this page is currently a work in progress
the explicit routine of journaling didn't begin until march of 2021. this page is a
retroactive journal for 2020, created by scavenging through all the tumblr posts
i made in 2020 & never deleted. i will also include january & february of 2021
as i add the january entries, i feel an uncharacteristic
dryness that i expect to dissipate in march or april
currently sifting through: may
january 1st. i learn that my most long-lasting neighbors,
who lived in the complex since i arrived in 2009, are moving
january 4th. i walk into my kitchen, see a bottle of canada dry ginger ale, clap my
hands, & start dancing as a direct response to that. i don't think about this at all as i do it
january 6th. i lie in bed & listen all the way through "everywhere at the end of time:
stage 6" through headphones, with a pillow on my face. it feels like being on the verge
of falling asleep, like when it feels so good that you're falling asleep, for ninety minutes
january 11th. i go on the wayback machine & look at tumblr on july 18, 2012. there is a dashboard
of posts that i scroll to the bottom of. then all the posts simultaneously fade away, like animated fading.
then they are abruptly replaced with a giant photo of a fried egg taking up the entire height of the page
january 12th. i sleep a bit over eight hours, through a process where i set my alarm to one hundred minutes ahead, sleep for
a cycle, get up when the alarm goes off, set it to one hundred minutes again, & sleep more. the idea is that i can take these
consecutive naps that'll be easy to wake up from, & i can stop after whichever cycle i want. but i do it for eight hours anyway!
january 13th. there are people in my living room, talking with my dad. instead of
talking to them, one of the things i do is quietly open ms paint on my tv & draw this
later, i have a three-hour interaction with a guy on omegle who initially has one of those disturbing
"omegle game" setups. but i make fun of it in sort of an amiable way, & he turns out to be ok at
banter despite... being a person who does that. in retrospect, i don't really like that i did this
i spend about six hours on omegle total, trying to stay awake through the night in preparation for my first class of the semester.
i uncharacteristically speak to people with my voice, feeling more confident about it than usual. after i recite my life status
to enough interchangeable people, the homogoneity starts to feel strange... still, there are some nice conversations
part of my first day of classes, in "professional interaction," has us having to partner up & spend a minute &
a half divulging as much information about ourselves as we can. then we go up & introduce each other
in front of the class. i think i do ok, & infuse some personality into my part, but i am jittery
after class, i get an e-mail from my teacher asking me to see her after the next class. this makes me anxious
january 15th. i was just being a worrywart. she only wants to confront me about how i had nervously held my
hand in front of my mouth as i spoke. that isn't going to fly. it is something i can easily stop doing, though
that day, we have to give speeches introducing ourselves. they have to cover these five bases,
in order: who am i? where am i from? what do i like? what do i dislike? where am i going?
i do ok, i'n not even jittery. my speech is approximately this:
hi, my name is alex __, i'm a twenty-one-year-old computer science major in my fourth semester. i was born
here in __, at __ hospital, & i've lived here my whole life. i like... drawing pictures, usually digitally. i use
microsoft paint a lot. it's kind of a rudimentary program but i just like how it looks. i like making music,
& going on long walks to listen to music. i don't like... racism, when my phone wants to update an app
but it doesn't have enough room to download the update, & car crashes. after this, i'm going
to __ student center to get some mozzarella cheese sticks & coffee
[a line i planned to say but didn't go through with: on a longer time scale, i
am... hopefully going to an afterlife, but maybe not i guess, i'm not totally sure]
unfortunately, before i go up, there is a girl whose dislikes are, in order: cancer, animal cruelty, & hulu ads.
she is the only other person who does this dumb joke where the dislikes are two terrible things juxtaposed against
a petty digital annoyance! she's beat me to it! i can't believe it. she gets more laughs too, which is fair,
because her joke is structured better. it deserves to go first & be fresher than mine
later, i google ways to quickly use up lots of laptop battery life, so that my adapter might charge it more, so that it might
heat up & warm my water bottle that is sitting on it, & i can drink the water without risking half an hour of tooth pain
january 16th. i have the bright idea of closing my eyes as i speedwalk to my physics class. & of course, at that
moment, a professor steps out from a side hallway & has to outright dodge me impudently barrelling forward!
i learn that my physics professor always sounds like he's on the verge of crying. he talks about
eratosthenes using similar triangles to calculate the size of the earth. i find this genuinely
interesting, but the way he goes over it is very dry, monotone, meandering. i can't focus
then he hands out a weird scattershot of printed articles... steps to calculate how long it takes sunlight to reach earth. what the code on
the side of a tire means. a news article about the mars climate orbiter breaking apart due to a mixup in units of measurement. a poster
for a watch deceptively advertised as being waterproof up to 50 millimeters, "no deep-sea diving allowed, even to the bottom of your
bathroom sink." an outline of the scientific method. a sheet demonstrating how galaxies take on a spiral shape, which we have to
fill out by drawing little dots at the apexes of a bunch of ovals representing orbits, & watching as they formed a spiral
later, i energetically skipp across a bathroom that i think is empty, doing a sort of half-whistle
noise, then try to elbow the big stall door open. it is locked. i find this embarrassing
that night, i get really zoned out while lying in bed & draw this upsetting stick figure murder comic
january 19th. i punctur my thumbnail through the unbroken seal of a new bottle of ibuprofen & experience
a moment of confused revulsion when my thumbnail, not being enervated, touches the cushioning cotton
inside & makes me register its texture as the bottle being full of some sort of... cream
january 21st. i take two quizzes for my statistics class & get about ninety-seven
percent on both of them, then finally sleep after about twenty hours of being awake
january 23rd. i think about "o superman" in public & tear up a little. i call a local independent
theater & leave a voicemail asking if the whole building opens at four or if that is just the kitchen
my call ws returned several hours later... as i am standing in the theater. the lady on
the other end answers my question, then i say "oh, um, i'm in the building." then i
hear her lose it from behind the bar. then i see "uncut gems!" it is very nice.
there are some technical difficulties during the screening. the staff give
me a voucher for a free movie ticket to make up for that
i express my eco-anxiety through an embarrassing neil degrasse tyson esque spiel on facebook about earth's miraculous
habitability. i have a bad cold for several days. it makes me feel like i am constantly crying. i like it because it makes
me feel like i am passionate & highly responsive to the world around me, even though i'm not really crying
january 25th. my brother asks me if i wanted any of the crab rangoons i
ordered. i say yes, & he says ok, then eats all three of them one after the other
january 27th. i wear a skirt & blouse with floral patterns. we have to tell personal stories in front of the class. i decided to tell about the time
in july of 2017 when i was stranded hundreds of miles from home in zanesville, ohio, & had to stay in a motel 6 location that'd been built as a ramada
inn but was now occupied by this smaller chain. there were tons of unused rooms, an unused pool, obsolete tropical imagery everywhere, a gutted
restaurant sectioned off from the rest of the building by a little chain barrier you could just step over, handmade paper signs taped up everywhere,
a ballroom with a crumbling ceiling & a bunch of stacked mattresses. a totally abandoned secondary building featuring many ruined hotel
rooms, holes in the walls revealing adjacent rooms, broken glass, an overturned mattress with "ME LOVE YOU LONG TIME"
written on it with green spraypaint, a pitch dark concrete room with bibles scattered all over the floor...
i don't write it out or prepare, & it is sort of a meandering disaster... incoherent, no one really gets the point at all. it is supposed to kind of
center around the weirdness of the hotel, but it isn't properly structured to establish that as the central topic. by the time i get to the hotel,
it feels so rambly that i've kinda lost my confidence, & i rattle through the unusual features of the hotel like they are just little side details.
so it seems like a totally arbitrary series of events, with no punch. it all makes me read bewilderment into how people are looking at me,
which i start internalizing as actually being a reaction to my voice, which makes me pretty sad. after i sit down, i try to retract from my
surroundings by taking out some graph paper & slowly filling in a checkerboard pattern while tears quietly drain into my nostrils.
later, i take out my laptop & play 2048. there are some good stories from the other students. i enjoy hearing them
later that day, i make a big digital collage of screenshots of tumblr posts i had deleted
prior, kind of a long-distant predecessor to the "preservations" pages on this site
january 28th. i explicitly decide that innocence is like a trainable muscle
january 30th. i li in bed with a feeling of overall physical discomfort, like weakness that's actively distracting.
i could characterize it as tiredness but without a predisposal to fall asleep. like a very mild form of the sensation
when i have really low blood pressure, like being pulled out of reality in all directions at once. maybe my blood sugar
is low. later, it heavily dawns on me how much social alienation i've felt across my life has maybe been a result of
instinctive revulsion at people exhibiting forms of sociopathy that capitalism implants into them
later, i sit in the student center waiting on a ride for forty-five minutes, somewhat catatonic from tiredness & hunger. i spend
that time trying to push through my feelings of sheepishness, to go to the cafe before they close & ask if they can front me a
burger since i only have $1.76. ultimately, it is a mental block i can't overcome, & i think that is sad. the manager at the
time is very outward & nice, & compliments me a lot if she is the one ringing up my food. i think she would've done it
if i had explained, & she would've had an opportunity to express kindness & empathy, & feel good about that. instead,
i let myself get so hungry that i am all shaky, can't stand up easily, feel at risk of passing out
that night i feel giddy, like i have acute awareness that i am in the middle of a protracted
& abstract process that constitutes important steps in rising to my full potential
february 2nd. i'm woken by a knock at the door. i throw on a pair of shorts & answer. a man i've never seen before. he creeps me out. he asks by
name if my brother is home. ok, good, we've established a degree of familiarity. i shake my head. he says, ok, these are for my brother, tell him
they're from Troy. he sits a heavy bag of golf clubs just inside the doorway. i take them. he says "thanks, mame," & leaves. why did he pronounce
it like that? i lug the bag of clubs across the living room, feeling like i'll throw my back out. i haven't been awake five minutes, why am i
lugging golf clubs? i lean them on a wall. i turn & see that a hat has been mysteriously placed on the couch, its position implying that
someone intends to give it to me. i walk into the bathroom & put it on, to see how it looks. as usual, i'm not sure that hats really work
with bangs? but it looks ok, i guess. i take a selfie to post on tumblr. i hear movement in the living room, has Troy succumbed
to his murderlust? no, my brother is here now. he explains that our neighbor, who is moving away, gave me that hat. i
gather that Troy may be helping her move, so he helped her with gifting my brother the clubs
on may 31st, i meet another Troy
february 3rd. in the early morning, i go through a cardboard box of unknown origin that's been sitting in my bedroom
closet for years. i find this angel figurine. my first instinct is to smell it. it's a good decision, it smells good, like
something i can't firmly place as nostalgic but it makes me feel reconnected to good & old & genuine things
then... oh god. so, i pace back & forth in my room, idly, with a cane. i absent mindedly press down on the top of the box with it, not realizing
i'm pressing on the spot directly over the figurine. a muffled pop. i check. fragments of the wing have broken off. i do not do very well with
causing permanent damage to physical objects of sentimental value. i don't do well with it at all! the fact that i discovered it & then damaged
it in such a mindless freak accident less than half an hour later. i don't even know how old it is, or what exact significance it has, or to who.
i think i might've seen it before in my very early childhood, i don't know, it feels extremely unique &... something, some adjective, as
an object. & that entire time, for my entire lifespan, its wing was intact until i pressed down on the box with a cane absent mindedly
on february 3rd, 2020. it hurts! it really hurts. all i had to do was put it back in the closet after i was done with it, instead of on the
floor. now i can't undo it. i feel like i'm going to have another dream about permanent physical damage because of it. i'm going
to dream about my teeth falling out or something. i'm going to go to school tomorrow & work on my homework
& it'll still be sitting in that box with the wing fragmented, it'll never change. it hurts
the popping sound keeps playing in my head. i go to sleep with my head buzzing with feelings of unrealized potential, expressions
of innocence & clarity i need to form & express, yet-to-be-conceptualized art I need to create, art i need to find & consume
for that day's exercise, the teacher handed out note cards to everyone & asks us not to turn them over. students will then go up & present
little pre-written speeches that the teacher has prepared on additional note cards. then, for each speech, three pre-selected students
in the audience will turn over their note cards, revealing general rhetorical actions. they will then have to improvise responses to
the person's speech, & the responses will have to exhibit the actions. it doesn't have to be especially logically coherent, we
can just make stuff up as long as we exhibit the action. my action is Support. after i Support, some people laugh
in kind of a, "i didn't expect she'd be so good at that" way. a girl whispers "you upstaged us all!"
i said something like... "i agree with you entirely, & i think it's worth acknowledging that spatially
outlining a speech was verified experimentally to be effective by Charles Smithers' studies in the 70s!"
that night, i get into a paranoid "someone could monitor my blog with no engagement with me for multiple years in the hope that i
eventually leak enough bits of info for them to piece together my location & routine so they can murder me, it's unavoidable
that consenting to a certain degree of online existence can invite this possibility. also catfishing is a thing that many of my
online relationships could possibly be, depending on how dementedly committed someone might be to maintaining it" mode
february 4th. my dad brings in so many boxes from our neighbors' apartment! they've finally moved, & they left a bunch of
stuff behind just for the taking. desk lamps, bowls, a teapot, a dish rack, jello, a doormat, a stool, two fans, an "air ionizer,"
a plush doggy, some hats, tissues, air freshener, rubbing alcohol, peroxide, bars of soap, lotion, insect repellant...
i name the dog "Idiot"
february 5th. by today, i've already worked four weeks ahead in my statistics class. chapter eighteen is kind of a
nightmare, though. it's like the point where it folds in on itself & kind of ceases to have any comparisons to the
outside world, everything is related to everything else by defined statistical terms & it's like a little awful universe
double-checking a calculation is the act of accounting for a little fizzle in my short-term memory, or dexterity, that happened along
the way. but since this is such unintuitive math, & those fizzles or slips could happen at any point, the integrity of any double-
check is kinda just as unverifiable as an answer i haven't gone over & "verified" at all. i could double-check over & over &
over, & each time not be positive that i really focused enough, that i really didn't just mess it up that previous time.
why even do it once over? can i ever trust my own perception of feeling like I did it right?
february 8th. i immediately have bad feelings, like anything i publicly express to the internet will make
me feel irrationally evil & disgusting, & i'll be frustratingly unable to compose a single thought that
doesn't make me feel that way. i decide to find other things to do, unless i start feeling differently
february 9th. i curate a two-hour set of music & stream it on youtube
february 11th. i visit the coffee shop after a long time. the february specials are the "burnin' love latte,"
which unexpectedly has cinnamon & literal cayenne pepper, & the "chocolate-covered strawberry." i get
that one. when i tell the barista my name, he says "i knew that!" & "haven't seen you in a while"
then i try the spicy coffee. it is, yes, standard coffee that hurts. it doesn't really bring the satisfaction that
spicy food does, the burning that makes you sweat. it doesn't really affect the mouth much. once you
swallow it, all the cayenne hits the sensitive tissues at the back of the throat & it's just kind of an acute
sting. thumbs down. but i admire the ambition with this one, the coffee shop's willingness to play god
february 12th. "holland 1945" plays on the p.a. in a bar i'm sitting in. there are six or seven people singing it.
then i go to a wal-mart. a robotic floor cleaner turns into the aisle i'm standing in. i find it very intimidating
february 13th. the coffee shop has a wonderful special where you can get twenty percent off on your
order if you identify the current song on the intercom. i sit for a while, waiting for some song that i'll
especially want to identify... later, i collate a big list of all the samples used in lots of my songs
february 14th. i meet up with a new friend, C, for a while. we sit in the alcove at the top of the library & talk a little. i show her some
of my songs. then my old friend M visits my apartment for a little while. an anomalous home run day for alex on human interactions.
later, i go to the coffee shop again. i notice all the songs on the intercom are from donnie darko. i remark on this to the cashier,
& he confirms that that's the playlist. a little while later, "put your number in my phone" by ariel pink plays, which excites me
february 17th. it is almost sixty out, tolerably chilly & overcast & humid. i mill about by the duck pond.
this specific weather makes me happy. everything feels more real under this lighting, & there is rain smell
later, a girl named Sarah stops me & has many kind things to say to me. she says that she always sees me around campus & has
no opportunity to say hi, but she wants to say hi, & she loves my style, she thinks it is always on point, she loves my bag, it
is to die for, where did i get it. she says she reminds me of her sister (or was it friend?) who moved to oregon. she says
that seeing me makes her miss her... i hope i didn't seem off-put or anything. i said thank you, but i didn't really
stress how kind i thought the gesture was. i could've said, "Thank you so much," or something... i didn't even
reciprocally tell her my name. hopefully i see her again so i can wave, "hello accepted friend"
i go to a video game store. there is a Sly Cooper game on display. i've never played one. i think the environment is very pretty.
i go to a Best Buy. the old lady at the door is taken aback by the weight of my backpack. "you're so tiny & that's so heavy!!!"
i get a bluetooth adapter for my laptop. being able to dance around my living room to headphone quality audio
is delightful. at the time, i least. today i would be reluctant to admit it, because i kind of hate fidelity
february 19th. another Sarah encounter. this time she says, "i love your dress, you look super cute!" as she walks by.
later, she passes me while exiting the building again. she says, "scuse me, alex.. have a nice day!" so she knows my name
& a reciprocal introduction is not truly in order. i chronicle all my experiences of random in-person kindness
on the internet like they are strange anomalies because i am deficiency of humam imteraxtion a)
later, i use the last of a bottle of moisturizer that lasted me twenty-seven months. exactly one month per dollar it costed
february 22nd. in the early morning i have an inevitable falling-out with a crazy, manipulative narcissist i met in december
later, still in the early morning, i feel compelled to venture out to a certain casey's general store that i
imprinted on during a significant time in 2017. the cab driver who takes me there is actively flirtatious, touches
my hand to inspect my nail polish. i bring my laptop, sit at a table, & do things using their wifi until sunrise
later, i walk to the library & spend a while there, sitting, doing nothing in particular. at one point i
hear a low quality duck quack sound effect ring out across the building, & that makes me very happy
february 24th. i always try to interpret the action on my note card a bit outlandishly. "simplify" after a
speech about postpartum depression. "this whole concept just baffles me, wouldn't people be elated after bringing
a life into this world?!"... "manipulate" after a speech on p.e. classes. i decide i hate them, i impassionedly
described a situation where a child might fall & sprain their ankle & scream in agony, their day ruined, &
who is gonna drive them to the hospital? will we call an ambulance? who will pay for it? i just
don't like raising the chances of causing children to be in pain, personally
later, i go to the coffee shop & draw jeremiah the innocent really big on the chalkboard
that night, i get home & find that someone in north carolina has mailed me a printed-out cute clipart of a girl holding
a flower pot. this is a picture that i would periodically place on the screen to censor sensitive information
in old youtube videos. there is no note, no return address, it's not signed, there's just nothing but
the clipart. i make a post about it, i ask some of my friends about it, no one claims it
i also don't notice a new cabinet of glassware that my dad has placed in the living room. in fact, i'm sitting
in the same room as it when i see a photo of it on facebook. i can tell from a painting hanging above it
where it would have to be in the living room. so i finally raise my eyes, & it's like it pops into reality
february 25th. i leave my phone at the vet for its surgery. it needs a new charging port. it should take one to two hours.
i go & sit in a coffee shop nearby, but it starts to creep me out knowing they have access to all my logged-in accounts. i
wonder why i even left the shop. i go back & ask them if i can see the phone again, then quickly log out of as much as i
can. it's not that i really expect them to have gone through all my accounts, but i just couldn't attain peace of mind...
later, i go on facebook & publicly offer the movie ticket vouchet i received on january 23rd to whoever is first
to claim it. my friend C, from february 14th, claims it. she says she'd like to see "parasite" with me on friday
february 27th. while i'm running on an elliptical treadmill & staring out a window, the clouds hit
a perfect opacity over the sun where i can look at it with my bare eyes & plainly see a white
disc without it hurting at all. later that day, i get zapped by an electrical outlet
march 1st. it's "sit with the door open, smell fresh air, hear birds" temperature. i'm so happy. i love when each year the time arrives
that i can do this again, & i realize it's like i've been in a sensory deprivation tank for months but now things are so good again
march 2nd. i write out my lifelong (pseudo)synesthetic impressions of the days of the week. here they are:
Monday & Wednesday = soft-syllabled lavender-colored days one would associate with a
grandmother... the name of wednesday is appropriate in its phonetic invocation of
wind... [wind, grey]. Wednes, Agnes... perhaps Monday has a bit more plastic to it
Tuesday & Thursday = hard T & R syllables, the crimson red of bricks, the [cold] clang of
metal, a rounded edge of a metal table, Tuesday is more crimson & there is more the
metallic taste of Thursday word. but both bricks & metal tend to feel cold
Friday & Saturday = fryday... supperday... the Friday is black & bristled, almost like a grape soda... but this can
be in line with sizzles, perhaps the carbonation crackles... while Saturday enters into the weekend, typically
yellow, the freedom from school aligned with the yellow heat, heat of supper frying, of Summer & Summer's
freedom from school, satursummersupper[. grape soda black like the night you stay up on friday]
Sunday = yellow. auxiliary day. the Sun of course, yellow Sun. the end of the precious weekend, & the beginning of the
week. like it exists outside the week. as you are outside the week so too will you contemplate things outside physical...
2 simultaneous contradictory states, Alpha & Omega, the beginning & the end, & as the Sabbath in Christianity
the yellow brings to mind the yellow tinge one might see all over when visually imagining arid archaic
settings of Biblical stories. the yellow crayon on the white paper is too bright
march 7th. after some postponements, today is the day i finally see "parasite" with C. her boyfriend comes along too.
it's my second time seeing the movie. i have a nice time. later that day, i drink a pina colada boba tea that i would
precisely & exclusively describe as "what i wish it'd be like if i drank sunscreen out of the bottle." i see a little
girl in Heelys being pulled along by a younger boy who has on one of those backpack leashes
march 8th. i spend an hour obsessively scrolling through the blog & instagram of the artist Pepe Shimada, trying to find a
specific painting of a cat drinking from a wine glass. i have a digital copy of the picture, but i want to know its year &
title. i scroll all the way to the bottom of the instagram, but i never find it. later, i put moisturizer on my face
then trim my bangs. all the little trimmings land in the moisturizer, become adhered to my face
march 9th. i test if my ancient library card still works at the new location by trying to check out a blu-ray of
"hereditary" & a cd of frog sounds. unfortunately i do need a new card, which requires my photo id & possibly the
single most aggravating piece of documentation that can be required for anything: mail sent to my address in the
past thirty days. then i sit around the library for a while, feeling totally disconnected from my surroundings
later that night, i step on a spider. it clings to the bottom of my sock & bites
me multiple times. i spend a little while crying & freaking out in my room
march 10th. the morning after my spider bite, i wake up to find a daddy long
legs perched prominently on my bedroom wall, almost like some kind of threat
i vote for bernie sanders to be the democratic presidental nominee. he loses
i sit at a park from my childhood that i tend to avoid because it was in the path of a tornado. the missing trees,
unfamiliar houses, swapped out equipment all over feel like a disturbing extra layer of temporal separation from my childhood.
the park still contains very comforting familiarities, but it's very noticeably not quite the one i knew. there are swing sets, huge
boulders, even several ponds & associated islands missing. vast swaths of the city are like this for me. i listen to some little
kids roleplay Everwatch characters. it's really therapeutic, because on its face it might suggest an alienating awareness of
the passage of time but really it communicates a timeless quality where the Overwatch stuff is only serving as
interchangeable labels on an immortal & strongly identifiable way that kids play with each other
i go to the coffee shop & try one of the march specials, an italian soda with lavender in it.
i've never had something potable with lavender on it. it's like drinking laundry. so strange
i sit alone in a booth in a bar. very sleep deprived, i think i see a big bug on my seat in my peripheral
vision, coming at me. it makes me flinch so hard i slam my leg into the bottom of the table. there is no bug
i get home late at night & find that the daddy long legs
has been standing in that same spot for fifteen hours
i actually love daddy long legses, they're easily my favorite arachnid. they almost never roam around
& threaten to get on you. they just hang upside down in their webs their whole lives. if there are
flies, you can let them set up in your house & they'll actually help to a noticeable degree
march 11th. in speech class, the teacher springs a surprise exercise on us. we go up in front of the class & are given a
general topic & a contextless graphic, for which we have to improvise a little fragment of an imagined longer presentation
where the graphic is somehow relevant to the topic. i get "sales trends" & a line graph. i say approximately this:
hello, fellow board of directors members! we have been considering a partnership with the Beneful dog food company. the
Beneful brand has been doing okay for a while, aside from a dip in July when their dog food supplies were contaminated
with a particularly bad strain of norovirus. but they rebounded, after a very successful social media campaign where
they declared norovirus to be their sworn enemy. however, you may be aware of the recent total collapse of the global
soy market. there is no more soy left on the planet. well, Beneful have soy as a primary ingredient in their
dog food, & their factories have not produced a single can of dog food in about thirteen days
march 12th. i go to an open mic at the coffee shop. the chalk menu that i've been familiar with for many years is being erased
& redone, which makes me pretty sad. i make the spontaneous decision to play one of my songs. i've never done anything like
this before. i start to feel excited by the prospect. i intend to play Meadow. i go up on stage & say approximately this:
hello. my name is Alex, & this is going to be a twelve-minute electronic music composition titled "Meadow."
i've never played any of my music in a physical live setting before, so we'll see how it lands. full disclosure,
my involvement won't really go beyond pressing the play button on my laptop. so, in the interest of humorously
accentuating this aspect of my petformance, while the song plays, i'm going to sit on that chair... & read this book
& i point at a chair, & hold up a book. this gets a laugh, which makes me feel great. i press play, then sit down on the chair to read the book.
unfortunately, there is an issue with the sound setup where only the very lowest frequencies of the song play. the sound guy they usually have
there is not there, & no one knows how to fix it. i'm forced to abort the performance. i sit near the back of the room on my laptop for the
rest of the open mic, occupying myself by making mathematical graphs, kind of sulking. i can feel sadness radiating from my eyes, though
i'd like to be more private than that. after it's all done, a few sympathetic people come up & ask me for my soundcloud. one guy comes
up & says in (what i'm pretty sure is a fake) russian accent, "next time, US american girl. next time." not sure what's up with that
i'm sad! i'd be having an easier time getting over it if i didn't feel very perpetually alone, & like it maybe would have been an
extracurricular opportunity to potentially connect with a whole room of people! through art! & it didn't happen. nothing happened
i decide to go back & try again in april, when the sound guy will be there. an open mic
does not happen in april, or in many proceeding months, due to the end of the world
march 13th. i limp around. some mysterious damage from the spider venom, deep in my foot, makes it sting when i step on it
wrong. this fortunately heals over the course of the day, but comes back in later days as an occasional bizarre sensation of
being electrocuted at that same spot under the skin. i put "have a good night! stay safe" in the special instructions for
a pizza delivery. the girl who arrives says she really liked the note, that she was like "ohmygaaa," that she loves my hair
march 14th. i try to occupy myself writing a ruby program that does stuff with the collatz conjecture
march 16th. i get drunk & play virtual board games with my friends
march 17th. the person who sent me flower pot girl, still anonymous save for the title "MTIPMTCBSJHACOS"
(Moloch the incomprehensible prison, Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse & congress of sorrows), manages
to get ahold of me on discord & confess to having sent it. they explain that it was meant to scare me
into not casually revealing personal information. "a fun exercise even if it's creepy."
a friend(?) comes over to my apartment for a while. she mostly converses with my dad. there are lots of things i want to say. or i
have nothing to say, but i can tell very much potentially exists that is worth saying, none of which i can conjure. if i were just guided, &
understood how to comfortably gauge what notions have value... i feel anxiety, avolition, i don't say very much. i feel like there is a
million miles between me & a person sitting right in my living room. someone's physical presence can kind of mean nothing, because
it doesn't matter where they physically are, they can still sit there & face away. it is scary. it is still good, though. but about
wanting to say things... maybe i feel like i have value, as someone who could impart some kind of advice or perspective.
like i am like anyone else, who just does the best they can to speak from their own perspective, to try to maybe help anyone
else in any way. maybe i don't have to feel like an experienceless cretin. or maybe i am, maybe that's just how it is,
maybe i don't have to demonize that assertion because it's just how it is, & i don't have the privilege of being
someone who can have anything worthwhile to say. she shows me a picture from twitter that involves that scary
hyperrealistic mario head. underneath it is a nonsensical caption like "mario become princess peach real.
mario become goomba real." i show her "buford's horn" from longmont potion castle 17
march 18th. i paint my nails sky blue. later it's warm enough to let fresh air in the house, lots
of oxygen making me feel like an eternal fog is lifted off of me, revealing traces of buried
childhoodness & happiness & all the clouds outside are so grey & pretty when there is no
tradeoff of negative physical sensation incurred for being out under them, & there's
frog noises everywhere sounding very satisfiyng & pretty & good
that night i go on a long night walk & constantly mutter
whatever is on my mind into my phone's sound recorder app
march 19th. i show a guy on omegle my album "morphological flux." he reads the track title "sloop," not suspecting
it might sample the beach boys' "sloop john b," & idly sings that song to himself a bit. a few minutes later, he
plays that song. he goes "woah what?!?!" because he doesn't connect all these factors together in his head,
so the sample catches him off guard as if it had responded to the song he was singing
march 20th. the coffee shop makes a gofundme because of the pandemic. i send them sixty dollars. i order tofu
banh mi from a local independent theater too. i'd be very sad if either of these places went out of business
that night i go on omegle & get drunk. i accidentally get far more
drunk than i intend to. i will simply present the tumblr posts i make:
omegle stranger seeing me all drunk & i want to record funny video of me flafiling around but it occupies the
camera driver thingie and i si i d have to leave conversation cause i want to record funny flailing vide
obut i am having conversation so i dont want to exit disconnect. ok. that is long paragraph typed
my friend sees this post & thinks it's sad that i am doing this, so at this point he intervenes by calling me on discord
ok so im accidentally drunk beyond usual socializing-drunk & i can utilize drunkenness for honesty
ok here I go just want human presence I want anyone who is like me & hugs & I'm so irrationally
ashamed of it! anything. Idk what the word "anything" as a full sentence means I just typed it.
theres no one! I'm alone all the time. my friend said drunk omegle is last-ditch attejmpt at
human connection & it makes me cry in drunk sporadic way where I'm not aware of
it very much but it is good to have genuine emotionak response. hi I'm alex
oh gaws i be drunkenly human for a post & get 8 notes it's so sympat-
hizablr!!!!i have mental blocks against being true & sympathizable
severe drunkenness for me to be liek basically human -_-
I went in the bathroom & threw up & I've never been drunk enough to throw up before : ( I wasn;t like drinking alcohol
up to that point I just didn't realize how much I'd actually consumed so it progressively hit me & progressed to
throw-up-ness ... & I sat on the floor & was like "ok I'd like thi s experience to stop now ..." I just didnt
realize how much it realy was : ( & it's unpleasant experience & bellwether of alcohol consumption
I didn't think it'd be so incoherent & out-of-it ... I'm waiting to be normal again now : (
alone very much
i like my necklace from my friend; there was a suitcase on the floor
i'm not any badness of the internet .. just any humanity to keep me away from it ... : (
i want to be like the crux of the internet & I'll process everything & solve everything. witness every poisonous
cultural mutation from a distance & process it in an emotional normal & honest way & dissect every neologism
& . a . be a stable zero gravity environment where everything is suspended & everythinf is taken apart &
each thing is made normal & understood ... ujm im almost normal & non-drunk I am descending
the rest of the paragraphs are a single post made after i'd fallen asleep & woken back up
hi blog ... here is my update ... I drank too much alcohol by accident & got quite delirious & sick : ( it was bad ...
none of that anymore. because I wantto be good ... not bad ... Do best to embody : contentment ... inocence ...
wholesomeness ... scrupulousness ... positive influence ... &, well ... I like to go on omegle to encounter
the occasional good people ... the diamonds in the rough ... good people ... like David who likes the 2
bands & the musician & made me hapy to encounter twice & talk with ... but broadly it is already
kindof a sketchy & dopaminergic activity, & I dont realy need to involve alcohol ... no need
for debasedly flailing about all hog wild in a drunken state for others amusement ...
I have been contemplating what average depths & durations of social relationships r naturalized for
me, & how normal / ok/bad it is ... I've used Omegle since early 2010s! there are many complicated
interwoven things to say about it. I'm not sure how to neatly present them ... I dont know ...
how exatcly does the presence of very many fleeting human interactions exist in relation
to the good more involved friendships . ? Does it devalue them? is it ok? I try to imagine
it like if I was socially outgoing & receptive & i just go into a Wal-Mart ...
People are everywhere all the time & it's normal to make small talk with a cashier & to engage & to chat & it's just
natural & there's just always people everywhere forever, strangers everywhere ... not being alone is a reason
to exist ... the infinite variability & personality of People is similar to the infinite variability of dreams
& is a reason to exist ... I am so bad at interaction with all people ... & there are honestly many
many many I have zero interest in talking to, for they are very alienating ...
I am bad at talking to everyone except it feels like a select group of rare rare hazily defined people I click with like David
where I can just type "moo clip clop clip clop I'm Bessie the dairy cow I love to trundle along with a ringing bell moo moo"
& that somehow regitsters to us both as a valid joke & we both find it funy & its absurd. but I liek talkingto people I
like experiencng people. I like whne people are unique. I like when even if I only talk to people for a little while I
like whne they live in my memory positively for a long time. meeting people feels liek a reason for being in &
of itself. this feels like all such basic observations it is like I am very alone so I am casually reestablishing
all of this from the ground up to reassert that its whta being human is like ... there's no one so much
march 21st. the early morning. i've never had a hangover before. it's
awful. just rolling over in bed a little makes me terribly nauseous
march 22nd. i make this website
march 23rd. i go out on an early morning walk to a nature trail. i wear a beige hoodie, which used to be my mom's before she died. the
day prior, i had discovered it in the closet next to the front door of the apartment & taken it. at the trail, a plaque at the base of a tree
catches me off guard. i expect it to be for a specific person, but it says "in memory of those who have gone before." in the moment,
i interpret it as certainly not a plaque for one person, but a plaque randomly eulogizing every human being that's ever died!
i end up at a park. i have to pee very badly. the bathrooms are closed because of the pandemic. i am
left with absolutely no choice but to pee right up against the exterior of a baptist church... the
pandemic's effects are vast & chaotic!!! forcing me to desecrate a house of god!!!
i sit at the park & charge my phone for about two hours, then keep following the entire length of the trail despite
being very hungry & having a pretty sizable distance left. this is the first time i walk the full trail. i frame it
as sort of a purgatorial journey. not because i had to pee on a church, it's just a way i randomly frame
it. a sort of framing i am inclined towards for the sake of challenging myself
somewhere along the way i spend about twenty minutes following along with a squirrel as it goes about its
business. because the trail is adjacent to a fairly narrow treeline, it's like watching a fish in an aquarium
or having a two-dimensional side-scrolling view. when i first notice it parkouring from branch to
branch, i throw my hands to my cheeks & whisper-scream things like "oh fuck! get it! oh shit!"
i end up walking about eight miles
march 24th. a friend visits. the tumblr post only says that a friend visited
&, salvaging this, i don't remember who it was. i assume it was M
march 25th. i pour sparkling water in my water bottle, then fill the rest with normal hot water since cold liquids
risk giving me a toothache. forgetting the properties of sparkling water, i then shake the bottle really hard to "mix
the different waters." when i press the button to flip the nozzle open, the water shoots out & nearly hits the ceiling
march 26th. i try to go on an early morning walk around my neighborhood to the album "dedicated" by carly rae jepsen.
i feel good at first, but i end up pausing the album, sitting on a curb & starting to cry. i am crying because i overexpose
myself to the internet, i overinterpret numbers, & i'm just so tired of having this constant immaterial weight of the
judgment of some vague collective "other" following me around, i'm tired of being convinced that people somewhere
hate me. i don't deserve it. i'm so tired of it. my headphones die. i decide to simply walk home & try the
walk again on a different night, when the album doesn't feel cursed by my little breakdown
i don't really know her, but thank you to Tylas for the kind words on this night
later that day, i see my new neighbors moving in
that night, i go on omegle & encounter a vaporwave artist whose first album i used to listen to
a fair amount when i was around sixteen. out of nowhere, he asks if i am aphex twin's daughter. i
simply say yes, & he believes me without hesitation. he tweets about meeting aphex twin's daughter
march 27th. i take a statistics test. i ace it. you love to see it. later that day my neighbor's scottish terrier
runs into my apartment again, so i have to lift him up & carry him out like a big baby. therapeutic
i walk to a park & get trapped by mid-day rain under a pavilion while
i listen to the song "the inmost light" by current 93. there is a pink tree
march 28th. i'm on my site that generates random three-word phrases, when my mouse does an erroneous double
click. i see a phrase flicker on the screen then be lost forever. it makes me feel a little panicky & distressed. chronic
problems relating to anything ever getting permanently lost. all i can remember is the word "hallucination"
march 29th. i set off on another big walk along the nature trail, planning to go about twelve miles. i nearly turn back before i reach
the trail, because despite the warm forecast there is cold, miserable, biting wind. i wait around under a bridge for an hour, waiting for
it to warm up, but the wind never really gets better. i press on though, hoping the trees will make a nice windbreak once i get
there. i pass a big spider walking down the sidewalk at a moderate pace, perfectly parallel to the road, like a person
later, having made it to the trail, i stand on a fairly tall cliff overlooking a river. a goose way off down in the water, not only far below me
but a significant horizontal distance away, abruptly flies all the way up just to perch on the edge of the cliff & scream at me. i run away.
it flies back down to the water like nothing. i head back to the asphalt path, covered yard after yard after yard with dead worms.
i coax a live worm onto a leaf. i don't want to touch it, but i would like to evacuate it from this terrible place
a very old man stops me to tell me that the little purple flowers that bloom along the edges of the
asphalt path at this time of year are called Sweet Williams, he says his old granny taught him that.
i take a picture of Sweet Williams. i record myself doing a twirl under a park pavilion
i walk home listening to disc one of "69 love songs" for the first time, creating a permanent association between the album & the trail.
i have sunburns on the backs of my calves. i stop at a gas station & buy a burger, a burrito, a bag of pork skins, & a pint of ice cream
march 30th. my classes have transitioned online because of the pandemic. for my physics class, i watch recorded
lectures from years ago. in these videos, the professor is not a monotone man who always sounds like he's on the
verge of tears. he has a delightfully manic presence & talks like a dreamworks character. it's shockingly different
from how he was in person. i wonder what happened with him. maybe he was prescribed some kind of sedative
that night, in a call with some friends, it takes me five minutes of hysterical laughter to finally calm down & say
"Hugh Grant is kept in a basement," then another five minutes to say "his skin is harvested for Soup With Hugh"
i do happen to learn what happened with the teacher, possibly, about thirteen months later on may 5th 2021.
a girl comes up to me in a Subway & says she recognizes me, that she's pretty sure we had a class together.
she can't remember what it was. she tentatively describes a math-related class, taught by a really old
guy who had once had a stroke. i can tell from a few other details that it was the physics class
march 31st. i use elastic fasteners to fasten a top hat to the top of a rubber eyeball mask,
creating the most primary component of my cobbled-together Residents costume
april 3rd. i write a 2,665 word paper on climate change
april 5th. i go randonauting to a location about three miles away. as i walk there, i listen to two randomly selected
albums: "x multiplies" by yellow magic orchestra & "moon safari" by air. i find myself at a forested area. i take a video
of my exploring it. i go fairly deep into the woods, but it ends up connecting to the city-maintained nature trail along
which Sweet Williams goes. the entrance to this forested area is mentioned in my may 2021 journal
as i walk home, the act of listening to music through a bluetooth speaker brings attention to how LOUD cars are, fifty feet away yet
drowning out a fairly loud object affixed directly to my body. five people honk their car horns at me. a motorcyclist revs the engine
of his motorcycle at me. a lady sticks her head out of a car's skylight to scream something at me, but i don't catch it
as i'm crossing a bridge, my two friends from 2017 happen to drive across it & notice me. they live a bit nearby, so a while later M sends me
a text asking if i was looking for them. i explain that i was just walking home from the trail. M invites me over for dinner. it'll be my first
major interaction with them in quite a while. we drink whiskey. i hold a lizard. i look at a plastic drawer of dirt & isopods. M reads me
a passage from The Divine Comedy. we sober up & go get Panda Express. we eat it late at night under a park pavilion. we go back
to their place & watch Ghost Adventures. S performs a Celtic Cross tarot reading for me. these are the results:
Where I am now: Ace of Cups - love, new feelings, emotional awakening, creativity, spirituality, intuition. New
beginnings, new relationships, new romance, happiness, joy, conception, fertility, pregnancy, celebrations, socialising
reviewing this in june of 2021, i now understand the Ace of Cups
better. it was a blissful & emotionally reformative time, no doubt
Challenges I am facing/will face: Eight of Pentacles - skill, talent, craftsmanship, quality, high standards,
expertise, mastery, commitment, dedication, accomplishment. New job, self-employment, building business,
trade, reputation, master, hard work, concentration, success, ambition, confidence, financial security,
results, rewards, achieving goals, attention to detail, productivity, scholarship, qualifications
i wonder now if Eight of Pentacles didn't represent my waxing & frantic commitment to be honest, to broadcast
innocent sentiments, to sanitize myself of every malignant quality that had infected me in the mid-2010s
What to focus on: Reversed Seven of Wands - giving up, admitting defeat, yielding, lack of self belief, surrender.
Folding on your beliefs, giving in, quitting, surrendering, weakness, being timid, lack of courage / stamina, failing
to defend / protect, resolution, compromise, scandal / losing moral authority / control / power /
respect, sharing territory, being overbearing, worn down, burn-out, exhausted
here i find Seven of Wands either telling me to go easy on myself, to see the "gold
& mud," or to in fact double down on the sentiments of the Eight of Pentacles
Past: Reversed Six of Pentacles - power dynamics, abuse of generosity, strings attached gifts, inequality,
extortion. Lack of generosity, abuse of power or position, gifts with strings attached, subservience, lack
of charity, scams, fake charity, unemployment, lack of investment, underpaid, undervalued, bad
debts, poor financial decisions, greed, meanness, gullibility, kiss-ass
this one needed no retrospective interpretation. as S read out its meaning, i pointed at it, said "fuck you!!!" in
incredulity of how incisive it felt it was being. this card was about the narcissist i mentioned in february
Strength: Nine of Swords - recovery, learning to cope, facing life, finding help, shame, guilt, mental health issues.
Fear, anxiety, terror, negativity, deep unhappiness, stress, burden, overwhelmed, at breaking point, inability to cope
or face life, mental anguish, regret, remorse, focusing on past, subject of gossip, isolation, making mountains
out of molehills, joylessness, despair, nightmares, insomnia, hormonal, menopause, migraines
Near future: Three of Wands - momentum, confidence, expansion, growth, foresight, looking ahead. Travel,
moving abroad, foreign land, forward planning, moving forward, self-confidence, self-belief, freedom, success,
happy with choices / outcome, hard work paying off, experiencing life, spreading your wings, adventure,
long distance / travel romance, fortune favours the brave, overseas trade / expansion
Suggested approach: Eight of Cups - abandonment, walking away, letting go, searching for truth,
leaving behind. Abandoning plans, travelling, escapism, reaching limit, self-analysis, self-discovery,
introspection, looking deeper, withdrawal, disappointment, looking for the truth, loneliness,
leaving a bad situation, emotional strength, courage, fatigue, weariness
What I need to know: Reversed Major Arcana VIII: Strength - self-doubt, weakness, low confidence,
inadequacy, cowardice, forcefulness. Vulnerability, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, feeling inadequate
Hopes &/or fears: Reversed Ace of Pentacles - missed chances, scarcity, deficiency, instability, stinginess,
bad investments. Lack of money, poor financial control, lack of opportunities or lost opportunities,
financial delays, excessive spending, insecurity, lack of planning, greed, penny pinching
Potential outcome: Ten of Cups - happiness, homecomings, fulfillment, emotional stability,
security, domestic harmony. Family, happy families, reunions, family gatherings, marriage, long
term relationships, stability, harmony, abundance, domestic bliss, happy ever after, caring,
children, fun, play, creativity, soulmates, fate, destiny, good luck, blessings, well-being
they drive me home late at night. it would seem that inviting random chance into my life has worked after
all. regardless, this doesn't exactly rekindle our friendship. i don't see them again for quite a while
i lie in bed for about three hours, barely thinking anything. it feels very short, like no time passes at all
april 8th. feral cats scream & loudly have sex outside my house for about sixteen hours straight
april 9th. i sleep for twenty hours. today would have been the next open mic
april 10th. i watch "being john malkovich" with some friends
april 11th. i move a little lamp from my living room to a little table at the southern wall of my bedroom.
this makes me feel sort of ecstatic. i am in love with the act of lighting a familiar room with a
color or angle i've never seen it lit in before. everything feels so different
this is the day that i suddenly transition from the long period of my life where i spend most of my time
in my living room, to the long period of my life where i spend most of my time sequested in my bedroom
that night, a random omegle user has the privilege of watching me react
in horror as my closet door seems to swing all the way open on its own
april 12th. in the early morning, i extensively clean up my bedroom, get it looking a lot better. for the first time,
it really feels like a space that's my own. there are still some foreign objects around that i don't really know how
to resolve, so i have to think about what to do with them. a big suitcase, a pile of clothes, a blanket, some
shoes. i experimentally mix strawberry yogurt into a cup of coffee. it's just very sour. i crave confinement
& relative solitude. i want to walk back & forth in an L pentomino of floor space until i make something
i accidentally record the audio of an omegle conversation directly into audacity, so i go through & heavily amplify all the parts of the
waveform that look flat, then save them as little fragments of audio. once i get through all of them, i stitch them all into one file
so that it's a bunch of densely clustered indistinct background noises. it doesn't turn out quite as interesting as i had hoped
april 13th. my mid-April abruptly falls into a weird stint where i am nocturnal & compelled to stay cooped up in my room,
in the comfortable warm light of the lamp. i'm not usually so disposed to being sequestered in a small space like this. i think
i'd usually dislike it. i don't think this has ever happened before. i eat a bowl of ground beef & potatoes, a very plain
meal that i have always liked for its simultaneous tastiness & utilitarianism. i have trouble opening my water bottle.
when the lid gives, my hand smacks into my abdomen, breaking the fingernail on my pinkie. it breaks
near the base, so i have to trim it all off. it was at its maximum length, so that is sad
april 14th. i receive a photo of a cat who is named after me. he lives about a thousand miles away. i met him once, but he was very
skittish & afraid of me. in fact, the photo depicts him finally making the decision, after three years of living in that house, not to
dwell almost exclusively in a particular bedroom closet, or hide under the bed next to it. he is coincidentally lying under Starry
Night in the warm glow of a lamp, which is what i have been doing for the past two or three days, confined in my room,
making our respective recent behaviors ironic reversals of each other, linked by the painting & the lighting
april 15th. in my speech class, also now transitioned online, we simply have to read the manuscripts of each other's
speeches & have exchanges about them on a message board. we still have to exhibit actions like Question or
Manipulate or Defend. for one, i get Distract. & so i go beyond the call of duty & write this inane thing:
Wouldn't including an essay question result in the application process selecting people a bit more for their essay composition
skills than the skills that are relevant to caring for the elderly? It all reminds me of this one situation my stepdad went
through one time. He wanted to get employed at a PetSmart right? Loves animals, the guy. Loves 'em. But their interview
has one of these stupid essay questions! He came home & told me that they wanted him to write an essay about parrots.
Just parrots, for crying out loud! He mentioned to me how he wasn't even applying to work in their whole, y'know, bird
department. Guy doesn't know a thing about birds, told me he couldn't tell an ostrich from a cockatoo. I mean, that
seems a little extreme, 'cause have you SEEN ostriches & cockatoos? BIT of a size difference, y'know? I dunno.
He was probably just being hyperbolic. But yeah, he got REAL steamed up about that whole deal, kept saying
that the inclusion of the parrot essay was probably heuristically determined by some inhuman algorithm
sold to their HR department, intended to gauge whether or not the applicants had some inane quality that a
bunch of eggheads had determined would squeeze a tiny extra little bit of efficiency out of their stock of
employees. My stepdad always hated that kind of stuff, said it was endemic to living in a capitalist society.
He would always rant & rave about how there needs to be a revolution to destroy capitalism & make America
a Communist society! &, man, every time I think back on the absurdity of that stupid parrot essay... Can't help
but to agree with the guy. That's like my go-to example of how the big corporations just treat their employees
& customers alike like disposable drones! Cattle! You know what I'm saying? Sometimes it just gets me so mad
that I wanna run out & smash someone's car up with a broom handle. I know that's very impulsive & destructive,
but sometimes I just get so steamed up. About capitalism. It just makes me want to scream & shout & let it
all out. Sometimes I walk around just grinding my teeth, like FULL horizontal jaw motion here, & they're
just making this awful sound & there's little chips of enamel flying off everywhere. I don't have much
enamel left, sadly. I can't eat ice cream anymore because the cold temperature bypasses my brittle,
thin enamel & goes straight to the nerve in the middle of my tooth. It makes me cry out in a YOWL
of pain! It all makes me kind of depressed. Who do I talk to about this? Do I get a Ben & Jerry's
representative on the line to voice my interest as a consumer in some sort of less cold brand of
ice cream? Is that even a physically possibly treat? Do I phone a dentist & ask them about
restoring my tooth enamel? How am I supposed to afford that with our sick & pathetic joke
of a medical system?! I'm not Mrs. Moneybags over here. I'm Mrs. Own-Teeth-Eater over
here. It's pathetic. Do I phone a behavioral psychologist & ask them how I can get
myself to stop grinding my teeth into paste every single time I as much as consider,
on the barest surface level, the foul & sinister capitalist infection which has
wormed its way so deep into every aspect of our society, our economy, our
culture? Do I just phone a political scientist & ask them for tips on how
to spark a Communist revolution?! I don't know. I just don't know...
Any thoughts? Any input? Which of these people should I make
a phone call to? I'm putting my destiny in your hands here.
later that day, i'm obliged to make flow charts
april 17th. i have a blanket over my window. i want my room to feel detached from time, so i
don't want to see the sunlight or lack thereof. i discover that if i hold two bead necklaces of the same
color taut between my thumbs, close to my face, they mess with my depth perception & look very unreal
april 19th. after eight days of hardly leaving my room, i decide i have to
take the blanket down, at least open the curtains & window once the sun rises
april 22nd. after about five years of using ableton live, i realize i can group a set of tracks & put audio effects
on the group instead of putting the effects on each track separately & painstakingly having their automation
curves mirror each other. this comes in very handy when i make the song "blue chamber" on may 13th
april 23rd. i figure that some really awful person must have been reincarnated as a tick that i
catch idly crawling up a doorframe & immobilize in a folded piece of tape, sentencing it to
a living hell, robbed of getting to have even the slightest opportunity to bite anyone
i shower, & it causes my bangs to acquire a weird permanent outward swoop that i haven't learned
to get rid of yet. my desperate, neurotic attempts to fix it involve trimming them so short
that my eyebrows are visible. i can hardly stand to look at myself now...
i'm also a bit upset because my pupils are dilated. i find it very disturbing
to look in a mirror if my pupils are dilated. it almost makes me nauseous
i fall asleep after being awake for thirty-two hours
april 24th. i watch my neighbors' kids dunk troll dolls' heads in dirty bath water. the girl fishes a dead,
dismembered crane fly out of the water. she holds it up to me & asks me what it used to be. i identify it as
a crane fly. she drops it in the grass & points at one of my fingernails, says it's cute. then she pulls a big
piece of wood out of the fire pit & triumphantly says "HELLO BLOOFA" while walking away with it
the girl asks me about the man i live with. i explained that he's my dad. she says "you have a dad?" as though it were ever in question.
they fill a glass bulb with "orbies." the boy drops it. it splits in half. he gets a small cut from the glass. i tell him he should wash
it off to prevent infection, so he starts off toward the filthy bird bath. i go "oh no, not that water!!! in your sink!!!"
as i go in to get a band-aid, she announces to her brother, "her has a dad!" i think i may have also heard him say "where'd her go?"
before i hand the band-aid over, i ask if he's put that hand in the bird bath. he asks why, & i explain that there is probably a
lot of germs in that water, & he should probably wash the hand again if it's been in it, before he puts on a band-aid. he
raises his hand & says "does it look like i did?" i say "well, still, did you?" & he wordlessly runs off to wash it again
the girl enlists me to extricate a toy that the boy has hidden in the tailpipe of a truck. it's pretty deep
in the pipe, & structurally difficult to move through it, but i get it out. they use a wooden plank to scoop
rain-congealed ash out of the fire pit & onto a little table. they mess with it like play-doh & call it "food"
i'm not positive that this part happens on the 24th, but it's around this
time. an uneventful memory i simply felt very compelled to record:
the left portion of the foot of my bed is close to a big cabinet, so there is sort of a narrow nook between them. i am
lying down there, against the east wall, which i've never happened to do before. i am lying on a bunched-up blanket.
i have one or both of my feet propped up on a chair that is at the foot of my bed. i am by the window, which is
on the east wall. the window is open. i can hear birds & wind. my room is illuminated with sunlight
in front of me is the white tower fan that is slightly to the right of my bed, past the foot of it. i am watching it
blow the dangling end of a pillowcase. the pillowcase has a yellow, orange, brown floral design. it is dangling
from a pillow that is on my bed's bottom right bedpost. sometimes i put a pillow on the bedpost, then put my
laptop on the pillow, like a pedestal. it is kind of precarious, but pretty easy to not have it fall off
the sound of the fan is mingling with ambient music playing from
the laptop, the first two songs on "phantom brickworks" by bibio
april 26th. i watch "yellow submarine" with my friend nik
around this time, i realize my bedposts are like big, detachable, screw-on
chess pieces. i can't stop idly taking one off & putting it back on, over & over
april 28th. the tornado sirens go off. the anxiety i feel makes me taste blood
i am taken to a shelter, after a period of earnest uncertainty that i was going to be taken there. when the sirens go off, it
absolutely horrifies me, & i increasingly feel like i'll be smitten from the earth at any second while the people i am dependent
on for transportation decide it's of the utmost importance that they ostentatiously display that they are Calm, Reasonable, &
Logical Thinkers, capable of adeptly pointing at a weather radar & saying "Ah, it would seem to be only radar-indicated rotation"
as many predicted, a tornado warning has inevitably forced many people into the opposite of social
distancing. i could've gotten a sheltered location to myself because of where my dad works, but it would
have been a marginally longer drive, & i was very afraid. i do my best to keep my distance from everyone
i return home, thoroughly humbled, dose of mortal fear heartily
administered. okay, well that's that then. i consider drawing in ms paint
april 30th. i go on a walk & see a fat dog. i sort of wish i was walking with a friend, to whom
i could point out that there is a fat dog, & we would mutually acknowledge that it is a fat dog
may 1st. i take my statistics final. i ace it. you love to see it
may 3rd. i go to the pretty nature trail. now that it's may, everything is
preferably green & lush & beautiful. i sit & watch a fishie swim around
may 4th. i'm drunk. i meet a nice girl named myles on omegle. i have to run out behind the apartment complex
& pee because my brother is in the shower. i start drunkenly prancing & dancing around the backyard in the
dark. i fall down on the ground in the grass & barely notice, i think it's a pretty rough fall but i don't
notice. i go in, run out again, drunkenly run & dance & leap & prance like a child. i fall asleep
in the afternoon, i am woken from my peaceful sleep by this text from my landlord:
Not trying to scare anyone but I if you're are going to prepare for possible severe weather the
time is now. If you are upstairs you will need to go to downstairs neighbors. If u want to go to
a shelter _ _ _ has a community shelter avaialble. Make decisions now or soon don't wait to
long. Downstairs neighbors please be courteous to those upstairs. Thank you very much.
i would like for a sky death event not to occur
i like the city i live in, i'm attached to it, but i'm not
sure how many years of these storm seasons i can take
i step out of my room. the hallway carpet is so wet that i leave a visible footprint. the hallway is flooding.
the fake christmas tree, which has inexplicably stood there for years, is temporarily moved into my room
may 5th. i hope my house stops smelling like mildew soon
C offers without prompt or context to paint for me a single Garfield panel of my choice.
i intently browse for the most unorthodox one i can find. i never get back to her, though
about four hundred feet from my house, i find a decorated piece of wood that says "burn box."
i take it home & display it in my room, where it sits to this day. "this day" is june 16th 2021
i'm not sure how i feel about the little animal head models i have on the wall. i've had them since i was in
kindergarten. i noticed they'd been sitting in the cabinet in here for a very long time, & i decided they would
feel less mentally cluttering if they were actually assigned to appropriate locations. i was very fixated on
feeling like i was exerting control of the decor in my room. aesthetically, though, they are so deeply familiar
to me that i can't really look at them & think "these suit me, or "these don't suit me." they are just them
may 6th. i wake up. instead of getting out of bed, opening the curtains, turning on the lights,
or doing anything, i grab my laptop & spend about an hour typed a giant, nested bulleted list of
ancient childhood memories. about a year later, the list is expanded & put on this website
may 7th. i start trying to do project euler problems. i only finish the second one
may 10th. i spend a while working on something very tedious & repetitive. in the absence of any stimuli aside from that,
i spend nearly the entire time constantly having repulsive intrusive thoughts run through my head. being engrossed by
what i am doing, i don't even notice them that much, but there is still that low-level awareness. i guess it doesn't
bother me so much, because i can rationalize them as intrusive thoughts that don't reflect me. but it is still
weird i guess. even if it doesn't make so much of a difference, can't i just think about good things?
may 12th. i go totally crazy dancing around in my room with a cane to a cover of ariel pink's "dedicated to bobby
jameson," then report it on the internet so people can process it vicariously as a substitute for me having any
in person friendships even though i'm not sure i'd even go dancing crazy in view of an in-person friend
i keep settling into a scary way of sitting on my bed where i have my feet tucked between the mattress
& the... footboard? the headboard, but at the foot. i need to stop doing it. it is scary because i'm
pretty sure if i fell backwards off of the bed i would literally break both of my ankles
later that day, i walk past a tornado siren that years prior i had made the dumb decision to walk up to & wait for its monthly test to
start. when it went off, i had to sprint directly away in animalistic panic. i took a video of this happening. i'm very fortunate to have
gotten away without permanent hearing damage. my old friend S, who performed that tarot reading in April & has (or has at least
had) a fascination with tornado sirens, had names for each siren in town. because of this incident, his name for that one was Favorite
may 13th. i spend about three hours spontaneously making the song "blue
chamber." it will be the closer of the album i release eight days later
may 14th. after several years of thinking "no, i can't make another last.fm account, i can't
face the several years of un-scrobbled music i've listened to since my client broke,
i have to abandon the site entirely," well, i make a new last.fm account
may 17th. i make an interesting friend on omegle, L. he can be somewhat of a narcissistic asshat,
which is why he ends up departing from my life on september 14th with an absurd, vitriolic rant
as for our first conversation, it's like so many concepts swirling in
my head all the time appear outside of my head. i feel overwhelmed
i begin to feel unwell, as if i am being slowly consumed in my head by revolving clusters
of concepts. i think i'm doing ok externally, manifesting as a good person, & being
a good person inside too. but i feel so chaotic inside, like i have no control,
like i am being violently reconfigured by some runaway process.
i am so fixated on ridding myself of conceptual infection
i make it onto the dean's list for this semester. i smush two mosquitos,
then see a third & say, "guess you didn't get the memo, huh?! little jerk"
may 18th. another man on omegle claims to rapidly fall in earnest love with me. we talk for six or seven
hours. involved human contact is either ephemeral or long-lasting, both are kind of scary to me. one thing he
says is that i might better reflect things like kindness & childhood if i was more external, if i wondered
about people, asked them questions about themselves instead of waiting to answer questions. he says
i seem self-absorbed. i think that might be fair. regardless of that, we never see each other again
unrelated to all of that, this is a very transformative period of time where i am constantly overwhelmed by intense
notions of improvement & goodness. i feel so proud of & comfortable with the person i'm becoming that it feels unreal
i decide i need to finalize my as-yet untitled album that is
taking shape, which i release three days later. it gnaws at me
may 19th. in the early morning, write a sort of poem to include with the album when i release it. i try to
not filter myself, to write something embarrassingly naive, sincere, perhaps lacking in self-awareness.
but it's something i intend to force myself to publish as-is, as an exercise in being uninhibited even
if it might be to a point of reasonable embarrassment. this is what L has to say about it:
Thank you. Beautiful. Interesting how you link entropy to the loss of innocence. I am obsessed
with entropy. I am thinking about that all the time, from morning to night. I want things to be
immortal. But I had never thought of their decaying nature as something that could be linked to
the loss of innocence. On the other hand, here I am, obsessed with my age and time that passes
and the obscenity of a universe where entropy is part of the code, and what do I do, I bump
into some sort of self creating angel who has plans for the universe, so maybe after
all the whole problem was about innocence and I didn't know it.
he sends me the poem "song of childhood" by peter handke,
which i like enough that it now has its own page on this site
i've felt somewhat manic for a few days.
i decide to title the album "Lumiere"
after i sleep, i decide to go to the nature trail again. i randomly muttering "i hate, i hate..." to
myself in the middle of the woods without really thinking about it. then i thinking about what
i just muttered, & more emphatically mutter "no i don't! i love!" as if there's like, stakes at hand
as i walk along the asphalt path that Sweet Williams grows along, i laugh really hard imagining a tumblr audio post that says
"i'm relaxing at the beach right now! i just recorded this with my phone, this is what it sounds like :)" & it's a soundscape made
of low quality sound effects of a stupid cartoon beach where all the beach tropes are happening & the song Wipeout is playing
i go back to the pool of water that i had watched a fishie swim around in on may 3rd. i had actually gotten kind
of attached to that fishie, had had trouble walking away. well, it's hard to believe that it's the very same
fishie, but there is an identical fishie of the same species swimming around. i feel so blessed
on the way home, my phone dies. i wander freely through unfamiliar suburbs, unexpectedly find myself
at the school where i attended fifth grade. i sit at a rubbery blue table outside of it. i have a pen &
a physical journal on me. i write. i always need to get my thoughts out. this is what i write
My phone has died, and I will be offline until I get home. I am taking to normal journaling. I have been letting
myself get lost in very unfamiliar suburbs. It's so valuable to just feel like I'm in an unfamiliar, alien location
sometimes. I've seen so many things that felt so beautiful, and it hurt that I couldn't photograph them. Maybe it's
like a painful trade-off, where the knowledge that I can't photograph anything makes everything feel more beautiful.
Stone sheds and gorgeous decorated lawns. A sign in a yard tells me to have a blessed day and that the owners love
me. I inadvertently discovered the elementary school I attended in fifth grade. It made me emotional. I am sitting
at a blue picnic table outside it. Birds are chirping. It feels good to not know what time it is.
may 20th. a stranger named Matt emails me extensive thoughts on
my album "morphological flux," titling them "Formal Dynamism"
Alex, here's a record of impressions with a little bit of generalized
writing to you blended in. If this is criticism I hope it is welcome.
sigNaL: as it got going I wondered if the many harmonic implications were
going to muddle it but it was crazy material handled simply and well i'd say
lOwErInG oh yeah, you are not afraid of these rich sounds with crazy harmonics and maybe
some tuning tics/methods? nice melodies out of Stank-Chords and timbricallly stank too
cOrTiSoL: Capital W Weird you seem to be consistantly, and voxless, as with my own music. i feel like
in the past few tracks you've done something like a Promenade on a Groove, more patient than my own
pop music and it evolves pretty naturally and very pleasurably. your unmentionable but incredible
quote in the 808 melody hits something about the core of pop music, no? i think adorno called
it "baby talk", the tendency, at the time it was, in the 50's i think, all these doo-wop tracks
for instance with the repetitious nonsense laguage and novelty dances, its all like a
hormonally infused dual simon says, strange to go to this dark place eh? afterwards?
iNfEt: Your sometimes near monochromaticism and focus can come off like an asceticism, a good thing if you ask
me, I wonder if you like Autechre, but then this fat cheese noise synth melody comes in and its more like party
music, maybe Justice? if you aren't a terribly Influenced person you've sure found a lot of disperate places by
and for yourself, but I kind of hear a familiarity with most tendencies in electronic music if i'm not mistaken.
i think you are a GREAT musician, really great! That fact hits easily and quickly.
B(rE)aKiNg: DAMN!!! The hysteria of time. Some kind of terrible deja vu salvia
vision. A hell of a loop, like that shit at the end of Sgt. Pepper level hell.
You're a great tunesmith, it almost surprises me how, ascetically perhaps, you bend. I really admire
the lean use of tonal musics in electronic music that is otherwise beat or noise oriented,
beat and noise that has its own kind of harmonic and melodic world less notatable
You're also a FUNNY tunesmith and mixer. Humour in voxless music is a rarity it seems sometimes.
Your BiEbEr track hits this "baby-talk" thing with it's material but then puts it through the warp and cut wringer
in a way that is SO close to my own tendencies. WHAT? YOU would NOT BELIEVE. I was about to illustrate this last
point by pointing out my track called "Hangon", my ONE mash-up, of a few different Pet Sounds tracks. And here
comes SlOoP. The serendipity frightens me. Here's said track: Hangon and bear in mind that each of my tunes
are as varied as yours. I say this because I typically would never introduce my music to somebody through
that track but I love it. I would introduce somebody through my whole album: The Cold (2015)
and then maybe my newer experimental pop type record: Apocalypse (2019)
I'm pretty horrified at the idea that fUnBoY is 11 minutes long and starts
this darkly and obscenely, with Pomp! Reminding me of Of Montreal now.
It's difficult to contain my feelings of solidarity in sensibility here listening to your music. Your
experimentalism and neatness for instance. The voxlessness signals a belief in Absolute Music to me.
Materials, by the sound of it: extensive 808 use and the whole electro-acoustic range from warped
samplage to synthesized stuff and hmm, no instruments but maybe field recordings? Oh, irt Absolute
Music, you even mention something about "the story" over "music" in fUnBoY, but I feel this is
said in a mode of irony i haven't pinned down yet. IRAT AM, maybe it could be said a track like
"hOrSeS" is programmatic material but, you know, it isn't, right? I feel like its an evasive naming.
Idk, obfuscation seems a big part of art to me. As long as obfuscation isn't of the truth, I welcome it!
Well, how about if it obfuscates a truth it would then only be to reveal another one. Maybe not only but...
In WaTcHiNg, I love how, I think it bold, you are to use these super slight drums and the high live-air
noise so minimally. It makes me paranoid. Logic you thought operational then dips out with the noise
a fade? This track is like a dissociative hallucinogen. The Autechrean complex syth/orch stabs with in
cavernous reverb are a nice counterpoint to the sadly soothing strings. Watching is sad, eh? Isolated
spectation, perhaps. That you partition your tracks so drastically as this gives it that bigger scope
that you more typically find in classical works, I think. Partitions, like dip and tryptichs, are a
great tool for mythologization. If you do this, biographically, towards your own life, for instance.
In SiNes, see, the asceticism. This despite sinewaves and simple timbres being associated with
cheap futurism and retro nostalgia, you evoke something ancient and processional. Really great,
this track. You're a great spazz-artist but also have this great patience. I really love these
zones like you find at about the 6:00 mark in SiNeS, of almost like a machine stall, a hazy
kind of static state of affairs, shifty or hypnotic. Enter: the groove. Like a character
on the scene, after all that. A modest character though. No bluster.
I would be very shocked if this was at all an influence but dYsToPiAn AlLeYwAyS has this very
barren naked sound like this Pere Ubu track called Sentimental Journey. I only mention
it because it's such a rare vibe. Their synth player is playing I think these rather windy
noise sounds and there are in studio sounding glass breakings and sometimes it kind of
falls into a song but otherwise kind of plods "arhythmically" in space with a simple melody.
MoRpHoLoGiCaL fLuX is a great record. I'll have to check out the others. Nice to meet your music.
speaking of my music, i can't stand the way "Heavyweight Americana Daisies" sounds. it bothers me a lot.
i think i need to include it on the album, but not as it currently sounds. i can't release the album until
i fix it i had given up on it because it has tons of file dependencies that are broken, but i think
i'll just suck it up & ferry all of the samples from my main laptop to this one
i do this. i make the song way better, i bring it from from one of my least favorite incomplete songs
to one of my favorite complete songs. this feels so satisfying & exciting. there's a problem though
i guess the laptop i'm working on isn't really as good as my other one. ableton crashes when i try to export the song. i could
record it directly into audacity, but there is a problem where the samplers at the start of the song make ableton's cpu usage
freak out & skyrocket, even after i stop playing the audio. then i have to restart the program. there was one occasion
where i ran ableton & it didn't do this, & that was the session that i finished the song in. but now it is doing it again,
so i have a fully formed & fleshed out song but there is nothing i can do to free it from being more than a project file
i could try to export it on my better laptop, but i can't run ableton on that one. windows decides to completely refuse to run
the ableton keygen, insisting that it's a virus & giving me no option to bypass that verdict. i don't know what to do. this is
really painful, it makes me feel empty, it makes my face burn, it makes me feel sick. i try my best to find a workaround, though
eventually, i do manage to run the keygen on the better laptop! i hope it will work... it doesn't always successfully
trick ableton. i have no idea what factor decides whether it does... the keygen does work. i copy the song's project file
onto an sd card, & move it to the better laptop... only to discover that the song still crashes ableton at the same point!!!
how did i produce the song in the first place if it contains a part so destructive to the program?!
well, i do eventually figure out what's going on: i was using two samplers to sample tiny fragments of a twenty minute
noise song. but i had the "length" setting at 100%. so if a note were held a very long time, it'd play almost the entire
song. the samplers were playing chords, & little arpeggios, in tandem with each other. so with each note of an arpeggio,
they had to buffer a combined total of thirty-five minutes of audio! they did this multiple times per second. & that's
only for the arpeggios, where it was only one note at a time! for the chords, it must have been trying
to load about three & a half hours of audio every few seconds! no wonder it was too much
having resolved this little crisis, i realize several hours later that i have lost track of
a sewing needle somewhere in my bedroom, & that this had to have happened about two
days ago. thinking about this totally strips me of my peace of mind, i don't know what to do...
i lie in bed, type something into tumblr, fall asleep with my phone in hand
before i press the button to publish it. it remains a mystery forever
to this day, that needle still hasn't turned up! maybe it's embedded deep in my mattress where it can't
hurt me. "this day" is june 18th now. i'm sipping on a bottle of coffee. got my second covid shot yesterday
may 21st. i wake up. hardly a minute passes before i'm thinking things like, "someone from the internet
might be thinking about me right now, psychologically dissecting me, maybe sneering or grimacing, but
they'll never make this known to me. i'm scattering myself into so many people's brains & i can't get
myself back out of them." later, contrary to this thought, i create this webpage & you read it
later, i sit on a bench at a different apartment complex, drinking
peach tea & reading Cat's Cradle. everything feels perfect
that night, after premiering it on youtube, i release Lumiere
may 22nd. i get electrocuted by lightning in my house! does god hate my album? i'm not sure what medium it
reaches through, all i know is that lightning strikes & i simultaneously feel a zap through my whole body.
i was touching my laptop, so i think it probably traveled through the ground, then through my charger,
then out of the laptop. it's odd to me that that could happen without damaging the laptop, though!
later, as i'm standing outside somewhere, i say out loud to
myself: "i feel like i'm having a second childhood!"
may 23rd. in the early morning i have it snidely implied to me that i'm not a
human being. it seems like every year i meet one person who eventually says this
it is very beautiful outside. i walk around in sunlight, buy a peach tea, read a book,
pace back & forth by a daycare, able to do that without feeling like a glaring trespasser
or a dangerous freak. i walk around my neighborhood for the first time in months, stop
on a random street & feel overwhelmed by how transiently beautiful it feels
i'm a bit paranoid about the lightning thing. it was very quick, with no after effects, like
being zapped by an outlet. still, though, it was lightning in some form! i wonder if i have
some kind of internal burn that'll slowly kill me. i feel persistently aware of my heart
i find the largest earthworm i've ever seen, writhing in the street. i pause my book, run home & get some rubber gloves
because i want to pick it up. i bring it back near my apartment & lie it in some shallow muddy water at the edge of the
lawn. i think it's dying, though. it doesn't react as much as it did to my initial meddling. a small section on its side
looks sort of pinched. i wonder if it's a fatal injury i gave it when i lightly prodded it with my nail before. i hope not
may 24th. i wake up thinking: "i'm not sure if i can buy alcohol anymore"
it's about the cashier at the store. it's not that i'm embarrassed or anything, it's... i know i'm creating a dichotomy. between the typical
occasions when this girl walks in & buys snacks, & the occasional occasions when she walks in & buys alcohol. it makes me feel like,
for the cashier, i'm causing an occurrence of a dichotomy underneath "a girl buying snacks" & "a girl buying alcohol," which is...
"oh, sometimes things peel back their veneer of 'innocence' & briefly reveal the ugly & jaded reality"
&, you know, i personally think it'd be incorrect for them to even see it that way... drinking should be done in moderation, but
i don't think it's inherently debaucherous. people who turn into spastic jerks when drunk are just spastic jerks in a latent way
when sober. if i'm wholly devoted to putting only innocence & sincerity into the world, alcohol should only amplify
or augment that... but... still, i know that the cashier might interpret it that way. that dichotomy might be coming into
existence for them. & i have a lot of trouble with putting that into the world for even one person, i don't want to reflect that...
Cat's Cradle will end up costing me its price plus $15.70, because i walk to a gas station & buy
a bottle of peach snapple for each batch of chapters i read. i have to continue the ritual now...
i don't find myself daydreaming about romantic affection anymore. it's like i just think earth is beautiful & wonderful
now & i'm happy because i live there & i don't have any sort of void that's supposed to be filled by affection
i walk out of the room i have music playing in, i listen to it get fainter & think "aaahhh the music is so diegetic..."