say the whole time but that turned out to be unfounded to the point that it's funny i even worried about it

i give up on capturing it all episodically & resort to something patchwork

horse jumper of love s/t shirt

talking about buffalo running in the car

talking about ugly modernized libraries in the car

talking about the tornado zone in the car

REPUBLICAN HQ (on a banner draped over a building (laughing a lot))

the coffee shop from last december

pond in the coffee shop weirdly muddy & bubbly

vanilla shakes

(mine with two espresso shots)

small amount of whipped cream in my hair

laughing a lot about my dad's jim carrey grinch obsession

do you know james ferraro oh man i always myopically think of musicians i'm really familiar with as just "the music" that everyone knows but really there's so much you can show everyone i gotta show you nightdolls with hairspray

the trail... talking about writing & feelings of unreality & pretendness as we get out of the car

the bluetooth speaker makes it entrance

asking them to pick two letters... getting an autechre song

talking about false distinction between natural & synthetic

two phones

talking about derailing meme formats

making a constant joke of "look again" signs at the roads

criticizing suburban sprawl

when songs start i keep saying "all-timer here"

photo of me meticulously blocking my pupils from view with my fingers

then i block my pupils from their actual view

i often dislike graphic tees - i just want to speak through color & texture

detour to walgreens to hydrate

consider walking to park with certain giant sculpture but it’s too far

i am always walking on the left, & we turn this into a bit... we unintentionally switch it up for a little bit after both staring down into a gorge, & later reference that brief period as some kind of chaotic, uncivilized, topsy-turvy time

reaching the end of the trail, the second time ever for me...

the nostalgic church building has been sadly remodeled

the roads are simply named, like dogs - no "ave" or "st"

incoherence is so funny... title gore

i like the messed up torn up sidewalk

yves tumor limerence cover art (it was better before i noticed the blunt)

complimenting woman's absurd squirrel mugshot t-shirt as we pass her a second time

hitting bench with gatorade & fiji bottles like cavemen

pretending to have great painful difficulty getting up off the bench but i overdo the bit & they think it's real

pina colada boba tea is what drinking sunscreen should feel like...

drug use & genetic inheritance of mental illness

irresistibly plucking every hair out of my face isn't a problem if it's something i'd want to do anyway...

back in the... back... in the... back in... ca-
...back in the...back... the car... in the car... car

aaa powerline

recounting lots of memories as their recollections were sparked by the conversation & by the environment

this made me laugh crazy: they were trying to work out which fuel pump they needed to pull up to, in what orientation, & how they needed to maneuver the car to arrive at the pump in that orientation to be able to use it, & it was this spatial reasoning nightmare that they got frustrated about

parking at my apartment. i display & explain an occasional habitual behavior of rubbing my hands together to accrue eraser shavings then brushing them off

i say bye & get out of the car. i hardly want to, & suspect they would hardly like me to, but i do not transgress the ritual that when we have parked back at the apartment then it must be time to get out of the car

i felt very excited for the rest of the afternoon


september 26th. my professor showed the "its media" picture on the projector

i got to work an hour late cause i had to run home for lunch & to attend to a few other things (i think. i can't even remember). when i got there a letter from my pal had arrived

K said she might join me in my office. as i exited my office to go get a soda pop, i thought, "if i see K in the hallway, i'm going to say, 'fancy meeting you here,' then, 'i'm gonna go get my soda pop.'" she rounded the corner almost immediately. i said what i had planned to say, then i said, "as i exited my office, i thought, 'if i see K in the hallway, i'm going to say, 'fancy meeting you here,' then, 'i'm gonna go get my soda pop''"

i returned with my soda pop. she gave me a tape she had obtained at the pride event. the cover was interesting but it was bland rock music, as i learned from the split's bandcamp page. it came with a sleekly made pro-choice zine, which she also conferred to me

i got the idea to google for bandcamp pages of musicians located in the region. we found a bunch, & none of them were very good. some of them were pretty funny though. i also did the thing where you make a simplistic bright yellow face in ms paint & make it sing something by dragging the circle tool, i made it sing home by david byrne & brian eno. i also drew a picture in ms paint

i left work early to hop on the trolley & go get my shot. K kindly gave me a dollar so that i'd be able to take it back too... when i got to the clinic, though, they just made me an appointment for friday. she called it a "follow-up," which might have meant a blood draw. but i didn't stress about it. i felt the previous blood draw had vanquished my anxiety by being so very easy

i spent a little while at the coffee shop, had a pumpkin spice shake & a ham & swiss croissant. i got scared that i'd gotten some sizable drips of oil on my face, which drove me to go in the bathroom & put hand soap on my face. i forgot that consequences of doing that, & my face was so dry for the rest of the day that it stung... i ambled around the area for a little while, then hopped on the bus back

as it pulled into the campus, i saw that the college had made the absolutely baller move of installing four hammocks outside. i quickly walked to them & swung in one for a while. then i tried to go to the little building that K & M spend time in, but someone had locked the front door & i got sheepish about asking on discord if they were actually in there

i spent a while longer in the hammock. i went home to retrieve my bluetooth speaker, went back, spent a while longer still in the hammock. i loudly sang along to the song grass a bunch of times. i loudly sang along to the entire album holiday. sometimes i would swing vigorously. sometimes i would cocoon myself by hooking all my fingers in the mesh & crossing my arms like a vampire in a coffin

when i got home, my upstairs neighbor, who i don't know very well but have always felt he comes off as a little bit of a jerk, was in the yard with his wife & they were playing with their daughter in a way that was just really wholesome

my dad had departed for his week of sobriety

that night i mentioned to M that the day prior had been one of my favorite days in a long time. i also said that i get anxious expressing nice things a lot of the time, because i worry they'll kinda be exaggerated artifacts of being lonely a lot of the time. but i hoped it was just a nice thing to say

they invited me to get coffee & go on another walk the following day, at the bigger trail that i hardly ever make the trip out to. i excitedly danced around my apartment but did not mention this. my brain was fizzy


september 27th. shortly after midnight i fell asleep to 90210, as i have done many times

i was thirty-eight minutes late to class because there were preparations i wanted to make for the walk. i wanted good music, i measured out file sizes against limited space, i had mp3tag open refurbishing the metadata of the mp3s into a spurious "various artists" format so that it'd work right on my phone...

M joined me in my office. we planned to leave as soon as my shift was over. K arrived shortly after & we all hung out until my shift ended... i felt a kind of unease as we all walked out to M's car. we had planned to depart straight from there, but i felt strange about potentially getting into the car while K was present. i didn't know if it would feel... rude? exclusive? there was a presumed exclusivity to M & i getting coffee, & i saw nothing wrong with that. but it felt ungraceful to transfer at that moment into that exclusivity. or at least, i felt it might. so i froze up, i didn't know what to do. i wish i had thought faster & maybe said i had to run off & do something in the library, something like that...

M got into their car. K asked me what i'd be up to, so i just improvised & said i would go to the biology pond. so we started walking away together. i felt i was very quiet & awkward the whole time because my head was elsewhere, working on decoding the current scenario, & thinking about how much i wanted to go on this walk, how much i didn't want to awkwardly sidewind it... a bit of a ways from the pond, i sort of feigned a sudden change of mind & said i was going to go home. this felt like "ditching" K, & i felt mean for it... being a social entity is difficult but i am still going to try

i told M i was going to go to my apartment, & went there. a while later they came & got me. we set off for the coffee shop!

they were about to use google maps to find the way there but i overruled that, proposing the social element of telling them the turn they needed to make

we waited at the same intersection, at the same spot, in a similar car, to one captured in the photo that people seemed to like the most of the ones i had taken with the dslr camera i rented. i pointed at the parking garage it was taken from & recounted taking the photo

this time it was the coffee shop i spend lots of time in, not the one from last december. i got a pumpkin spice shake, i think. they just got a cold brew

we talked a lot about dreams, i expounded a lot of my feelings about dreams. i talked about my recurring dreams of my childhood house, my recurring dreams about the coffee shop we were in shutting down or changing. i talked about the irreplaceable mental "flavors" of dreams, the obligation i feel to write down dreams, the way they form an irreplaceable nightly canon, & how i am failing to live up to the duty to write them down lately. i talked about links between scent & memory

i walked to the bathroom doing a kind of silly travelling spin out of the room until i smacked into something near the doorway. when i came back i kept hiding behind objects & peeking out from behind them

we left. we kept doing funny walks down the sidewalk. we got in the car & set off for the nature trail. from here i might resort to a degree of patchworkness again

they get the daily notification from the app BeReal, & i learned what BeReal is. i was in their BeReal, posing theatrically on the paved path in front of them

playing the playlist i made

crouching by the scary gated entrance to a mine under a rock shelter

bench with "hello" scratched into it

talking about "what's the move," which i have never really heard anyone say before

i like "poggers" but they like "based"

blurry semi-group selfie on the edge of a gravel beach

having to walk single file for a while with me in front. i make a bit out of repeatedly saying i feel like i'm being followed, until they ask to make sure i'm just doing a bit

mutual appreciation of the exclamation "what the?"

doing the loudest sound i'm capable of making

taking opposite sides of an extremely minor split in the path for maybe five feet where we can both see each other, then "reporting back," we conclude that the dirt path was more real & the paved one was "domesticated"

ending up on opposite sides of a little divider & saying it's good we had this installed so that we can't get topsy turvy anymore (me walking on the right)

graffiti reading "thompson gang" inciting escalating laughter with each rapid back-&-forth improvisation of "(distinctly nonthreatening name) gang"

crossing the low-water footbridge, sitting on the huge concrete block at the other end. the sky is all pink. deciding to walk to the waterfall even though it's starting to get dark but we quickly realize the road to it isn't really traversable, no shoulder to it. they say we can go back to the car & drive to there

they repeatedly consider trying to jump over a part of a gate right by the concrete block, just as a little challenge. i hop over it easily. they don't seem like they could make it. every time they seem like they're about to jump, i cringe up. eventually they decide it wouldn't be worth messing it up & faceplanting. we head back for the car

the bleepy sound in tom tom club's genius of love isn't a synthesizer it's actually a processed guitar. no probably not a hi-pass, i think it'd be more tinny if it was like that, it's very trebly but it still sounds more full than that to me

by the time we get back to the car it's getting a bit dark for the waterfall so we head home. the playlist concludes around the middle of the car ride with kitty craft's half court press


september 28th. the random ballpoint pen that i'd held onto ever since it was used to mush up dog food by one of the two people who were the first two people i ever met from online in march 2017 was almost out of ink... i wasn't sure i was willing to write with it anymore

i listened through about forty-nine radio station voicemails, most of which were short clips of silence or indistinct noise, probably dialed by accident. most of the rest were spam. one was an old person who was not vibing with what i think is a genuinely awesome show where this girl comes on air & just talks stream-of-consciousness about her own personal life for half an hour

there was a zip line on campus! i took a break & stopped by for a while to check that out. i did go down it. the guy at the top of the stairs said some playful things to me. i nervously asked him to verify one hundred percent that if i accidentally let go of the handles that i wouldn't fall, & he said, "to be a hundred percent honest with you, i have no idea!" ...then laughed & verified it

on my first two attempts at jumping, i sort of did two instinctive reeling-backs, which amused him. he said he wasn't gonna let me back out! that there was only one way down, & it was, (points), that way

after the zip line, M appeared & we went & got free snow cones from a little truck the zip line people had parked nearby. we walked back to my office. i showed them my silly semi-germaphobic way of opening the door to the section of the building that i work in. i have it down to an art

i kind of slot my elbow into the door handle, & this only works because i am very bony, like the bone only barely catches the handle. & then i have to shuffle all the way back to pull the door fully open, & then i dart through before it closes. i don't even think about it by this point

my door was locked & there was no one around who could let me in. M had to depart for a class. i waited & searched around the building for a bit but i couldn't find anyone. i walked over to the art building, looked at the czech art on display, snooped around an area i wasn't supposed to be in, a semi-condemned auditorium

i walked home to retrieve my speaker & maybe go to the hammocks if no one was there by the time i got back... as i walked, i joined BeReal & took my first picture. it counted for the twenty-seventh, about twenty hours late. i was holding the snow cone still. i was in my hot air balloon bunny rabbits shirt

i got home & ate a lunch. before i headed back, i used my phone to buy a song off of bandcamp for a dollar & send it to myself on gmail to get it onto my other phone cause i wanted listen to it so bad while i walked back. i did all this knowing i had an mp3 on my laptop, but i didn't want to set it up. also the process didn't even work

B was around when i got back, so i set up in my office again. M came & joined me until my shift ended. i stayed late to catch up on my hours. as we left, i took a cute pair of gloves we had discovered while rifling through my desk. i figured if the girl who worked there before me ended up wanting them back then it wouldn't be hard to find me

as i went to lock the radio nerve center kinda room before we left, i caught john maus' tenebrae over the speakers & i was like oh cool there's a rerun of my maus episode going. but it slowly dawned on me that i definitely didn't play that song, & then it kept going along the tracklist of that album linearly... so i'm not the only person to allocate an hour of the student programming block to maus thus far, i guess

i figured it was definitely C, since he had played chart beep that one time, & i had also caught an episode where he aired the entirety of flying lotus' cosmogramma, so i figured he had a full album format.. he played bennington too, after the album ended, & didn't blip out the f words so if by chance the fcc had been made privy to that then the song would've incurred like a fourteen thousand dollar fine

we walked to the biology pond. we wandered over to the spot where i had seen the giant spider & i showed i to them. we ambled down the nature trail. i had hoped to show them the clay caterpillars, but they were all gone. i nervously asked if they had anywhere to be in the near future, because i was worried i had inadvertently cajoled them into accompanying me. it was fine, though

we meandered over to a little out-of-the-way gravel beach that i knew about, looked around, investigated abandoned shopping carts, threw rocks into the water for entertainment, took turns throwing rocks in an attempt to hit a tree, threw big rocks into the ground just to hear the bassy thuds. one of the big rocks split into pieces & i took a chunk of it home with me

we sat on the gravel as it grew very dark around us, sometimes talking, sometimes just sitting in silence, looking up at the patch of stars afforded to us by tree cover in tandem with light pollution as mosquitoes practically swarmed my legs. i finally showed them the blurry picture of my dad as the grinch. i had wanted to save it for an in-person interaction. we heard an odd sound in the distance that we would only learn a few hours later was a motorcycle crash near a gas station. a bat might have fluttered past my head at one point

i told them that that one standard bell melody is called the "westminster quarters." we talked about the sonic irreplaceability of being surrounded by bugs by headphones or speaker setups. i talked about when there are tornado siren tests & garbled marching band music echoes over the landscape, & about when a train parks at the asphalt factory & makes slight movements that produce terrifically frightening metallic groans

they suddenly stood up, on edge about feeling they'd heard footsteps once or twice. they sat back down... a little while later we heard such an odd sound, so nearby, almost like the grunt of a pig, that we quickly gathered our things & hightailed it out of there, me shining my phone flashlight

we walked along the long blacktop trail behind campus in the cold wind. we tried to stop at the library so i could show them the "lair" at the top of the stairwell. but we took an elevator straight to the fourth floor & when the door opened an old lady was kind of staring in the dark, staring at us expectantly. i asked if the place was closing down. she said yes. so we left

we stopped in the student center for a little while, goofed around in a stairwell. we headed across campus back to their car. i asked for a ride home. they drove me home. i went inside. i just walked back & forth, processing

that night i talked to them on discord about how i feel like i never tire of their company, how at each opportunity to part ways i'd always like to ask if they'd like to go anywhere else


september 29th. i managed to extemporaneously verbalize a kinda elaborate addition to the discussion in my social problems class, i was nervous but i did it... a student was talking about how cruel it was that the price of generators went up after the tornado hit, & he criticized Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. & the teacher had responded by framing it in terms of supply & demand, less in the interest of defending the price increase & more in the interest of framing it systemically

so i went back to that point & noted that, even though you can justifiably frame it in impersonal systemic terms as an economically inevitable consequence of supply & demand, you can simultaneously agree that it's an act of cruelty, which drives home a core point of the class that one should direct their criticism systemically instead of attributing things to the personal greed of the people caught in that system - how this is the means by which we determine the precise degree of cruelty that does arise as economic inevitability in our current way of life... & also how i felt that our culture is largely built around giving us a very blurry grasp of that degree, in the hopes that we tolerate the excess which can be attributed to greed, & this is how you can have, for instance, members of the working class arguing against universal healthcare out of the belief that it's not practical

i think something i could have added, but didn't think of in the heat of the moment, was that even if we can mitigate greed to the greatest extent feasible & be left with only the inevitable economic cruelties, it still leaves the question of how many economic cruelties we really want to endure, how much we can eliminate, how good we can truly make everything, & that's really the question at the heart of everything

later, at some point as i walked the hallways of the comms department i tried to straighten a portrait on a wall & the lady at the front desk told me people have been fighting & struggling to straighten it but it just wouldn't happen

M joined me in my office again. K stopped by for a little while too. throughout that time i slowly got the spoken parts for episode twenty-seven recorded, & i had it mostly put together by the end of the day

while we were all in the office, i got for maybe the second time this year a scotoma or phosphene dead center in my vision that looked enough like an iris that i think it was some kind of imprint of my iris. it lasted for maybe one to three hours

i complained to M how much trouble i was having enunciating in ways i liked. they mentioned having heard that it was a bad idea to drink cold water in this circumstance, that it should be warm. so i took off across the first two floors of the building looking for one that had a sink with a tall-enough neck to accommodate my water bottle. there was on in the second floor men's room but the water came out in an array of small streams & it was very slow & frustrating. I got a bottle of more-than-cold water though

somewhere in there - i think it was today - i excitedly remembered the obscure little alcove i had discovered back on april twenty-seventh, the one where i had discovered a little bear clip. i led M to the auditorium & showed them the alcove

later on, M went to go get a coffee at a vending machine. i said we could have a race back to the office - they'd go get a coffee & i'd tear up the stairs, investigate both third-floor bathrooms, & come back. we left the office, then i sprinted for the stairwell, ran up, checked the ladies' room, nothing, checked the men's room, maybe a good one but there was someone at a urinal so i didn't stop to investigate. i tore down the central staircase that led straight to the vending machine, hoping to beat M there, but they were there already

i tried to show them a weird effect where you can look out from a window of the stairwell at an opposite reflective window to see an endless recursive mirror void with your own eye staring back at you from the dark - but the sun was at a bad angle for it. i showed them some weird letters (an enigmatic acronym?) etched into an obscure part of the stairwell. we headed back to the office

after a while i went to a vending machine for some snacks. they joined me. i got some crackers. we kept doing this thing as we walked down the hall where they'd try to sporadically vary the speed of their walking but i'd match it consistently & they never managed to trip me up. on the way back to my office we sat down on the couch in the stairwell. they lugged the checkers board over & we started playing checkers

we played checkers for a while. eventually it was around the time i'd clock off, & i figured we should skedaddle back to my office real quick to make sure no one had stolen any of our stuff. we packed everything up. we wandered around the hallway of the comms department, investigated some double doors that led to the auditorium, stood on the stage, wandered around in there

we walked back to the stairwell & finished our game of checkers. we couldn't actually remember whose turn it was, so i just went. i quickly won so fast that i wondered if we hadn't made the wrong decision

as we left the building i was about to suggest going to the top of the library stairwell when they suggested going to the top of the library stairwell. so we did. we went up there & sat on the windowsill & talked for a while. we both took our BeReals, my second one. we were each in the others' BeReal. neither of us had noticed a notification, so they were about... twenty-four minutes late, i believe

we headed back down, exited the library. i suggested going to the jogging trails. we headed for the jogging trails. on the way there a guy in a pickup truck looked at M with amazement & skidded to a halt, they had some kind of unexpected reunion. then we continued on. we walked around the trails for a while... i showed them the abandoned shed that is the cover of strays 19/20, the first album i put out under the name "vallesaab."

we talked about under what conditions i feel ok with making eye contact with people, which ultimately i couldn't really articulate. i talked about how i used to feel like there were lots of bad things inside me because all i had internalized from the internet starting at a young age & how i thought somehow people would be able to see it all in my eyes

we walked back to the campus proper as it turned to night. we went over to the hammocks. they were empty, so we each got in a hammock for a while, talked in the hammocks. eventually it got too cold out for them & i felt like a sort of restless ennui was taking hold of us. they asked: what's the move? i said, "the saddest two words in the english language: 'no move.'"

we fled into the student center. i sat in an office chair, spun around a lot, got a little nauseous even though i've never ever been prone to motion sickness... a shadow of my former self, destroyed by the ravages of time. then the student center closed so we had to trudge out into the cold

i proposed walking to the gas station. so we did that. they got some beef jerky. i got a "slim jim" & some "raspberry zingers." we left, walked along the street down to the pedestrian tunnel that runs under it, returned to their car, got in their car. they asked if i wanted to go get some food. i said sure. so we drove a ways to a taco bell

we got some burritos & stuff to go. there were two alexes in there so i went up at the wrong time. once we had the food we got in the car. they asked if i wanted to go anywhere else. i spuriously suggested a certain big sculpture of something particular enough that it somewhat prohibits description due to its geographic specificity. so we drove to that sculpture. we walked up to it with our food, sat on a stone ledge in front of it, had the strange experience of eating the burritos with the blinding floodlights, aimed up at the statue, blaring into our face. watching cars drive by past the foot of the hill

after a while they felt it was too cold out so we went back to the car. they took some back roads back towards my apartment, passed their house at one point. we arrived back at my place. it was time to get out of the car again

a new bladee album would release in less than two hours... really it had released at midnight in a bunch of prior time zones already, so it was easy to find. but we were waiting until midnight. before i got out of the car i asked them if they wanted to listen to it on a youtube sync site. they said sure. i got out of the car & went inside. i walked back & forth, processing


september 30th. at the stroke of midnight we listened to spiderr. i was drowsy so i kind of hardly processed some of the songs. i fell asleep

at some point in the day i finally received payment for some of my time in the office - i had joined during a long pay period, so i had to be there all the way from the first to the thirtieth without seeing a dang penny

i didn’t really participate in my first class because i realized i had a quiz due ten minutes after it ended, one with "honorlock" enabled. so i was frantically reading some prerequisite material, then i ducked out about ten minutes early so i could run down to the testing center & have it proctored

when i went to get lunch the crazy preacher guy was on campus. a girl was arguing with him just to get him to stop yelling at other people. i snuck up behind him & tried to startle him by doing the loudest sound i'm capable of. he didn't seem super startled

when i came back out of the student center with my lunch there was one guy engaging with him. something possessed me to remark to him that if you take the guy on good faith, which you don't have to, but if you do, then he's still acting out of a kind of love, since he has his scripture that delineates a particular way of living lest people end up in an eternal fire, & he does empathetically want to spare people from that, even if this kind of conduct is what is ultimately necessary as determined by his faith. so it was love, but unfortunately love as filtered through an irreconcilable theological discrepancy

this could have been how the guy i was talking to already plainly conceived of the situation, for all i know. i was maybe being kind of a loudmouth. what interested me though was that the preacher guy seemed to kind of quiet down & listen for the duration that i said that, & then he reaffirmed that, that it was a form of love, but once i said it all unfortunately came down to faith & started walking away he went right back to the condescending chiding

i clocked out early so that i could take the bus down to the clinic & possibly get my blood drawn. the bus was late, so i arrived at the clinic half an hour late. this delayed my appointment by an entire week. so i walked to the coffee shop & spent a while there. J, the barista who has featured in these journals a fair number of times but not in a good while, said i looked so cute. everything felt… "back to normal" when i heard her say that

i got a slice of chocolate cheesecake & a cherry drink. it was at the coffee shop that i finished & uploaded episode twenty-seven less than an hour prior to debuting it, then listened along with it

the coffee shop closed. i moved to the bar as usual but there was an absurd group of standup comedians with a very... redneck style performing that night, & with all the people coming to see them there was kind of a palpably conservative vibe so i headed out. i strongly considered asking for a picture with the comedians just because they seemed so silly but i was too sheepish

i realized i could easily walk to the place my dad worked at & was staying the week in. so i trekked over there listening to the album 606 mph by betelmire. i filmed a few videos with my phone as it played

before i went to my dad's place of work, i stopped by the "antique" store next door. "antique" doesn't quite capture it... you kind of have to just see it & smell it to understand. it quickly became one of my favorite spots in town, a kind of heterogeneous pop culture time capsule, a musty junk pile that reminded me of childhood memories, not so much of the franchises on display but of junk piles, time capsules, merchandise it's hard to imagine anyone wanting, like a figurine of the jolly green giant

i got a little checkered dog that actually reminded me distinctly of piesek w kratke. it doubled as a tape measure (& a pin cushion...) - the tape was its tongue, you pulled it out of its mouth. it costed fifteen dollars

i sort of felt like L, the middle aged white guy with dreadlocks running the place, was kinda... attracted to me? he talked with me a bit after i paid for the checkered dog but he also seemed like a very jokey guy & it could've just been something about his style of that

i felt nervous all day that M might have realized they don't really like me. but i think it's probably not the case & that i'm only nervous because they happened to change their icon to something that reminds me of someone i once kind of drifted away from for unclear reasons, & then they made an innocuous joke that kind of reminded me of the same person. & this set my brain to work trying to identify if there could conceivably be any kind of underlying social & cultural mechanism that might lead me to become close to people & then have them take on similar characters while drifting away unexpectedly

i spent a long time in the place my dad works at, mostly doing a lot of finishing touches on this journal. i took my third BeReal. it was about an hour late. i hadn't noticed a notification. some old classmates were outside playing covers of classic rock songs


october 1st. i put together a playlist for a love songs episode, a playlist i felt intensely satisfied with & immediately promoted to being the next one i produce

i rode along when my brother went to run an errand & asked him to drop me off at the coffee shop. i spent a while there, then walked several blocks to J's birthday party. as i walked along the sidewalk singing 392-2509 / walk this way to myself a girl called my name from a house on the other side of the street. this was one of J's three friends, sitting on the porch, waiting for him to get home from work. these were M, J, & J

J arrived maybe five to ten minutes later & we all headed inside. i had a glass of some kind of terrible-tasting red wine & quickly switched to moscato for the other two glasses i had over the course of the night. a few other people showed up but it was a pretty tiny party, six or seven people at the most. there was a kid named G, a guy named C showed up for a little while, a girl named... i forget, but she showed up towards the end after some people had left

i didn't find the people there especially socially approachable... they in conjunction with the living room were kinda making me think of i-be area. it sorta felt... maybe stereotypically in line with a tiny midwestern city polycule household, is all i'll say. M said that my "aesthetic" was very "cottagecore" & i was not crazy about that at all... she was a fairly outgoing & nice person, though. i finished my coffee too fast & consequently sat on a piano bench having mildly drunk anxiety for a little while

they had a chubby chihuahua-pomeranian mix named Evie. we did some karaoke, i played the magnetic fields' all you ever do is walk away & animal collective's grass & tipsily sang these. we played mario kart on a nintendo switch. i made C laugh pretty hard by saying "yo mama so soaking that she is the flopping seal"

M invited me on another outing the following day. a good day for october 2nd was henceforth secured, no question. i proposed visiting a very long nature trail to the north that i had never been to, & maybe determining a third coffee shop to visit because i thought it'd be kinda funny to maintain a pattern of associating each trail with a different coffee shop


october 2nd. i rode with my brother to purchase a few things. i had us stop at the grocery store on the way home so i could pick up the five boxes of energy & granola bars that i planned to keep my drawer in my office stocked with. i had different plans for them first, though

at home, i emptied my backpack & placed in it four ziploc bags each with six energy bars. i felt this would be a considerate gesture with respect to the walk i'd be going on with M... at one point i idly walked a bit away from my house, down the street, then got an idea & ran back so i could take the bars out of the ziplocs & put them in maybe a single paper bag instead. M had mentioned an aversion to food in ziplocs at one point & i did not want to risk the bars' being individually wrapped turning out to be insufficient to negate that. in the end i just stuffed them all in the various pouches

M came & retrieved me. i had taken a cursory look at other options for coffee, but it turned out to be pretty slim pickings. i said the most interesting place left that served coffee was a cat lounge, but they said they have a cat allergy. so we went to the coffee shop i spend time at. i recommended them a particular blended coffee with irish cream. i got a blended pumpkin pie latte & a cinnamon roll

while i was in the bathroom, someone told M we had to move tables because they had lowered a projector screen above us. so they moved to an identical adjacent table & moved my things. i didn't realize this at all until a while after i got back, when they finally told me. i thought that was funny

i impulsively emptied out my purse, displaying every object one by one. among these was a strip of several smiley face stickers - some of the ones mailed to me by my friend who i spent June with... i reached across the table & placed one on M's shirt. i think it stayed there for the rest of the day - at least, i remember it still being there far into the nature trail walk. if it did fall off at any point, i had forgotten about it by then & didn't notice

we stopped by my apartment so i could change... i felt the dress i had picked out, & the bag of strawberry candies i'd brought, were not really very practical for walking

we drove on the highway a bit to get to an access point of the trail out in the middle of nowhere. we set off. the whole walk was marked by the kind of conversational fluidity that i cannot adequately capture here. we turn to each other & say "hi" constantly. they asked about the process of putting together my radio show & i babbled out the plethora of steps & elaborated on them

we came to an odd crossroads under an overpass, where there was a man & a woman, one with a dog, plus a man unrelated to them jogging past. we proceeded past the crossroads to somewhere more unkempt - disused railroad tracks surrounded by overgrowth on all sides, proceeding towards an area marked by the noise of cars & construction equipment, all out of sight

we noticed a sloping side trail, the ground being concrete slabs largely obscured by fallen leaves. it turned out to be a sort of canal. at the bottom / center we found a four-way split with an old messed up couch & a long, dark, freaky tunnel. it was a cool little place

we headed back the way we'd came, walked walked walked the whole way, wee tam & the big huge, i like you, holiday, passing their car again, proceeding in the opposite direction from it... we established a bit where we kept numerically rating the benches we sat on. we took our BeReals. at one point we were confronted by two random dogs, which made M pretty anxious so we turned back, walked to the car, departed the trail [1]

we drove back into town, then to a park at the southwest end, walked around the outskirts there, explored ultimate frisbee fields & trails, an oddly tilted rickety metal staircase on a hill... we ascended a hill, sat on a bench for a while, watched a helicopter fly around us... they liked my outfit. we stopped at the bathrooms & refilled my water bottle from the faucet on the exterior. they suggested i evaluate the water, so i chugged nearly the whole twenty-four ounces then rated it, gave it a seven out of ten i believe

they asked if i wanted to get food. i said ok & proposed two of the silliest restaurants that came to mind. the first was a fancy(??) greek restaurant, but they were closed, so we settled on olive garden. we drove through the dark, forested, hilly streets towards olive garden with the song breaking the streak by tracey trance playing, both amused by the fact that we were actually driving to olive garden, selecting olive garden as a place to acquire food

we arrived at olive garden &, well, we had dinner there! they got cheese ravioli & i got ravioli carbonara. a waitress there said hi to me - her name was T, & i knew her somewhat. she used to work with my dad at a pizza restaurant, & we had been in each other's company for a handful of scattered nights, all back around 2018, maybe 2019. she looked way different - i don't think i would have recognized her

before we left, our server, A (his name was an unusual word that happened to also be on M's keychain) also said hi to me - he used to be a barista at the coffee shop i frequent & remembered me as a regular, thought it was nice to see me again. i wouldn't have recognized him either, but once he mentioned having been a barista, i could remember

we drove to a nearby park & walked around a bit, read a storybook contained in framed panes on poles along a small, circular trail, did the silly activities. we walked to a nearby strip mall, looked around "Ross" for absurd things...

i think this was the night we drove to another park & sat on two side-by-side playground pedestal things just talking for at least an hour. we saw another helicopter flying around


october 3rd. uneventful day, i think...? after class i went to the library & made the little graphic i intended to pin to my office door to let people know i had energy bars. i went to my office, pinned it up, & put all the bars in the drawer. M & K stopped by my office for a while. i spent most of the time watching two documentaries for class - one about rich people, one about poor people

that night i thought i saw something in the corner of my eye that i imagined looked like a person peeking at me from around the corner of the kitchen doorway & darting out of view. then i walked into the corner of the living room & stood there, honestly unsure whether i'd be willing to leave that corner for a while, feeling like maybe things hadn't changed all that much since i was home alone at age thirteen huddled on the couch with my eyes trained on the hallway so that i could know constantly that a ghoul wasn't emerging from it. then i realized sweet pea wasn't barking... so that's why dogs are comforting & you should have one. unless you shouldn't, in which case you shouldn't

M invited me on another walk at the first trail we'd gone to


october 4th. M stopped by my office for a while. they headed out a few hours before i was to clock out... after i clocked out, as i walked home, i realized i had left my phone behind & locked it in my office! so i had to go back & ask the secretary(?) for the comms department to help me out... i met M outside & we sped away to the coffee shop that we went to for our first outing

the fish pond is normal now, blindly ordering the same oddly named coffee as hem, talking at the table outside, funnily interrupted by loud noises sometimes, correctly guessing between us that the coffees contain earl grey & lavender, setting off for the trail...

quickly seeing several deer watching us from a short distance away, playing night dolls with hairspray on the speaker, wandering off into isolated footpaths, back to the main path, seeing another helicopter, exploring the side branch of the main trail as dusk encroaches, chapel of memories by sis q lint in almost pitch darkness on the way back to the car, they ask if i want to get food again, we settle on the other funny restaurant, the greek one, driving away, reading out loud from my phone a paragraph about the way aging & death are regarded under late capitalism

strange & expensive dining experience. there is a really funny tv in the lobby playing an endless slideshow of food. the lady at the front desk asks only, "how can i help you?" to disorienting effect. we are seated. it's persistently funny how awkward a presence we seem to be there. i get a salad that i don't eat much of, they get a salad & some chicken. a chef in the kitchen repeatedly heard talking about broad sociological issues. M & i talk about the probable artifice of the restaurant, superficial adherence to an taken-for-granted image of a fancy dining experience to justify jacking up prices all while some banal clothing store is visible across the street through a window, hyperreality or whatever. it was maybe a mistake to go there... the food was not interesting enough to justify how much we spent. they said it was ok, though, that they're not strapped for cash

we left, drove to a park on the western edge of town. the drive was marked by a protracted view of four radio towers. swinging on the swing set, flipping, liking the brief upside down views of the moon... i walk to the bathrooms. i try to open the door with my foot. it won't open. i test if it's locked, pushing it repeatedly with my foot pretty hard. a lady says "just a second" ...i can't see much through the gap, but i gather that she's sort of up against the door for some reason. i say "oh my god, i'm sorry," & use the other one

going to the raised stage-like stone gazebo with pillars, me dancing around silly-like, we admire park bench graffiti, a distinctive one that uses a bolt in the table as an eye. we circle around a pillar in an evasion game. funny excessive water pressure from a spigot

before we leave i lead them to the opposite end of the park to show them a tiny wire metal structure in the dark that sticks out in my mind, & we stand in it for a minute or two. we do a bit where i keep insisting that it's a house & that it has all these specific requirements for a house like running water & so on while they vehemently deny all of it. we drive to a nearby store so i can get more hand sanitizer

can't help but to laugh at a maudlin memorial for three employees hanging over the entrance even though for me it's a guilty kind of laughter where i know it's a memorial for people who were lost in a tragedy... it's just, it's in a wal-mart, for pete's sake, it has heavenly clouds & portraits on it, i don't know, i can't repress it... i say here in this journal that i do not totally give a sign-off to my laughs, okay?

laughing at tacky shirts, really going crazy over one with an illustration of two dogs (rottweilers i think) that says "BACK OFF." wandering around looking at things, looking for pickled eggs but we can't find them. leaving, what's the move, another park, let's go, a park in the adjacent city, the one adjacent to the big sculpture, i've never been to that park, let's goo... driving on a total nowhere road, blank, pitch darkness around this road, passing a lonely orange streetlight that i note out loud

the park... ambling across a bridge lined with string lights, walking a dark paved path. they note a lonely orange streetlight. we approach it. we go to the pavilions, investigate park bench graffiti. i do an abrupt stupid dance that elicits lots of laughter (then the cabbage patch). shuffling crouched after a moth that can't fly, trying to cup it in my hands. driving home, a long time sitting in the car before i get out

this might have been the night of a very funny moment where we were sitting in the parking spot talking about the geographic direction we were facing, & how i use the dumpster as a compass because i know it faces north. they kept asserting very confidently that if we turned to face it we'd be facing north, & i kept denying that & professing the reality that it would be south, until they finally started the car back up & started reversing so they could turn towards it but they had barely begun to turn at all before they said "FUCK, it is south" & started pulling back in to the spot


october 5th. i arrived in cults class & immediately stopped to take in that someone had drawn a baby apple next to my apple, which had been enduring for a majority of the semester now. i quickly drew an arrow pointing to it & wrote "abomination"

M joined me in my office for a while then departed for a while. then they came back for a while & i played longmont potion castle tracks, which we laughed at a bunch. after i clocked off we tried to go to the "autism room" ("sensory room") on campus but it was closed so we just walked through the student center (which was completely & utterly decked out, like much of the rest of the campus, in inane "gamer" decorations), to the hammocks

there were three people in the hammocks. i told M about a space south of campus that i think is nice for walking. i asked if they wanted to go see it. they said they had to leave soon to go to dinner with their family, but they offered to drive me home & asked if i wanted to meet up tomorrow & maybe go to a bunch of different parks. i agreed


october 6th. i kept forgetting the box of nature valley bars for my office but this was the day that i brought them. while i was in my office i collated a list of parks to go to with M. i recorded episode twenty-eight of my show. K & M stopped by for a while in the middle of that

i went home & put one of my lingering perfume sample vials in a tiny atomizer i bought. i wrote down which one it was so that i don't start forgetting which is in there. i also wore my gloves & sprayed some on them

M retrieved me. we went & got coffee. there was an art show in the back room, & a guy singing & playing a guitar. it felt like... classic country music, i think. at first i thought it was the local folk band who plays traditional songs from the region (who i got a cd & two tapes from a while ago) but this was not the case

we left, went to the first park. the tennis courts had tons of people playing & it was sort of entrancing to see. there were also people playing baseball at two different fields. a big day for park sports. we spent a while fooling around with all the interesting equipment there, a glockenspiel (they think the tuning is very odd & wonder if it's chromatic), a spinning chair that goes for a long time (they give me a spin), a huge boat with seats that you can rock back & forth, an isolated button that just plays water noises when you press it ("this feels like something you’d encounter in a roblox map...")

we drove to the second park, a small one that's a frequent place of congregation for homeless people. the sun had set by the time we got there. there was indeed maybe ten or so people under a pavilion, all seeming like they were having a good time together. we walked to a more isolated pavilion & sat at a table for a little while... as we left the park two of the homeless peoples' dogs ran up to us barking & M cried out. i stepped forward & tried to shoo them away

we drove to a tiny Mexican restaurant that i had never been to but had always been a bit mystified by because it looked like its name was just Mexican Restaurant, although this was not really the case. it was a very charming little place - it felt a lot like a small house that had been remodeled into a restaurant. it felt like it had been exactly the same for decades. there was only one guy working there

they ordered some enchiladas. i ordered the same. they apologized, under the mistaken belief that they hadn't given me time to look at the menu, & had thus inadvertently compelled me to order enchiladas in league with them. but i revealed that i had been looking right at the enchiladas & planning to order them at the moment that they had said "enchiladas"

i laughed at a medicine commercial displaying a rudimentary cgi bottle. they talked about feeling like their sense of normality in music is skewed, like how sweet trip's velocity : design : comfort would feel kind of standard for them but someone else might find it odd. i reported from memory that it was the highest rated album for 2003 on rateyourmusic & they said, well that's not a good measure for it being a normal album, but i said, no, i mean, that's what would define it as kind of a benchmark for normality within a sphere

i asked what direction they were facing. they were facing south. they said they were facing north. i immediately said "no, south." they jokingly called me sadistic or something to that effect for having already had it in mind when i asked the question. i thought that was funny... we left. while they were at the register they learned that the guy working there had the same name as them

we drove to a park i hadn't been to in a while. it was one of the places i think i've always unconsciously shied away from because it had been a location of childhood nostalgia but now looked fairly different in the wake of the tornado, along with the landscape & houses all around it

we messed with exercise equipment. we spent some time on a teeter-totter type thing that you would stand on, & there were small tires under each side for it to bump against if it went too low. we compared our weights, kept trying to bounce each other, it was amusing, amusingly physical. they weigh somewhere around seventy pounds more than me so i could not lift them except by doing a certain maneuver that created a fair amount of downward momentum

we swung on the swings. we played on the play equipment. train horns began sounding so nearby, so loud & terribly, crazily dissonant that it made me laugh a lot & earnestly praise it. i ran laps around the play structure & they said, "chill!" i shoveled sand with a few clumsy mechanical contraptions placed in a sandpit. they were amusingly unwieldy

we drove to a wal-mart in the little adjacent city, pretty shortly before close. on the way there i did this silly parody of ecco2k's blue eyes, prefacing it with the facetious assertion that it was gonna make them laugh like a freaking hyena. ("my friend M got blue eyes, my friend M got blue eyes" (they do) (we're always driving around listening to e...)). at wal-mart we laughed at tacky jewelry. we got a case of unflavored sparkling water. we drove to a little park in that city that i had never been to & spent some time there, sat on a bench, swung on swings, et cetera...

they drove me home. we got out of the car & stood in the parking lot for a little bit. i pointed out the streetlight & tree on the corner that i have been looking at for over a decade

my grades are at risk of slipping because we are allocating so many days to vanishing into each other's academically unproductive company for eight to ten hours at a time but i have no inclination to oppose this & i'm drinking coffee every day

i thought i would finish the radio episode but i dozed off on my bed by accident


october 7th. a funny morning where i overslept through my first class & woke up fifteen minutes before a class where i'd be taking a quiz, so i just stood up out of bed with my clothes already on, picked up my backpack & purse, & walked out the door

after class, i didn't go into work because i wanted to make totally sure that i'd be on time for my blood draw. i took the trolley to the coffee shop, did some finalizing work on the love songs episode. about forty minutes before the draw i started walking for the clinic. just across the street from the coffee shop i gave a twenty dollar bill to a guy on a bench who seemed kind of disoriented & frantic, trying to explain his situation, how things were totally falling through for him. it seemed like he had a lot going on

i overestimated how long the walk would take, so i arrived about thirty-five minutes before my appointment. i set up on my laptop in the waiting room & extensively updated this journal

they called me back. first was my "follow-up," where the main nurse there came in & read off a list of things that my medication should do, in question form, to each of which i replied, "yeah!" & that was that. then the blood draw. the nurse who would be doing the draw said i had "tiny little veins," which did not have me optimistic although it almost felt flattering in some odd way. in the span of about half an hour i must have surreptitiously drank about fifty ounces of water in a desperate bid to have the draw not maybe suck...

after a bit of a wait, she finally came in. this time, for whatever reason, she simply had me holding my forearm low in front of me, rather than stable on the table. she got everything prepped. she stuck me... no blood came. i felt the needle digging a bit further into the vein... no blood

to me, a blood draw is easy to handle so long as it works on the first prick. when it works on the first prick, some instinctive part of me is placated by it being a predictable experience that i simply need to lie back & be railroaded through. it's when the first prick doesn't work that all bets are sort of off, when i lose have the luxury of anticipating the exact amount of pain i'll be put through by the end of the appointment

she left to bring the other nurse in with her & have her try it again - "tag team," this time with a butterfly needle. the other nurse did a much better job at isolating a good vein. she stuck me...

the blood came this time, but i immediately started getting very hot & clammy & intensely lightheaded. this hadn't happened at all on my previous three draws. the feeling became intense enough that i wasn't sure if i was going to stay conscious

i made it through. the band-aids wouldn't really stay on, because i was so clammy. i asked one of the nurses if they kept any snacks on hand. she brought me a little bottle of sugary orange juice. i quickly drank all of it. after i had recuperated for a bit, the first nurse gave me my shot. then i left, headed back for the coffee shop

at the coffee shop i rewarded myself with a cinnamon roll, a parfait, & a coffee. i finalized the love songs episode. it had seven different songs that each individually got it completely blocked from youtube, so i had to do it on an alternative site where i could upload the mp3 somewhere & then play it directly

the show ended about when the coffee shop closed, so i retreated to the bar, as i tend to do. i set up at a table there, got a small pizza, did nothing in particular for a while. there was a burlesque show loudly happening in the back, which i didn't pay much attention to, although after it ended there were certainly more people than usual walking around with their breasts & rear ends out... one of the people had danced to the goosebumps theme

at one point while the show was still going, S, a barista at the coffee shop who i have never named here although she is very familiar to me, came by & said i could sit in there with her & J (barista i've mentioned before), if i wanted. i didn't, because i figured it would be too loud

around closing time i packed up my stuff & just sort of milled around, messaged my brother for a ride home. S struck up a conversation with me, asked who i keep bringing to the coffee shop, if i was dating them, if there was anything romantic between us. i got sort of laughy & said, i don't know... apparently some of them had hoped we were on dates there, because they thought the sight of us together was "fucking adorable." S said that she "shipped it," which i thought was a little distasteful but i didn't trip on it because i was amused by what they were saying overall

later on S & J waved me over & sort of gushed to my face about my facial structure & outfits & said i'd gone from very shy when i first started ordering coffees from them to "exuding confidence." S also talked about how she'd just been talking with J about what her & i had talked about shortly before, how i'd "gotten all giggly"

the night had an odd conclusion - i didn't hear it but apparently someone fired a single gunshot in the parking lot at a moment that a cop happened to be driving by, so the cop called in other cops & they were out there with huge rifles & suvs all over the block, all the police lights & headlights blaring... it wasn't like a shooting, or a shootout, or anything, just kind of a large police response. my brother arrived & i walked along the sidewalk down to the corner sort of tensely, trying not to make any unpredictable movements, got in the car, headed home...


october 8th. when i got up there was unidentified electronically tinged dark ambient music playing on the college station. i wondered if it was maybe C's show? but then it cut to a dj at the classical station... i wondered if it hadn't coincidentally cut from student programming to the classical station at the moment when she was announcing songs. but she said it was the soundtrack to the film 1917, & it turned out to be what i had heard

i felt it could be clearly smelled outside that it was october, that the vibe was setting in...

i updated this journal a lot. around four-thirty i went on a walk to the store to pick up a medication refill. during the walk i listened to spiderr again. on the way there i messaged M saying i would definitely find something cool to photograph, then kept my eyes peeled for something... i went to the gravel beach we had been at that one night

something i'm not sure i mentioned about that night was that there had been an overturned shopping cart in the water. i had tried to ascertain what store it had come from by reaching into the water with a stick & brushing away all the leaves & detritus that had accumulated on its... plate? but that stick hadn't been long enough. well, now someone had hauled that cart out of the water for some reason. so i took a picture of the cart

i stopped by the mall for some food. i felt addicted to trying to always have confident body language... trying to elegantly throw away my fast food chicken bag like i had everything planned out ten steps ahead. at target i replaced this thing's hat. i got my medication. on the way home i stopped by the hammocks & swung in one while listening to dresden er on repeat for a little while


october 9th. M & i went to the coffee shop but it was closed early. downtown had this odd, empty, ghostly feeling for some reason. we resorted to another coffee shop nearby that neither of us had ever been to but it was closed too. so we drove to the other coffee shop that we frequent, that first one. we each got a coffee & i got a breakfast burrito

i explained the idea of randonauting to them & eventually asked if they wanted to try that. they agreed. i installed the officiated app for it. the app was disgusting, dread-inducing. i spent micro currency to just Generate A Set Of Coordinates... they seriously colonized & appified going to random places in the middle of nowhere

the randonaut experience wasn't that great, we just drove through a certain little suburb. but it did manufacture this little memory, so there's that. then we went to a thrift store & looked around for a while, saw some pretty funny trinkets, especially a soap pump that looked like a dog. i planned to get one of these wire things you use to scratch your head but i forgot it. we looked through all the records. then i asked them if they knew any record stores in town. they said they knew one out in the middle of nowhere. so we went

the record store was a little converted barn. it was a very charming place. every parking spot had a different custom sign in the style of a normal metal sign, each with some kind of music joke on it. in the store they had doors hanging up that people could sign. we thumbed through the vinyls for a little while

they found a my bloody valentine self-titled that they considered getting but they weren't sure if it was a good pressing. i was real surprised to find, directly adjacent to each other, ariel pink's loverboy & animal collective's feels. i got them. i told M i didn't have forty dollars on me & that if they could cover it for me then i could repay them once i got paid in a few days. they agreed. i feel i sprung them on this quickly & without much thought, & started to feel a bit bad about it, it was thoughtless. but they said not to feel bad about it & i did promptly repay them later on...

we drove to a park next to a restaurant. i had lots of very early childhood memories at that park but hadn't spent time there in a long time. we investigated a rain tunnel that had a turn in it so that you couldn't see light from the other end. there was the eerie sight of a secondary tunnel going off perpendicularly, which was blocked by a wheelchair jammed in it, facing inward. we swung on swings & played & climbed around on one of those um like pyramids of cables. there was this odd, sad-looking, defunct drinking fountain that looked like a lion. we left. dusk was setting in

the day was significantly marked in memory by the full moon dominating the sky

we drove through a freaky upper-class residential district on the edge of town, to another tiny park situated in the middle of a suburb. we balanced on the plastic curb bordering the playground & sat on a bench & looked at the moon & all the plentiful radio towers in that area & saw a toad

we left, tried to go to a chicken restaurant but they were closed - or at least, all the employees were just sitting outside behind the building? whatever, good for them. we went to a different chicken restaurant instead. we got our orders to go, then went to a park near the nature trail, dined

off near the pavilion there was, for some reason, at that hour, around nine, a guy with a deflated bouncy castle on the grass. he seemed to be continuously walking around it & inspecting it. he had a truck with a trailer for transporting it, & a huge white dog with him. eventually a few other cars started pulling up. they were presumably unrelated to the bouncy castle guy but the conjunction of these things weirded M out so we left

oh, i'm losing track of the days... there was a whole adventure where i can no longer tell which night it was. i'm pretty sure it was this night... wait, ok, yes, i do remember the full moon over a portion of a drive. but i'm not positive that it goes here in the chronology of the night? whatever:

we tried to go to the two other unexplored parks in the city directly adjacent. the first one led us to this hilly affluent neighborhood, the entrance into which was this odd hill that felt like we were about to drive off the edge of the earth. we drove along until we found ourselves at the edge of a private drive. so we turned around... there did not seem to be a park anywhere

we set out for the second park. the maps app took us a fair distance to a little cul-de-sac that was sort of out in the middle of nowhere. this drive was memorable, desolate empty roads, passing a desolate little power station, the moon overhead... again there did not seem to be a park at that cul-de-sac, so we just headed to the big park with the sculpture

we noticed some kids roaming around the playground & shied away from them. we walked to a nearby convenience store so i could pee, then we walked along some train tracks that circled the park. we went to a pavilion & sat under it for a bit. suddenly, M realized they knew the kids roaming around. they were old classmates, four of them i think. one of them was the guy who had skidded his truck to a halt on september twenty-ninth

they were high on weed, all of them i think, at least two of them, noticeably. one of them took his still half-full can of Pepsi & hurled it through the air, showering it in an arc. i thought this was delightful & hilarious to witness. M ran over & retrieved the can & threw it away. they talked with them for a few minutes, then we headed out

we drove to main street in that adjacent city, got out, just walked up & down it, explored some side streets, looked at a library. the street was empty. i played betelmire's 606 mph & i think it solidly imprinted on that empty old-feeling street. i also played the intimate sound of trixie's big red motorbike. we approached the park we'd spent time at on the sixth, but there was a guy acting oddly under the gazebo so we turned back

we got back in the car. M drove around aimlessly for a while, said they were just driving to drive, while the trixie's big red motorbike album played. eventually we were parked outside of my apartment again. we stepped out of the car, stood around for a bit, sat on the curb. i played the song loch raven a bunch of times. i tried to introduce Sweet Pea to them but she got skittish & wouldn't come out. she peeked once around the corner but then hurried back inside. maybe she thought someone was here to take her back to the pound...


october 10th. someone erased the apples & wrote "do not draw on board you heathens." i replaced it with a small smiling face. every few days i would add a new small face

in my office, i ate a parfait. when i had eaten almost all of it, i dropped it, scattered granola everywhere, had to pick up yogurty granola chunks with my hands...

an aside: i have an old laptop that i haven't powered on in so long that there is a risk that the hard drive has experienced data loss. out of the many many files on it, the only one i can actually recall the existence of & have felt worried about potentially losing is simply the chat log of the first time in february 2019 that i encountered on omegle the person who i would later encounter again in may 2020

i feel i have not been dwelling on that chat so much anymore, but today in my office i realized i had once backed up the entirety of my old laptop onto my current one & then completely forgot about doing so... naturally i reread the chat log from 2019 immediately & eventually began to tear up & feel detectably nauseous over how much it made me wish a person would talk to me in a similar way again, then i wrote two hundred & thirty-five more words to the defunct discord account

K & M stopped by. i spent a lot of time watching a documentary i had to watch for my cults class but i eventually just turned it off because it felt too depressing to be subjecting them to


october 11th. i had an all around frustrating morning. problems with my laptop, my phone... but a guy working the front desk at the library smiled mildly at me & it entirely reminded not to take things too seriously

when i got to my office, i saw that the extension cord had been moved a bit towards the wall, & the leftover granola around it had been cleaned up. i felt a little bad, like i could have done more

M stopped by. after my shift, we walked out to the little nature trail, then to the mall. we looked around a sporting goods store for a bit, then looked at the merry-go-round whose little jingle i had recorded back in december. i showed them the funny sign outside dairy queen with the kids derangedly photoshopped into wacky excited poses. they showed me a sports merch store that they thought was funny for how dead silent it was. i thought that was funny too

we looked around a halloween store. we looked around a clothing store. in the makeup section of the clothing store an employee approached & asked if she could help us find anything. i guess i was a bit out of it, not quite functioning interpersonally because i just flatly said "No." the employee then actually said "..what?" & i hastily followed it up with a few more normal-sounding but muttered phrases

we stopped by what is essentially just a convenience store weirdly occupying a slot in the mall, so i could get a coffee. for some reason there was a "twinkie" branded coffee, which i got out of curiosity. it was indistinguishable from a starbucks coffee

we left the mall, walked back for the college. i suggested walking a trail that borders the edge of the soccer fields - the area south of campus i had proposed before. we did that, eventually passed a really intense smell of death. eventually we made our way back to their car. they drove me home, i think. i don't explicitly recall the ride home, but i don't recall anything else either, so i suppose they drove me home


october 12th. the student center was covered in backpacks, each featuring a piece of paper with a picture of a person who had committed suicide & a paragraph written by someone who had known them & been affected by their death

M said they'd stop by my office. i left to walk to the library so i could refill my water bottle at a sink that dispensed warmer water. on the way back i saw them walking into the building, which made me laugh mischievously & quietly trail them back to my office. i showed them piesek w kratke, & dziwne przygody koziolka matolka, & possibly in michigan. i played a bunch of songs from my music that makes you slLlI|lIL|iIl|Ili|ueuoi playlist. they left for a little while to go to class

they came back around the time my shift was over. we went to the autism room, messed around with all the things in there, dug around in the little sandbox for a while. we walked to the hammocks, which were empty. we lazed in them for a while while i played exeter & about half of 333 on the bluetooth speaker. it was an idyllic little occasion. they drove me home & invited me to hang out tomorrow

that night i went on a walk to the store where i listened to the song BBY a lot of times & it made me really happy, i think it toppled trendy as my favorite song on the fool


october 13th. i got the last parfait in the fridge in the food court then dropped it on the floor at the cash register. it survived though. i also got a plate of mozzarella sticks & as i was walking to the building my office is in the wind blew one of them off of the plate. i mentioned this on the college discord & someone later reported having seen it lying there on the sidewalk

my supervisor stopped by & mentioned to me that he liked the inclusion of The Postal Service in the last episode & said it brought him back to his college days. the chronology of this sort of caught me off guard

M came & got me. we went & got coffee. the coffee shop was a bit crowded, & we had four different mildly odd experiences there. first we went & sat in the back room waiting for our drinks. i guess there was some kind of (quietly Christian) socialization event beginning to percolate back there, & a guy organizing it approached us very outgoingly, asked our names, where we were going to school, & if we could do him a favor...

he led us to a qr code that he hoped we would scan, & explained what the deal was. i guess this doesn't sound that odd on paper, but he had a sort of commanding presence. there was another lady attending the event who approached us & she had the same kind of energy that was outgoing but in a way that felt a little unnerving

the next two odd experiences were with each of the two baristas. each had something to say to me. the first was a girl i'm not sure i've encountered before, who looked at my receipt & said she grew up next to an Alex with my last name but that he moved away

the other barista was J, & she apologized for drunkenly fawning over me the other night with a third barista who wasn't present, but also said it was all true & that she adored me

M & i sat outside at a table for a bit. eventually i went back in to ask the first barista about the other Alex (i thought that maybe she could have been talking about me & thought i was a different person because i wasn't a guy). i asked if that Alex was in this city. it turns out it definitely wasn't me based on the relatives she described, but it was another Alex lastname in the same city

the last odd encounter was back out at the table, a bit of casual conversation from a guy with lots of face tattoos who then walked away & started riffing about how he was Batman, or something like that?

we went to a park, forewent a staircase for the sake of walking a slow winding path up to a memorial pavilion at the top of a big hill, found a statue similar to the big distinct statue at the other park & they playfully criticized it as a knockoff. we stopped under a tiny pavilion so i could charge my phones. we stood on opposite sides of a pillar & peeked around it repeatedly. we lied side-by-side on the concrete & said that the roof of the awning looked like we were in a boat

we stood up, walked, talked about some absurd 3d animation guy on youtube who turned out to be Michael Schelp, several of whose movies i have owned dvds of for five years (gifts from my exes). finding a big mural of a charming child art style & earnestly admiring it

into the car, into the night by pure dopamine on loop while desperately searching for a restaurant to go to but nearly everywhere is closed (view of the moon hanging dramatically over a commercial district), we try a burger restaurant but i change my mind at the last moment (right in the parking lot) because they remark just then on how greasy the food is. we try a burrito restaurant but the employees are well into cleaning & i feel too guilty so i quash it right at the door

so we hit Taco Bell again. there's an odd energy in Taco Bell, they have the doors locked for some reason & all the menu screens are dark, but it's hours before close. we get our food & leave. we pass some really funny dramatic fantasy-type artwork on the back of a crappy pickup truck that makes us both bust out laughing

to the sculpture park, playing Lucy songs on the speaker, chase around a pavilion table briefly, they remark how they like the strange confluence of factors of being under such a pavilion at such a late hour in such a temperature while i have on such a flashy fur coat

it was real cold so we consciously drove to the parking lot of my apartment to spend the standard hour or so sitting in the car or stepping out & standing on the porch, we laughed a lot about TheTonyTheThe, stood on the sidewalk for a long time, standing & babbling for a good while, finally gradually pried away from each other's company

another seven hours of unrecordably fluid interpersonal fluidity had transpired. i liked bouncing in place on the balls of my feet or hopping in place rapidly playfully, or running a funnily high number of laps around the car while my friend continuously silently rotated to face me. i liked so many other tiny short lived things. i like existing

i like our thing of saying "(wave) Hi, (point) to you." with a certain playfully ritualistic cadence then progressing sometimes into "deictic center" sorts of jokes

sudden, odd little period in my life here defined extensively by the dual elements of... spending many evenings & nights with M; what feels like a sort of ongoing collapse of many of my various routines & maintenances - my bed is perpetually unmade, i have so much to read for my classes, i keep accidentally falling asleep without brush my teeth, the point on my blog that i haven't "post-processed" yet is all the way back around page seventy, i'm paying less attention to music-related routines, i'm knee-deep in caffeine dependency, never drinking enough water, i'm skimping on my weekly parallel album listening days with my pal...

another crucial ingredient here is that my dad has been temporarily living in a club his friend owns to help him get sober, & my brother got a new job with hours from around five in the afternoon to one in the morning. so on the occasions that i'm actually at home the apartment is almost always empty & quiet


october 14th. i guess i was probably in my office for a while. then i went & sat in the library & tried to work on the Lucy episode. K arrived & sat across the table from me, working on her own stuff. i didn't make much progress on the episode because all i wanted to do was play tetris & listen to several of the songs in the episode over & over

i took the trolley to the coffee shop & finished the episode, got it scheduled online. around the time it was due to air, a sound guy came into the back room & started intermittently playing loud music over the speakers to test them for an upcoming event. this frustrated me. there was also music playing in the front room. i sort of scurried around for a bit, repeatedly moving my whole setup around indecisively, but the sound guy left right before seven so it was okay

the episode aired. the coffee shop closed. i retreated to the bar. i sat on my laptop for a while, assembled tentative playlists for the next two episodes. around close, i went out & milled around on the sidewalk. i unexpectedly ran into J, the guy whose birthday party i'd been at, & we stood & talked for a while, until my brother arrived to pick me up. J emphatically recommended the musician Richard Hell & a certain album by Death Cab for Cutie

my brother drove me home. the last thing i did was finally start listening through a playlist of songs by Cleaners From Venus that a friend had made for me nearly nine months prior. i dozed off listening to it, particularly the song soul monday


october 15th. in the morning i listened to more of the Cleaners From Venus playlist. M came & got me. the plan today was to hit up a bunch of garage sales

we were both drowzy & sort of quiet. i played a hand-picked set of Ariel Pink songs on the aux & the bluetooth speaker all day. they had a list of garage sales at the ready. we drove to one but didn't see it anywhere. we drove up to the little adjacent city & found two of them side-by-side, looked around for a bit but didn't find anything

we drove down to look for a third one, seeing a biplane landing up close... stuck in traffic behind an suv with a bumper sticker announcing that the driver had autism. we stopped so i could use the restroom in the mexican restaurant that now stands where my elementary school used to be. we couldn't find the third garage sale. we decided to just hit up some thrift stores

we went to the first thrift store, looked around for a while. an employee kindly brought out a bunch of boxes of records that we looked through although there was nothing really interesting. i did get two Christian children's records each sung by a different ventriloquist. i hoped the music would be suitably cuckoo

went to the second thrift store, the bigger one, looked around for a while, didn't find anything... then we drove down around the southwest end of town to visit one of the parks we hadn't been to yet. it was in a discrete little community sort of separate from the rest of town. i thought it was a charming little place. from a bench we sat on we could see some kind of ungulate creature walking around behind a fence, a horse or a mule. a train passed very close by

as we left, a couple's husky sort of meandered around the car & M had to take care not to harm it. we went to a sandwich shop which inexplicably had Daniel Johnston's "Jeremiah the Innocent" drawing painted on several of the walls. as we ate, i casually unzipped my purse & found that a zipper tooth which had been a bit messed up for a while had become sufficiently messed up that i would never zip the purse shut again from that point on...

we went to a park across the street from the one with the "boat" & the child art mural & fountains & hilltop pavilion & so on. we walked around that other park a bit. then we cross the street to the former park. we walk around for a while. we sit on a bench on a boardwalk & feel the light spray carrying from a fountain. we look at sculptures. they ask me what geographic direction we're facing & i tell them (east, but slightly southeast). they're bewildered by my ability & i laugh as i do at anyone's bewilderment ever caused by me

we decide to walk around in a nearby wal-mart. we get in the car. they have a crazy amount of difficulty locating the inlet of the parking lot & i am laughing very much because i know exactly where it is but watching them confront the apparent nonexistence of it, the seeming closed-off-ness of this store, is very funny to me, i love bewilderment a bunch

walk around, walk around, comment on so many dumb products... okay, back to sculpture park. as we loiter under a pavilion at eleven pm, a car pulls up, parks with its lights on for a while, then starts blasting the hot dog song from mickey mouse clubhouse & immediately starts driving away. i hear a girl laughing really loud

i think this might have been a "reply" to me doing the diary of a wimpy kid "simplest back & forth motion that could be considered a dance" to what a day by throbbing gristle, like they were saying i looked like the way they dance at the end of mickey mouse clubhouse

the car kept driving by a lot of times, sometimes blasting music, sometimes the hot dog song again, & as we left they sort of drove up close to our car as if trying to see that it was us, or who we were, then passed us again, then took off

it had gradually started raining during our time under the pavilion, & we had decided to leave because the lightning had been getting so freaky. we drove to my place, just sat in the car for a while as usual, with the rain pattering on the roof


october 16th. some producer with a wikipedia page bought three of my old albums for a dollar each. puzzling

i made another playlist to play during our day out, all the songs either used or planned for use in season three of my radio show thus far (in descending order by duration (i accidentally forgot the love songs episode & had to patch it in on a later day)). once again i used a Stan Brakhage still for the cover

we drove to one of the last few parks nearby that we hadn't investigated yet, in a tiny neighboring city. we got there at night. it was very chilly. the park was in the middle of a suburb. we liked this park because it had an odd feeling - just a motley smattering of play structures across a patch of grass without much structure, & some oddly tall swing sets

after we left we tried to investigate the other park in that city but the maps app seemed to just lead us to an empty patch of industrial nothingness so we left. we saw a shooting star as we drove. we stopped by the gas station that doubles as a bus station, the one where i leave for or return from Iowa. but i wasn't leaving from Iowa this time. we just had to use the restrooms

as we drove i mentioned how sometimes i have this weird irrational feeling while listen to music with people where i worry they’re going to interpret the lyrics of a song as me "saying" them by playing it

we stopped by my apartment so i could retrieve my coat. in a moment of quick thinking in my room, i also grabbed my record player & the two Christian ventriloquist albums. we drove to the distant park we'd visited on the fourth. i was a bit skittish during the drive because they said they felt kind of odd & mood swingy at the moment, & i get really on edge when i think there is a risk of frustrating anyone. it was ok though

we went to an old pavilion, looked at the odd & plentiful graffiti on the tables. i took out a ballpoint pen & anachronistically wrote "I love MySpace!!!!!!!!!!" on a park bench & drew a heart wearing earbuds with the word "MUSIC" in it. then we set up my record player under the pavilion & sat in the cold listening to the ventriloquist records. i kept gently pressing the edge of the record to warble the speed at funny moments. sometimes we danced around. funny excessive water pressure from a spigot

somewhere in there was a wal-mart... i think this might have also been the first night that we investigated the bar i always go & sit in, as a potential place of refuge from the cold at times. i think we played several games of skee ball

back to my apartment... at one point i remark about how it's harder to tranquilly appreciate a silence in someone's company the way i do when i'm alone, because my head is just "on" in a different way

funny exchange about the idea of lightly tapping a stranger's shoulder to get their attention, stepping close to them, making eye contact, & sternly saying "you are going to remember me saying this sentence for the rest of your life" before walking away. over the next few days i keep thinking about their demonstration & laughing


october 17th. my dad came back from the place he'd been staying at

i took a much-needed nap, dozed off blissfully to the sound of the dryer


october 18th. M & i went to the antique mall. i took somewhere around fifty pictures, as is typical. it was very fun. they liked a tacky rug with dogs & considered getting it. my favorite thing was probably a John Deere brand rocking horse that looked like it was about to cry

we set off to hit up a flea market we'd passed back on Ariel Pink day but i got indecisive because it was getting late & we'd hoped to also hit that first nature trail we'd gone to in september. so we went straight there. we walked along... went to the side trail that's always my entry point onto the main trail

wiatrowa by ksiezyc as the soundtrack to being substantially woozy from a sudden onset of low blood sugar feelings while walking with my friend at the nature trail along an unpaved footpath bordering the top of a steep incline down to the creek

(consciously looping the song as we happened to be on it & it underscored wooziness better than the song which would follow) with my thoughts trained on reaching the gas station & the chocolate bars i will purchase there

reaching the store... chocolate bars & energy bars & gatorade. i never even end up eating the chocolate bars, i don't think... back on the trail. saying we'll have to fight these deer standing on the trail up ahead of us. yelling at the deer asking if they like talking heads, saying i have some talking heads on my phone

as we walk back along the trail i show them the gravel hilltop where i had that ecstatic childhood return experience last year & also where i had had the last exchange with my friend last year before she died & i tell M of her death & we keep walking

i say it's so cold i don't even want to hold the chocolate bar to eat it so they give me their gloves & i wear them but i have to have them open the wrapper for me cause i can't do it with the gloves on & it gets pitch black before we reach the car, banter banter banter, talking about what we're going to do, how we're eventually going to surviv,e how i cling to the idea of one day working at the coffee shop just as a "something to do"

we go to the burrito restaurant that i had shied away from that one night because all the employees were well into cleaning. it's my first time there. i think it's... fine, i guess. there is a single bathroom, with a men sign on it, & a piece of paper taped over it that says "THIS BATHROOM IS NOW UNISEX"

we drive to my dad's place of work to see if we can hang out there. my dad is there, but the place is all dark & inactive. he turns the lights on so we can look around. he points out a platform hanging from the ceiling on which sits a fake human skeleton. he explains how this skeleton, through some bizarre & serendipitous series of transfers of ownership, is unintentionally wearing the exact wedding dress that my half-sister's mother wore when she married him before i was born

M introduces themselves & we head out, head to a wal-mart & friskily mess around there for a good while, really get some good riffing in on all those products. i take a picture of us on a tablet on display & leave it on there. the bread aisle is in a weird font. i purchase an unconventional set of two things: a jar of pickled eggs & three pens that look like syringes of blood & write in red (i used to have one in some early semester but i lost it)

braking for a rabbit on the way back to my house which does not dart across the road but take an awkward irregular path which prolongs its time in front of the car

i got home. after years of curiosity i tried pickled eggs & they were bad. like standard hard-boiled eggs but with a very unappealing tang to the outside & a rubbery smell. the acidity made my teeth feel really gritty too


october 19th. i finished my friend's cleaners from venus playlist... is there anything else to write ? first notably cold walk to school. i was in my office.


october 20th. i tried wearing my hair a different way where my ears were visible (hair tucked behind ears but a lock of hair hanging in front of each ear)

i used a mouse with my laptop for maybe the first time ever... crazy that my primary computer has been a dell laptop running windows 7 for nearly four years now

M stopped by my office. we spent a while just tossing an empty soda bottle back & forth. it was happy

later we went to the coffee shop. while they were in the restroom i placed a metal sculpture of a bird on my seat & left the room. when i walked back in & saw them sitting across from it i laughed pretty loud. i love being silly. they asked where i even found the thing in the twenty seconds that they were gone

after we left we spent a while walking around a big monthly gathering of booths & people along main street, the last one that would happen until around march. it was nice. we pondered where to eat. we decided to try the place my dad works at again - i figured we could each probably score a seven-inch pizza for free, & the pizza there is surprisingly good

well, the kitchen was being remodeled so it wasn't in working order yet. but we lingered around a bit, walked out to the patio, up to the second story... we ended up in a corner that i had photographed on august twenty-fifth & posted on this website, saying it was where i wished i could stand with someone who "is not insane". so that did happen to happen. only there was a table there now, so we sat. then we sat on the little couch thing i had dozed off on that same night

eventually we settled on a local wing restaurant that i had a lot of familiarity with. we drove to the somewhat nearby parking lot of a church i had a lot of nostalgia around & walked to the restaurant. we had to sit on a little bench in the front for about fifteen minutes, waiting for a table to open. we were seated

waitress jestingly asking if i'm part camel due to how quickly i drank my diet soda... eating... joking about the idea of soaking an entire cup of diet pepsi into the paper towels & leaving them as a sopping pile on the table... leaving, back out to that parking lot, chilly, my teeth are chattering, run home for my coat, sculpture park, walking the train tracks again, talking, talking... [1] talking along with the intro to chapel of memories. they remark how yeongrak's alones sounds like it was recorded on a phone call. as we near my house they call chuck person's a6 ytp music

sitting in the parking lot. there's an odd feeling here because my upstairs neighbors are having a pretty intense shouting match, audible even when they're in the apartment & we're in the car. i tell them about back in july of 2021 when i was working on that puzzle with my pal in the hotel room & we heard a family's response to the grandmother collapsing & all we could do was awkwardly keep working on the puzzle...


october 21st. i clock out early to take the bus downtown for my shot. i'm a bit early so i walk to the coffee shop. there's some crazy road work outside, like they've got it opened up doing heart surgery. S the barista gives me a free strawberry & peanut butter shake that she made by accident. i sit in there for a while. i walk to the clinic

i make it almost perfectly on time but i still have to sit in the waiting room for about forty-five minutes past my appointment time. finally they call me back. it seems they're training a new nurse. she is charming. i wonder if one of the two nurses who i've been so familiar with for years might have quit... they are S & A, & A is the one who is absent

i get my shot & hoof it back to the coffee shop. i get a matcha latte. i'm sluggish in finishing the current radio episode, so i delay it to an hour later than usual & listen to it in the bar instead of the coffee shop. the song things i was due to forget by somnambulist plays over the intercom in the bar at one point, for some reason

i perform a deranged act of going on omegle in a public space & immediately run into my friend K. we start spamming one character messages as fast as possible for at least twenty minutes straight & they have some really funny banter & anecdotes

getting home late at night, dozing off to the conet project tyrolean music station numbers station recording


october 22nd. on my way home from the store the wind blew like crazy from behind me & whipped my hair around. i consciously subdued transient concern over the consistency of my hair in favor of enjoying the feeling that the world was jostling me around. i raised my arms & said "wooo!" then i noticed a huge detached branch hanging from a nearby tree & grabbed it. i walked home with it raised imperially in one hand, which strained my wrist. i had my bottle of diet soda pop in the other hand. when my friend gets here i plan to exit my apartment with the branch, open the car door, say "i don't think the car will accommodate my branch, i'll just leave it here," & deposit it in the yard

M comes & gets me & i indeed do that bit. we go get coffee. we both talk about feeling kind of odd & drowsy. they laugh at tommy mandel's sun & moon & stars. we arrive, we drink our coffees. i swing in one of the hammocks & it keeps bashing me into the solid wall that it's right next to. we look at the plants they have on sale

we leave, we go to that big nature trail place that i hardly ever make it out to. it's unpleasantly windy out but i see pretty dead leaves flowing on sluggish water & we walk along all the way to a great big stone bridge, sit on a bench, look out over the river, watching a heron walk around. we head back

a bit before we leave i show them a little dam that's easy to access & walk on when it's dry. they sit down on a cubic part in the middle & accidentally create a split in their pants. so we head out & our next destination becomes their house so that they can change. so i see the exterior of their house for the first time

my lamplight season three playlist ends as we pull out of the driveway. then we drive to a wal-mart &... well i suppose we probably messed around in there again, i don't remember so much of it

we go to that small Mexican restaurant again. on the drive there a kind of drive to find & talk about "honest topics" seems to unspokenly take hold of us. at the restaurant i get the enchilada dinner again & they get the taco trio. at one point i do this joke i keep doing where i place a napkin in the collar of my shirt & sit with both fists on the table, holding a knife & fork straight up. i do this while the server is at the table & he does a joking reply to it by backing away going, "oohh hey, hey!" we eat. towards the end of the meal i am babbling about my conception of people as bundles of signals & how it relates to love & whatever

we stop by the mall & walk around there for a bit, look through a fabric store. in the fabric store they ask what direction we're facing & i misapply my method, saying north when really it's south. i actually feel a little bad about messing up my perfect streak... then we hit a general... entertainment media store. i find a cheap tape of haunted by poe & buy that. a lady at the tapes riffs on me (in an amicable & funny way) about my age & how i was totally born after the heyday of tapes

we drive to the sculpture park briefly but it's too cold so we quickly drive to the bar i spend time in, with lightspeed champion's midnight surprise playing memorably, kicking off the lamplight season two playlist. we play six games of skee ball, three each. i write down our scores & add them up

we go on a nighttime walk down main street. at one point my brother passes us, driving my dad home, & honks. then my dad calls & asks if we need a ride, but i say we’re ok. we visit the base of a big, distinctive, stocky radio tower. we walk back to the car

i guess after that we weren't sure what else to do so we drove back to my apartment- wait no! last.fm reminds me that we went to that park i associate with chicken fingers now but i can't remember what all happened there, i think we just sat side by side on the stone countertop for a while

then we drove to my house. that night we stood out on the sidewalk in the wind or sat on the curb for a pretty long time. i kept going into my apartment & bringing out objects to share... eyeball spring glasses, a stuffed rabbit & a flower mummified in a pane of glass, a box containing a box containing a bottle of perfume. the last time i came out wearing my fur coat & a hair tie because of the wind

i noticed that someone had came & turned the orange streetlight on the corner that i've been staring at for over a decade now into a white streetlight

i sat on the curb in my big fur coat with my head resting on my bunched-up knees & felt like i could fall asleep that way. i remarked that i was so drowsy, so they said they should go. they asked if they could give me a hug. i said sure. we hugged & they went


october 23rd. uneventful day. marked by intense persistent drowsiness. i ride with my brother to the store for mayonnaise, shampoo, conditioner, a big bottle of hand sanitizer... the sanitizer is for the recording room by my office, to replace the gross ancient one with no lid that has unappealing congealed chunks of sanitizer distributed through it. we stop at a dollar store & the cashier is a girl who had been at the birthday party i went to

i noticed that the band freshly wrapped candies had significantly substantiated their online presence, which was exciting


october 24th. i missed my first class. i hurried to my second class in the rain. i was hugging my purse to my chest under my umbrella because it couldn't shut anymore & i was nervous about that. after class i went to my office, spent the whole day just making noises in audacity.. i walked to the student center for lunch, arranged to meet M there. they had gotten rained on. we walked back to my office, spent time there. they took off after a while. i clocked out & walked home in the rain in my rag shoes, hugging my purse again. my socks got soaked


october 25th. M came & got me once i clocked out. i played Schnuffel in the car

we stopped by my apartment so i could drop off my laptop & stuff like that. i changed into an outfit i thought was nicer. i suppose we must have then gotten coffee. this might have been the day that we both swore off of caffeine - well, they swore off of it & i quietly decided to do the same

then we ran by my place again so i could get my coat. the outfit i'd changed into was not very insulating - i had been overoptimistic about how harshly the temperatures would drop

we went to the library not too long before it would close. we milled around in there. i tried to show them a slightly interesting coffee machine but it was gone. we looked around the children's section

in the main area we saw a guy sitting casually with a wooden sign hanging around his neck that said "pick a number 0-83." he had eighty-four quotes numerically memorized - really one hundred & sixty-eight because he had varying english translations from both arabic & persian. i said twelve. i wish i could remember better what he said. something religious, about daughter of two visions or two sights

i unearthed a cd of Missouri toad sounds that i had familiarity with from years ago but had never listened to. we checked it out & left

we spent a while at the park with the metal teeter totter thing. we tried to use that again but i thought the metal was too cold to hang onto. i danced around on the woodchips to Schnuffel. we took our BeReals under an orange streetlight along a footpath. we got back in the car. as a joke, i asked as a total non sequitur: "Have you ever been hunted down & murdered like a dog?" they hadn't

we tried to go to the chicken restaurant that the employees had seemingly abandoned last time. this time we stood at the counter for so long with no one at the register that we resorted to the same alternative chicken place as last time. we ate there. then i proposed we drive to the same park we had eaten the chicken at before. this was because i had an association in my brain between the chicken restaurant & the park. so we went. we listened to the frog cd as we drove. it was happy

i think this was the night at the park when i showed them my capacity to jump onto a high cement counter, which i had once shown them a video of me jumping onto. they were impressed. we tried to find where i had once written something to the effect of "i love love so so so so so much" in ballpoint pen on a table there, but we couldn't find it. there was also this really odd pile of... little pretzel-shaped noodles? in the grass near the pavilion

we again resorted to a wal-mart to walk around in. we looked at the christmas section. i went bonkers & got two fruit drinks, a little cherry cheesecake mousse cup, & a big bottle of vitamin c supplements. we set off for the little park we'd visited on the sixth. during the drive i ate the mousse & it wasn't that good, didn't really feel like cheesecake. at the park we sat on a bench for a while. i took off one of my boots & threw it about ten feet away to be silly. they went & got it for me because they didn't want to see me get my socks dirty. they drove me home


october 26th. i started taking the vitamin c supplements. they would last until approximately march 8th, 2024 - the seven-year anniversary of my first in-person meeting with my polyamorous exes. i am noting this because i think it is funny to draw such an inane & pointless line through time

M stopped by my office for a while. i showed them some funny videos. i had rosa by grimes on loop for a while

i walked home in both articles of clothing presumably left in my office by the girl who worked there before me (the gloves i took from the drawer weeks ago + a leather jacket i only finally tried on shortly before leaving). i had rosa on loop still


october 27th. there was a booth set up on campus where people could smash plates, throw them at a cinder block. it was billed as a "mobile rage room" or something

i left my office to investigate all the faucets in the nearby buildings' bathrooms for a good one that quickly dispenses lukewarm water & is tall so that i can place my water bottle under it. i found a very adequate one but it was still kinda lacking in temperature. a lot less cold than the ones available in my building though

M would be coming to get me later. today i planned to persistently jot events down in a notebook, so that i wouldn't have to recede into my phone all the time if i wanted to write notes on the day for descriptive expansion later on

i also considered reviewing the playlists i've been working through during our days, or maybe looking through my last fm log, to see if this helps me reconstruct the sequence of a given day & recall things i might have forgotten

in any case: i forgot to write in the notebook today

i clocked out. M asked if i was at my apartment. i typed: "six words everyonw wants to hear:" [...] “Meet Me At The {blank blank}” i had asked them to meet me at a nearby gas station that is a sort of joke between us for its constant feeling of seediness. i had no business there, i just wanted to type such a set of messages. i started walking there quickly, wondering if i'd make it first. i didn't... they passed me in their car & we made smiling eye contact, then i slowly ambled over & we met in the parking lot

we stopped by my apartment so i could do some stuff, then set out. i proposed driving a ways to the city's sister city & investigating parks there. i had also been looking at coffee shops we could hit there. unfortunately their car had just announced that it was low on coolant, so they didn't want to drive on the highway. we simply headed to the coffee shop

at one point they casually placed one of my gloves on top of my head & i immediately intended to keep it there for the rest of the day... it quickly fell off. i kept replacing it though. i had hoped to keep it as that very same occurrence of it having been placed on my head, but it didn't pan out

we got in the car. they expressed how they didn't want to go on the highway with the low coolant, that we'd have to determine something else to do... i honestly forget what we did between here & going to buy rubber gloves. maybe there wasn't really anything between this moment & the burger restaurant?

ah!!! last.fm reminds me of a whole episode at that classic inaugural nature trail. memories include asking them what they would title the song that was playing. i thought this was a good question (the actual title was dream)... i scandalously leave my empty shake cup on a bench so that we can pass by & retrieve it later

wandering off the trail down a broad swath of no trees through the trees, off away, unpaved grass as it gets dark, envelopes another day is a perfect chorus to hear in autumnal dimness like that

back to the trail, retrieving the cup, walking in basically pitch darkness yet again... back at the car, disposing of the cup, getting in to boy harsher & lucy's autonomy & okay now it's time to set off for the greasy burger restaurant that i've never been to! only i stop & interject that we should stop by wal-mart to get me a box of gloves. so we go & get them

the door greeter holds us up a little on the way out, asking why i have a glove on my head, if i'm planning to purchase it, or, if i brought it in... i nod at having brought it in & she asks if it's a halloween costume

so then we get burgers. they join me in eating them with gloves on. it's a real tasty burger, kind of everything i look for in a burger really

to the sculpture park... walking off along a completely dark paved walking trail adjacent to it that we hadn't been on prior, so dark, such a good dark feeling. for kate i wait in the total dark & then for kate i wait along a field lit by floodlights & staring into white floodlights over there to such a song lighting the tin rooves of maybe little baseball buildings is so perfect

& then continuing to walk the perimeter of the park & among dreams while slowly walking past a floodlit tennis courts with five or six people playing & it's so great to see, & the feeling of a floodlit gravel path

they seem kind of frustrated, maybe distracted by some kind of social conflict on their phone, someone bothering them. they say without context that it's bad to be spiteful & they won't. they resolve to put their phone away & not think about it & just be here

i say some thought i'd been having on my mind that day, oh what was it, something about socialization or conversation, but whatever it was it really gets them talking, about the internet, about not hating people over petty things like cultural symbols, about ways people's lives go wrong, about stuff like kiwi farms, just about a bunch of stuff & there's a lot of talking but mostly my listening

we get back in the car, stop by some odd little convenience store they've never been in, that i'm not sure i've ever been in but it's a nostalgic infrequent sight from when i'd end up in this area just a little more often back around 2014 - (they didn't even live here then... crazy)

& at some point we end up back in the parking lot & they like the steel guitar in ween's back to basom & then i'm home & that night i feel real happy about how much my tiny dog loves me, each time i get home or wake up i'll sit on the futon thing in the living room & she'll hop up & be all over me


october 28th. i woke up naturally. i immediately put together that my alarms hadn't gone off, that i had passed out the night before without either of my phones even in my room. i assumed i had slept past my first class. i lumbered into the living room, said, "let's see the damage," as i turned on my phone... it was only 8:35. i sort of hooted like an ape & hurriedly left the apartment & made it on time

there was going to be an ebm artist at the bar that night. i skimmed their music on bandcamp & thought it seemed very corny, not really different in its heart from all the dumb local rock bands

i clocked out pretty early so M didn't have time to arrive at my office but we just met in the hall. we looked around the art building, i snooped around a lot of empty classrooms but they seemed distinctly skittish about following along. we went up to the library lair, sat up there for a while. at one point we went down to the fourth floor to refill my water bottle a guy working at a desk asked them if they had on a Sematary shirt, which they did. they said to me, "get me outta here..."

we walked back to that old gravel beach again & sat there for a while, threw more rocks into the water... they had to go at three to pick up a tv though

i took the trolley to the coffee shop, got a hot chocolate, finally took one of the free biscotti cookies that their rewards program is always offering me. it was better than i expected...

the coffee shop closed. i retreated to the bar. i kept seeing the ebm musicians walking around. their sound test was actually kinda cool to hear happening right over in the other room, although i still wasn’t really crazy about their style. i only caught the very beginning of their actual performance before i took a cab home because i was feeling kinda fatigued & overstimulated

my head hurt a ton that night, presumably from caffeine withdrawal. i felt real loopy & lonely &, i don't know, melty


october 29th. i had one can of diet soda - a deviation in the caffeine pact. but i had waited two days to drink it, & i would wait three days for the next, then four, & so on... probably just more of a game to play with myself then something with any real effect

i tried to resume reading comments on the society of the spectacle after a couple month lapse in that. but i noticed a wasp had gotten into my room when i opened the window. i had noticed it stuck between the window & screen a few days prior, but had assumed it would have found its way out, or starved

this became my obliged focus for a while. i kept making these different offensive implements on the end of a broom handle, out of cups & stuff, & hitting the thing over & over. but it was very tough. eventually it sort of disappeared into some part of the window frame, & then i experimentally shut the window, & i didn't see it anymore. so i figured it might have gotten squashed in there somehow, or maybe trapped in the screen again

later i took a cab to the place my dad works at, to check out an indistinguishable local rock band's album release show... during the cab ride we stopped by this obnoxious LED sign outside an audio equipment store, displaying grainy videos of speedboats & stuff like that. i tried to look at this & not hate it. like an exercise in suspending hate, trying to feel like an uncritical child, trying to see something okay, trying to really visually see the way the tackiness played against the imposing monolithic quality of the two big buildings behind with their parallax & their setting against the grey sky on this gloomy day, the gloom oddly contrasting the bright theatrics of this sign & i thought about - despite all the problems, is there at least no economic system that doesn't at least produce its own kind of experiential, i don't know, artwork? can the edge between tacky unreality & truth, that boundary, be a kind of unintentional brush stroke - & sentiments adjacent to "in a society that's abolished all adventure the only adventure is to abolish the society"

i arrived. the driver told me to have a nice night & i automatically said "you too" & then felt awkward because i was getting out at some event while she might be going on driving people around

it was a very bustling event. i spent a lot of time just kind of sitting in a corner. for a while i plucked hairs out of my neck. i described the band a bit critically, but, even bland rock music has a kind of soothing quality muffled through a wall in that way...

i had a nonalcoholic but thc-infused cocktail, which also had sage in it, a whole sprig even, which made it feel pretty odd to drink. i didn't really notice any effects from it though. what i did notice was that there was a really weird bathroom stall there with cowboy-style double stall doors that, when shut as fully as they could be, did not really fully obscure the toilet

i ordered a pizza & it took forever to get to me because they just sat the box out on a table & i didn't know i was supposed to go look for it. eventually a guy finally brought it to me & he was real apologetic about it several times throughout the rest of the night... the night feels kind of big & loud & long in my memory but i guess i don't have much more to say about it


october 30th. while waiting for M to come & get me i felt sleepy & lonely & morose. i thought about that guy from may 2020 a lot. i tried going on omegle but got randomly banned for no reason again... barred from teasing myself along with the 0.001% chance that i run into him again through the only conceivable channel through which that might happen. assuming he has even used the website in the past two years. or did not just die in a car wreck the day after we talked or something, for all i know. oh well

all that aside, this was such a memorable night, it was happy...

M came & got me. i wore gloves, while at the same time reprising having one of those other gloves on my head the entire day. sometimes it would fall off & they would replace it for me. when we got to the coffee shop, an old man said: "hey, you've got a glove on your head"

we went to the coffee shop. i'll note that we'd been to the coffee shop several times since both swearing off of caffeine - we were getting decaf stuff!

we decided to go to... something that M had heard about. we weren't even sure that it'd be music, if there'd be a cover charge, or what... all we knew was that it started at seven & it was at a house. i suggested we stop by wal-mart first to get me some earplugs

i played exeter in the car. we headed to wal-mart & got the earplugs. we were checked out by M's old classmate (i think) M who we kept running to in that wal-mart & they'd talk a little but i haven't been mentioning it because i don't remember what dates those little exchanges fell on. whatever it's not that important

after wal-mart, we ran by M's house to pick up their sister, M, henceforth "M's sister." so i met them. we drove off. i commented how i liked a billboard we passed that was torn up irregularly, revealing layers of past billboards, creating an odd chaotic collage

we found the house, a two-story house on a corner, with a dingy little basement partly lit a terrifying green. there would be several acoustic sets up in the living room, then one last set down in the basement

the cover charge was just "pay what you can," or want, just whatever. the guy hosting the event was nice. he had on a stocking cap thing & a shirt covered in tweety bird & maybe suspenders? something like that. i gave him five dollars

i really liked getting to see some unfamiliar house, especially an old one, & getting to go down in the basement, all of that...

we were told that it wouldn't start for about another hour & a half, so we drove off to the little independent theater to get food. when we got there we looked in the window & saw all the furniture sort of stacked up in one area & wondered if they were closed. the owner, H, materialized behind us on the sidewalk & said, "Don't worry!" they were just preparing to have the floors shampooed, but the kitchen was open & everything. seeing everything stacked like that was a fun sight

i recommended the tempeh blt, so M & i each got one of those. M's sister just got a soda. i also got an order of truffled grapes, which i had described to M several times, & they tried one... i tried to use my phone to identify a song playing on the intercom but it didn't work so i asked them. i liked the way H & the other girl on duty answered, like they were emphatic about the music, had a little banter about it, asked if i'd like them to change it to a playlist more in its direction. the song was a forest by the cure... shortly before we left they gave us some free slices of vegan chocolate cake that they otherwise would have just thrown out

we drove back to the house. we stopped at a light by that obnoxious LED sign again. i told M about a few days ago when i'd stared at that sign, trying to suspend my hatred for it, at least a little, at least briefly. we had this short back & forth where i'd kind of elaborate my intent & they'd kind of rebut it, & it quickly ended at me conceding their point that maybe a person shouldn't go around just pretending everything is okay

we arrived. the acoustic sets were underway. i stood in the back next to M. their sister sat on a cool-looking red chair in the corner. i placed my milkshake cup on the shelf over the fireplace & M seemed to find this funny for some reason because we kept looking back at it & then looking at each other & laughing a little. i was simply laughing at their laughing [1]

we stood there &, well... heard & watched the performances! at one point i went & investigated the candy table in the little entry foyer - there was almost exclusively only warheads left... i had one. at one point a black cat randomly tore into the room & across it & then tore back out... a while later a second cat quickly did the same

M & i briefly did this side-to-side shuffle dance without prior coordination, trading the spot of floor space between us

at one point my glove almost fell off my head into a toilet - like if i hadn't caught it as it fell it would've fell in

the last guy concluded his set by doing a song with his voice & a loop pedal, it was cool... if i heard the finished product on bandcamp i',d think it sounded corny but watching it in front of me was cool

while we waited for the basement set to start, i was recognized by a guy who identified himself as the manager of a store in the mall that i had frequented for a while, but it had closed a decent while ago. i told him i got the skirt i had on there. he playfully said something to the effect of, like, "history repeats itself"

i inspected the vinyls on the shelf in the living room... all i can remember is lots of flaming lips, beatles, there was pom pom...

finally we all went down to the tiny dusty basement. i put my earplugs in. this last act was crazy, honestly entertaining, they were like this... i guess i'd label them "folk punk" artist with a yelpy voice, playing a bass drum & a snare with their feet while they played the guitar. it wasn't stuff i'd be crazy about if i just found it as an album but it was honestly so nice being down there, especially with the earplugs making it actually tolerable to exist... they had on this halloween costume that was like a formal-looking vest thing, & a blonde wig, & facepaint. this costume, to me, felt very crucial to the feeling of this experience. i felt like they should wear it every time they perform. it was dark with christmas lights around & one of those prism things that splits stationary little multicolored lights everywhere [1]

during this set i saw the guy hosting the event putting takis in his beer for some reason... M & i looked at each other. they had seen it too. we smiled in knowing befuddlement. we are always turning & looking at each other & smiling & exchanging high fives

then, um, well, it ended & we drove off & M dropped me off at home & that was that! after i got out of the car, before i shut the door, i did this joke where i kept saying "bye" to M & then "it was nice meeting you" to their sister, like four times consecutively. it made their sister laugh


october 31st. it was beautifully misty during my walk to school

it was Halloween!

i didn't do anything for Halloween

on my way into my school building i passed some guys handing out little green bibles on the sidewalk, as happens with some regularity. i took one while calmly saying "it's bible time, babyyyy!" kinda squealing out the last syllable briefly & raising the pitch as i did it. it was a very serene exclamation

my mass comm theory teacher talked about the effects of gruesome & frightening media, & why people flock to it... my cults teacher delightfully showed up in a cultish robe with tinfoil on his head & handed out candy & snacks. we watched part of a heaven's gate documentary

when i got to my office i found to my distress that the bulb in the lamp had died. i wouldn't tolerate the fluorescent lights, so i walked home to bring my lamp from my room. i looked in the cupboard there & found a replacement bulb instead. i got a ride back & tried the bulb. it worked but it was less bright. i will have to find an exact replacement

in my office i worked fervently to get this journal completely substantiated, didn't have it done all the way by the time i clocked out... M also stopped by for a while. after they left i resumed work on the journal

looking through my last.fm log successfully retrieved the memory of an entire park i forgot we'd visited on the fifteenth, & it was a unique-feeling occasion too, one i'm glad to remember... freaks me out how much of my life can just leak out of my head

i clocked out, went home, quickly dozed off & had crazy unplanned nap dreams, woke up, actually wrote them down in detail for once, then worked fervently again on getting this journal done, didn't end up finishing it until around eleven

right as i finished it i heard the familiar soothing sound of loud cars off in the distance where it only feels soothing at night because i can feel that it's echoing out through the night

this concludes one of my most strenuous months of memory-capturing


november 1st. my eyelid was twitchy all day for no reason. some people associated with the landlord came with a chainsaw & removed a skinny tree that had always been growing from... well, it's a little unwieldy to describe spatially. the back of the apartment complex is not flat across, most of the middle protrudes out several feet from the rest. & the tree had been growing from the corner produced by that protrusion on my side


november 2nd. M came & got me. we went to the coffee shop. we were especially chipper & goofy there & it was fun. while they were in the bathroom i tried to do the metal bird prank again but they caught me

then we went to the big nature place i don't get out to much & walked for a while there. i became less chipper & more cognitively sluggish because having to process all the stuff we were walking past was a bit much maybe. we investigated a crevasse between two big rocks. at one point we skipped along the trail

we went to another burrito place i'd never been to. it was similar to the last one but i thought it was a good deal better. we walked out of the restaurant very robotically as a joke

we went to the sculpture park & walked around for a while. they had on a denim jacket that made me think of the god's light burns upon my flesh music video. my brain was functioning a bit better

we quickly noticed an odd strobing white light through the trees. we went to investigate it. it was a big empty field slash parking lot lit by a big bright floodlight type streetlight that was flickering very fast so that the whole environment was flickering with this harsh directional light. it was very cool, it was beautiful. we stood in this for several minutes. the song that happened to be playing at that time was do you wanna dance by barbie

we walked back to the car, drove to a gas station. outside the gas station they laughed while criticizing an aspect of the company's logo, where someone had done a bad job at creating the border of solid color around some text

we drove back to the park & started walking off along that dark paved path lined with trees again. but we started hearing coyotes yelping & it freaked us out. we fled & ran back to the main part of the park & left

we drove back to my house & sat in the car for a while. i asked them if they wanted to walk to the convenience store & back. they quickly refused because they overestimated the distance, but changed their mind when i pointed out its lights shining across the field. they were tickled that i had been letting them take a long way back to my house & hadn't said anything. but that route had character... we walked to the store. i decided to get another candy i'd never tried before. last time we'd been there i had gotten something kind of unpleasant called a King Bing. this time i got a Cherry Mash which was similar & a little more unpleasant. i didn't finish it

we sat in the car for a while longer. we unpromptedly did a kind of repetitive two-phase hand slap ritual for approximately four consecutive minutes in silence where i would slap their hand downwards & then they would rotate their hand & i would slap their hand more sideways


november 3rd. in my office i was sad. i took a picture of myself in the control room that i thought turned out really nice. after work i walked to the mall & spent a good while thumbing through pretty much every vinyl available at the store that sells them. i got a cheap bulk vinyl called in reverse by the model a's because i couldn't find any info about it online & hoped it might surprise me

after the mall i walked to a cemetery, to a restaurant, got a sub sandwich, walked to a park, ate half of the sandwich on a bench on a tennis court. it felt like it'd been a long time since i'd gone on that kind of aimless nighttime walk around my immediate surroundings

i was very tired & fatigued during my walk home. i took a break to collapse on one of the hammocks & felt very good. while i was on the hammock a saw a skunk run by against the exterior of the student center

at home i saw an open invitation on yik yak to a birthday party & strongly considered going but i didn't because i was just too spent


november 4th. i didn't go in to my office but i did stop by to rip the frog calls cd. my plan for when i tidied up the metadata was to set the album artist to _ Department of Conservation & have each artist field be the species of the frog or toad in question

on my way out of the building i passed a television & made what felt like brief eye contact with a pretty contestant of a game show. this gave me an idea for a short story. as i crossed the parking lot on my way home i diverted to the student center so i could get to a computer & quickly write it out

right as i finished the story someone said "hi" to me from behind. i turned. M & K had materialized. i sat with them at a table for a while while they ate & did some stuff on their laptops. M & i kept looking at each other & saying "hi." it felt sort of like we were in on a secret. after a while i excused myself to go home & see if my vial of medication had arrived. if it was early enough then i would be able to hurry to the clinic & get my shot done... well, when i got home i found a slip on the door saying i had to pick it up. this was frustrating because i had signed for it online a few days prior

a while later M came to get me. i had my glove on my head all day again

it was a pleasingly rainy, dreary, chilly day. i expressed to them that i hoped we'd be able to find somewhere that i could set up my laptop & we could listen to my radio show. either of our houses were clearly viable options but we didn't say so because neither of us had been to each other's houses & it felt like a boundary we felt awkward about approaching. i mean, i can't speak for them but i think it was the case for both of us

we went to the coffee shop & tried November specials, after we left we went to the privately owned shipping company building to procure the tiny vial of medication which was in a sillily big box. time was running short before my radio show & finally they proposed listening to it in their garage. i agreed

we went & got some Taco Bell before the show. there were three different uniquely terrible & gaudy but unrelated cars convening at the restaurant & it made me laugh a lot. one was the truck we had seen with the totally deranged fantasy illustration on its back... lid, thing. i got Taco Bell milk whose presence on the menu had been amusing us for a long time, how it was just "Milk" with a glass of milk for the picture & nothing else

we went to their house & their garage & they set up some speakers & we listened to my show & tossed a ball back & forth a lot & i met one of their two dogs, H (Honey ("Honey Bun," as i would later learn)) & also their mom on the porch, briefly

the odd experience of reaching under a van - that's always parked at the same spot, that i've been walking past on my way home for the past four years - to retrieve a bouncy ball, in the garage of the house that it goes back to... (one of my friend's parents happens to be the teacher who owns the van)

after the show we drove across town to a park & tried to sit under a gazebo but quickly decided it was way too drizzly & cold even though the drizzle made the lights around us very pretty so we drove off & took shelter in the bar i always go to. my memory note for this was "freezing gazebo egress," which i want to save here as a phrase

after a while of sitting in the bar they asked where my glove had gone. i had totally forgotten that it existed & wondered if it hadn't fallen off somewhere that i wouldn't be able to find it again. i got kind of upset & asked if we could go to the car & look for it. i fortunately found it in the little space under the console

bar exploits: as we walk in they say the place smells funny & i start laughing for a bit over something i want to say, but the laughter stops me, & then the fact that it's not even going to be funny becomes funny to me, & it becomes an endless prohibitive loop. finally i managed to reveal that i was laughing at the word "alco-stench," i claimed that it was the "alco-stench"

i noticed that one of my long thumbnails had chipped at the base, making its doom inevitable. i bit the bullet & picked the whole nail off. i placed it on the table. M picked it up. i was okay with that

noted here in my notes is a brief stop at the place my dad works at. if i remember correctly we tried to spend some time there but found it dark & empty

noted here also in my notes is a "pinkie promise to kill all human beings on earth." i'm pretty sure this was done during our time in the car after they brought me home, we hooked our pinkies, revisiting & showcasing the phenomenon of making a "pinkie promise"

home, lying on the futon thing hugging my puppy... it'd be a big day tomorrow, a flea market & maybe an unvisited coffee shop. & another music show at that same house


november 5th. i noticed to my mild upset that i accidentally reused a song on lamplight. modest mouse's dramamine was included in both episode twelve (the 90s episode) & episode twenty-seven (my 2014 nostalgia)

i finally ripped the cd i got over a year ago from the elderly couple who play traditional regional folk music. i carefully photographed the cover art. it had the plasticy texture of a photo you'd get developed & a fitting watermark on the back. i listened to a bit of the album. the songs on it were a bit more electic than just traditional regional folk music but it was still pleasing. i had hoped to get it onto youtube that day but didn't have enough time

M came & got me. we parked near the usual coffee shop & walked a fair distance to the unfamiliar coffee shop we'd been meaning to try. it was a bit creepy & gentrified but not quite as egregiously as the one where i'd gotten that peach coffee thing. i remember us sitting across from each other at a table, &... something involving our hands

always an energy around the hands, sitting down at tables & slapping both of both of our palms onto the table, maybe one's hands are inner, or outer, or we drum or move them around rhythmically in patterns, as if it's always brought back to our minds as a stage for something, the tables always remind us of our hands & we mutually work out a nervous energy. but i feel like something extra notable happened with hands here, hazy in my memory, maybe they placed their hands briefly on mine

then we walked a few blocks to the flea market, looked around there. it immediately struck me as a place i had visited perhaps only once as a young child & never returned to since. it was a kind of right-wing-feeling place, & we saw some pretty absurd stuff at times. on our way out M quietly read out a t-shirt that said "best farter ever" & then muttered "we have to get out of here..." which made me laugh

we went outside & across the street to some spaces under some awnings where the sale had clearly already ended & people were packing up. an old man pointed us to a table & said we could have anything on it for free. i found a cute wall trinket of a lady reclining in a bathtub. it had a... layered element to it? like it's in a wooden frame & all made of paper & the bathtub & her & the potted plant & the window & the towel on the wall all protrude from the background by being kind of stacked on underlying outlines of themselves

later, after getting home, i wouldn't hang this trinket on my wall but leave it procrastinately sat somewhere so that at this moment on november twenty-ninth as i elaborate this journal i would remember to pick it up & note the following written on the back:


{it appears they wrote "MISS" & then clumsily corrected it with their marker to "MRS.," or vice versa}



& then today (on the twenty-ninth) i finally hung it up

but later i took it down, as noted in the november twenty-ninth entry

after the flea market we walked a short ways to another "antique-ish" shop near where my dad works, the one i discovered at the end of... oh, october or september, i don't recall. at that place i found a cure single (why can't i be you?) & a small cute floral cardboard box that seemed pretty old, like something you'd keep jewelry in maybe. the aforementioned wall trinket would go on to sit on top of it for the entire time that i kept it sitting out in my room

we stopped by my dad's place of work so i could use the restroom. he was there & kind of roped us into a long diatribe about some funny plans he had with some friends at the flea market, to set up a whole kiosk representing his friend's store, which sells distinctly un-right-wing-feeling things (sex toys among them), & my dad described his plan to comedically be sitting there in a pair of overalls with a sprig of wheat in his mouth as if he was like any other store attendant there

he also made us a small pizza, which took a little while. by the end of it all i was a bit antsy to get out of there since i'd only meant to stop in & use the restroom & it had kind of ballooned into something more protracted. it was ok though

my dad told us about two antique-type stores he knew of. we headed out & walked all the way back to the car, then drove out in search of those stores. we ended up at an antique mall which was neither of the stores in question but one we had been meaning to check out

i got the following cds:

roll with the best, by trailer park mark & the wheels
lo, there comes a man, by the eddingtons
juno's mix cd
safe thus far, by the hoskins family

i also found something really wonderful, like a merging of two worlds... a heart-shaped wall trinket with two red wooden hearts hanging from it on twine, & painted on it, it glorified, not a cow... but explicitly a cow which was a pull toy cow standing on a platform

while i looked at some other cds an employee stumbled across us & we learned that we'd accidentally stayed around after close without being noticed. so i checked out my things & we left, headed for the mall. we deliberated on which cd to listen to on the way there, settled on lo, there comes a man which naturally turned out to be an agonizing gospel record with country instrumentation. i ate half the pizza during the drive

we went into the mall. i got a pina colada boba tea & then we wandered around. i think the only place we went into was another little store densely blanketed wall to wall with sports merch. the owner asked if he could help us find anything & it seemed like his voice was coming from nowhere. then he appeared & we excused ourselves

there was another house show tonight at the same place as before. we went to M's house so we could pick up their sister again. on this run to their house i went in & stepped into the living room & met their parents, Z &... i'm not sure of the other's name, actually, as i write this on the twenty-ninth. Z offered me some pizza he'd just made but i declined

M & their sister & i headed back out to the car. i remarked, "dads be making pizza..."

we headed to the show. it was more bustling this time - less cozy, & it was only the basement element, without the acoustic living room sets that i had found very cozy the last time. the basement was naturally pretty crowded & there were three loud, raucous rock bands who made my left ear crackle even with my earplugs in. a drummers' shirt was vermeer's girl with a pearl earring, which i don't encounter frequently but it always jumps out at me when i do... eventually i retreated to the little garishly green-lit side hallway where M joined me & we listened there

after the show we went to sonic. when M asked me what i wanted i told them that i didn't go to sonic very often but that since like age ten i remembered consistently asking for a "hickory burger" & that this seemed to consistently get me what i always sought, which i guess was just a burger with bbq sauce on it. M was baffled by this & i began to question myself. they agreed to try to order a "hickory burger." so they placed the order, uncertainly saying "hickory burger," & after a pause the waitress said, audibly tired, as though she thought they were making some kind of a joke, "we don't have a 'hickory burger.'" so i got a cheeseburger. then they drove me home


november 6th. my brother offered to take me shopping for new shoes that aren't tattered rags but i didn't want to at that time

i made myself laugh really hard by opening a carly rae jepsen song in audacity & just adding a really piercing quiet sine wave over the full duration of it

this might have been the day that i experienced a feeling of relief while standing in the candy aisle at a gas station recently when in my head i took my discomfort with how i often look in photographs & juxtaposed it with the observation that the whole art of photography is about actually capturing the (approximate) truth of whatever one is pointing the camera at


november 7th. my class got out just early enough & the trolley arrived just late enough that i could get downtown an hour earlier than i expected. i went & got my shot. after my shot i spent a good while just walking around, along a trail i've never taken to a park i don't usually end up at (the one with the spinny chair & the xylophone, from a prior entry). i wandered a poor neighborhood i'm not usually in. i kept watching a guy make ultimate frisbee throws as we both respectively took paths that left me always watching from off in the distance... after that park i made my way across a creek & investigated all the graffiti under a big bridge i'd never gone under before

i headed for the coffee shop. on the way there i tore some "VOTE NO ON" such & such signs off a set of adjacent poles they were taped to & deposited them in a dumpster, less for my disagreement with position & more in observation of how impudently substanceless they were

on the way to that dumpster i crossed a street to specifically keep away from a guy in a black leather jacket walking cool as a cucumber down the sidewalk with a crowbar resting on his shoulder

i suppose i must have spent a while at the coffee shop before retreating to the bar once it closed. this was the night that i went on omegle & encountered this one amusing guy named S who spent at least, like, half an hour straight just riffing on my last.fm scrobbles. he's funny, he's a goofy guy

for the entire time i was at the bar there was a well-sharpened pencil sitting on my table. only pretty shortly before my departure did i glance at it & feel a kind of primal appreciation of it being well-sharpened

i ran into an old classmate named C who i'd never run into before & we talked a little bit. even though i almost positively knew who he was, i asked, "you are...?" just to be sure. & he verified, & i said, "right, that's what i thought!" i felt a little bad for structuring it that way since it left him without sureness that i actually remembered him & hadn't just fished for his name & then told an excusing lie

there we no uber drivers out & about, & there is only one barely-functioning cab service left in my city. i also could not rely on my brother for a ride home until one-thirty in the morning. so i began coming to terms with being trapped at the bar for the entire night. but finally i did catch an uber driver

the driver asked me if i was ready for the upcoming cold temperatures. i said i wasn't. he agreed. after that, i thought about following it up with some substantiation about how i want to keep going to nature trails with my friend. i didn't, though... somehow the idea of it felt wrong. i began to quietly harbor an old fear of being bred for a perfectly inert neutrality that i just can't break

as i got out of the car i thought, "i appreciate you being out, because there were no drivers out for a while & i wasn't sure if i'd be able to find a ride home," & i wanted to say it, but i didn't


november 8th. after i got lunch (a plate of fries), i walked out to a building near my office & voted. i casted ballot five hundred & ninety-seven. after i left the building i passed two small adjacent signs, each of which said to vote either yes or no on the same amendment. i casually yanked each out them out of the grass & laid them face down

M asked me if i was in my office. i said i was, even though i was really on my way there. i thought i could beat them there. but they pulled up right as i was walking past their usual parking space. so we met up & walked to my office & spent time together

i clocked out & we left the building. i asked if this was our "presumably go get coffee" rendezvous or if they had anything they needed to go do first. they said they wanted to go vote but that i could join them. so we got in the car. i put my plate of leftover fries on the dashboard & they remained there the entire day. we drove to the voting location in their city. it was a building i hadn't been in since 2014, that i associate strongly with initiation tape: isle of avalon edition. it looked exactly the same. it was a good feeling

first we stopped by the library, returned the frogs cd & wandered around the building a little bit. then we went to the coffee shop that we don't go to quite as much, the one we went to on that first ever day in september

there was an amusing episode here, as we ordered: when M told the cashier their name, she happened to mishear it as "Alex." then she asked my name. i said "Alex." she said, "oh, so you're both Alex?" i said, "no." so she asked my name again. not yet grasping what was happening, i said, "Alex." she got a curious look on her face as she wrote it down

after coffee we went to a little park at the far edge of town that i have scattered memories at but never end up at very often so it feels a bit remote & different from the others. i climbed around on another one of those pyramid things. we goofed around under a pavilion where i kept "hiding" behind its support beams. there was this fun zipline thing along a short rail with a metal handle. at one point we both grasped the handle facing each other & would just kind of careen back & forth side to side. i was grasping the handle on the inside & they were grasping the sides. at one point they kind of lightly ran their thumbs along the backs of my fingers

i act out a funny exaggeratedly gruesome scenario where i get hurled from the zipline onto this spinny thing that spins me around & then hurls me off where my head slams into a balancing beam & explodes & i'm doing these horrible spluttery squelching splatter sounds of my destruction

sitting on a bench... i remember saying we were surrounded by like seven hundred bats (not true) & us discussing the cleanest way that my hand might be sawn off (laughter elicited by my abruptly delivered conviction that they use highly pressurized jets of water to slice bread (don't they...?))

we went to a little mexican restaurant with an absurd name that we thought felt a little racist but it had been tickling us all the same. it turned out to be a good legit place. we drove to the park with the big sculpture & ate our food there. then at about eight pm we went to a wal-mart again, wandered around there for a while. as we passed a janitorial thing on the wall with a box of rubber gloves i took one & put it on. we passed a jar of smashed something on the floor. they got a tin of altoids & i got a big bottle of diet peach tea

we ventured again to what i will here term "chromatic scale park." there was something pretty odd going on here where we could see our breath in sixty-four degree weather. maybe it relates to the humidity? we stood near a playground & i took the glove off & dropped it on the sidewalk, not bothering to throw it away immediately but vowing to do so

we walked around a blacktop trail bordering the park that i had never gone all the way around before. a very friendly cat appeared & followed us for a distance. M was endeared to it but couldn't be too affectionate what with their allergy

as we completed the circuit & neared the car again we veered to the playground & they led me back to the glove, which i had totally forgotten about . i threw it away with theatric shame. we set off for another park on an edge of town

the whole drive to the park was marked by trying over & over to read a quora notification (about someone aspirating a pea) out loud to them & quickly breaking into hysterical laughter every time. it was happy (i can't give everything away by david bowie)

at the park we listened to music under a pavilion for a while. my music phone & my speaker both had low batteries & the only power outlets were like eight feet in the air but i managed a really messed up charging setup

i guess we drove back to my apartment after that & spent a while in the parking lot. there was an enormous beautiful ring around the moon


november 9th. in cults class i scrawled in my notebook various memory cues for the day prior

in my office i became very sad for a little while but i got better

when i briefly exited the building for some reason i forget i noticed wasps flying around me & congregating at a nest on the little ceiling right above. i responded to this by making a handmade sign which i shared a picture of. a friend said it had a "Karen" feeling which i hadn't initially detected but which seemed to frustratingly manifest before my eyes the moment they'd said it. so i carefully made a second iteration, then a final iteration

i searched around for a roll of duct tape, found some in an office in the tv studio. investigating some drawers in the tv studio i found various little bits of graffiti on the interior & exterior sides of each drawer, one of them being dated to 1980...i taped up the note

later i saw my cults professor encounter the note & chuckle. he looked at the ceiling in the little antechamber as he left, then at the actual ceiling outside. this spurred me to append "(outside)" to the note

after my office hours i felt sad again but ambled out to the campus nature area. the temperature was perfect. i found enjoyment in walking on an unstable tapering patch of a big pile of dirt where my steps would make it crumble & collapse & my feet sink in, & i had to bend forward at the waist with my knees straight & hands thrust out behind me palms downward to maintain balance at a certain point. i had my notebook, & i would prop it up on an ornamental part of a bridge (which i could not find the name for just now despite desperate searching) & take more notes about the present. for a little while i walked back & forth hugging the notebook & fidgeting with the pen in one of my hands, feeling flustered about something

i left the nature area & wandered into the business building, up to the third floor, felt compelled to try opening a door i'd never noticed before which turned out to be unlocked & behind it was a little alcove leading to a trapdoor up to the roof. it had a padlock hanging from it which didn't appear to be enmeshed with the mechanism to open it but might have been, i didn't experiment with it very much

i remembered that there was some kind of painting event going on that night at the coffee shop so i exited the building & called a cab there. during the ride i found myself with the curious wish that there was a big cardboard cutout of a generic bulbous head neon green skinned alien in the uber with me

the back room of the coffee shop was packed with people painting but i didn't join in because i felt the format of it was unengaging. people all got a little palette with a pencil outline of the same painting & then pulled the finished painting up on their phone & recreated it

i guess after the coffee shop closed i retreated to the bar as usual

in response to my conversation with S i actually initiated a process of trying to prune my last.fm hearts down to only seriously good songs, then quickly gave up & re-liked the three songs i'd unliked out of a kind of digital hoarding adjacent urge

the weather was way way too good today for the sheer proportion of it that i spent inside, engrossed by repetitive tasks on my laptop. i felt bad & really hoped i could get a second chance. the following day i did get a fully realized second chance & practically the last chance of the month, of the season, of the year


november 10th. shortly after waking i realized how beautiful my blanket looked underneath with the sun shining through it. there was a particular arrangement of the fabric that i was attached to & wanted to photograph but i had to disrupt it to get my phone. nonetheless i did take three pictures

i noticed my ceiling fan blades looked very dirty. i felt like there had been nothing on them whenever i had last processed their existence. maybe it was just that i hadn't actually had it off in a longer time than i thought

i stayed in bed clear up to the start of my thursday class. i keep being hardly able to get out of bed, not from tiredness but inability to will myself to stop envisioning affection

the weather was perfect. sweet pea found some bread out in the field, a terrible slice of bread with cheese on it. i didn't go to class. i skipped my office hours too. i just walked to the biology pond. it was the early morning & i felt childlike & good. i wandered & ran around & quietly sang part of touch the pond by lucy to myself over & over & played with two sticks that i imprinted on, one of which was sort of curved & springy so that with a bit of effort you could kind of skewer a dead leaf on it

i wrote this: "watching two tadpoles keep near each other in the water as they investigate various plants, & not anthropomorphizing them as loving entities in the same way people are (e.g. "ah, if i were a tadpole, in love with this other one"), but keeping to the view that they're more like machines, particular discrete forms of the endless unified process of redistribution of proteins (if i were a tadpole i would not be me, the exact confluence of factors that i really am). but at the same time i wouldn't dispute that they are displaying love, & so love as a general process beyond humanity is when some things keep near each other. & humanity does that too & people are conscious so they experience everything a certain way, namely love"

& this: "i keep coming back to the idea of a person's mind losing shape until you can't quite love or even recognize them anymore. it's horribly tragic but it fascinates me because it poses such a hard question of what it is that you previously loved, exactly. & the answer would seem to be a certain continuity of consciousness that you just needed to see in the world. a set of memories that you needed to know, or at least believe, were shared. there's almost an abstract selfishness to it, maybe"

i refilled my water from a spigot which sticks out of the ground at like a forty-five degree angle. someone had attached a little hose to it which i found unwieldy to use (& minuscule jets of water sprayed out from a few invisible leaks around where it screwed on). i tried for a little while to unscrew the hose but it didn’t work, so i accepted its presence. i drank several bottles of water from the spigot

near the spigot i found an injured grasshopper crawling in the grass. it appeared to lack wings & its back legs, & maybe a couple of feet. i picked it up, let it crawl on my hand, brought it to the table, kept it around for a little while

i took a photo of the grasshopper sitting on the notebook page where i wrote a bunch of memory cues about my last day out with my friend. the grasshopper was in focus while the red ink words traversed the range of focus & ascended into blurriness. too many locations were explicitly named so instead of sharing the photo i describe it verbally

speaking of the notes, i was sat at a metal picnic table taking more of them in the notebook as these events went on. this would be the last day that i took physical notes on, at least in november

i noticed i could run a pen vertically up a paper sat directly on the table & its ridges would make the lines look like stitches & created concentrated lines of raised bumps on the other side of the page. i did a page of fifteen of these lines. i felt the bumps

an old couple came by walking two cute dogs, a fat piggish bulldog & a pomeranean. one of them said that if i ignore 'em they'll leave me alone eventually, & smiled, or chuckled, or laughed, i do not recall

i spectated a biology teacher whose class i had once taken as he gave a big group of students a tour of the little nature trail, talking about various plants & stuff. it was happy. i only caught the tail end of the tour because i only joined as they were on their way back. i felt a bit of regret at that, because there had been no reason to wait

bamboo planted by a "bamboo fanatic" who emails him twice a month about bamboo... trumpet creeper seed pods, oyster mushroom, beaver damage, invasive milfoil from a student who dumped his fishtank in the pond a long time ago, twelve snapping turtles who don't fight each other away as much because they can't see each other in the milfoil

a while later i was excited to see the biology teacher leading a second group down! i tagged along the whole way this time. he kept throwing two fiberglass rods high up at tree branches to knock stuff down for inspection. a guy ate a small pine cone. another guy found an authentic hundred dollar bill in the grass, baffling everyone. the teacher gave some students persimmon fruits to suck on... off in the distance a guy unrelated to the tour lied in the grass with his dog in a field

i got progressively more anxious over the course of the tour because i had unwisely left my backpack & purse & everything unattended under the pavilion & eventually they were completely out of sight. but i couldn't will myself to run back & check on them since i had been graced with the opportunity of this second tour & didn't want to miss any of it... everything turned out ok though

a while longer of prodding at stuff with a stick, brushing at frilly silt-coated plants in the pond, walking around holding my bluetooth speaker up against the back of my head so that its roundness lolled against my skull's... i walked home then quickly asked my brother for a ride back to campus so i could do an emergency late night recording session. it was wednesday night & i hadn't even started production on the next show

after i got home i threw away the cherry mash candy that had been sitting in a brown paper bag


november 11th. i left my office to get some free coffee they were serving in the student center for veteran's day. the coffee wasn't very good at all, really. K stopped by the office for a little while. then i think K left & M stopped by & then we left together

i think we got coffee. i listened to lamplight with them in their garage again. it was the second ariel pink episode

this was a day i distinctly failed to write anything about, really, or take very many photos during. shortly afterward it registered to me in that way, too, & i felt like i needed to jot down some things before it slipped away even more, but i never did. driving to Cleaners From Venus songs sticks out in my mind, creates a color & that color is essentially what this night was

i think after lamplight we went & got burgers again... there was this anxious woozy period of time where some unspecified bad stuff that'd happened earlier in the day all kind of came to mind for them at once & put them in a bit of a bad mood, & at the same time i got hit by really intense low blood sugar feelings, & part of me worried that what they were upset about was my proposing to go to a burger place that's pretty expensive. & i just couldn't think properly & it was this odd pall. but then we both got back to normal & felt happy & they joined me in wearing rubber gloves again

& then we wandered around a wal-mart again at some point? there was definitely a wal-mart in there

after they drove me home, while we were sitting in the parking lot, i just randomly smiled at them & blinked hard several times & noticed i was smiling in a perfect way such that the motion of my blinks caused the flux of the inside of my cheek to produce a quiet popping-like sound, so i did it several times in a row naturally creating the appearance that it was my eye making the sound until they said "..what..?!" & i started laughing loud shriekily a lot

today was the advent of a new ritual of shoulder-poking, trading shoulder pokes


november 12th. all i can remember from today is that i obtained & ate one of those packs of gummy candies that look like a meal of different food items


november 13th. i had an experience that felt mildly cartoonish where i accidentally spilled more or less my entire water bottle on a blanket but it absorbed little enough that i simply shook the blanket & the water flew off like sand, leaving it more or less dry. i accompanied my brother on a quick grocery run. he offered to take me shoe shopping but i didn't want to because M would be around to pick me up at three

i suppose we probably got coffee? on this particular day i can't remember. we may have put it off for the sake of having more time to hit an antique store. we headed for this one that caught us off guard by being tucked away, conjoined to the back of an unaffiliated dollar store, so M wasn't sure where to turn into the parking lot & had to take a right into some suburb

we had an episode in this suburb that made me laugh hysterically where we were trapped in this absurd system of one-way streets & dead ends & needing to turn around to find our way back to the main road but this pickup truck behind us kept making the same turns & there was this sense of delirious meaningless cruelty on the part of the suburb that was incredibly funny to me

finally we made it to the antique store. it was a very nice one, i thought. i saw a garment that i would have snapped up & worn a lot if only it wasn’t toddler-sized. there was a small bear in a plastic case whose expression i really liked. i looked through a box of vinyls & actually got two of them: christmas with the chipmunks & marty robbins’ gunfighter ballads & trail songs. i also got two nice red & white doilies that i liked a lot

then we went to a hardware store & found a lot of stimulation in wandering around there. a weird dancing singing animatronic santa, the doorknob aisle (their favorite has an unusual amount of resistance), ceiling fans, lights, a high-up vent blowing warm air, the way the area with all the wood has a totally different vibe from the rest of the store, a picture of me imprisoned in a display shower...

we went to a chicken restaurant. we had tried to go there twice before & each time had not gotten anything because either the employees were all sitting outside with the building dark or no one ever came to the cash register. our experience this time was so antithetical to the first two that it was funny in its own right. the cashier was very charming, i liked interacting with him, he had an honest sense of humor about every little thing. M had on this windbreaker jacket thing they'd gotten that had tons of zippers all over it & the cashier started fawning over it & pointing it out to the other employees some of whom also liked it

after that we resorted to the bar for an indoor location again. while we were driving there the song plant white roses came on & it made my thoughts drift to the guy i talked to on omegle in may 2020, not that i regard my interaction with him in such dramatic or intense terms as that song naturally but its general theme of missing someone led me to think about who in my life i miss to some degree

oddly, at that moment, M asked out of the blue if i ever used omegle. i said yeah. then i remarked how at the moment they'd asked i'd actually been thinking about it. they asked why. i made odd indecisive sounds & avoided answering until a few minutes later when i described the train of thought vaguely, described the situation vaguely. i wondered if i hadn't described it vaguely to them some night prior, such that the song sent us on similar trains of thought?

they had to take maybe ten minutes or so to take a quiz on their phone for class. i tried playing the speedboat arcade game & it was not very fun. we were both silent for a while, comfortable in each other's silence i think but i also perceived this strong sense of ennui as if we were trapped together in that room, trapped in this city with nothing to do

eventually we decided to head out. finally i proposed something which i had considered a lot but had difficulty with for whatever reason, maybe because part of me suspected that it was a boundary that was odd to approach, but wasn't sure, but then, even treating it as a boundary seemed to ascribe an importance to it, which seemed to say something that i wasn't sure was worth saying? it was a hard to articulate feeling. my point is that i asked them if they wanted to see my apartment. somehow i said this quickly & without difficulty. they said sure

we went to my apartment. sweet pea went ballistic, of course. the first order of business was endearing sweet pea to M, just for the fun of it. it was slow going until i got the idea to hand M a piece of lunch meat & feed it to her & that was like flicking a lightswitch in her brain. she was still skittish but gradually warmed up

i showed M around, showed them all the knick knacks, showed them my room, all the rocks, the stuffed animals, the envelope anonymously mailed to me in early 2020, all kinds of stuff...

i guess we kind of lingered around idly in my apartment for a while once there was hardly any more to show & eventually they were feeling drowsy so they headed home


november 14th. during my ride to school i thought the cloud cover looked velvety & lavender like my synesthetic impression of the word "wednesday"

i was in my office for a long time after class. i spent today & the next four days in there working intensively on my research paper for my cults class, a project that would sort of make or break our grades. my paper was on a televangelist called Nasir Siddiki

i called Nasir's organization, Wisdom Ministries, & asked if they had any kind of membership program, since this would act as a strong indicator of its propensity for client or totalistic cult characteristics, as opposed to just those of a potential audience cult. i spoke with a guy who told me about a program of "spiritual sons & daughters" & told me i'd get a call back

i decided i would buy one of everything in the vending machine & leave it all nearby under a handwritten "for free" sign. after two or three iterations i had the sign made. i decided to postpone this until whenever M would next be in my office, so that they could join me

at some point i did get a call back from Siddiki himself who said i should attend his next seminar in late December & that his coordinator would contact me about his mentorship program


november 15th. i e-mailed a guy i think i mentioned back in the june journal. i had found him on soulseek, where he had what appeared to be a full collection of practically every release ever shared on a music blog called 433rpm which has tons of obscure stuff that can otherwise be very difficult to find, lots of tape rips. but a tooon of the old download links are defunct, & here was this guy with all of it! i had tried to download it all back in june but it proved too arduous to carry out manually

i wrote this:

hi Frans! my name is Alex

hopefully i am messaging the right person. i spoke with someone on Soulseek whose name was "Modelbau," & i presume this was you & not someone naming themselves after your project. if i'm wrong, just disregard the rest of this message i guess

i reached out to you back in June of this year about your having what seemed like practically the entire contents of an old defunct music blog called "433rpm," whose download links are now all mostly dead

i initiated an effort to download all of that collection from you & got a nice wealth of stuff, but eventually i gave up because there were so many folders that even right-clicking them one-by-one was a rough task! plus i figure it would take a crazy amount of time for all the downloads to go through, being crisscrossed with our respective offline periods & so on

the more i think back to it though, the more i feel like there's probably a lot of diamonds in the rough in there, & a lot of stuff that might become practically impossible to find if your hard drive failed or something like that! i think it'd be a big shame. who knows where else a substantial portion of the stuff might be mirrored? so, i came up with another plan, if you'd be disposed to it. it'd be this:

i could either mail you a large-capacity external hard drive, or i could front you the price to order one yourself. then you could copy your whole 433rpm directory onto it, & mail it back to me

i'd be willing to cover all relevant shipping costs as well, & i could pay you for going through the trouble of it all if you wish

let me know if you're interested! thank you

i spent a long time in my office. i took a break from working on the paper to listen to the album kaputt by destroyer for the first time. i thought it was really nice

i got into this suffocating mood in my office where i felt hyperaware of the uniform intricacy of others' minds & lives, & like nothing more than a fragment of the whole, as any person is, but my fear is of being less person & more fragment, more a pair of floating eyes

i want to experience the diverse ways that many other people experience many adjectives, raininess, warmth, darkness, confusion, views of all kinds of environments from all kinds of angles, particular aesthetic reads & interpretations & senses, & even how you read this paragraph, & so on

& i want to hold in my mind the unknowably deep potential of all the beautiful & unwritably specific scenarios that might be playing out in rooms, on sidewalks, & in cars across millions & millions of square miles, i want to touch those situations

experiential composition, experiential juxtaposition, fear of my own craving for life

my most prevalent fear at least in the immediate present was an incapacity to create beauty. or maybe of being impeded by a kind of selfishness i might have learned so early on that in its familiarity i cannot pick it out from the background noise of cognition & know it & untangle it

this might have been the day that i went skulking in the tv studio & slipped behind some curtains so that i could experience the northwest corner of the room, which was obscured by the curtains which were behind the panes of glass which formed the back of the big... news table set thing

i dank a bunch of warm water before i walked home in the cold so that my stomach would be warm & it might reach my fingers & toes. this was one of the four cold nights where i left my office very late. i think this was the night where as i walked away from the building i passed my exes on the sidewalk presumably heading for the building to see whatever late night musical event was occurring there. they either didn't notice me or simply pretended not to


november 16th. Frans wrote back:

Hi Alex
for various reasons I can't do it like that. Importing a hard drive would cost also money, and shopping for one. plus the blog still grows.

why don't you look into getting an unlimited account at some cloud service, which allows me to drag and drop into it. you could eventually take everything off line and disconnect your account.
a friend of mine uses this one


so he hadn't read my e-mail all that carefully, i think. but i didn't press it, i just went with his plan. we kept exchanging e-mails over the next two days, me having to sort of do tech support for him with this cloud service that i had no familiarity with


a girl interrupted class to recount the dyatlov pass incident to the teacher with no context or connection to anything & it made me smile a lot

the teacher talked about playing counter-strike when he was younger, & the dopaminergic link that carried into real life where people's heads would sort of register to him in a certain way, since you are trying to quickly shoot them in the game all the time for instant kills

i knew exactly what he was talking about, or at least felt a sense of intimate familiarity with that category of mental phenomenon. i am glad that i don't play violent video games anymore, & i can hardly imagine resuming them, really

in cults class i drew a big orange arrow pointing to a tiny, tiny face i'd drawn maybe a few weeks prior. before the teacher left he glanced at it & chuckled, which was gratifying

i spent a long time in my office. K stopped by for a while, M also stopped by briefly. on the way out of the building that night i took a photo that i thought was nice

during my walk home i stopped by the dining hall that is easy to eat at for free. J, a student in my cults class, approached me & said i could sit with their friend if i wanted. i did & we made small talk a bit. all i ate was two cups of jello. before i left i got a coffee cup of hot water & plugged the hole with three coffee stirrers so i could keep my hands warm on the walk home


november 17th. in the early morning i drank wine & wrote a big paragraph in another attempt to produce some large piece of expressive text that might have found some value which would not have been found if i had not tried to do it while drunk

on discord, M proposed that they & K & i meet in the little building that K & them hang out in sometimes, the one where i'd first briefly spoken to the two of them back in september. i postponed my time in my office to meet them there. M brought blueberry tea. it was a nice time

there was a point where i left my purse there while i walked to the student center to get some food. having only my backpack on, i was hit with a sense that i should start keeping my purse on me a little less. i don't like how by being slung over my left shoulder it defines a "main" half of my body. i just walked a ways with only my backpack on & i felt more balanced, equal, default, unadorned

after the tea time i spent a long time in my office. i felt sad. i experimentally ordered a sun lamp. it would arrive on the twentieth

after more back & forth e-mailing with Frans we finally managed the effort of backing up & sharing all of that music. i posted a link to the folder on tumblr & it started going around a decent amount

i went & explored the art building, saw a really cool sculpture of a log on which was a human heart with an axe wedged into it, pooling dripping blood. this exploration transitioned into a crazy time trespassing around a huge condemned auditorium after unintentionally taking a stairwell up to its balcony. i did all of this while talking on the phone with B

then i went to an empty theater, where i was amazed to find a piano which i thought to be the one that prior to around early-mid 2020 had been in an annex across campus, & i had enjoyed playing it sometimes. (i later learned from M though that it was a different piano, that the one in the annex had belonged to an english teacher who had taken it with him when he retired)

i snooped around the catwalks. then i went down & improvisationally played a second, big piano there while he also played a piano. then i danced around the empty theater to his super low phone call bitrate beats. a very memorable night

i feel like i am on a major roll with respect to uncovering some of the most obscure spaces on campus that i haven't seen yet

i went back to my office & we concluded our phone call after a little while

a highly mockable but real part of my brain felt very grated by tumblr-esque tumblr people caring to the particular extent that they were about the music archive that i posted. i didn't like the "flavor" of their caring as i perceived it, i thought it reeked of appropriation of something into what was distinctly "content" as opposed to just sharing something around. the linear progression of the post across four reblogs, ending in a success & a hyperlink, played into it i think... i was very glad about having coordinated it, in any case

eventually i came to feel that really if i thought about it too hard about i'd be liable to start feeling revolted by it as a successful project, for the type of mundane social media process it ultimately fed into. so i tried to forget about the issue. i suspected i was distinctly only feeling this way because of lack of sleep, like i could feel the lack-of-sleep ghost with its particular personality asking my fingers to move around & type these feelings. i posted the link again, as incorporated into a post that was verbally fortified against this phenomenon & didn't make me sick

during the final hour or so in my office lots of band students had been accumulating in the hallway outside & playing intermittently. there was this one funny moment where i exited the office & three of them were standing a small ways down the hall all kind of facing me sturdily as if they planned to beat me up or something. then they all quickly went back to normal. it was funny & i couldn't tell if it was on purpose or accident

i completed my thirty-two degree walk home right as bby by bladee started on the bluetooth speaker & i put it on loop & took off my coat & danced around my living room to it until i couldn't stand to anymore then opened the sliding door so i could cool off again. all i ate for dinner was an everything bagel with a bunch of slices of provolone & a slice of black forest ham in it


november 18th. i had dozed off the night before with my phones in the living room, which should have doomed me to being late to class. but the tiny flickers of sound from there managed to wake me up, & also to not even wake my dad up (that's where he sleeps)

a guy in my mass comm theory class had on shoes that i thought were a little crazy. the white part is like fur

i realized during mass comm theory that i had left my research paper for the cults class on the dashboard of the car, so i had to message my dad & ask it to bring it to me

after class i flamboyantly danced around in the middle of the student center to the marching band music that started playing over the intercom as a test of the emergency notification system

K had organized a lan party in the small building. it didn't start until three, but i showed up at eleven, hung around for the hours leading up. M & i had plans hang out at four & i wasn't sure if we'd just silently agree to divert into the lan party, or if they'd even be there, or if i'd have to bid farewell after only an hour

M arrived. K ordered two carryout pizzas & some drinks & the two of them went off to retrieve those. a variety of people from the college discord meandered in - me, M, K, S, & someone named J from my cults class. S had to leave eventually, & a while after that another girl affiliated with J arrived & stayed until the end. i don't know what her name was

we played minecraft for about four hours. K played music by the musician called sewerslvt. i spent the whole time digging a one-block-wide staircase down into the earth where each step had no blocks over it so that it was like a deadly slanting fissure. K kept using a polaroid camera to take pictures with the flash on in a humorous invocation of the "lan party energy"

there was a point where S pointed out with a kind of thoughtless, labile satisfaction that everyone at the part was transgender & how that was cool. this was like a drop of acid on my brain & i said nothing in response

i had to break at some point to hurriedly get that week's lamplight finalized & uploaded to youtube. i wondered if M wouldn't still want to listen to it together, or if i might play it for everyone at the party

right before seven, K got a call from her mom & it was established that she had to leave, & so it was time to wrap things up. we started cleaning up. this was right as the show was meant to start. at six fifty-nine i hurriedly tried to reschedule it but the premier started playing on youtube so i quickly deleted the video & then reuploaded it with a postponed time, which i then further postponed twice to around eight-thirty to accommodate potentially listening to it with M

everyone gradually filed out until it was just M & i. i noticed that if i turned the lights off the frosted window refracted a light outside in a beautiful way that translated perfectly into a photo. i finished packing up & we left the building, headed for their car. they asked if i still wanted to listen to the show in their garage again. i said yes

we listened to the show in their garage. being silly & tossing a ball back & forth again & sometimes i would dance around. after the show we went to taco bell because i was very hungry. while eating at taco bell we decided to watch a movie, decided we would watch one or a few of those funny rudimentary knockoff 3d kid's movies by michael schelp. we drove to my apartment & retrieved them

we watched two of them on the tv at their house: what's up balloon to the rescue & spider's web: a pig's tale. it was a happy time & we laughed a lot. their sister was sitting behind us drawing the whole time. it was a good drawing of a person

after the movies i lingered at their house until three-thirty am, we didn't do very much but just idly existing together was pleasing. i looked at all kinds of objects in their house. this might have been the night when we determined that i'm nose-height relative to them

i laughed a lot watching them use their phone's word suggestions to compose a message reading "good morning Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe and healthy always and have a good day ahead always love and stay hydrated and healthy too always be healthy stay hydrated stay safe and well and stay healthy always"


november 19th. i extensively updated this journal. it was the first time since november fifth. i finally took stock of the notes i had written in my notebook about november eighth, ninth, & tenth. i did this for a long time while fairly dehydrated & neglecting to eat breakfast, to a point of exhaustion with my lamp glaring in my peripheral vision

as i expanded my notes on november fourth i felt a sense of deja vu that made me wonder if i hadn't already described that day but accidentally deleted what i'd written by perhaps killing the google chrome tab to save memory, having forgotten to save the draft. far earlier in the month i had definitely lost part of november 2nd that way & had to rewrite it, which pained me a bit. i wanted the exact original description back

i carefully photographed the alvin & the chipmunks christmas lp because its listing on rateyourmusic didn't have a picture. i hung the doilies up in my room

i consciously scaled back a certain ritualistic means of staying hydrated so that it had me drinking water at a lower rate because i was getting mild nausea & a funny feeling in my head & got worried that i might actually give myself water intoxication


november 20th. M & i got coffee & then drove to yet another antique store that we hadn't hit. it had a charming sign where the name was spelled in letters of incongruous styles. i liked the last letter, which resembled a giant fridge magnet. the porch was amazingly cluttered with things as if to show they really meant business about being littered with junk

i think the highlight of the whole visit was a thoroughly insane lamp whose glass shade had six of the same picture of the statue of liberty in front of the twin towers

i picked up a cd of something i absolutely did not know existed, which was a collaboration between weird al & wendy carlos. i also got something by a person or band called "da turdy point buck." i also got a little perfume holder

i really liked a metal sign that, due to a word having been faded off, said "nobody ever had a bumper sticker that said 'i'd rather be'"

we went to another antique store. this one was crazy. there wasn't so much to look at, but it was a true antique store, blanketed with glassware where everything you looked at costed hundreds & hundreds of dollars. it was all from 1920 or earlier. it seemed to specialize in chinese stuff. it felt like walking through a giant "you break it, you buy it" trap

after that we went to the little park on the edge of town for an excursion that panned out to essentially be me leading them across a huge field covered in fallen leaves to show them some neat stacked rocks on an obscure roadside & then we walked back to the car & left

(having the phone turned up too high so that wondering comes in & the word "TONIGHT" is deafening)

we went & got sushi. i got a philadalphia roll & some crab rangoons. they tried a roll named after the city, or maybe their city, both are on the menu but i forget which they got

after sushi we stopped by my apartment to pick up the other two michael schelp movies, then drove to their house to see if the tv would be free. their family was using the tv so we headed back to my house to watch them on my laptop in the living room

we had a good time with a car's life: sparky’s big adventure. we really liked a lot of the facial expressions, especially the ones of the sentient gas pump character. plan bee was unambiguously the dullest of the four, verifying the vague impression of it had formed when i watched it with my exes in 2017. i say vague because that was the one movie where i felt like i was in a half-dissociated blur the whole time. during the movies Sweet Pea was on the futon with us & M was very affectionate with her

after the movies i guess we idly spent a while just sitting in my apartment, often quietly, my memory of it is sort of hazy. i played the last of the songs on my silly music that makes you sieulioeilueileoliueo playlist. eventually they took off because they were drowsy


november 21st. K stopped by my office. i discovered a very comically stupid sink in the tv studio. as soon as i nudge the hot water handle with my hand it'd just quickly turn all the way on its own like pressing a button in a video game. & from the instant it began turning the sink started going at full blast, not remotely in a stream, just an omnidirectional spray. i showed K the sink. M also stopped by. i showed them the sink too

i felt very sad. after work i stopped by the dining hall & ate fruits & salad & in hopes of feeling less sad

i got home & tried out my sun lamp. i danced in its light to a toro y moi album


november 22nd. i can't really remember anything whatsoever about this day. oh, i didn't go to class, essentially kicking off my thanksgiving break a day early. i think K stopped by my office for a while? if i even went to my office

i queued lots of songs on tumblr. i found out lucy had done a song with whitearmor. oh, & i finally listened to the lucy & gods wisdom album that came out pretty recently

i found that it was practically impossible to download the volume music Frans had shared through a web browser so i went him one more e-mail asking him to try again to share the folder with my account. it worked that time, so i started it all going through the cloud service's download manager

at some point in the day i finally got that call back from Nasir Siddiki's coordinator who i no longer had any business with because i had finished my paper so i told her i would call her back another time


november 23rd. a day which hit me psychologically in an unexpected way towards the end

shortly after midnight i stood up on my bed to wipe the dust from the blades of my ceiling fan but stopped at the last moment out of an earnest mild sadness almost as if i'd be depriving the fan of all it had

today was a day that M & i were eager for. it was liable to be one of the last temperate days of the year, & we wanted to get out to a nature trail

i went to get my shot twenty minutes before they were due to arrive. i figured it wouldn't take that long & that if it did i could just text them. well, i forgot my phone & my wait pushed past the arranged time. so i started feeling a bit stressed. i was off the radar with no explanation. on a positive note, my shot was administered by A, the comfortingly familiar nurse who i thought might had been replaced

during the drive home i was itching so much to message M & explain that i got on my brother's phone & installed discord. but after exhaustively pecking my login info it said i had to check my e-mail account to verify the login. it was a lost cause. so i just waited out the very antsy frustrated ride

finally i got home & told them what had happened & they drove to my house. i walked outside eating an everything bagel. we stopped at the gas station so i could get a few candy bars so as not to repeat that one low blood sugar incident. i walked into the gas station eating the everything bagel. "pull up with the everything bagel," i said

we arrived at the nature trail. i played the entirety of spirit they're gone, spirit they've vanished. during the penultimate song i explained that it comes before the crazy thirteen-minute song alvin row & that on the current song's last.fm shoutbox there is a comment from 2012 which amusingly reads, "this song sould [sic] be called here comes alvin bro." & the walk at the nature trail was nice

towards the end we saw two cats perched on a log watching us. there were squirrels chirping all around. i took pictures of the cats. an old man behind us saw me take pictures of them. when he passed us maybe five minutes later he remarked to us about them happily

we went & got coffee. then we went to a nice little local italian restaurant that i'd never been to. i got manicotti. they got some kind of sandwich, i think. we drove to the sculpture park & ate under the pavilion. it had gotten colder, the wind kept brushing my legs unpleasantly. we decided to head somewhere indoors. we decided to drive to wal-mart to obtain a jigsaw puzzle

we knew we needed an insane jigsaw puzzle, & we found one

we went to their house to do the puzzle. everyone was gathered in the living room, decorating a christmas tree. i think this was the first time i encountered their other sister, A. their sisters looked enough alike that i wonder if they weren't twins

a funny memorable moment where Z caught us off guard randomly using the phrase "the size of a cheeseburger" ("as big as a cheeseburger" ?) as a size comparison about christmas ornaments from the past

he played stuff on the tv, i remember Tom Waits & The Ronettes & stuff & they all talked about the time signature of a certain song. then he played the movie planes, trains & automobiles. i refilled my water bottle from their big jug of purified water with a pump on it

sitting there doing that puzzle, quietly, the palpable normality (in the good way) of their family's banter gradually imparted a degree of perspective that felt like it was slowly breaking open something pained in my head

they all made interesting cultural references in a very normal & flippant way, & the way they talked about everything just made... sense

i forget exactly how the night progressed & winded down but as always we found ourselves sitting in that car in my parking lot & i remember staring out the raindrop-speckled window at lights in the distance & slowly moving my head so that each light display a webby kind of movement stretching smoothly from bead to bead of water, in terms of which was its "primary" refractor, & if i unfocused my eyes it seemed like the window was not transparent but opaque & the raindrops were like holes punched in it revealing something three-dimensional behind, like webs of taut satin-like fabric

i was pretty quiet

a short time after i got home i found myself crying. it is rare that i cry. this occasion was brief but, i felt, more intense than usual. i had expected to possibly cry as we drove home, my thoughts were very preoccupied by the stew of feeling inside, it was why i was so quiet

i was crying, not in a way like i'd had a bad day or experience or anything, but more like i was just re-processing a pre-existing reality, since i felt like i was having to look in a clearer way at a kind of lonely & pained aspect of myself that'd always been there... like it'd been elevated from a matter of hesitant belief to a reality that it's always just been my specific surroundings that have always felt perverse to me & that it's not the general character of life, & that a sense of normality just exists all over the world & isn't even a big deal

the feeling of their family's normality having verified my lifelong sense of growing up around people who i felt constantly acted like inane cartoon characters who i could hardly even regard like a worthwhile audience against which to dramaturgically develop as a person. & otherwise i'd never really had any honest friends, at least locally, probably as largely an effect of accustoming myself to that sense of alienation & generally retracting from people, never visiting anyone's houses & seeing the diversity in how people interact or anything. so i was kind of reflecting on a sense of having always contained a latent potential for honesty but having it smothered my whole life by a sense of having no one and nothing to really fully exist in relation to

seeing the simplicity of a person just being normal in front of me & realizing how easy & possible it actually is, how a person can just navigate as they do, how much reality just accommodates it like anything else & doesn't make a show of it

feeling in the moment like i might be something less than their normality, feeling intimidated, like i've "finally found 'them?'" yet at the same time i might be too underdeveloped to really talk in such frank terms, that even though the potential has always existed in me it could be too late for me to really fully live up since for my entire life it's been smothered by total deprivation, forced to cultivate itself in a void, never having itself reaffirmed by a sane voice, always half-treating its most basic & obvious tenets as half-certain radical assertions

the scant proportion of my potential which has actually manifested is only what has managed to leak through the dense blockage of this lifetime thus far. but this normality is all just actually just existing all over earth the entire time

all it took was actually meeting someone who i can stand & then going to their house while everyone was gathered there

i confessed all of this to them in two paragraphs of text & fell asleep feeling like i had done something horrible & maybe irreversible but it was okay


november 24th. today was thanksgiving

job's tears by the incredible string band abruptly diverted into the audio stuttering of a bluescreen & it felt a bit like i'd just been stabbed, made me have to spend a moment sort of collecting myself

the day was uneventful. i spent much of the day at my dad's place of work just kind of sitting on my laptop single-mindedly adding to a list of over two hundred & fifty indiscriminately collated movies to potentially watch with M. i collated an rym list called only what's really there. there was not much food there, just a little snack table for... some little event? it involved stand-up? improv? something? i don't remember very well

i switched to reviewing the list of movies, reading about each so as to filter out ones that might just make for a depressing experience or contain scenes that might be really uncomfortable to watch together

i got a ride home with one of my dad's coworkers. we were both silent the whole way. he didn't know that i was staring blankly out the window having weird thoughts about how i feel like i am in some way a worse, less complete person for being "exempt" from the phenomenon that is latent risk of sexual assault, even though i'm not really & it's just something i've never happened to have experienced, & moreover the notion that anyone is "exempt" may be an abominably diminishing thing to insinuate. but an irrational part of my mind emotionally spoke the idea louder than the rational part could counter


november 25th. during the midnight hour i transitioned spontaneously from clutching a pillow on the futon into beginning to cry uncontrollably & roll around on the floor & curl up & lie on my stomach & wail formlessly & then place my forearms on the futon & scream all for no apparent reason. i felt blessed by the sincerity with which i got to do such a thing then sat catatonically on a rolly chair mentally typing out a tumblr post describing the preceding events in various iterated & rearranged forms over & over, repeatedly adding & removing potential extraneous observations until i finally walked into my room & just typed out the paragraph

i enjoyed, as it was happening, how little i thought about it, but only to the extent that i did think about it so as to hold it in my mind as something to enjoy. this interplay, at once self-reinforcing & self-mitigating, found an equilibrium in the back of my head which rounded out to successfully not thinking very much. the point where i sat on the rolly chair was where thought inevitably broke through & claimed it all

i felt overwhelmed by what feels like an infinity of potential events that might have been written on the blank page of an entire childhood & young adulthood of days uniformly emptied out by neglect & alienation which were predeterministically contained in the social & geographic & cultural circumstances of my birth, the absolute diversity of potential mental & experiential content which summed up somehow into what is effectively nothing at all, & how that nothingness now serves as the backdrop even as i do go on to populate my life with some things in some respects, the desire to be informed by something, some influencing life content that might have been, & ultimately having to acknowledge that i am informed by something & it is what i describe here, or i wouldn't be writing this

i fell asleep

after i woke up my internet connection was seemingly being throttled, presumably for my ongoing download of over two hundred gigabytes of industrial & noise music & stuff. i think this might have been the day that it completed while i was out

M came & got me. before we got coffee i suggested we go to a small local museum. we went there. in the parking lot they took off their hat & said something to the effect of, "no hat," & i laughed & said, "no cap!" which is a phrase i associate with them

i enjoyed being there with them. it's a nostalgic, cozy building for me, always the same. i signed the guestbook, then dug back through it so i could find & show them my signature from last december. i noticed how beautiful a certain dollhouse was. i showed them a picture on my phone of a torsion pendulum clock

we went to the coffee shop. someone had drawn the video game character Sans on the chalkboard. M drew a "NO" symbol over him, & below that i wrote "KILL ON SIGHT"

we sat in there for a while, longer than usual, indecisive about what to do. i did the metal bird joke again while they were in the bathroom but this time i did a variant where i simply hid it behind the side of the couch & once they had almost gotten back to it i reached over & picked it up & placed it where they had been sitting

finally i proposed going to a restaurant i had been curious about, one in a big multi-story building that i had been passing periodically for my entire life, one burned into my mind as a kind of symbol of that area of the city, but one i had never been in

we investigated the building. it was cool, old-feeling with huge concrete pillars. the restaurant we were seeking turned out to be closed, & anyway it seems that really it only sells coffee, ice cream, candy, & stuff like that. but as we were there in the building we discerned another restaurant

this restaurant was deranged. its theming gave it the air of a fake restaurant like some kind of front. it was vaguely themed around the idea of socialization. written on a wall was simply the phrase "socialize with friends." the back of the waitress' shirt said "don't be hangry be social." on the wall behind the cashier was a horrible posterized image of a woman whose mouth was stuffed with french fries

i got some chicken tenders. they were too crispy for my liking. at one point i called all of the single-digit phone numbers from (111) 111-1111 to (999) 999-9999. only two worked. (555) 555-5555 is apparently some kind of over-the-telephone clock maintained by the us navy. (888) 888-8888 seemed to be some kind of scam operated by people who simply called themselves a promotional company & offered gift cards. i experimentally tried to determine what business entity i was speaking with. after i said i felt i had probably called the wrong number the lady on the other end sounded very tired

we went to their house & worked on the puzzle more. in the background their sister watched two daria movies, which were essentially long episodes. i had never seen daria & found that i liked it. there was no lamplight on this night. i afforded myself a break from it since it was thanksgiving break

after their sister went to bed i suppose we probably lingered around there for a while & then they drove me home. my memory is unclear. this might have been the night when they briefly showed me their room. i remember telling them in humorously grave terms not to let me forget my umbrella the following day


november 26th. today was the day that we would drive an hour to a big museum. M reminded me not to forget my umbrella. they showed up in their dad's van because it handled the interstate better. riding in that old familiar van! so unusual. we stopped at the gas station to fuel up & i got a coffee because they'd had one that morning (i only drink coffee on the days that they do). then we were off!

i enjoyed the drive. it was raining & the pattering of it against the seventy mile per hour windshield was constant & loud, making it somewhat difficult to hear a lot of the music i played. just deafening rain & big pretty mountainous vistas & barren branches spiderwebbing across cloud cover & damp floors of dead leaves & telephone poles rotating with parallax

on my phone i wrote about refusing to mentally concatenate a stretch of highway into a single dull object (& thus guarantee that pall over the entire distance), in favor of atomizing it into a thousand discrete individual sights (e.g. if you can love e.g. tree branches spiderwebbing across cloud cover or floors of damp fallen leaves then things can be okay)

i read out loud to them an old text post of mine about my lifelong pseudosynesthetic impressions of the names of the days of the week

my own voice kept giving me a crackle in my left ear. it's been like that for days for some reason but only whenever i'm in a car with them, usually, i think

i said we should stop at the next opportunity so i could find a restroom. they said we were only about ten minutes out. i said, from {city we set out from}? they said, no, from our destination. we'd already been driving nearly an hour. i was baffled!

we arrived at the museum, driving up the road to the songs walking the cow & jim wise which seemed to interplay with the raininess & the intrigue of where we were arriving sothat they'll be linked in my head forever...

the museum was one of the craziest places i'd been to in a log time. i hadn't expected it to go anywhere near as crazy as it did. i don't feel i can adequately capture the whole memory. it was just a very beautiful happy time

there was a big outdoor section, walking trails through the forest lined with various sculptures & installations. it was still raining & my socks got soaked through my rag shoes & i cowered under my umbrella protecting my purse which still could not zip shut but it was all still happy. we liked a certain structure along the trail which was a dome, the inside of which was lined with a heated bench & in the center of the roof was an oculus where you could contemplate a certain patch of the sky

we went through the main exhibit. i took around fifty-five pictures. at one point i asked them which geographic direction we were facing but this time i had no idea & after their guess i said i had no idea & that it was nice because i simply felt like i was facing "forwards"

the craziest thing we saw, in my opinion, might have been a crystal/coral-like structure made of shirt buttons that creates an intense feeling of my eyes being unfocused when i look at it

we got in line for an infinity mirror room by Yayoi Kusama. the guy attending the line was charming. as we stood in line i suddenly spotted what i immediately suspected to be an Agnes Martin painting & immediately memories came back to me of my friend R telling me in July 2020 about encountering something by her, how they'd felt emotionally impacted by it & how it was just something you had to see in person. i ducked out of line & rushed over to it, it was indeed by her!

we went in the mirror room. M had been to the museum with their family before but had never managed to get into this room, it had always been closed

about fifteen minutes later the museum closed. it had been a very happy time

we experimentally went to a local mexican restaurant. it was in some big strange building where we had to walk through this long industrial-feeling corridor that opened into a lot of different restaurants. we sat at the bar & each got a burrito. i got grilled cauliflower in mine which i thought was a nice choice, i liked the texture

talked about art, how they didn't like how a bunch of art appears somewhere just because a rich person wills it to appear specifically there. that tapped into all kinds of things i always think about which i tried to express in that fragmentary realtime way that's so hard to navigate to the heart of things

we left. my friend had a little plastic cup they'd been drinking water out of. right before we exited the building they turned back & went into a bathroom in search of a trash can to throw away the cup. they found a guy who had been trapped for an unknown length of time because the door's lock had malfunctioned in some way where it couldn't be opened from the inside

we set off. it was a very dark, loud, rainy drive home, barely able to see anything, punctuated by very brief pauses in the din each time we passed under an overpass

we arrived at their house. we were just kind of there for a little while. there was nothing to do, really. they were drowsy. so they drove me home. we had our standard period of sitting in the car for a while

my heart rate increased when as we touched the fingertips of our index fingers (a recurring ritual which by itself incited no such increase for its more neutral feeling) they included also their middle finger such that the first joint of their middle finger approximately touched the first joint of my index finger, during this span i stared out the window & commented on unrelated things like aspects of the landscape

before i got out of the car they held my index finger in all of their fingers briefly


november 27th. not much happened today

late at night i went through the aged amassed browser tabs on my phone & closing only the ones that don't, through whatever page they are on, serve as reminders of the days or time periods in which i opened them

i spent the whole night clear into the morning of the twenty-eighth queueing songs on this website & listening to them & drinking a ton of water

a ton of the november journal at this point was still just notes, memory cues, & i wasn't sure of the last day i even wrote notes on

writing everything down has come to feel more frenetic than it used to, more burdensome. i feel less inclined, even though i want to, want to keep everything, keep things from slipping away into time, now more than ever really

i took only a ninety minute nap before my nine am class


november 28th. my mass comm theory teacher cited a brain scan study which "proved" that laughter makes people happier & i thought about the repugnantly obsequious & debased feeling that i associate with the idea of a person seeking objective scientific verification for what they can already just gauge in of themselves & treat that as enough. i idly drew a face

before cults class the vending machine accidentally gave me a second packet of crackers. in cults class i presented my paper on Nasir Siddiki

shortly after settling in my office i walked to the student center for food. M said they'd meet me there. right outside the building i also happened to run into K. so we all convened there. i got my food & we headed back into my office

i quickly dragged them all out to the vending machine to at last perform my exploit of buying one of everything & leaving it out for whoever with a handwritten note. i had hoped i might just be able to swipe my debit card & punch in all the codes one after the other, but it turned out to be a more tedious process. the chips in the top row had a tendency to get jammed in some absurd ways, so a few of those were a lost cause. throughout the next day or two on discord i shared updates on the status of the hoard

right as i finished this process M had to rush off to be on time for their class. they said they'd swing by my office again later. K stayed in my office for the rest of the time i was there, until five-thirty. when her & i checked on the hoard an hour or so later it looked undisturbed. she took a honey bun

i read about beat induction on wikipedia while displaying beat induction in response to a tonetta song

we went back around two-thirty & found it a bit disturbed. someone had left a handwritten thank-you note, which was sweet. M messaged us & said they would not be swinging by the office again because their whole family was testing positive for covid. a short while later they said they had tested positive

K & i walked to the health center & picked up some nasal swab tests. i suppose it may have been early to do this, but we took them anyway i guess. it was my first time doing a nasal swab test. i could handle it okay in my left nostril, but not so much at all in the right. it made my eyes water a lot each time. both of our tests came back negative. i resolved to wear a mask around for the rest of the week, just in case

at some point i accidentally spilled my plate of the remainder of my fries all across the floor of my office & had to pick them all up

i clocked out & left the building with K. i checked the hoard one last time for the night. it was visibly more depleted. i consolidated what was left

as K & i walked outside i quietly said "yeah" under my breath in response to a hypothetical text message that i was idly picturing in my head, then played it off by transitioning into quiet frivolous scatting which went unremarked upon. then i made a conversation point of thoroughly confessing to her what i had just done which elicited laughter as i had hoped

we parted ways at the student center & i walked home. along the way i passed the physical plant & saw flashing christmas lights in it. i naturally remarked to myself about "christmas stuff in the physical plant" & proceeded to whisper that phrase to myself over & over, having discovered that it has a very perfect & visceral phonetic rhythm

i fell asleep quickly


november 29th. in the morning the hoard looked a tad bit more depleted

i went to my office for only an hour or two to work on a few assignments. my advisor (a teacher i'm fond of) e-mailed me a course schedule for next semester that i was okay with. i was surprised to see that i was enrolled in radio practicum for the next semester, when i thought i could only take it three times. this relieved some pressure i had felt about my next show potentially being the last that i would ever do in the course framework

i walked home. i intended to return to the office shortly after nightfall, so that my time there wouldn't consume all my daylight hours. on my way home i stopped by dining hall. one of the cooks i talked to was really sweet & nice. i started with a plate of desert (apple pie, some kind of crumbly thing, some kind of gooey stuff) then two apples then noodles & chicken cordon bleu. i saw a guy who i thought was pretty

i went home for a while. at sunset i got all bundled up to walk back to the office but after stepping out decided it was too ludicrously cold & windy to be worth it. it looked like the end of the world out there. so i just stayed home. due to this i would have to spend eight hours in my office on each remaining day of the week if i wanted to maximize my paychecks

i read several entries of another person's online journal & then opted to note it here because it felt a little amusing that by noting it here it produces a sort of tenuous crossover between the projects, something that arises organically as an effect of them both being journals, highlights the singular world in which all journals are written

i turned out to have lied when i wrote on the nineteenth that i transferred written notes from my notebook. this was the day that i actually did it. i'm sorry for lying

today was the penultimate day of the month, so i worked frenetically on elaborating what needed to be elaborated. i again looked through my camera roll for clues to my own life. i felt that in my haste i was inclined to resort to rote descriptions that didn't divert into contextual or emotional adornments that i could have added, & i felt a little bad about it

i took the wall trinket back down because it tilted when i opened & closed my door & i got scared that it would fall. i finally put that local folk album on youtube. i spent all night reading some stuff i needed to read & watching a few videos in tandem with it. i only slept for three hours before school


november 30th. in the morning the hoard was depleted entirely

i physically exited a classroom to not have to hear everyone in the room talking about their spotify wrappeds. i went to my office for the long duration that i would be staying

yesterday i lied again when i said that i transferred notes from my journal. sorry about that. you can be assured that i did it today though, because it was the last day of november & i had to. in my office i finalized this journal starting all the way back at november eighth

for a little while i felt a strong sense of despair in my office, i was certainly feeling that i had only slept for three hours. i have to do better about that, truly

around two pm i broke to walk to the little building where the lan party had taken place & have tea with J. they brought bags of three different teas. i chose earl grey. while i was in the little building i got on one of the computers & typed this part about being in the building as i was there. then i started working backwards a ways through the month. i spent a good while working on the journal. i sent J a bunch of links to albums i recommended based on their affinity for Bruce Haack & Wendy Carlos

on the whiteboard i wrote "On November 28th, 2022, this room was the site of the {building name} Fishbowl Doorknob Incident." after a while a custodian came through & read it & chuckled a little

i made a coffee even though M hadn't had any coffee that day. it was a messed up thing to do. the coffee maker also made a mess, it dripped coffee everywhere a lot. on my first attempt i also brainlessly put the filter in some plastic thing that had no holes in the bottom so it just filled with coffee water

we each left the little building around five. i walked back to my office & found it locked up. i patrolled the building in search of the custodian. while doing this i diverted into exploring various unlocked rooms i'd never seen before. i found the custodian. i thought he was pretty & enjoyed having an excuse to interact with him. i led him to my office & he unlocked it. i sat down & continued working frenetically on this journal. a little after six pm i finished the description of the day where i cried after visiting my friend's house (working backwards through the days (i am alternating between forwards & backwards)) & then came down here & wrote this present-moment paragraph

around six-thirty i went in the control room & noticed the station was playing dead air. for the first time ever i turned on the mic in there & spoke live over the air, acknowledging the outage & apologizing briefly before switching it back to the classical station. i'm not totally sure if it even went through but i think it did

i tested the door to the archives room & found it unlocked. i looked around in there a bit, looked through some vinyl. i've been having interesting experiences lately testing the handles of doors i usually walk past assuming they're locked

i walked home displeasurefully in the freezing cold & thought about how i would use the word "displeasurefully." i made a tiny high pitched sound which marked an error in silently moving air through my vocal cords unconsciously to accompany mouthing which unconsciouly accompanied me idly imagining a foghorn leghorn type voice screaming "HEEEEEEEEEEELP!"

i got home & ran hot water over my forearms. the rest of the night was sort of agonizing because i had only slept three hours the night before, i progressively got intensely hungry, & i felt shredded in half by the inexplicable borderline psychological impossibility of deciding whether to see my pal & his grandparents over christmas

the compulsion to go: i can put words to it, it's that it feels psychologically impossible to turn away from the sense of family that i pre-emptively associate with the potential memory that would be formed

the compulsion to not go: i cannot articulate it. but i feel like it must be very substantive if it can counter what i just described. purchasing the bus ticket, making the financial commitment to go several weeks in advance, it feels like i can barely imagine making myself do it

i felt sick. there was a point where i finally went into the kitchen to make some food but, hungry as i was, the sound of jimmy kimmel's voice from the living room was making me feel so insane that i couldn't focus on making it & was in a kind of stalemate. i frustratedly tossed the almost empty bread loaf bag into the ceiling lightly. i turned on the microwave vent which drowned him out & enabled me to make a sandwich. i also poured a bowl of cereal, which turned out to be enough, so the sandwich sadly went to waste

i fell asleep


december 1st. after my social problems class my dad drove me to the store so i could pick up a medication refill. on the way there he pointed out a house where he had done the rock work a very long time ago. the pharmacy said they didn't have any refills available for me. they sent a message to my doctor. i'd have to go back another day

i got some wax cheeses & what i thought was some kind of tiny charcuterie type snack pack but when i got to my office i learned it was just four rolls of chicken sausage that i couldn't microwave (or at least, i did not remember the microwave which was available to me there)

my dad dropped me off at the student center. i encountered K there. i got a grilled cheese & some mozzarella sticks. i headed for my office & told her she could "turn up there if [she] wish[ed]"

then it was another seven-hour day in my office. K did turn up shortly into it & she was there for a long while. we goofed around. i rediscovered & nostalgically played through an inane series of three flash games on newgrounds, from around 2007

i worked on finalizing the general online publication of lamplight thirty-four, which was very overdue, then started writing the episode thirty-five script... upon turning in episode thirty-four, i realized it was the last one i could turn in for the semester. but the "next episode" energy was already in me, so i decided i would proceed with making episode thirty-five & streaming it on youtube the following day, then submitting it as my first show the following semester

K left for a bit to take a test. during this time i wandered up to the third floor for reasons i forget - i think i just wanted to walk - & found myself investigating some little offices which were now empty. one had something very amusing: a lone shelf on which was a bright pink sticky note which said only, "Leave." i recorded a video simulating the discovery of the note

when i got back to my office K stepped out of the doorway & said "boo," earnestly startling me. i led her up to the third floor & showed her the sticky note. we curiously looked through the other rooms, rifled through a desk & so on. i appreciated her visible curiosity. we went back to the office

at one point i started playing four goanimate videos simultaneously with a stream of the classical station going over them, in addition to the radio in my office which was already playing the station

M had taken another covid test & it was negative, so they arrived wearing a mask while i was doing this nonsense. after i while i turned it all off & started playing barney error 50

we all sat around. after a while, K headed out. if it's M, K, & i, i always sort of open up more should K leave. i can't help it, i just distinctly like spending time alone with M...

i played alien rap: songs from the planet glumph. i led them upstairs to show them the sticky note, dashing up the stairwell ahead of them as fast as i could to be silly. we looked out a big window in a corner room in the dark briefly. before we took the elevator back down, they critiqued a poster in a glass case with graphic design that amusingly looked like it was unmistakably from around the year 2000

on the ground floor we went into the classroom i had been in with that girl C on april fourteenth, with the big curtains at the back which we had opened to reveal a whiteboard on which she drew devil horns & i drew the apple i always draw. i opened the curtains & discovered it was all still there

i showed M the archives room. we perused & examined the shelves of tapes for a while, taking in the labels handwritten on them, trying to find the oldest one. the oldest we saw was from 1986, if i remember correctly. i pilfered two devices back to my office that looked to have been manufactured maybe in the nineties what with their rounded blue plastic. initially i thought they were hard drives but then realized they were floppy disk adapters. i tried to look through the disks but plugging the adapters into my computer didn't do anything so i put them back where they were

i showed M a bunch of music videos i like - rock, the. stray here with you. time was. spend some time (with your mind). julie

at seven we headed out. before we exited the building, i took a photo of the drawings still behind that curtain & sent it to C. she assumed i was just sharing a memory, until i specified that it was still there!

M & i walked out to their car. they offered me a ride home... during the car ride they happened to remark that by this time next year their plan was to maybe be relocated somewhere bigger, a two & a half hour drive away

this hit me in the heart of course but i masked it with vaguely affirmative or acknowledging replies. i thought about being for the most part left alone in this city again, i went to work on processing

we parked in the parking lot & i sat with them in the car for a while... there came a point when they got quiet & then grew visibly very sad & we were just sitting there for a while, them in their quiet sadness, me thinking about asking but i've never been good at it, i always just fidget & kind of go quiet & force a casual demeanor even though asking if people are ok is what i really want...

eventually i said my goodbye though some part of me felt awkward in doing so but i was worried that i was sitting in their car for too long, that maybe it was even what was bothering them. in the heat of the moment i flutter between all kinds of tenuous considerations

we hadn't poked either of each other's shoulders that day. before i got out of the car i poked their shoulder. they reached out to poke my shoulder but i was too far away so i leaned back into the car so they could poke my shoulder. they poked my shoulder... i went inside

i walked back & forth with my head abuzz with ideas of being left alone again in this abysmal city or of trapping them in this abysmal city through my sessility or of making things ok for each other in this abysmal city or even of at last myself leaving this abysmal city

after they got home they apologized for their quietness & confirmed they had gotten really sad. i explained how i had felt, with the perception but inability to act on it by asking. they affirmed yet again that they really really enjoy my company & i reaffirmed yet again that i really really enjoy their company too

i realized i had left my laptop charger in my office so i had to walk back to the building in the cold night. once there i searched high & low for that custodian but couldn't find him. fortunately i found one of the comm department guys overseeing the broadcast of a late night basketball game & he helped me. i reacquired the charger & left. during my walk home M invited me out the following day

i ate the sandwich that i had made the previous day & thought would go to waste under the assumption that its bread would get too hard as it sat in the fridge. it wasn't great but it was edible


december 1st (second iteration, mistakenly rewritten from scratch partially). K stopped by my office for a while. at one point i opened the website "tonematrix" & made three sequences in it (1, 2, 3). i opened four different side-by-side windows of obscure goanimate videos with autoplay on, & in the center was a small window featuring the web player for The Classical Station, & this all played in tandem with The Classical Station playing on the radio in the room. it was during this madness that M also stopped by for a while. for most of the time that it was M & K & i, i was doing belated editing & publishing of the radio episode from last week

eventually they both left. M came back a while later. i played alien rap: songs from the planet glumph & a weird club edit of a scatman john song. not too long before we left, i showed them several music videos that i like

i think this was the night that i also showed them around the archives room. we spent a while snooping around in there, looking at old tapes, trying to find which were the oldest

after i got home i realized i had left my laptop charger in my office. so i had to walk back to the building. i patrolled the whole place in search of that janitor, didn't find him. i think it was during this patrol that i snooped around the area where they produce the campus newspaper, tried some doors to see if they were locked, found them unlocked & looked around some small rooms i'd never seen before

eventually i just went down to my office & in the little control room adjacent i fortunately found one of the comm department faculty overseeing the broadcast of some late night sports game, so he let me in. i retrieved the charger & went back home


december 2nd. this was the day when i finally got the november journal finalized & posted. prior to that though K stopped by my office & i was a little discomfited & withdrawn, only because i really wanted to get the journal finalized as quick as possible but she was always sitting nearby & it made me feel insecure about it. i tried to instead focus on getting my spoken parts recorded for the last radio show of the semester, which would be airing that night, but my mouth was too dry for it

well, i did manage to drink enough water & bide enough time until finally i got it all recorded. then K eventually took off & i got the journal finished & the episode put together

M arrived at my office at six. i think this was the night where for a little while after arriving they seemed pretty quiet & sad but eventually they started to seem ok

we had to dilly dally around there for a bit while i got the episode onto youtube & shared on the usual sites. their family still had covid, so we couldn't listen to the show in their garage. i proposed they could bring their speakers & laptop to my apartment & set things up there

we left around six-forty & rushed to my place. there we found my dad sleeping in the living room so we had to unanticipatedly divert into my room & hurriedly set everything up on my bed. i got my laptop booted up right as the show was starting so i had to perform another emergency deletion of the video & reupload it with enough postponement that we could set everything up. we listened to the show

after the show we decided to go to another tiny basement show that was in-progress at that house venue. i left my apartment with a small orange in my hand. i also left with my glove on my head again. i wanted to solidify for the guy running the venue that i would always inexplicably show up with a glove on my head

before the show we went to a Taco Bell location. i dropped the small orange in the parking lot & M saw me picking it up. they hadn't noticed the orange prior & thought at that moment that i had found the orange in the parking lot. i clarified that this was not the case. i washed the orange off in the Taco Bell bathroom

for what Taco Bell is, one positive thing i can note is that a lot of their burritos are not very greasy on the outside, which is good for my aversion to oil. this time, though, i unfortunately tried something random on the menu which turned out to be fried & have a very greasy exterior. we ate our food. i ate the orange

we went to the house venue. we arrived in time for the second act, i think. it was this crazy & atmospheric synthesizer infused rock band that actually felt like a bit of a treat to witness. there were all these syncopated lights & such loud continuous bass frequencies that my entire insides were vibrating like crazy. the keyboard player was pretty & was also wearing a grumpy cat shirt

we left the basement after that act because we figured the third act was not going to top it. we stood in the kitchen for a little bit, listening to the third act through the floorboards. then we left to go... somewhere, i can't really remember...

somewhere in there was stopping by the gas station, getting a diet soda, sitting in the parking lot trying to decide where else we might go. i think this was the night we tried to access a few buildings on campus so they could go to a computer lab & print something, but the doors were locked

ultimately, we wound up sitting in the parking lot at my apartment for a long time again. maybe we touched our index fingers for a long time, i don't remember. it wouldn't surprise me. what i do remember is us realizing at some point that my glove was not on my head, nor in my purse, searching the car for it very thoroughly & coming to the conclusion that it really might have fallen off my head somewhere arcane & gotten lost for good this time. this was a very glum feeling

we looked back at a photograph they had taken of us in the kitchen while i was refilling my water bottle. the glove wasn't on my head. we used this as evidence for a consoling conclusion that it must have fallen off somewhere in that house & that the owner would recognize it from my head & probably hold onto it for me

some time later we realized that my phone was missing too! we searched the car just as thoroughly & there wasn't a trace of it. this was even more worrying. i asked M to call it but it seemed to be dead. finally i asked them if we could drive back to the gas station & see if maybe i left it there

when we walked into the gas station, the cashier i'm most familiar with was giving me one of his funny little smiles, the kind that seems almost consciously at odds with his outward image of a goateed kinda guy with his hoodies & his sports-team-branded billed hats. he handed me my phone. & then he handed me the glove! & then he handed me my round brush, which i hadn't even realized was missing! i had taken all of these things out of my purse & placed them on the counter in the process of fishing my wallet out to pay for the diet soda, & then just left without them & without remotely noticing

that night i got an odd anonymous tumblr ask which expressed & demonstrated that it was very easy to determine what city i live in from certain unspecified information in the november journal. in response to this i excised various pieces of information from it & made a post not-so-subtly nudging the person to elaborate on what they'd utilized


december 2nd (second iteration, mistakenly rewritten from scratch partially). it wasn't until today that i finally got the november journal finalized & posted. i think i was in my office today. K stopped by but i felt like i greatly needed time alone to work on the journal & the last radio episode of the semester. so i was a bit retracted & unsociable

i was with M that night & at some point we were


december 3rd. nothing happened on december third


december 4th. my notes on this day: waggly feet. glove pilfer. white balloons

waggly feet: M & i drive to the coffee shop. as we pass the coffee shop on the way to the parking lot i see a person on one of the stools in front of the counter, on their knees, elbows on the counter, waggling their feet

white balloons: we sat in the back of the coffee shop for a while & there were two white balloons against the ceiling that we stared at & commented on. one was a normal balloon at the far end of the room. the other was thick & large, sort of trapped in the little hanging metal structure that has all the spotlights & speakers & so on

glove pilfer: somewhere in there we stopped by my dad's place of work, sat at a table there for a bit. the place was a bit active. there was corny christmas music playing on the speakers. i hijacked them & changed it to alien rap: songs from the planet glumph. M was continuously very tickled by this, crazy about the fact that it wasn't just us hearing it, that everyone in the building was hearing it... at some point we settled on a burger restaurant to go to, & on our way out i grabbed a box of vinyl gloves through the kitchen window & pilfered several for us to wear. we went & got burgers

grabbing a weird plush mascot off a little sleigh & tossing it across the dining area to them. ordering some custard before we go


december 5th. right after midnight i purchased bus tickets to go see my pal & his grandparents over christmas & then we would quickly turn around & take a bus back together to hang around town for two weeks

in my mass comm theory class people presented their framing assignments

in my cults class someone had drawn three more big orange arrows pointing at the tiny smiley face that i had drawn with the first big orange arrow. the teacher walked in & noticed this & chuckled. or maybe he didn't notice it & chuckle until wednesday. all we did in the cults class was watch an episode of some old comedy central show that happened to center around the main character getting dragged into a cult

another day in my office. did anything happen? did anyone stop by? i wish i could remember. i had a sore throat. when i get a sore throat i keep putting hand sanitizer on my hands like it's gonna avert it retroactively. i took a picture of myself there & made an image macro with it

now i remember. K stopped by. i sort of wished i could be alone to recreationally sit motionless & conduct my thoughts in a way which felt like squeezing a sense of lovesickness from my brain like it is a sponge. but it was ok. i remember K being there while i made a deranged edit in audacity of that old "berries & cream" commercial. i played lots of from nursery to misery songs. i looked through old archived versions of the college's various websites

i walked home in the misty night & took a picture that i liked a fair amount. i also took a second picture of a gas station in the distance. i stopped at that gas station & got some fig newtons, among a couple other snacks i can't remember. boulevard of broken dreams was playing & i thought about how i think it is an honestly enjoyable song


december 6th. while i was in the office i got a scam phone call on the office phone, which had never happened before. then as i was playing along with the guy (for whatever reason) i got yet another scam phone call on my cell phone. i tried to connect the two by holding the phones together but i had the cell phone oriented the wrong way so that didn't work... i just started doing that longmong potion castle "triple double check double triple check flip a double triple check" thing & the guy started doing it back at me

i think this was the day i finished writing out my final paper for the cults class where i make up my own cult. i walked to the library to print it out. it was temperate & very foggy out, which was neat. in the library there was lemonade, coffee, & little chocolate cakes set out. i just barely missed the last of the cakes. someone also had three big tables set up covered in pottery that they were selling. i was interested in buying some, so i went back to my office & retrieved my wallet

on my way back to the library i ran into one of my old math teachers. he was really buff with stubble & a deeper voice, all of which was like a radical departure from the affably dopey demeanor i remembered him having just a few years ago. i lamented the loss of that version of him just a tiny bit

from the pottery table i got a bowl, a mushroom, & two small triangular pieces with similar designs, colored either red or green. the cashier put it all in a plastic bag inside of a big brown paper bag

i walked home in the misty night again, clutching my brown paper bag, which made me feel like the eraserhead guy in that first scene. i tried to take another picture of the parking lot but a huge group of students started filing out of the building behind me & dispersing across it so they had to be in the pictures too

i got home & ate a tray of mushed up berries that looked like raw animal entrails


december 7th. when my dad drove me to class i accidentally left my cup of coffee on the roof. we passed a garbage truck & the driver pointed at the car as if to get our attention. so we realized & pulled over & i retrieved the cup

in my mass comm theory class more people presented their media framing assignments. on the back of my evaluation sheet i drew this

i got a sub sandwich in the cafeteria & walked back to my building with it. on the way there i saw a police officer lowering the flag to half-staff. i approached him to ask what it signified. before i could ask, he asked if i could back up a bit & observe the flag to verify for him that it was about halfway down, as it was difficult to tell from the base. i did this. it looked about fine, so i gave him the ok. i asked him what the half-staff signified. it was pearl harbor remembrance day

when i got to my building M & K were waiting for me right past the doorway. the three of us went to my office & spent some time together. M headed out after a little while. someone in the school discord sent a picture of the cake & lemonade they were enjoying in the library. i did this whole bit where i edited everything off the picture one by one then edited in a plate of food & removed the different foods one by one, commenting ostentatiously on each part of the yummy dinner i was eating

K headed out after a while. M came back & we spent some time together while i worked on my media framing presentation. we both laughed a lot at making the worst transitions play really unnecessarily slowly, taking fifteen to thirty seconds to complete

this might have been the occasion where shortly before we left together they casually switched on the radio for no particular reason & outer limits recordings' julie was playing because it was on a rerun of the sixth episode of my show

we left & got coffee. i think it was around this time that we both had quietly receded back into unrepentant caffeine consumption. it was okay i guess

my memory is hazy. i know we went to a thrift store-

oh! before the thrift store we drove up to an antique mall we hadn't hit yet

on the way there we got stuck in traffic behind a car that had this funny metal basket thing affixed to the back of it, in which it was only transporting a case of bottled water

well, the antique mall turned out to be less of an antique mall & more of a general "home decor" store with some antique mall elements? it was a mall that seemed to be entirely comprised of booths which displayed a variety in personality, but as a whole the place still managed a kind of homogeneity that made it feel like Hobby Lobby for the most part

then we drove all the way across town to a second antique mall, one that felt more real. we were there for a while. we saw lots of nice things there. i spent a couple minutes trying to play a mostly functional accordion

ok, then we went to the thrift store. it was during the drive there that we finished all the Ariel Pink songs i'd picked out to have on my phone

we arrived at the thrift store & encountered their sister there & i found a cute red bag with a bow on it that had a texture like touching a pool table. one of the cashiers was this really enthusiastic old lady who had been trying on a hat & seeming aghast at how well she thought it suited her. she was thrilled about my purchasing the bag. she casually remarked at one point that she hadn't slept in a decent while, maybe a day or two

oh, yes, & then after the thrift store we went to this small restaurant that specialized in spaghetti red & tamales. if i'm not mistaken it is one of the oldest existing businesses in the city. & it sure felt that way, like a little place that'd been frozen in time for decades, that certain kind of stimulating wooden wall paneling & a very personal bar setup that had you face-to-face with most of the kitchen itself. i got the spaghetti red & tamales. M's coffee had diminished their appetite so they didn't get anything

my memory from there on is again hazy but somewhere in there we're driving down this street that i filmed us driving down a while ago with the song flamingo breeze part one playing & i resume the tradition with the song courtship dating playing

& then i think maybe we spent a while in my apartment & they gave me a hug again before they left. this was the second goodbye hug


december 8th. i had no classes today. but it was the last day to work on some of my outstanding assignments. i forced myself to fabricate a story for a totally inane assignment in my social interaction class. in short, i had to apply listening techniques in an interaction with someone & write a short account of how it improved my understanding of them. for various reasons, i thought this was an impossibly specific scenario to engineer on command for the purposes of the class. so i had to kind of spin some of my actual feelings about someone into a fictional interpersonal hashing out of those feelings, in the hopes that it would feel more authentic if rooted in something real

i wrote five hundred & seventy words but attention deficit problems began to hit me like a train. i just walked back & forth feeling like i'd be unable to make the home stretch. i did eventually manage it though, probably in the wee hours of the morning

lying in bed i felt nostalgic about the feeling of walking home from the nature trail through a neighborhood at night while specifically feeling immersed in the familiar & encompassing sense of intense doubt that i will spend any meaningful time with a single other person in the next six months minimum. now that i feel shielded from that feeling by regular fulfilling company & thus it is inaccessible i can comedically feel nostalgic about it. inevitable effect of contrast


december 9th. the last day of classes. i presented my media framing project. no one laughed at the really slow transitions which i thought was ok because it only emphasized my present fortune of having a friend worth my time in a world where it often feels like no one at all is worth my time

i went to my office. i left for a bit to investigate a bunch of booths set up in the student center where people were selling crafts. this was the first phase of a whole cozy end-of-semester christmas event, the rest of which wouldn't initiate til 5:30

there i ran into L, the mother of my old friend E whose house i'd spend afternoons at sometimes, a few years back, around 2018, playing mario kart & so on, although i never got along with her super well & we hadn't spent time together in a little while. L had a booth where she was selling her fire starters, which were the output of her small business that she runs. they're like little cupcakes of wax & kindling that burn very well & emit a pleasant smell as they do so

L & i talked for a bit. we talked about E & i's respective academic & professional trajectories, insofar as we had had such things. i learned that they had had to euthanize one of their big sweet dogs, because he had become too encumbered by his hip dysplasia. they had gotten a new dog, a small dog who she showed me pictures of

i went back to my office. K stopped by my office, i think. she departed after a while & bid me farewell until next semester. i remember reading about sharks a lot during that day

this was a happy night. around the time i got off, M stopped by & we went & got coffee. we sat in the front room, probably because the back was closed. i got a cup of taco soup. later i got an espresso con panna, just to be messed up & wicked. it tasted gross

then we drove back to campus to attend the christmas event. on the way there i played my old nine-minute remix of a oneohtrix point never song

we arrived. there was a dog in a big work truck in the parking lot constantly leaning out the window & barking at people. we walked along all the booths in the student center. we stood in line to ride around in a horse-drawn carriage

when we were almost to the front of the line i decided i had to pee urgently enough that i asked M to hold our spot & took off running into the student center, found the first bathroom occupied, tore back outside & around the building to another door to a stairwell down to another bathroom, used it, tore back up the stairwell & out of the building & hopped over a couple plants & chains on my way back to the line, it was this whole silly thrilling dash...

we rode around in the horse-drawn carriage. we got apple cider. there were snow machines blowing little suds of foamy water around everywhere. i pointed out the college president skulking by in his distinctive coat. we went over to the preserved mansion & ambled around all its dim cozy decorated spaces, found ourselves in some upstairs office-y room with a desk that we rifled through the drawers of. in a bathroom there was a painting of the building we were in, & visible in the painting was a small surface on which currently there is a fossilized piece of chewing gum placed there by my ex nearly six years ago

we went back to the car. i forget what happened next. maybe we went to a restaurant. in any case we-

oh! we tried to go to some sub sandwich restaurant but they were closed so we tried some italian restaurant that neither of us had ever been to. or at least it seemed italian but when we got in it felt like more of a pizza-centric sports bar. it was kind of loud & open & uncomfortable, everyone could see everyone else & there were tvs everywhere. we got a pineapple pizza. kids by mgmt played on the intercom one point, which was pleasing

-we wound up back at my house where we watched about twenty minutes of i-be area ("this is like one step removed from just watching static") & then i showed them the inane "game" on the piesek w kratke dvd & we laughed at all the previews for other random polish (?) cartoons

& then we watched a tiny bit of dinosaur adventure & then chicken town & then i had the inspiration of watching the 2004 computer animated christian film joshua & the promised land & by the end we were fatigued from laughing so much

& then i remember i played a weird uncanny animated christian short called the final answer by dennis copp & then grady sain's duelin' firemen trailer... a little while after that they went home. maybe they gave me a hug before they went. in any case it was somewhere around this time that farewell hugs started to become the norm


december 10th. i downloaded all the little fragments of unfinished music that M had sent in the college discord & tried to cohesively sequence them & put them together in audacity like a "mix." that night i wrote a short story about obscure music & its archival & this process' place in the complex totality of life... cool huh


december 11th. i woke up & spent a little while in bed appreciating a square formed by the legs of my stool across the room

it wasn't a great day for a little while. i was excessively preoccupied with abstract concerns about ways the internet can distort communication, & i guess the feelings of loneliness i've always associated with that. so i wrote a bunch about it

i think i got into this headspace through a chain where first i woke up to a kind of rude anonymous message, & then i wrote a long reply that was less in response to the person or rebuffing what they said but more trying to analyze what the best way might be to process such a message & not feel bothered by it. & then that led to me thinking about the reasons internet drama can easily look so silly, & i wrote about that. & then that led into just the general ways the internet can mess with how people engage with each other on it

later i started to feel better & then i got coffee with M. we always sit on a couch which happens to be right under a shelf & it was on this day that i realized that it's not the wisest of placements, when i plunked down onto the couch & slammed the back of my head into it worryingly hard

after this i went up to the counter & politely provided the constructive criticism that they might want to consider moving the couch... i learned that the owner had specifically instructed them to keep the couches where they were because they're a bit broken & need to be propped up against the walls. they said they'd raise the issue with her

later i made a guy sitting across the coffee shop laugh by plugging my nose & nasally saying "SCANDALOOUUS!" with mucus in my throat giving it that warbly burbling effect

we drove to a thrift store. on the way there M described the song merendine by spirocheta pergoli as "evil surf music" which i thought was a good thing to say

we looked around the little thrift store for a while. i got a small recipe & crafts book called christmas gifts of good taste just because i thought the cover image was nice & that it might have more cozy photographs scattered among it

we went to a Target. we needed somewhere to walk around & exist together so we just went to a Target... i don't remember all we saw there but i know we had a good time. i played one of those electric pianos for a child where the keys are the teeth of a cat

i think it was after Target that we went & got some food at a Panda Express. it was kind of a drab & stressful place to eat in. i got orange chicken & a glass bottle of Coca-Cola

the song weather rings a bell by lucy had been stuck in my head all night & i played it while we drove to Kohl's, i think. we walked around Kohl's for a while. it's hard to remember all that we saw there but i know we had a good time. i saw a teacher at the college, who apparently had a side job there, folding some clothes. she's always oddly happy to see me even though i feel like my relation to her through that sole class was very fleeting. the class was called "Professional Interaction," i think. maybe she is just interacting with me professionally

as we were looking at some candles & smelling them i earnestly began a sentence with something like "i feel like the candle industry..." & then they cut me off by laughing & repeating "the candle industry" & then i started laughing at it too

the more i think back on it the more i feel like this one particular moment kind of "sealed the deal" on my getting along with them, as if the past seventy-eight days hadn"t done that already, as if the first day alone hadn"t, but, i am simply really enjoying thinking back on the highlighting of "the candle industry"

they recorded a really funny gif that's just an unnecessarily high-resolution first-person view of walking a short distance in Kohl's

we went to my apartment. i got out of the car & realized my backpack wasn't in the back, that i had left it in the back room of the coffee shop. i sent the coffee shop an instant message asking if they'd collected it

showing them the really funny cover art for the i'm the scatman single. showing them a visualization of steve reich's clapping music & then the "pendulum waves polyrhythm" video which, upon bringing it up, they said they had been thinking about

i'm pretty sure this is the night that we watched one cut of the dead. that was the main aspect of the night


december 12th. finals week. i could have spent this whole week getting hours in in my office but i didn't. i guess i got too quickly committed to decompressing. i wish i had done it, though, it would've been another easy four hundred dollars in my pocket. kinda sad, really

i sought out some random album i hadn't heard of prior & put it on youtube. it's called cloud city by friends with you. it's like childlike background music for an art installation from 2005. it wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. it was like having a nintendo wii game idling in the background, or maybe someone playing the game, because it did have sections to it

i updated my archive of all two thousand plus songs on Tonetta's bandcamp page. i had been flaking on it since late october & there were at least forty songs to grab. i called the coffee shop & verified that they had my backpack

i spent a while working on the final paper for my mass comm theory class. it was easy because it's just a listless synthesis of the two prior projects, not even requiring a conceptual unification of the two, just kind of formatting two powerpoints as one two-part paper


december 13th. this was my only day of finals & both of them were very relaxed

first i went to my cults final. i was one of the first several to present. i was wearing my red coat & i had the red bag i'd found with M. it was full of strawberry candies. i got a laugh from the acronym of my cult's secondary name being "BLATANT CULT," & a couple laughs during the long list of organizations that i accused of being cults

no one asked a tricky enough question for me to do the bit i had planned with the strawberry candies, which was simply to plunk the bag down loudly onto the desk up front & say something to the effect of, "you seem like you need... a... strawberry candy. strawberry candies, anyone?"

after i was done, i said, "i have one more joke" & explained how it would have been worked in & did it. it got laughs

then i went to my social problems final, at which it was expected we'd all leave after less than an hour. there was just coffee, cookies, chocolate, & little oranges. we filled out an informal questionnaire about the class. the class had lots of exchange students from korea & japan, & some of them brought japanese cookies & chocolate bars. i realized i could serendipitously appropriate the strawberry candies bag as my contribution to all the snacks

after i left i didn't go to my office cause it was raining a lot & my dad had offered a ride home, which i wouldn't have a guaranteed shot at later in the day. after being home for a while i started to kind of get very sad, really because i had only slept for about four & a half hours. then i dozed off for two hours & woke up feeling kinda funny but less sad

while my dad was out around town he stopped by the coffee shop & retrieved my backpack. late at night i ordered two books for my pal for christmas

listening to worried by lucy & being capable of remembering what intersection M & i were at when they laughed at the blown out bass hit in the chorus

that night i felt like i was kind of losing my mind right up until i fell asleep, it was pretty awful


december 14th. i woke up from an almost comically blatant revelatory stress dream... well, not revelatory, because i already knew, but it's more like the dream was saying... "i am going to take this set of tensions that you already know & portray them so explicitly, to the point of borderline parody of the idea of a stress dream, that you are going to have to wake up staring them in the face now that their reality has been so plainly set on the table in front of you, simply by the fact that you would have such a comically blatant dream about them"

M came & got me. i asked them if before anything we could run to the clinic & see about getting me a shot, because i was a week or two overdue. on the way there i got pretty hungry so i decided we should get coffee first, as it'd be unpleasant to get a shot while feeling weak & shaky

we went & got coffee. i got a hummus wrap & a cinnamon bun

i was not losing my mind anymore, the way i kind of was the night prior. but i felt a bit like i was... reacclimating to not being in the state of losing my mind. i told this to M

our time there in the coffee shop felt haggard & worried & quiet for both of us. i didn't feel very present. they said they were a bit worried about money

i think this happened to be the day when i jestingly told them that it might really be good for me if a tornado blew my apartment away & i had to start over from scratch, & they sort of caught me off guard by saying, with conviction, something to the effect of "no, that's awful! you shouldn't feel like you can only change when you have to!"

we drove to the clinic. they sat in the waiting room with me. our grim feelings followed us there. my lack of presence spilled over into physiological discomfort, a shortness of breath & feeling my heart beating in my chest. tired & weak

i showed M the insane over-produced Solitaire app on my phone covered in neotenous farm animals & an endless level select screen. we could not take so much joy in its silliness at that moment

the only other person in the waiting room excused herself & went out to her car. she came back in & dropped a pair of sneakers at my feet. she had noticed my raggedy shoes & decided i needed a replacement. this was very sweet. i tried to put on the shoes but they were much too small. so she took them back out to her car & brought in some leopard pattern slippers. those fit me

i suspect that she thought M & i were homeless, based on a couple other things she said

i got my shot. we left. we had planned to try to hit a fair number of antique shops but time had escaped us so we just set course for the mall where i had played an accordion

during the car ride we found ourselves talking about our identities, about the identity crises we'd gone through, about feeling alone a lot, about regretting who we'd once associated with, about sharing an alienatingly paradoxical desire to feel unity with others under the umbrella of non-categorical ways of processing life. about stuff like that

all this talk marked a turning point in the day, from feeling deeply iffy & wondering if i was just going to feel sluggish & bad if i didn't cut the day short & just go home & take a nap, to everything being joyful, a very good day

we looked around the antique mall for a while. M lamented the existence of Christmas jazz. my absolute favorite thing that we saw was a plate featuring an illustration of a basset hound hound with the text "EAT IT UP QUICK OR GROVER WILL GET IT," followed by "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ." M described this as "garbage text." i was crazy about this

i found some of the most angelic crystalline sounding wind chimes i'd ever heard. i recorded them on my phone. a while later i went back & selected them for purchase. i also got a checkerboard that i had found hanging on a wall & enjoyed so much in that context that i intended to hang it on a wall myself rather than play checkers on it

i also got three lps: moog by dick hyman, switched-on bach, misattributed to a certain w. carlos, & what felt like a particularly insane find, paul eakins' circus carnival calliope, a totally un-notable record that i have a minor degree of random connection to for its un-notable rendition of turkey in the straw

we left the antique mall. i played on thin ice by lucy & gods wisdom as we drove to some arcane diner which turned out to be closed so we set course for that tiny mexican restaurant whose name had tickled us before. then we went to my apartment with the food

somewhere in there was them sitting on the futon & me sitting on a stool in front of the futon, & a high five, of our frequent high fives it was one of those infrequent ones which kind of lingers, & without warning this high five lingered for a long time & began to veer into the beginning of an interweaving of our fingers before we pulled our hands away

we started watching twelve oz mouse at my suggestion but i quickly found it sort of intolerable so i diverted into playing outside in, that animation about turning a sphere inside out, & then not knot, another topological animation from the same people, & then computer animation festival volume one & it was during

computer animation festival volume one, i think, that another high five became a full-fledged holding of hands

i don't recall the night in great detail. i remember we had to briefly step outside at some point for some reason & when we came back in sweet pea had stolen most of half of my burrito but i was okay about that. dogs have to get outstanding meals like that sometimes & it's good when they just make it happen instead of us having to decide if we wanna sacrifice a whole burrito

& at some time they went home & then while we were instant messaging i found myself looking very intently through my tumblr in search of something brief i had written about love back in october. it was excluded from my search results, for no particular reason. this made me desperate to find it. tumblr usually insulates me against feeling like i could write something then just lose it & i hate having that sense. & i still knew what the idea was & could have kinda reproduced it but it bothered me not having the phrasing i worked out then... i did find it eventually


december 15th. in the early morning i used audacity to make "musique concrete" out of my recording of the wind chimes. i also recorded a single note from my tiny music box that i got in iowa last year & incorporated that

i finished up some of the minor outstanding assignments for my radio class. i also fortunately caught that i had neglected to actually submit the Lucy episode, so i got that one in

i spent all night reading on wikipedia about numbers stations & cryptography & tornadoes & a video game from my childhood


december 16th. M & i got coffee. i wish i could remember our coffee times better, that it didn't all have to smear into the general idea of us getting coffee. i wish i could have every little word forever. but it doesn't have to feel that way. routines & traditions are important. the realtime is important. the transience of those times is valid. we are ephemeral. what really matters gets remembered regardless

we drove up to the hobby lobby-esque antique mall again, walked around there for a while, observed it more thoroughly til it closed. we went back outside. the parking lot had no lights & it & the adjacent roadside were beautifully, unusually dark. we started driving & found ourselves at some godforsaken probably recently opened wal-mart in the middle of nowhere that i'd never seen before

fingers touching & then out of the car & we gallivanted around that wal-mart for a while being silly. sparkling water. back to the car & i think this was the night that we drove a ways to a pizza restaurant & went inside & immediately standing there in the lobby admitted to each other that neither of us were really hungry & had just been carried there by the typical momentum of our nights so we just left

& we went to my dad's place of work again & slouched down in a beige leather couch with its back to everyone & didn't hold hands but sat there touching palms together. a mysterious lady came up & offered us a porcelain cup of volcano cake which i took but didn't like so much. & i started laughing hysterically remembering "EAT IT UP QUICK OR GROVER WILL GET IT. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ"

& then my dad appeared & saw us touching our hands together & he asked if there was anything he could get us & so on but i just waved him away & then i got up & went to the sound booth & played a one-hour loop of the amen break which they took a video of playing over the big speakers

& then i think we just went home & watched computer animation festival vol. two & held hands more & i showed them a funny spongebob ytp & then i played foodfight! & then paused it to divert into the entirety of rapsittie street kids: believe in santa (really great time) & then back to the rest of foodfight! & i think it was during rapsittie street kids that they first placed their arm around my shoulders & with the configuration their arm kind of dug downwards into one of my upper vertebrae but i sat there still anyway

& at some point my dad got home & i don't think they felt comfortable having their arm around me anymore in light of that but we held hands still i think & finished the movies & eventually they left & gave me another hug & drove home

i noticed that my new wind chimes have a weird smell that i can detect faintly from across the room


december 17th. i spent much of the early part of the day listening to the album superflat by c'est la key but i didn’t finish it because it's ninety minutes long

M came & got me & we went to the coffee shop. this time i brought my record player, wanting to indulge the novelty of playing some of the records in the back room. but the back room was closed, so we just left

i really can't remember what happened between home & coffee. i don't remember if we got food & where we might have gotten it- oh!!! ok i remember!!!

we took our coffees to the place my dad works at & drank them there. there was some kind of christmas slash halloween event going on there with people selling handmade crafts & prints at tables. eventually we left to go hit up a pizza restaurant. we got an oddly sweet pizza that wasn't quite like any i'd had before. honey & a certain sweet type of pepper. i liked it

we went to my apartment & held hands & watched dinosaur island, the other animated movie by the guy responsible for rapsittie street kids. it was actually more competent but only in a way that made it far more dull, so we didn't finish it. we went back to computer animation festival vol. two

& then we diverted into digging up & watching short youtube videos uploaded prior to 2009 with titles like "aaaaaaa," "bbbbbbbbb," "ccccccccccccc," holding hands watching these, & the really funny youtube video for the song lovers & friends by michael sterling, & then we watched the entire classics of game playlist & they placed their arm around me more & their arm dug into my upper vertebrae still but i still sat still only periodically readjusting for temporary relief. & there were postures which i'm not sure i would qualify as "holding" but i would call them incrementally moreso "holding" than prior nights

they went home... later i realized i left my record player in their car. i told them & they brought it into their house on the chance that the cold might damage it in some way


december 18th. scatterbrained day in the apartment. i spent a lot of time walking back & forth, thinking about how i need to brush my teeth & send an e-mail. i finally renewed my fafsa. i collated all those silly youtube videos into a playlist. i wrote & recorded a short youtube video called 2022 Video (Type of YouTube video that people can make in 2022). the website that i had been reading about individual numbers stations on inexplicably blinked out of existence

disordered. haven't written about a single day of december in the journal so far. having a lot of trouble remembering any dreams i have, even at the fresh moment of waking up. point of my blog that i haven't yet "post-processed" may be past page one hundred now. restarted my effort of logging how many caffeinated drinks i have each day, because i lost track of too many for my liking. not expressing myself through discord very much. not trawling tumblr for beautiful things very much

it's not so much that i feel too afraid or too lazy to approach things like obtaining a driver's license, finding a more substantial job, obtaining a car, traveling on my own, maybe even moving away, it is just that all these things still lie beyond the exact same veil of unthinkable otherness that they did during childhood, it still seems like it all takes place in a different world from me, that beginning to think of all these things in real & practical terms isn't even... on the table, such that there would even be a framework of reasoning in which to regard not thinking about them as a kind of deficit

for the past three years or so i have felt like i will never die in the eternal present of this bedroom. entire phases of life with their music discovery signposts & broad mental flavors have passed in here now

i am, in many small ways, in a different "phase" of my friendship with my friend than we were in before, i feel, & this already makes me nostalgic for the prior phase, the one of sitting in the car in the parking lot for a long time because it wasn't so normalized to spend time in my house yet, & the constant high fives ritual was a bit different

i am inspired by my friend's drive, will, motivation. for all i know, it could be a very average degree of such things, but seeing it all right in front of me, in someone i really relate to, makes it stand out sharply against my sessility & avoidance... for example, their proclivity to simply identify that it'd be good & enriching to travel somewhere, do very practical planning about it in advance, & go there. or how they plan to possibly not even be living here anymore in a year's time. they speak about it all like foregone conclusions, things they just ontologically lack the option to flake or give up on

i need to find more hobbies because i feel pretty bad when all i can think of to do with someone at the end of the day, after every other option is exhausted, is to find things to watch, even if i can sniff out something particularly niche or interesting or earnestly funny

i cannot blame my friend for not wanting to live here what with this growing intimacy with the encircling dread of a dwindling itinerary of discrete things to investigate around the area, our options further narrowed by the cold to a roster of buildings to flit between, reeling at even the short walk across each parking lot, barred from the trails & parks which we gladly took as our default options while we could, & barred from even the mundane pleasure of walking down an alleyway

in general, in conclusion, basically, to sum up, in short, i feel like something is hanging over me saying "your eternal present has to come to an end & you have to start chipping at the veil mentioned prior & start acquainting yourself with even the most basic precarities"

(also: bold of me to assume that some other, bigger, more active city wouldn't just be a provisional staving-off of that growing intimacy with the encircling dread of a dwindling itinerary of discrete things to investigate around the area, to be fair)


december 19th. i finished listening to superflat. M came & got me. we went & got coffee. naturally we had the record player & i played some of the records. i located a memorable loop produced by a skip in a purple-tinged record that i remembered from the first time i had done this back on august 29th, 2021

this might have been the coffee shop visit where we were talking about how they use sunscreen on their face & how i was ambivalent about blocking all the effects of uv light whether good or bad. they remarked how we have to choose between getting the benefits of unfiltered sun or having good skin. then i felt this moment where i think both of us might have been reflecting on an unintentional implication that was made, that i was on a track to "bad skin." & to me it highlighted a taoist kind of dynamic where one can't recognize "good skin" on themselves or anyone else without necessarily also imposing some definition of "bad skin" on the skin of everyone else... & that thinking does have its hooks in me too, of course, i'd have trouble saying i don't want smooth & clear skin

we went to a thrift store again... & i guess i remember it, but what can i tell you? all i can tell you, it feels, is that we went to a thrift store again. i don't know how to dice it up further into discrete events. & so i can hardly tell you any more. but it was as detailed as anything else. i just can't represent it here well. transience

a deranged hat that says "JESUSAVES" & sawblades painted with illustrations of pretty pastoral cabin waterfront homes

i really can't remember what happened between the thrift store & home. i don't remember if we got food & where we might have gotten it

oh! i think what happened tonight is that by the end of our browsing i was getting kind of fatigued & weak & all my limbs weak, then we went to a chik-fil-a. it was that first time that i happened to go into a chik-fil-a location as opposed to just finding one in a mall

we drove home with the food. we pulled into the parking lot right as we finished listening to the full roster of songs that i had ever played on my radio show

my dad was home so we went to my room. we ate our sandwiches. we sat on the floor & interacted with sweet pea. we're always interacting with sweet pea, communally being very nice to her

i think it was here that i opened the bag of strawberry candies & opened one & saw squashed ants on the candy & hoped to God that no one in my social problems class had gotten ant candy

then we sat on the edge of my bed & held hands & watched more silly ancient youtube videos i think. & we skimmed through all of the cds we had found in the thrift stores, all of which i had neglected to investigate up until that point. they really liked going through all the cds


december 20th. in the early morning i lied in bed listening to the midwife by c'est la key

later in the day i listened to albums with my pal for the first time in a while. i called my friend M, not the M who is such an immediate presence in my life but another M who i am fond of but more fleeting with, & we had a very nice talk

i think this was the day when at some point i got an e-mail saying i had to reschedule my bus trip due to the winter storm, so i called & got that taken care of. it was bumped forward a day. the process appeared to have automatically shifted the ticket from one i could print at the station to one i'd have to print myself. so i'd have to get that taken care of somehow


december 21st. in the early morning i fell asleep filled with unshakeable confidence that i possess an underlying darkness which ultimately has input on anything i might do, regardless of how benign it may appear, with those times of benign appearance being precisely just compensatory efforts to appear as such

i woke up & wrote a lot about how i was dealing with the thoughts from when i fell asleep, particularly in relation to the opening sentiments of a book that M, the aforementioned M, had sent me during our call the night prior

M, the M who i drive around with, came & got me & i drove around with them. before they arrived, i told them that we needed to go to the library first thing so i could take care of a task, which was printing my bus tickets. as we drove there the song all aboard made me feel a kind of smiling happy giddiness in a way that music hardly ever seems to anymore. it was just the twinkly sparkliness & the energetic tempo felt like the movement of the car (past some totally perfect view of a row of desolate orange steetlights under the gloomily softly blue overcast sky) & i felt happy to be with my friend, & the lyrics made me feel this dopey thematic resonance with my current task

we got to the library not too long before close. i sat down at a workstation. various aspects of the workstation amused us, the large mouse cursor & various default elements & so on. i got the tickets printed off. after i printed them i spent my remaining fifteen minutes on abcmouse.com finding things that made me laugh. on the way out of the library we saw that guy who wears a wooden sign around his neck

& then on the way to the coffee shop the song all joy for all eternity was like this willingness to project the character of the synth tones onto all the lights & it made them have this unconcerned majesty like i could turn my thoughts off & feel ok? & i felt good about distant pulsating red radio towers & the streetlights bordering the bridge we were driving across, & i was thinking about something i'd been going on about at the workstation...

how in-depth of a question can you ask to a person working the Greyhound ticket counter before they have to refer you to some phone number, to an associate with some specialized body of customer service knowledge but still not a holistic grasp of the entire Greyhound system? so it's like, how much can you really understand about every system you come into contact with in society? not much, i think, because there's not much incentive on the part of any employee to pursue a holistic grasp, & no bureaucratic procedure for dispensing what knowledge there is, & sometimes financial incentives to maintain secret around certain things, & generally people just aren't expected to care, to just get their paycheck or get their service rendered. & then this is only one company, & when we scale it to all companies everything is just unconcernedly obscured in the interconnected federation between all the private corporate entities

& it's disturbing & weird but anyway i was seeing this majesty feeling to the lights during the car ride & thinking about even this bureaucratic absurdity was giving me this pleasurable swelling feeling in my chest like awestruckness at complexity maybe even if by something bad

& i had this cognitive shift over the course of the car ride & then we got out & as we walked down the sidewalk i felt like everything was really happening around me, & we got in & ordered our coffees & i was suffused by an urgent need to write but regrettably all i had was my phone

we went to the back room & there was another one of those very crowded painting events with a din of voices. we sat on the couch. the little table that's usually in front of us was missing so we used chairs as footrests. i apologetically receded into my phone to write stuff out & i felt it took way too long on my dumb phone & ultimately didn't feel like enough

i put down my phone. my receding into it felt like an odd lacuna which left us on the other side in an odd, quiet space. we were both in an odd headspace sitting silently not feeling much of anything just taking in all the voices, existing like tabula rasas. we held hands & i leaned on them. after a while both of our brains began to acquire functionality & we started to liven up

somewhere in there was this moment where i flippantly described some guy in my cults class, who gave me an impression that he identifies as a communist but in a way where he "browses a subreddit about it." then i mentioned some other minor piece of info that strongly suggested to M that it's someone they happen to be friends with. this wasn't a big deal but it was uncomfortable enough that i feel i learned a lesson about trash talking people i don't know

we sat in the coffee shop for about two hours, clear til close. we went out to the car. i think this was the night we ran side by side for no reason down the sidewalk & they amusedly said something to the effect of "what are we doing?" ...we got in the car & they flippantly decided to go to Hardee's on the grounds that they would never have any want or need to go there at any time in their life beyond right now for the sake of completing everything to do in this city

we drove there. the parking lot had an interesting feeling that i struggle to capture. it just felt flat & empty. no lines, maybe no parking stops. bordered by the sheer wall of an ancient brick building. adjacent to some ancient multi-story derelict of an industrial brick building. lit by a piercing white light. i really liked it

the building was closed so we had to go through the drive-thru & this memorable vision in memory of holding hands very naturally & playfully in the drive-thru & then driving home with the food & somewhere in there we're driving down the street that i filmed a while ago with the song flamingo breeze part one playing & then another time i resumed the tradition with the song courtship dating playing & this time i resumed it with the song believer playing

we got home & my dad was in the living room. he began talking to us

he told us an earnestly funny story about some odd experiences he'd had at a fast food restaurant earlier that day. one of the funnier elements was how he kept telling them his name, which was apparently also the manager's name, & each time whoever he was talking to would just instantly call for the manager

he talked to us for a long time about warming centers & the problems the homeless were facing & the new form of organization for his group where they were cooperating with anarchists & Christians. he talked about a lot of things, it was nice but like a kind of interminable time vortex that we spent maybe at least an hour in

& then somewhere in there was a gap where i hastily grabbed our bag of food & retreated to my room & we sat back there & ate our burgers. i got a small amount of mayo in my hair. after i finished the burger i went & just trimmed off those strands

i feel that it was an important night. we didn't watch anything

i don't know. we were holding hands again & we kept lying down sideways on the bed side by side & after a while they randomly went quiet & we were just quiet for a while not looking at each other just lying there & sometimes we would sit up & then we would lie back down side by side mostly quiet & our faces sometimes briefly would be close & it lasted a long time

& the night concluded with standing in front of each other in the parking lot holding hands & saying each other's names & the word "hi" in the usual syntactically barren mishmash of those three words with me visibly & audibly shivering. then they went home

not seeing them for the next two weeks or so felt like it would be a trial & i would be counting the hours. an odd moment in time: "things seem to have just been made indisputable, but i have to disappear for two weeks now," throughout which things will just feel kind of... flash frozen at that moment. but maybe things wouldn't have been made indisputable if i had not been about to disappear for two weeks, who knows

i think maybe i get to be in love

i have a mild headache but i think now is the time to curl up in bed & face the task of belatedly writing out the whole month of december thus far. & also face the reality of how little it seems to sufficiently capture my days anymore. it's become like writing out dreams, the entries are only shadows of the actual days, just the broad outlines, the sequences of molar events to note down for my personal utility of unfolding them later into the sights & sounds & just all the minutiae & moments & ephemeral sentences that aren't so feasible to record. it was easier when i started, when whole months were largely sort of empty

my lights are flickering a little as the winter storm currently blanketing the entire midwest audibly begins to roll in outside. i hope i do not lose power. will bus travel even remain feasible? we will see


december 22nd. i felt absolutely baffled upon noticing that it was seven in the morning. the five & a half hours since my friend left had been like one blurry moment. i slept

i woke. i hadn't written a lick about december until the early morning of this day. i mean, i wrote periodic notes, or i wrote to tell friends about the days i'd had, but not until today did i even establish this draft post in which to appropriate all those notes & descriptions

as i initially type this, there is just an intimidating tower of empty dates hanging over these paragraphs. here i begin my weary task of combing through discord messages, photographs, scrobbles, & perhaps browser history, to recompose the month thus far


midway into the december first entry, i began to develop a sneaking suspicion that i had already described some of the events... & then i realized to my displeasure that i actually had started a december draft & written out the whole of the first two days... so i just incorporated the rewritten bits into the journal as separate days, as... "alternate takes?"

i checked my final grades for the semester. it was all Bs & As. a decent bit better than i had expected. i had had kind of a major problem slacking off all semester. but i guess i pulled through anyway. my gpa is approximately 3.7. i am, however, approaching my pell grant limit, it would seem. i should still have enough free credit hours from my dad's former employment to graduate, though, or at the very least come very close to doing so & conceivably resume my progress when i can

today just felt like waiting eight hours alone in the apartment like some kind of animal for either of my family members to come home even though i don't really feel socially fulfilled by either of them but just for the sake of any kind of stimuli & reaffirmation that i exist outside my own head

there was frost on the inside of my window pane


december 23rd. a friend of my dad's came & picked me up & took me to the mall to go shoe shopping. my dad had been adamant that i not go on the bus trip with my raggedy shoes, what with how snowy & cold it would be

we went to a store where rather than looking through shelves of shoeboxes ourselves we just had to hand them a display shoe & ask them to go retrieve one of the same shoe in a given size. i ended up getting a pair of red pumas, for the same reason that i get any shoe, which is that i do not like shoe shopping & always pick something remotely tolerable for the sake of quickly getting it over with

then we went to a sporting goods store so i could get a new pair of boots. i had hoped to get a replacement pair of the blue & white-spotted boots i'd gotten where the rubber of the left boot had been gradually coming apart. they didn't have any size elevens of that type of boot. so i got some much more comfortable black ones that were lined on the inside with fur

we went back home. i showed my dad the shoes. he was concerned about the pumas. what i hadn't realized was that they are suede, which means i can't really get them wet at all. he was very relieved that i had gotten the boots

i was very anxious about the bus ride. this night involved an instant messaging conversation which involved open, uncontrollable crying

here in my notes for this journal is the isolated word "journal" from which i must gather that on this night i did a bunch of work on the journal

i had less than twenty-four hours to decide whether i really wanted to get on a bus that would be traveling straight into the winter storm that was currently blanketing the whole midwest. i was pretty anxious about the road conditions


december 24th. in the early morning my dad found me a cool grey coat that had been hanging in the living room closet. i fell asleep still anxious about road conditions. i only slept about four & a half hours

i woke up about two hours prior to departure

i copied about nine hours of the contents of a bunch of post-punk-y digital mixtapes onto my phone so i could check them out during the bus ride. i'd been collecting them but not listening to any of them really

as i did this i asked myself whether i really wanted to listen to new music & forge new stimuli-memory associations in that way or if i just wanted to listen to Lucy for the whole ride again, since certain songs of his now permanently made me picture points along my previous bus ride & i thought it'd be nice to deepen & strengthen that little world

my brother drove me to the store where i picked up some boxes of soft bake strawberry bars. when i got home i checked the road conditions online & found that they had all actually cleared up

we drove out &, well, i boarded the bus. i forgot to bring my suitcase but there wasn't anything in it, i had just wanted to bring it for the sake of transporting christmas gifts back home. i figured that whatever i got i'd be able to split between my backpack, my pal's suitcase, & just wearing it on my body for the trip

the bus set off. a little while into the trip we passed a billboard for a cafe which made the absolutely false claim that it was the last stop for food & rest for a thousand miles

my soft bake strawberry bars were really good

i tried the post-punk-y playlist for a while but a lot of it was pretty drab & eventually i began to reconsider more in favor of Lucy. his oddball friendliness felt like the only thing worth soundtracking countryside scrolling by. it's like the music understands the humble value of the mundaneness outside... i don't think i ended up actually listening to him that much, i think i spent a lot of the trip in silence getting too worried about stuff on "this app"

i arrived at the miserable Kansas City metro for my several hour long layover. night had fallen

as soon as i entered the building, i saw a deeply deranged vending machine which i immediately photographed & published on tumblr with a caption saying that i was "filled with immeasurable confidence upon seeing [it] that i [was] going to die in this bus station." this post exploded so i disabled reblogs on it. sometimes it is enough to have it strongly affirmed that other people find it funny too & then disable sharing so that it doesn't feel like overbearing overkill

i spent my time in the building listening to the drab post-punk-y playlist in a kind of expression of resentment towards the building, as if it deserved no better

somewhere in those hours a person added me on discord & asked for access to my server. i immediately assumed this was someone who has messed with me before on alt accounts, & i was a little passive aggressive towards them, although not explicitly enough for it to even register to them. they turned out to be a nice person who i had prior familiarity with, though. paranoia...

finally i set off on another bus. i sat under a speaker & the driver's voice came out of it so loud that i was impelled physiologically to cover my ears for his entire spiel, which lasted maybe five minutes

enamored with "interchangeable anonymous darkness" to describe the interstate at night. hours of interchangeable anonymous darkness. finally approaching the site of my next layover. the driver's voice forcing me to cover my ears again. hopping off the bus, entering the depot, the single little crowded room that i'd be stuck in for a while

the next bus was very late. at least an hour late, maybe over two hours

i experienced a brief heart rate spike at a guy who looks like someone i know on discord meandering across the room in a way that briefly looked like approaching me with intent


december 25th. midnight passed. it was christmas. one of the employees of the little building got everyone's attention & humorously wished us all a merry christmas

i thought about the adjective "hyper" as a descriptor for a young child for the first time in what feels like many years. this was in response to a lady saying to her young child that his cheetos had gotten him all hyper

a tv played a funny excessively dramatic & overproduced ad about the local meteorologists. a long time listening to there is a light that never goes out on repeat

my pal was getting worried about the lateness & asked if i could ask for an eta but i didn't want to because the person at the counter was this old charmingly unconcerned lady who i felt would say something like "it'll get here when it gets 'ere..." & make me feel silly

finally the bus arrived. i boarded. swaying & dancing in place a little to the continuing looping of there is a light that never goes out

i got a window seat with a guy sitting by me. the guy in front had his seat leaned back all the way & i had my overstuffed backpack on. i began to come to terms with the idea that i would not be moving during this stretch of the trip, at all. but i asked the guy next to me to stand up briefly so i could get my backpack off & put it by my feet. that made things bearable

driving... driving... driving... thinking about how the objective character of one's body can produce both a distressing sense of entrapment & a comforting sense of undeniability. this wasn't related to the previous paragraph, it just might appear that way because i have nothing to report between the two paragraphs

we drove & drove & drove & drove & then i was in Iowa City at about three in the morning. i had to get out & take shelter in a car park until my pal & his mom arrived. in the car park was a pipe with a thin cloud of mist drifting out of it lazily which condensed on some netting above it into really beautiful patterns. below it was also a pleasing hump of very smooth ice that seemed to have formed from drips in a stalactite-like process

the car pulled up. i hugged my pal briefly & got in. i was a bit of a wreck, physically. my stomach was telling me a lot but i couldn't tell what, some terrible feeling at an ambiguous intersection of tension & hunger & pain. i opened the front pouch on my backpack & started gorging myself on the remainder of my strawberry bars. i began to slowly acclimate myself to the safety & warmth of the car & all the passing lights, & the fatigue started to wane. a Neil Young cd was playing

we got to my friend's house. i got settled in

sudden uncontrollable laughter on his bed over the fact that there are people who work for Sprite & someone wakes up thinking "it's time to go in to my job at Sprite." this was something M had once said to me in a wal-mart parking lot

we exchanged gifts right off the bat. i had ordered him two books: the hundredth anniversary edition of spoon river anthology & the triumph of the egg

he got me the following:

a christmas card
a "klik & snap" fidget chain
a power block for my bedroom
gertrude stein's tender buttons
a screen cleaner that looks like a puppy
the essential marx, edited by leon trotsky
a little notebook with pierre-auguste renoir's child with cat on it
charles baudelaire's the flowers of evil & paris spleen, selected poems
& in return for spoon river anthology, he gave me the copy of spoon river anthology that he had already had! he'd had it on his wishlist even though he already had a copy because he wanted the hundredth anniversary edition

we also assigned who between my dad, his parents, & his grandparents would be getting each of our three cards. we signed them all & labeled the envelopes

coming up with the joke "where did chica-go? elephino" in realtime on an air mattress in the spare room with its cat tree; giant print of a stock photo of a forest on the wall; motivational poster that's just a tree & the word "CHANGE;" tiger posters from a calendar all over one corner of the room; baby blue walls; & glow in the dark stars adhered all over the ceiling, right before i sleep & laughing uncontrollably at how stupid it is & reaching for my phone to write it out & my pal calling me "goofball" before turning off the light & shutting the door. i fell asleep

i woke up. i got ready for christmas at my pal's grandparent's. i rode there with him & his dad, in the backseat of his dad's car with Grace the german shepherd. she is very well-behaved. the Neil Young cd was playing. his mom had been driving his dad's car the night prior because it handles the ice better

we arrived at his grandparents'. his mom brought a bunch of fake foam snowballs that we threw at each other often throughout the gathering. we all had breakfast. there was souffle, which i wasn't crazy about cause i'm not always big on fried egg texture, & there was tater tots & sausage & muffins & coffee. then we all exchanged gifts

i got:

a scarf, from his grandparents
some ornate, fancy socks, from his grandparents
some mustard yellow gloves, from his grandparents
a big fuzzy pair of earmuffs, from his parents
a box of fruit tears, from his parents
a planner, from his parents. i could see this having a lot of utility with respect to these journal entries

after presents, my pal & i & his mom & his grandparents played this little dice game called Farkle. every time i rolled the dice his grandpa went "ooooh" as if it had been some kind of intimidatingly lucky roll, & this amused me. my pal won

after a little while longer of everyone socializing, we all headed home. we could've stayed for dinner but we were too tired

i liked christmas

then my pal & i just spent time at his house. that night we drank a bottle of wine & watched the movie knives out, which was fun

after the movie there was a moment where, standing in the living room, i abruptly thought, "for a hypothetical person who vestedly knows me only through my blog this is the secret realtime mundane-ness which i am so intimate with that only periodically crystallizes into tumblr posts"

i went to sleep on the air mattress in the spare room


december 26th. i woke up. that afternoon we would be boarding a bus back to my city. early on we went on a walk to the nearby grocery store so we could pick up another box of strawberry bars for me. we trudged through lots of snow. his neighborhood in the snow was beautiful. a young child watched us from a second story deck window. at the store i got soft bakes again. we also got some trail mix

we lingered around my pal's house for a while, waiting for the time that we would depart. we had tv dinner cheesy potatoes for lunch

at one point i was getting a bit stuffy lingering in the house with that coat on. so i stepped outside. i felt that about five minutes outside would bring me back down to a thermal equilibrium that would let me stay in the house for another hour. so i walked out onto the walkway leading up to the front door

to get a bit of air flow through the sleeves, i spread my arms. i did this a bit too vigorously. the top button of the coat popped off & flew several feet away into the snow, vanishing without a trace... i went in & told my pal. we must have been out there for about twenty minutes, sifting handfuls of snow through our fingers & trying to filter the thing out of shovelfuls of it

this was about two hours prior to boarding the bus. i gave up on finding it. my hope was that when all the snow melted it'd just be lying in the grass & him or his family could mail it back to me. i wanted my button...

finally the time came. his mom drove us back to Iowa City. i noted to myself during the ride that i think i've to some extent unconsciously acquired M's habit of pushing their lips out so the upper one touches their nose whenever they're thinking intently about something

we arrived in Iowa City. his mom dropped us off & headed back home. we got settled in the waiting room. something about my boots made my toes feel as freezing cold as they would have been if i had no footwear on at all, while the rest of my feet were fine. while we were waiting in the bus depot, the prophecy of seeing a painfully beautiful lady during nearly any of my brief transitional presences in Iowa City held true

the bus arrived. the bus driver was a nice guy who had a bow tie on. we boarded. we set off. as we passed through a wind farm near Iowa City, i realized, since this was my first time driving through this area in daylight, that all of their blinking lights had been the source of what i had previously construed as the bus passing by a radio tower or two & the windows reflecting the lights into what appeared to be an entire landscape of radio towers. it actually was a landscape of blinking lights! just not radio towers

i stared at the wind turbines, trying to work out whether the lights were triggered to blink at a certain point in the the rotation or if this was just an illusion created by the regularity of both intervals. i also tried to work out whether all the red lights were synchronized

i spent nearly the whole bus ride thinking about lying in bed collating a playlist called "night bus"we arrived at another Kansas City layover, although this one would be much shorter than usual. i took a photo of my pal standing next to the deranged vending machine. it was out of order, so he couldn't get a burger from it, but he did get an overpriced burger from an adjacent machine & eat it. we waited. we set off again. something compelled me to listen through the instrumental version of the studio killers album even though that version is not that great of a listen. midnight passed


december 27th. we arrived in the early morning & rode home with my dad & my brother & got settled in & fell asleep

we woke up. we walked to the mall. on the way there we stopped by a little free library & he found that it had a copy of the autobiography of mark twain, but he didn't get it yet

we got four cds that were on clearance. they were greg winn's for the young at heart, a recording of bolero (& some other classical pieces), a "world music" compilation for children called world playground, & artifacts, a weird cd featuring songs by sixteen artists or bands hoping to get label signings

we walked to a grocery store. we got me a new pair of jeans, a soap dispenser for my bathroom, a big bottle of soap for it, some donuts, a jug of orange juice, & a case of four little bottles of moscato wine

we went to a sub sandwich restaurant & ate there. then we went home & listened to the new cds & also some of the cds i found with M & we drank the little bottles of moscato wine

somewhere in there he went on a walk on his own to the gas station & during that walk he obtained the mark twain autobiography


december 28th. in the early morning i made a short mix of music that i titled the "silly love" mix. i put it on youtube

we took a cab down to the clinic. for some reason the doorbell no longer played the westminster chimes but a short non-musical recording of barking dogs

they told me to come back at any time after three pm. so we left & walked to a thrift store & killed time looking around there for a while. i got a mug & he got two books. we walked to a park. but it was chilly & windy so we just went back to the clinic & sat in the waiting room. he put five dollars in the donation box

i got my shot. then we left. then we walked to a little burger restaurant but found it was closed until the following week. so we walked to a cafe & had dinner there. i got a chipotle avocado burger. he got a bacon cheeseburger. for dessert we split a piece of turtle cheesecake. then we walked to a book store & looked around there for a while

he got me a copy of the egg & other stories. he got the house of the seven gables, by nathaniel hawthorne, life in a medieval college by francis & joseph gies, the civil war armchair reader, nightfall & other stories by isaac asimov, & the martian chronicles by ray bradbury

i decided spuriously to get two d-8 dice which i might incorporate in my day-to-day decision making in some way. then we walked to the coffee shop. the first decision i made with the d8s was the coffee that i got


december 29th. the weather was really nice today. & i felt happy & unconcerned & sort of manic. some days all the idiot metacognitive "theory" goes away by aligning with ornate simplicity into the "practice" of a manic happy flippancy. we walked to the mall on the way to a book store. i sang Lucy songs all the way there. we stopped by a coffee shop & i got a peppermint coffee that was sort of gross because it seemed to be flavored by an oil that lingered around the bottom

we wandered around the bookstore. & she was by talking heads played on the intercom at one point. so did sound & vision by david bowie. i paced back & forth reading a checklist of characteristics in a book inanely titled autism in heels. he got two books: the empty house & other ghost stories by algernon blackwood & the illustrated man by rad bradbury

we walked to a dollar store. at some point while we were in the dollar store i left to use the bathroom at an adjacent business because the one in the dollar store was not very hospitable. i found that the bathroom in the adjacent business had an amusing quality where even though it had discrete stalls it also had the ability to just lock the bathroom as a whole

at the dollar store we got shampoo, kleenexes, potato skins, & four dvds, including a weird israeli propaganda dvd

after the dollar store we walked to the mall & got lunch in the food court. while we were eating he got a message from his dad. his dad had found my coat button

we walked home. i collapsed on my bed. i could smell cigarette smoke. nothing beats the "dry" feeling that the air seems to infuse me with at the tail end of a very long walk. it's a very at-home feeling. we unwound for a while

then we got a ride downtown for trivia & karaoke night at my dad's place of work. while we were waiting for it all to start, we walked next door & looked around that little antique-ish store for a bit. then we walked to the big building that has that creepy fake-feeling restaurant that i'd visited with M. we didn't go in but i showed him the place. we did look around briefly at a place that sold art by local artists

we went back to my dad's place of work. we got a pizza & ate most of it. trivia night started. it was just us & one other team. we lost. the other team got around fifty-one points. i think we got around thirty-four points

for karaoke i sang a talking heads song. it was ok i guess. my confidence sort of left me the moment i heard my voice coming back at me through the monitors. i question how much i generally like karaoke. it feels awkward. & awkwardness can be good in an honest way, but it didn't feel awkward in that honest way, it felt like it was kind of hostile, set up against me. i think if karaoke were enjoyable it would only be in a really particular & positive environment

we took a cab home. we got drunk. standing in the corner drunkenly mouthing to the entire twenty-two minutes of current 93's the starres are marching sadly home. clamping my hands over my mouth when my laptop bluescreens near the end


december 30th. i think i rely psychologically on the coffee shop as a stable thing that i can return to, because i have had probably at least twenty dreams about it shutting down or changing radically & it has never shown any sign of doing either of those things. i woke up from one of these dreams

we set off on a long walk to a cat lounge. i sang more Lucy songs as we walked. the weather was perfect again. on the way to the cat lounge we passed through the mall & he got me a little fifty cent squishy animal toy in a bubble. i also got another absurd bottle of "twinkie" coffee

we arrived at the cat lounge. the cat lounge served exclusively cereal & coffee. i got a bowl of raisin bran. after a little while we went in for our half hour with the cats. i amused two girls who were sitting on the floor by continuously tossing small toys at an orange cat who was lying on the floor near them

i spent most of our time in the cat room sitting cross-legged on the floor with the orange cat sitting in my lap & a black tuxedo cat sitting on my leg

we went home. on the way there we stopped by the dollar store again. then we set off for the mall. on the way to the mall we saw a guy on a motorcycle with a big black dog in his lap. at the mall i got some sushi & my pal got some pretzel bites

after we got home i took an unplanned nap. after i woke up i lied in bed updating this journal with notes on events since the day prior to getting on the bus. we ordered a taco pizza


december 31st. good weather again. my brother gave us a ride to a gas station near a nature trail & we set off along that trail. i renewed a tradition of playing music by stevhen peters on that trail with him. at one point we passed a manhole cover that was spraypainted such a bright green that it could leave a purple afterimage in my vision briefly. eventually we departed the trail & passed through a suburb to a theater where we got lunch. then we walked downtown. my memory from there on is hazy. we spent some brief time in the coffee shop but they were closing early since it was new year's eve, so we had to retreat to the bar. we didn't get anything there because i was very drowzy so we just headed home

hurriedly working on this journal with a feeling like i just have to make the "deadline" & then i'll get a break, but really it'll just be january first wherein more stuff to write down might happen... the events & occurrences simply keep coming

somewhere in there on that night was the development of an enormously stressful conversation that made me feel like i could have very well thrown up from stress

becoming acquainted with:

having a hand placed on my shoulder & starting to cry because the mercy of that gesture feels at odds with the sense of culpability i feel for my immutable true feelings

tearing a person apart emotionally & being torn apart emotionally in turn because there is no boundary between me & my tearing & them & their being torn... a bilaterality in spite of the unilaterality of my role of dispensing or withholding mercy with impunity

metaphorically having a gun placed in my hand against my will & being ordered by the voice of personal truth to pull the trigger even though it will practically impose every pain that i myself ever wanted to escape

somehow becoming emotionally wrung out & weary of continuing to perform the emotional character of the situation, despite the feelings of all three preceding paragraphs being completely sincere. feeling absurd for this

& this conversation lasted to the stroke of midnight where the year ende-


misc. memories. i think it may be a necessity going forward to establish a final pool for memories that i simply am not going to be able to place to specific dates, for lack of reference points. this won't be very populated, though

i'm not sure if this even happened in december: unintentionally making M laugh by earnestly beginning a hypothesis with "i wonder if my bones get cold &..."

this, too, i am unsure of: i liked when i showed my friend one of those side-by-side tik toks & they were willing to point out that they thought it was a little mean to the guy on the right, that he didn't know that his video was kind of gibberish. it's good to slash through little cognitive dissonances even if they're not so important, like, where it's not in a moralistic way but just making sure to keep an eye on kindness. i told them this days or weeks later, even though it was oddly difficult to, but i did

the video is still funny to me just cause of the way it can be read as the guy on the left kind of, like, spontaneously having his brain taken over, or some kind of insane coincidence that he doesn't even react to as he records. like it's not just making fun of the other guy but a... diegetic occurrence