[30 Aug 2019 | Baltimore> Back in Bodymore, where, in limbo, a few months back, we posted sum of our dream logs from the '80s + '90s + real-world journals from 1995. Now we're backing up to the end of 1991, to fill in the '90s gaps before we proseed w/ Textiloma, the fictionalized account of this time period. In the fall of 1991 we started going to U of Arizona as a graduate student in physics. This journel starts in November 1991 + is notable cuz it inkloots the entries where 1st we met our bedder-½... 28 yrs ago! The journel itself is a yellow/gold color (we forgot to take a photo of the cover), but utterwise unremarkable. Instead we'll inkloot this selfie of us from around this time:]
Nov 1, 1991 — Tucson, AZ
Last night I dreamt I had a stack of blank tapes. It was a surreal evening. Got home at about midnight (earlier than usual) after a quantum study session with Chawn in a room with big tables and chalkboards covering every wall like we were in the inside of a mind. Came home to take a bath and chill. Brian pounds on my screen door. It was Halloween night. Everybody was being spooky fun. I told him to go away, that I had a quantum test the next morning. Across the way at “Groundworks” the weirdo fun-havers were filing in. The distant ritualistic rhythm was bleeding though my walls. I slipped in and out of sleep. It was cold as hell but I was warm between soft sheets and under lots of covers. This is one of the best feelings life has to offer.
I was up at 7 am. I looked out the window, 28°. Just last week it was 98°. No transition, it just suddenly froze one night. The air is hazy and vacuous and full of smoke from people’s fires that smells good. Everything smells profound, I love Fall, the newness of the coldness and everybody wearing pants and jackets that have been dormant in their closets. You put on your jacket and find slips of paper, receipts or maybe even a 20-dollar bill if you’re lucky. I found my GRE notes from last April and a pass to work out at David’s club in my pockets. Seems so long ago. When I was fresh back from Indonesia [see this journel]. David and Leslie getting married. That rainy day in half moon bay. Now they are in Indonesia and I am in Tucson, Arizona. Weird how things turn out, like a chaotic strange attractor. A small shift in detail, or a minor action—call it the solar eclipse—kicked me over the edge and now I am here. I could’ve just as easily ended up in the Peace Corps in Fiji given the right influences, or a home-loan officer in Vancouver, BC.
Now I’m waiting for the tea water to boil and listening to the Beatles, can you tell? Rode my bike with no hands all the way to school. My hands wedged in my armpits to keep warm. Across treacherous 6th ave, over the soon to be trolley tracks on 4th, past the grade school, kids of all colors happily playing together, still innocent. By all the funky old homes with front porches. Always having to wait at Euclid. So many cars. By the dorms, zipping along the bike path, through the campus, parking my bike and locking it to the pipe outside my office window.
The test went OK. Things are getting easier. Getting into the groove. More into it. No doubts. But I still have a long way. Then, once learned, I have to learn how to forget it all. Chawn and I went to Sam’s place to shoot pool. Just like hanging out with the good old boys. Then met Lisa, Michelle, Brian, etc. for lunch. A long overdue lunch I owe Lisa for betting her who did worse on the GRE, “there’s no way you did worse than me, I’ll bet you.” Indeed, she did do worse. Lunch on me at Lucky’s. These guys are all 1st year grad students but I don’t see them much because I am making up undergrad classes [our undergrad degree was in math so I had some catching up to do in physics]. And they are all on scholarship and share the same office, and I am off on my own cuz I have to work for my room and board. And I’m paying for lunch, go figure.
After lunch I made some coaxial cables. Whatever, mindless work. Chatting with the lab-tech Gloria or Mah Jah Goo or whoever else is around at SCLERA. Then to E & M class which is painfully boring. Dr. Leavitt looks like Elmer Fudd with a bow tie. Actually, a cross between Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig. He has a monotone voice, that combined with the post-lunch stomach blood flow, usually puts me into hypnotic sleep. Then back to “work”. Then to my mandatory machine shop class. Making metal clamps, grinding, drilling, cutting, lathing, shaving and grooving spirals into hard metal. Back to “work”. Then off to play ultimate. Most everybody flaked this time. Gary’s foot was bad. Ended up playing with the atmospheric sciences people. Got a frisbee right in my face that smashed my sunglasses. Played til it was too dark to see. The “Pride of Arizona” marching band was playing on the field next to us, “Jeramiah was a bullfrog”. How random. Then back home to my Friday evening cleaning ritual. Dishes, counters, everything on the floor, bathroom—scrub and organize. Then sweep and mop the whole shithole. But it’s never clean enough. It’s a constant battle with the roaches. All I can do is give them nothing to eat so they stay at my neighbors. The ants help. I step on the roaches and the ants haul them away. Sometimes I watch for hours as the ants come and disassemble the roach and take it away in pieces. Who’s giving the orders? They also feed on my dead skin and crumbs. The ants are my pet friends. They remind me to take out the trash. They clean up anything else leftover. Then I clean myself. Then eat leftover red curry weirdness that I made two nights before. Now I’m sipping yerba mate from Argentina and it’s making my head buzz in tune to the refrigerator. I hear skaters thrashing the pavement and grunting hip slogans. I called Mark but he’s at Back Door pizza until 2 am. Can’t get a hold of Brian. Passed up opportunities to go to a party, Laurie’s the dungeon master, no thanks. Didn’t want to be around nerdy D&D players even though it might have been an interesting phenomena to observe. So it’s just me and this pen.
My thought of the week is that reality is not something we observe but something we project. We are walking video cameras. We don’t perceive photons with our eyes, we shoot photons out of our eyes and make up our own movies. We each are the source by which we project the world on an otherwise blank screen. We make up our own movies as we go along. Nothing exists until we connect the dots.
The Yerba Mate is wiring me into a psychotic state and reminding me of Argentina. I yearn for foreign places, South America, Indonesia. it’s almost like that feeling when I was 6 or 7 and we went to the beach for the weekend. When we had to go home on Sunday night I started crying hysterically because I wanted it to never end. I just wanted to stay at the beach. Longing wistfully. What is the word for this?
… another quantum insight. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle as applied to the redundancy of science. The more certain and precise we are in our tactics, protocols, data, and measurements, the more we lose certainty in our faith or “spiritual” reality.
Getting tired, maybe I’ll go record with my new 5-string slendro scale.
[... followed by 2 dreams that we already logged from November 1, 1991]
So what does this mean [in reference to the aforementioned dreams]? Misdirected goals? I am capable of kicking a “goal” but the goal is being blocked by a large tree (representing my family genealogy). So instead I kick it over to a group of physics grad students... am I bonding with this peer group as my temporary surrogate family? The sensation was of being capable of kicking the goal. What does the clump of grass represent? Something deeply rooted? What is my “goal” anyway? Maybe physics will give me the ability to kick the goal, though in itself at least in the rigid form they teach it is not the real goal, it is a faux goal. I need to link the analogies to human nature.
Let myself wake up naturally. I went to study but procrastinated and read the paper in the sun drinking coffee. Menem is loosening the reigns on Argentina’s regulated economy, the biosphere is a fraudulent tourist trap, they were caught scrubbing with CO2, some physics grad student in Iowa was pissed off because he didn’t get honors on his dissertation so he opened fire on his class killing the student who did get honors, and his thesis advisor, some guy in Texas cafeteria killed 24 … is this a trend developing? what is this world coming to?
When I attempted to study I had a bad reaction, thinking about that student in Iowa, maybe it’s better to not pass with honors. I stalled, making excuses. I was hungry so I ate lunch. Ran into Alex and his girlfriend. Alex has his wisdom teeth removed and looked like a fat chipmunk. Attempted to study again but had an allergic reaction. It’s too nice out. Complete blue sky and the temperature is back in the 70s. So I said fuck it and rode my bike up here to Gates pass. Out of the city, under the freeway, through the outskirts and suburbs, taking to the hills. The nostalgia of riding in New Zealand, following the white line for hours on end, the earth as a treadmill, me stationary while it is spinning. Saguaros started sprouting up like the skeleton army from Jason and the Argonauts. Took me an hour to get to Gate’s pass. Then I continued hiking up here to this rocky outcrop where I now sit with Tucson below me and open desert to the other side. Outside looking in to that pattern of existence which I am strapped to. Now I will continue exploring the void of the desert.
November 7, 1991 —Tucson
I did. then ripped back down the road from Gates pass, stopped at Brian’s but he wasn’t there. Went home. Saturday I attempted to study with no success, getting lazy. Went out with Mark to shoot pool at Clicks after we cruised the typical downtown scene, attempting to find the supposed party that never exists and you don’t really want to go to anyway. Sunday went to Sabino canyon with Mark, who does the chill master strut, he’s more interested in discussing the weirdities of life than just getting a good hike in. Lower sabino was cool, would be even more so if the reservoir had water. Stopped at Mark’s house and his mom blabbed my ear off while he changed into his soccer clothes. His brother Chris sat there, fully clothed playing video games... he must go crazy, he never leaves the house, he has no job, doesn’t go to school. I can’t imagine. Mark dropped me off and then went to his soccer game. I went to SCLERA and studied with Chawn.
Another week, skipping classes, flaking on my homework because Mark would come by and want to go bowling and it’s not hard to twist my arm. But I have been working hard at SCLERA. putting together the control box unit and motherboard, wiring it all up and figuring out what goes where, asking everybody questions. Working a lot with Gloria, the middle-aged Mexican woman married to some redneck cowboy. She’s cool, I practice my Spanish with her and she teaches me how to solder. Working out Mon-Wed-Fri on stairmaster level 12 for 30 minutes. Watch the trim and tan sorority girls in G-strings and make up trying not to sweat. Nice to look at but that’s about it. Tai Chi on Tuesdays and Thursdays, not too exciting, the teacher is a dork, can’t accept his health advice when he weighs 245 lbs and is pasty and gross. Now I’m eating cookie dough and grooving to Stan Getz. Tomorrow to LA and SD. [followed by page w/ notes for a song we’re not sure we ever recorded (in 5-note slendro scale):]
November 10, 1991 —San Diego/LA
Friday I flaked on my classes. Walked through the post-apocalyptic urban sprawl of Tucson in search of toothpaste. Hard to write because we are on highway 8 to San Diego. Brian comes by and we’re out of here. After 3 months trapped in Tucson, never going beyond Oracle. We had plenty of tapes and homemade cookies, and “Fear and Loathing in Vegas” to get into the spirit. Read it in all the silent moments. We stopped in Phoenix to scarf on Tuna sandwiches his stepmother made. His sister Jana was a knockout in a sorority-girl kind of way.
Then back on the concrete river to the sea. Past the towering mind machines and the 80 miles outside of LA entered a blanked of smog. Got lost in Redland trying to find an Exxon because that’s what credit card his mother gave him. Brian didn’t come through on his promise to get the Miata and instead we had to settle for the gold Honda... as if I really give a shit. Through low rent neighborhoods, every type of gas station except for Exxon. Brian driving like a maniac, won’t let me drive. Then rush-hour downtown, twilight, the smog so thick the sun is an orange orb hanging. And finally Santa Monica, covered with brine. We were unfashionably earlier to Kevin’s [Ulysses in Textiloma] opening at the Marc Richards gallery. Only Kevin and some older prospective buyers were there. Damn good stuff he’s been up to. Drains and unfinished showers, dog bones, Styrofoam barrels, wood box play toys on springs, an imaginary coin set in silicon aluminum grapes. Good thing we were early as I actually got a chance to take it in before the weirdos started showing up. Different threads pulling in. Greg Stone comes in... haven’t seen him since RLS when he was a little skaterock skinhead, and now he is transformed into a slimey River Phoenix clone gay art dealer type. Then Denise, Edward, Colin, etc. started showing up... Kevin’s friends, and then Roger and Gretchen. Then to make matters even weirder, Susanna shows up with Thad and Salvo [our ex + her brother + new boyfriend], the Italian guy who looks like Gerard Depardieu that she is going to Thailand with. Things were getting weird, to many threads from different past lives. I was trying to soak in Kevin’s art and see Kevin, but at the same time make sure Brian wasn’t bored and also pay the obligatory visit with Susanna since I told her to come to Kevin’s opening anyway. Salvo seemed like a cool dude. meanwhile I was blabbing with Kevin’s friends. Then I ran into Laura who I didn’t even recognize, haven’t see her since Sophomore year in high school when she was a preppy healthy teenager, and now she was transformed into a tall and pastey 70s fashion death rocker in black. Too weird. I was feeling claustrophobic from all the weirdness, but didn’t totally lose it as I tend to do.
Afterwards we went to get Thai food. Kevin was allowed 12 guests (Marc Richard was treating) and it was awkward because obviously Brian was coming with me, and Susanna, Salvo and Thad were loitering around, and what was I supposed to say to them? Kevin was a little irked but it worked out, we ended up at the end of a table with a neon pink and green table cloth. we were totally ignored and I don’t think Marc Richards and his entourage was thrilled. But we ate anyways. Susanna and co. seemed uncomfortable but I don’t know what I was supposed to do about it. I wasn’t responsible for their well-being. Brian was reliant on me for conversation. And to make matters worse, I was stuck next to Edward. Thad would be talking to me in one ear in his polite and sincere manner and Edward would be whispering in my other ear like he was my psycho alter ego— “who the fuck are these people?” he would say. “They are telling lies, don’t believe them.” Thad would be telling me about his math professor at Santa Cruz and Edward would be whispering to me “now’s your chance, Derek, tell them they are full of shit! Now Derek!” The others are staring at me trying to figure out what’s going on, and I am just smiling and trying to eat and ignore everybody. Edward has his arm around me and is putting cigarettes in my mouth, trying to corrupt me. He must have been high on something.
Then Edward starts asking me, “where are you going tonight?” I said to San Diego, but he says, “forget about them” Carrie is sitting next to him on the other side nudging him, looking cute and giggly. And I’m thinking why is this happening to me? Why is Edward latching to me like some lost puppy dog? Edward tells me to get a clue. I’m clueless. Carrie is giggling, giving me the eye. I know what’s going on but am trying to repress it. Edward says “Carrie wants to sleep with you.” I don’t know what to say. “I’m with Brian” I say. I am his navigator, I go wherever his car goes. But then I look at Carrie and she is kind of cute. There is a long silence, Brian and Susanna and them are looking at me like what the fuck is going on? Edward and his friends are looking at me like “who the fuck are these people that you brought along?” And I’m in the middle of it. Beads of sweat form on my forehead. The food sucks. Kevin leans over and asks me how the food is, I think he is asking me personally, so I say “its ok.” which is an exaggeration. Then I notice that Marc Richards is staring at me. Major faux pas. He is not pleased. He looks offended, but I was only telling the truth. This was followed by more silence. Everyone is uncomfortable, I’m feeling shitty for ruining Kevin’s dinner. At this point I just want to get the fuck out of there. I’m impatient. “Where are we going?” “I don’t care.” “Anywhere.” Everyone looking to me for answers. and I just want to be a bump on a log. Indecision. Different threads pulling. Brian’s never been to Hollywood, Susanna seemingly impatient. So why doesn’t she just leave? They just keep lingering. We end up at Mr. Bees, a smoky blues bar in downtown Santa Monica (after more rounds of car tag, ATM pits stops, and parking hell). Finally got to talk with Kevin. Some bum in a tux was doing magic tricks. Richards (the court jester) in a goatee and wild blonde hair and an ugly brown sweater was being crazy as usual. Kevin was losing miserably at pool. I had a beer. then we split from Kevin’s entourage, “do you want to go to Hollywood?” “I don’t know, what’s there?” “we are there.” The indecision was killing me. I don’t know, fuck it we’re going, just follow us, I finally say. If we are inspired we’ll stop. We led the other cars in a maze through Westwood, up Rodeo drive and Beverly Hills, crisscrossing through Hollywood—totally uninspiring. Back on to 101 and the 5. We lost them in Orange County. Stopped at Disneyland to get gas. After a while Brian was too tired to drive so I took over. Pulled up to S’s right as they did, 4 a.m. Crashed on the floor.
Woke up + had a mega breakfast. Mark called, said he’d meet us at the Hard Rock at 12. We didn’t get there til 1. He was finalizing the deal, looking like a drug dealer w/ his hat backwards + stacks of travelers cheques having a Hard Rock lunch w/ some Swiss dudes. [at this point hand-writing changes, I think in Mark’s writing while we drove, and based on the content think it’s his p.o.v., not transcribing my thoughts]. Only two hours prior I was trying to keep my eyes open while driving to the airport. It had been a long time, can’t remember the last time I was up that early. Society hadn’t been kick-started yet. Darkness in the morning sucks. The flight to San Diego. Walking into the Hard Rock café was an experience into it’s own. Distractions everywhere, physically stimulating women all over, yet the only one I made contact with was such a fucking dits, the hostess cupcake. I told her I was expecting Derk [sic] and Bri as I was being led to my seat... [here, we’ll just show the next page in Mark’s writing (he was buying a VW Combi) + u can see where it switches back to ours for the last 3 lines:]
[Then switching back to my hand-writing: Yah, Mark was stoked to get his new toy they called “Mathilda”—but it has since undergone a change of identity to “Doo Wah”.] I went with him to check out Doo Wah while the others went down to the cove. After saying bye to the Swedish couple we tried to find the others at the cove with no success. We strolled the whole area looking at the surfers and seals and rich decadent La Jolla-ites, finally running into the others. Then we scrambled down to La Jolla Shores, started walking but was of course overcome w/ an overwhelming urge to plunge into the ocean. Surprised to discover it wasn’t that cold. Thad and Mike followed suit and we went body-surfing but the flatlander freaks Mark and Brian were too wimpy and neither did Susanna. Riding waves is intense. It’s probably how an electron feels being caught in an electric field, riding the wave packet. Being 1 with the sea’s energy, waves that come from thousands of miles away, flopping over in a final orgasmic gasp, and you’re a part of it... if you catch it. I donned a psycho reindeer tribal headdress (made of boa kelp) and we pressed on, dancing around and looking in tide pools. Then we snuck into the infamous hotel and took a hot tub. Then Thai food that wasn’t so good or filling and overpriced. Afterwards went to P.B. and checked out the sleazoid ZO’s white trash, feathered back hair, Trans-Ams w/ eagles on the hood, Army base type of scene. The roller coaster was fun, we all sat in back. Long big hill like Santa Cruz. It’s funny we humans find these things “fun”. We were screaming with our hands up, adrenaline rushing. That’s entertainment. So fun we did it again. But the next time I got too experimental seeing what would happen if I stared at the sky or closed my eyes and it made me queasy and wrenched my neck. We tried Winston’s after, there was a cool sounding reggae band. I wanted to go in but no one else did. So back to the ranch, the others conked out so just Mark + I went to the [undecipherable]. The system for the waiting list was too weird and they were all drunk rednecks that knew each other so we didn’t really play. Instead we played pin ball.
We slept in Mark’s camper, me up above in the trippy pop-up roof and him down below. Lot of weirdness in the street... we’d wake periodically to death rocker skinheads drunk outside the van or the car right behind us honking, freaking the hell outta Mark, who thought someone was inside with us. I woke up early to see if I could catch Susanna without all the distractions and just chill. Brian had already left, at 5 a.m. She wanted to spend time with her brother and apparently was irked cuz we went to get Thai food instead of fish tacos. Then she said I was being discourteous at Kevin’s opening. Whatever, sick of this shit. Why can’t she just go with the flow? I can’t deal with oversensitive people that aren’t adaptable and you always have to worry whether they are having a good time or are irked. So we took off in Mark’s VW, stopping at Denny’s then got the hell out of Dodge in Doo Wah. We wanted to stop at Yuma to run around the sand dunes, but the recreational vehicles had totally torn up everything and we’re zipping around everywhere. The drive took a lot longer than expected. I drove when we got to Arizona. It got dark and started raining periodically. We stopped and chowed McCrap. We had cosmic conversation and gelled on the scenery. By the time we got to Tucson it was 9:30. Mark dropped me off and I went to go work out. Came back in freezing wet weather via 7-11 and the teller and took a bath for the 1st time all weekend and am now mellow and relaxed. Time to sleep then fill up this notebook with dreams.
One more week and I’ll have survived ¼ of a century on this crazy planet. Enjoying the ride so far. Things are building up, found out I have an E+M text next week and I’m way behind. Also way behind in optics and thermo, oh well! The only class I’m on top of is Quantum, probably cuz I’m into it. Funny cuz technically it’s the hardest, what most struggle with. Just like when I was studying math Complex Analysis was a piece of cake for me but I struggled with easier stuff like Real Analysis. Been semi-flaking this week up until tonight. Monday I tried to study but kept falling asleep. Trying to go off coffee. Monday night Bri conned me into going to Quebec to get java. It was great at the time getting wired and doing my Q.M. but it came at an expense. So I quit. That’s it, no more coffee. I’m serious. Talked to some Hare Krishna dude on the mall was thinking it would be so easy to join this cult and get submersed in whatever mumbo jumbo. But I’ve already been corrupted by rational thought. I did get the Vedas tho and am reading it. And Tai Chi is inspiring and I feel physically excellent tho I don’t know what’s up with this belly that won’t disappear. I’ve had it my whole life, from supposedly being malnourished, so guess it’s here to stay. Today I woke up at 6:00, cuz I love that feeling knowing you can sleep for another hour, but then I forgot to reset the alarm and missed my optics class. Qin Jin was flakey so we didn’t end up testing the A -> D board. Instead played cutthroat w/ Bill and Chawn. I think it’s psychologically fun, but probably cuz I was winning. Studied all afternoon, was pumped, Friday night I studied til 9:30. Then Chawn came by, went to Gentle Ben’s and had some pale ales. Some rasta band was playing. Tried to get Chawn to lighten up. There were lots of pretty girls. Tried to talk politics w/ Chawn, he’s a registered republican so that didn’t go far. More beer. Bill showed up with Nancy. They had a lot to drink but I was escaping more into the reggae groove. I prodded Nancy to dance, girls are cool cuz they always want to dance, whereas guys are deadbeats with hang-ups. Bill and Chawn watched us with this totally uptight posture like us dancing made them uncomfortable. They wouldn’t be caught dead jiving to a bunch of stoned rastas. They split around 12 but I stuck around. [followed by this page where perhaps we were consulting the loteria cards:]
Nov 16 [dream we forgot to log in our dream journal]
The road I used to bike on—that had a nice bike lane—was not a 4-lane road that swallowed up the bike lanes. S and I were biking to her brother’s where there were a bunch of people with shiny new mountain bikes were lined up on a long mound. We thought it was for recreation but they were about to race. Every part on my beater bike was black. Every part on S’s bike was neon orange. I went to a bike store to get a part, but all parts for old bikes were banned. If you had an old bike like my old Schwinn, they would recall and trash it. Then I was trying to buy neon orange guitar strings. They didn’t have them so I had to settle for the regular kind, haggling the price to ½ of what they asked.
It’s 2°C (36°F) and 8:30 Sunday and it’s nice and warm in this bed. I studied all day yesterday, but it was nice, sitting up in the terrace, then the library. People were freaking over the football game. Massive tailgate action. I could see the game from the 5th floor. Studied til about 10 pm. Then Mark came over, went down town on foot but it wasn’t happening. Ended up at the Shanty losing miserably at pool until 1 a.m. whence we decided to chase the train for practice, running full speed by all the industrial warehouses. It felt good in the cold late-night air after a few beers. But the train goes way too fast to catch.
(Nov 17, past midnight)
Studied all day Sunday too, in and out of the sun. Monday everybody in SCLERA was bugging. I went on a mission as the ministry of information, posting flyers in relevant places where people might be interested in the symposium on solar variability, international networking, climatic changes, helioseismology, space debris, optical imaging. So I went to all these weird departments—space sciences, Steward observatory, electrical and computer engineering, aeronautical engineering, etc. All these places that smell like coffee and full of weirdo profs with tins of beans littering their floors. Later on I was left to my own devices to breadboard this chip into a circuit and get it to work. Not only that, but I had to explain how it worked to Mah Ja Gu who speaks very little English. Fun fun. Studied late, up early. Today was the 1st day of the symposium. Got a ride with Jing Ching and these other Chinese dudes to the Doubletree. Conference room fitted with coffee and donuts, lots of mad scientists in suits, ⅓ Russian, ⅓ Chinese + ⅓ other nerds. Went from riding my bike in 1° weather to this stifling stuffy room. My Don Johnson sports coat (as they called it) was getting itchy, some man I didn’t know was asking me all sorts of questions and I was sweating and feeling claustrophobic. Got to learn to chill. Going of coffee seems to help w/ these pseudo panic attacks. Some of the talks were interesting but most were boring. The tree ring talk was cool. How the sun spot activity has always come in 11-year cycles—the eigenmodes of oscillation, the harmonics of the celestial body. Music of the spheres. It all hinges on 11, and we were born 11/22/66.
Lunch was nice, outside on the grass in the sun, under orange trees. Sat w/ Elaine and Bill and some high school kid. Actually one of the most interesting talks was about the history of science and astronomy in Russia and how oppressed they were—scientists getting executed for studying solar eclipses. Yusef got very emotional about it. Went back early, studied, did the Tai Chi thing, then met Brian at 8:00 to see “Hydrogen Jukebox”—a Phillip Glass/Allen Ginsberg collaboration. It had its moments—nice imagery/props and music, but the vocal arrangements were not my thing and the stage not very dynamic. I expected better. Good night. Looks like another < 6 hr. sleep, and no coffee for 8 says now!
Nov 23, 2:30 a.m.
Day after my birthday. Can man is wheeling his shopping cart outside my window. This week: more symposium stuff, getting used to this, tho these scientists are all high-brow elitists. I had my E+M test today, did pretty well. Then I took off with Marvin out to the Double Tree. We took 2 busses. Meanwhile he told me about his band “Pollo Elastico”. Interesting guy. He gave me some good advice about working at SCLERA (he’s been there for 6 yrs). Got to the symposium, don’t even remember what it was about, I was writing letters the whole time. Then at 5 I talked Barry into going to the Javelina Cantina for happy hour. Barry was pretty funny, amusing Chawn, Jing Ching and I with his crazy Princeton stories. Then the reception, more beers, more stories.
So that was getting kind of weird, hanging with businessmen in suits. Russian and Chinese scientists in a twisted state of mind. They’re full of strange stories. At around 9:000 I took off w/ Chawn, stopped at El Con mall to give my I.D. to Brian then cruised over to the Green Dolphin. Brian got in so Chawn went in to retreave my license. He came back about 10 minutes later. Then I had to wait a while longer so they wouldn’t be suspicious. The bouncer had a list where he was writing down license #s from out of state. Hmmm. I get up there and he looks at my I.D. and he goes “wow, how weird! There was a guy here a few minutes ago that looks just like you. And he was from California too!” He could but only let me in as I smiled and said, “really? Weird.” Chawn was hanging with Brian looking vaguely uncomfortable. Chawn went and got a pitcher of tank oil (Anchor Steam) while Brian introduced me to his little hippie girlfriends that all seem to have the name Jessica. Drank the tank oil while watching Room to Move, who are probably the best thing Tucson’s got going. Like The Dead but a strange flow of blended genres, natural changes, nothing abrupt, all the instruments sounded like a whole. Brian introduced me to Laurel, intense girl. Definite communication barrier being that she’s deaf, compounded with the beer and loud music which of course doesn’t matter for her. Got to thinking how much sound contributes to a hectic crowded atmosphere. Can’t even imagine how strange it would be, let alone be dancing. Say someone invites me to this club, it’s crowded and insane. Everyone else has this medium of communication that I can’t detect. They’re listening to what they describe as a collage of vibrations, that seems to take over their whole state of being, making them move their bodies in a rhythmic ritualistic fashion, worshipping the sound makers up on stage like they are gods, bobbing their heads in unison. Laughing at something people say. They’re all consumed by these “vibrations” and you’re not a part of it. Maybe I’m being naïve and anthropomorphic, projecting my love of music, or maybe it’s an acquired taste. But I can’t imagine living without music. It’s the most abstract, universal, numbing communication form there is. But at what loss? What 5th sense or awareness are we ignorant of being absorbed by this continuous flux of noise? What is silence? I sit in a quiet room now. It’s never totally quiet. There’s leaves rustling outside my door. The ugly swish of cars on Stone. There’s a high pitch piercing buzzing in my ears (hang over). Some machine is buzzing next door. There is no such thing as silence unless you’re deaf, for even in an isolation chamber you can hear the high pitch whine of your nervous system and even the low booming swooshing of blood in your veins. In this sense it would be nice to experience complete blackness—the void an unattainable goal do tue the continuous background noise. So that was strange, compounded with the visceral nightmare I had the other night that was inducing déjà vu where I was at a party and was introduced to this blind girl and she totally freaked out in my presence saying that we were destined to fall in love but I would be the cause of her death. [dream from October 10, 1991 that correosponds to "In Cursive Spelling" in Poste Restante]
What did this dream mean? Maybe the blind girls represents quantum physics, being blind to the atomic world but grasping around in the dark for clues. A love/hate relationship [started to writing something before relationship, then crossed it out w/ an arrow pointing to this parenthetical-->](Slip of the pen—I almost wrote religion instead of relationship) that will be my death. The divorce of my consciousness to my spiritual awareness. A forewarning? So after too much beer that was making me clumsy I switched over to whiskey sours, seemed like a good idea at the time. They were tasty and went down too fast. Chawn and Uve showed up. They were very sober and staring at me as I was bugging out. I guess I missed ultimate today. The last set the band did everybody was a writing dancing mass. I went to take a leak and there was a girl in there. I said hi and kept pissing. Chawn was getting drunk and starting to get wild. At first he was all stiff, but then he started to loosen up and dance, then it escalated where I realized it wasn’t a good idea that he danced. I’m corrupting him. First he decides to become a vegetarian and now he’s dancing like a mad hippie to dead head funk music. Next thing you know he’ll become a communist. Brian and I split to my pad and made rice pudding out of 1-week old rice, but it was too hot so we decided not to eat it and went back out to this after hours party where most everybody that was at Room to Move was, including Laurel and one of the Jessicas (not the one Brian asked out). Communicating with Laurel was draining. You have to be totally face-to-face so she can read your lips. It shows how sloppy we get when we talk, especially when drunk. Avoiding eyes and slurring words out of the corners of our mouths. It would be hard to lie to a deaf person. Talked to Laurel most of the night when I really wanted to talk with Jessica. Now I am further procrastinating and should really go study optics. Brian brought me back here and my books and bikes are on campus so looks like I have to walk. Should do good for my throbbing head.
[In different colored pen] Didn’t get much studying done. It was too nice out, studied in the sun but then got sleepy. Next thing I knew it was 4 or 5 and I had to get dressed for the banquet. Walked to the bus station and got a bus down broadway, got off at El Con mall where I went to bug Brian. He wasn’t leaving til 7:30 so I couldn’t get a ride with him. Walked over the Double Tree. People were still into the cocktails. Did the social thing with Nancy, Bill, Ray, Eric, Barry, etc. Barry wanted to go out so I called Mark and told him to meet us after work. The banquet was very formal and the food sucked. Sitting with the dudes from Sun and Digital was amusing. Then the roasting began. Then Zugo gave Henry a trip to S.F. in May to see a concert. Then they started exchanging embarrassing stories. The Zygo guy told a pretty funny one about how he was driving to the observatory and saw some girl whose car had broken down. So he picks her up and goes to the observatory, and then, well you can guess where the story goes. But then the cops find the girl’s car and get a hold of her parents who are freaking out and they send a search party out. So after sleeping together in the observatory and a nice breakfast they stroll out onto the road, wondering what all the police are for... Anyways, Mark shows up but the banquet’s going on and he’s in his pizza garb. I snuck out to the bar to meet him. We agreed to meet later after he went home to change. Barry still wanted to go out but we couldn’t find a ride. Finally Elaine agreed, Bill, Nancy also needed a ride. I made the mistake of mentioning Wild Wild West and Elaine lit up, her kind of place. Meanwhile Barry disappears and decides to go to some yuppy Margaritaville place with some corporate dudes. Went to Elaine’s so she could get her tight red neck jeans and tequila shot bottle thing, then dropped Nancy off and went by my place to get my passport cuz I lent my ID to Brian. We ended up going to Trophy’s cuz Brian was there. He was with some ditzy sorority girl, they had been to some formal, all dressed up. We barged in on them. Everyone in the bar was watching the ASU/U of A game, U of A lost big time. Then chill master Mark shows up. Drank whiskey and played darts but the place was dying. Elaine suggested Berky’s. Secretary by day, party-animal by night, she’s funny. She’s got tons of biker friends, but has been single for the past 15 years. Reminds me some of Diane. Berky’s was fun. Good band called the Blue Lizards. Mark and I sat down. A girl a few chairs down looked like she was about to barf. Some blonde came back and introduced herself as Laura and immediately was all over Mark. She was motioning for me to scam on her sick friend. But I just asked Elaine to dance and boogied with her and Bill. When we got back this drunk girl Elena got up and sat down across from me. She kept apologizing for being so forward then asked me to dance. It was fast so it was o.k. The song ended and they played a slow number. She took advantage of this and came close. She kept apologizing for being so forward, but she thought I was “cute”. Then she’s feeling me all over, her hand on my ass. She did smell nice though and I could feel her warm breath on my ear, her lips right up in there. She had on tight pants and this black lacey top. She began grinding against me, her leg wedged in between mine. The others were all laughing at me, egging me on, when I turned in their direction with a distraught look. Bill finally picked up on my predicament and saved the day by butting in on the dance, but then I remembered he had a girlfriend and didn’t want him corrupted. So I took back over. Elena asked if I was with Elaine and I said no. Then she says “well you have no reason to... you know.” I told her I move slow. She said she understand that she did too. What a joke. We went and sat down and I tried to be friendly without being encouraging. I think she took the hint and finally left, apologizing again for her behavior, that she’d had too much to drink. As she said good-bye she kissed me, first on the cheek then started creeping over to my lips. I gave her a firm peck and pushed her away. I asked for her number so she didn’t feel so rejected. Then she tried to kiss me again, which by this point was just sad. Besides that, Berky’s was a fun bar, mixed crowd of bikers, yuppies and students, even a punk rocker. They had Playboy centerfolds all over the ceiling and the trombone player strolled through the joint jumping on tables while playing. We left at closing. Went to Bill’s and tripped out in the strobe light. Sunday studying in the sun. This morning had my optics test. They had a birthday cake at SCLERA for me and Dr. Hill. Played pool with Bill then Mark who mysteriously showed up.
“Being an American means never having to say you’re sorry.”—Vonnegut [Hocus Pocus]
Tuesday afternoon left to go to Aguas Calientes with Chawn, a cave about 30-45 minutes south, ½ way to Nogales. In the Santa Ritas. Near “Elephant Head” to be exact. Went off to the Road observatory for a ways then pulled off the road and into some bushes, Chawn trying to hide the car. There were signs that said, “no hiking or trespassing, unless you are hunting or fly fishing (state land).” Which was absurd. Got our gear together, 2 x 90” foot ropes and helmets. And climbing gear. Thru the barbed wire and scrambling up the side of this hill, trying to find the cave. There it was. A perfectly spherical hole about 2 feet in diameter. I got this funny feeling like I could picture some Navajo’s having a ritual there. The hole itself was at the head of a bathtub shaped indentation in the rock, all under a mesquite tree. I wanted to lay in the bathtub and put my head over the hole. A few [bats flew out narrowly missing my head and scaring the shit out of me... continued below]
[ The formations were incredible. Huge stalactites and -mites...] We set up the ropes down the hole. These would be for the return up. The rope fell and fell into the darkness. Then we went around to another part of the cave where there was another drop off. Chawn set up another rope there. At the top of the drop-off was some flowstone with the underparts deteriorated so it was like an overhanging lip. It made a bellowing drum like sound when I jumped on it—the cave was a perfect resonant chamber. Sounded like a huge bass drum. I started jumping up and down making this eerie tribal rhythm and chanting and dancing in circles, which seemed to freak Chawn out. He went down first, it was about a 90 ft. drop, almost vertical. Then I latched on to the rope and rapelled down in, hopping backwards down the cliff. There was one overhanging part that was difficult to maneuver. At the base of this cliff was a small hole. Chawn had never been in there so I crawled in. Inside was another room and another small hole. Wormed through belly up, slithering like a snake them came into this incredible room, probably the most brilliant pristine room of the cave. It was like being inside a geode. There were delicate crystal stalactites hanging from the ceiling, they didn’t just hang but spiraled and twisted, curving back into eachother like solar flares. There were crystals everywhere sparkling in our lights. I just laid on my back taking it all in. We did the loop, stopping to play the bell-like stalactites and explore the little holes going to possibly nowhere but who knows. One hole led me through crystal sand and down into this room that had a still clear pool of water. Minerals were crystallizing on the surface in sheets it was so still. There was a lot of this stuff I now officially dub “croissant crystals”—delicate crystallized sheets layered like a pastry. Cool formations were everywhere, it was intense. We looped around to where we let down the original rope and climbed up. Chawn wanted to free climb (using the rope just for safety), but seemed easier to just pull yourself up. To him, caving is a sport. For me I’m just happy to be there. I coiled up the rope while Chawn went to get the rope we rappelled down on. I finished so sat down and turned off my light. Sheer darkness and pure silence. I couldn’t see a thing. I could only hear myself breathing, my nervous system, my circulation. I imagined how hard it would be if I would have to walk around in the cave like this. Impossible! It hit me, the absurdity of how much we depend on this fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum for our perception of reality. Without it, we are nothing. There is no reality. Just a void. This is the ultimate meditative state. It felt cool and soothing. Then I heard a rustling and thumping in the distance, I couldn’t tell from where. It gradually grew louder accompanied by a huffing and puffing and a faint blueish light. Then this stream of photons like a swarm of flies bombards me, reflecting off whatever surface they can. We climbed out into the starry night and stared at the constellations. Down at the car I took Chawn’s wire cutters and cut down all the “State Land: No Hiking, only hunting” signs. Chawn is very paranoid and nervous about being caught here so this made him almost lose it. He went through the trouble of hiding the signs under his seat. Driving back he kept hinting at getting a pizza and beer. I don’t have the money to do this so say I have leftover tuna casserole at home, thinking he might take a hint. But he says “that sounds good, we can stop at Ⓚ (circle of korporate death as I call it) and get some beer and eat your tuna casserole.”
“There’s only really enough for one, but I have toast and top ramen.”
“That sounds good.”
All I wanted to do was just go home and read. I suggested Dos Pesos and once there I had to watch him go through a few beers telling me cave god stories. It was past 2 a.m. Next morning I just couldn’t handle going to optics though made it to Quantum—talking about spherical harmonics, good stuff. Was lazy and read all late morning. Took lunch in the sun in front of the Hare Krishnas. Then bailed on E+M after about 3 minutes to go play ultimate. It was hot as hell, felt like August. Running around with our shirts off getting sweaty and itchy from the grass. It was great fun and tiring. Then we had to go to colloquium. A funny lot were we, the 1st year grad students all in a group smelling like the armpit of the room, from playing ultimate. I just read Vonnegut the whole time then went to go work out. Mark came over at 8:30. Tried calling Brian but he wouldn’t return my calls. Ends up my phone was off (the ringer). That explains why no one calls me lately. I left my I.D. for him under my cactus then Mark and I took off to the Wild West. It was jam packed, cars everywhere. Huge line outside. Cowboys and rednecks all over. I had my cowboy boots this time, tho, I was cool. We waited for a while but seemed futile... waiting hours just to buy overpriced beer and have it be too crowded to play pool or whatever. So we climbed back over the fence and through the empty irrigation canal to where we parked the car and headed downtown. Stopped at my place to leave Brian a note then went to the Green Dolphin, dead. Gentle Ben’s, dead. Blue J’s, dead. Palm Rock, dead. Firehouse, dead. Cactus Moon, packed, lines out the door. All the college kids went home for the weekend and all the local blue-collar folks stayed to hit the redneck bars. Waited in line, then Bri showed up and went to the end of the line since he had my ID and that would be weird to have 2 Derek Whites go in together. When we finally got to the front they wouldn’t let me in because my jeans had a rip in them. Well fuck you too, mister. Not sure why I even let Mark and Brian try to drag me to these places, obviously not my scene and I’m surprised it’s there’s, but when in Tucson, do as a Tucsonian. Then I found a passport in the parking lot and thought about keeping it since it looked like a military idiot and I could give it to Susanna so she could sell it for $10,000 in Bangkok. Brian had his Miata, the bomb. Went with him and met up again with Mark at Berky’s. Full of middle-aged people that probably watched Oprah Winfrey, trying to let loose and boogie on the advice of their doctors. Total white trash and weekend bikers with shiney Harley’s out front. 35-yr old blues band playing the same tired songs over and over. We sat there and jived for a while watching the fat accountants and slimy drunk redneck couples dancing and sucking face like they were teenagers. Disco Danny was there. Bailed to Village Inn and had breakfast and got really spacey. We banged our utensils and shredded our napkins, just generally being obnoxious. What was wrong with us? [changes pen color]
Jessica, oh Jessica. Isn’t the feeling grand? It’s hopelessly romantic. It’s an empty chalkboard to project. A pretty face to get lost in. I don’t even know her and that’s what is so beautiful. I can invent any scenario. I haven’t said anything more than “hi” to her. Am I getting carried away? No fucking way. This is my mind, I can dream whatever I want. What unfolds might be a different story but I’ll savior [sic] the moment. Such a pretty face and quirky smile. So damn cute. The rest of the story will have to wait. All I know is I have a good feeling about her and I love it. (And yah, I’m sure I’ll read this later and laugh at my naïvety).
I spent thanksgiving with Mark and his mom. Took the bus to Tucson Mall where I met Mark. The parking lot was completely empty, ghostly and huge. I walked into the middle and started dancing around. Then I did my Tai Chi routine then singing at the top of my lungs. What is it about grand open space? Infinite freedom. The world’s a stage. An empty chalkboard, a giant white canvas, a fresh blank tape or that fresh cute face. So Mark drives in circles around me in this massive Zen garden (what would alien spaceships think of the lines? Art?) We got to his house nad strolled around the desert looking at cacti then watched some of his Super 8 flix, including the ones he made in Mexico. I cooked up a Hungarian mushroom soup. His mom is really a sad cook, it’s too bad. That whole scene is so dysfunctional and weird. How did Mark turn out like he did? It was fun evening tho. Then we went and saw Cape Fear.
Came back and called S only to find out Teo’s dad killed himself. I don’t believe it. I’ll have to call Teo tomorrow night. The second I hung up Kevin calls up and lays it on... he doesn’t sound so well. Getting wrapped up in Mary and that scene of druggy artists. Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la. Poor Kevin. I know it’s one thing to say “Kevin, get out and meet new people, go to Joshua Tree, etc.” and another to do it. I’m still not sure what got me out of my depression, but I suddenly realize now that I’m happy and inspired as I’ve ever been. And then I find out everybody around me has got the same problems I just went through. S and her pre-graduation “need a change in a big way” blues, Kevin and his Mary problems, apologizing then doing stupid things, apologizing again, then apologizing for apologizing, etc. in to a big hole, and now finding out about Teo’s dad. It’s like humans are a bit network of balls moving through space attached by rubber bands. You lose momentum and lag but the lattice of rubber bands pulls you out—then you overshoot your momentum increasing—your flying along then you feel the tugs of rubber bands pulling you back again. All you can do is hope they don’t break. [At this point a lattice image embeds within text, followed by a dream we already logged so we’ll just include the actual page:]
Dec 4, 91
Well, haven’t had coffee for three weeks now and I’m still alive. Last Friday Room to Move was supposed to play, called up a bunch of people to try to get them to go. Everybody was out of town for Thanksgiving. Got a hold of Lisa and she drove over to Green Dolphin. There was a few people watching a basketball game... Room to Move was cancelled. Bummer. We drove around bar-hopping, ended up at Gentle Bens, One Blood was playing. Nobody was dancing so we bailed, checked out the Wildcat House, just cuz I had to see what it was about, seriously lame. Ended up at the clubhouse playing pool. Lame scene.
Somehow managed to procrastinate all weekend. What’s my problema? Went out Saturday night with Brian. Went to Congress and they took my ID away from him. They asked him to sign his name and he fucked up. I had already paid $4 bucks to get in before I noticed. I gave him my wallet with my other ID and he tried to no avail. So then I put on my sweater and leather jacket and went back and said “I’m here to get my license back, I went back to get my passport. The guy said, “I’ve only taken one license away tonight and it wasn’t you. What you did was a felony and you can pick up your license at the police station.” So much for my identity. So we did homework at Quebec instead. Monday morning it was 20°F when I was riding my bike to school. Damn! Got into class and wham! Oral exam. Oh yah, Sunday we went to the Pow Wow at the Amigos complex. Lots of cool jewelry and clothes and dancing. Cold as a witch’s tit in a brass bra all week. Fucked up bit time on my quantum test, but at least I got 110 on my optics and 84 on my E+M. Now I got to pull myself out of this Thermo hole. But I keep flakingly procrastinating. Reading Henry Miller. Last night went to Wild2 West with Mark. Had to support Brady and Kathy in the “Hot Legs” competition. God, how degrading. They get up and strut around in a sleazy dress while guys howl and jeer. The only girl who isn’t hurt is the one who wins. Brady and Kathy were nervous. Poor things. Played pool with this funny couple, the guy a skinny Marlboro man type, says “where the hell you from cuz you sure aint from round here?” And I had to compensate and wear slacks cuz these assholes wouldn’t let me in with my ripped jeans. Then this other big dude starts pushing me around with his body weight. Very strange. Not sure why we persist going to these places, but I’m dependent on rides and Mark always wants to go to these hill-billy bars full of rednecks in cowboy hats and bimbo submissive cowgirls, and there is no parking or toilets, just beer and well, just beer, which I’m getting very sick of. [Followed by this page + then a corresponding 3-pg dream we already logged from December 4, 1991, that we turned into "Post-Holing to the Flesh Temple" in Poste Restante]
[the discoloration is from an embedded newspaper clipping “The Crop Circle Hoax”. Also embedded are concert tickets. letters and another headline “Student Denied Award Kills 4 then Himself at Iowa University” about a Chinese physics student, Gang Lu.] Feeling all together because it’s Sunday and I can’t sleep in even if I wanted to. If it wasn’t for this god damn Thermo test. So let’s see, Thursday [draws “poing!” with a bunch of whirling particles] back to reality. For lunch went to get my dirt sandwich and I saw the “other” Jessica [S]. I said “hi” then she walked off. Paid for my shit and walked out. Jessica was meeting up with the other Jessica [F], they were walking out the door. I wanted to see her badly but had to meet Chawn down in the cellar. Besides, I’d probably be too shy to say anything. Went down there and Psycho-Panda was doing a cool rendition of Velvet Underground’s Femme Fatale. I still feel like I’m writing about a metaphorical dream. I saw Brian filing through like he was looking for someone. Got his attention, he was looking for me. Told me the Jessicas were out on the mall asking about me. Chawn wanted to come out too and bring his tray. Jessica was as beautiful as I remember, everything I imagined—I wasn’t building her up. I ended up sitting out there on the mall for a few hours. We agreed to meet later at happy hour. I went back and worked with Ching and as usual got on the subject of Chinese politics and he gets all worked up about it. Later, went and worked out then met them at 5:30 at Geronimoz. I was still buzzed and vibrant from my workout and sweating profusely, felt like was radiant bright red. Laurel, the Jessicas, Chawn (still couldn't shake him), Brian and these 2 other girls were there. I didn’t feel like drinking but Beck’s was only $1. And free pizza to boot, and chips and salsa. Her mouth is so damn cute, I love looking at her. We spent an hour or so then went to the physics party. Boy was it lame. Way on the other side of town at the Embassy Suites. Total cheese—cake and ice cream, formal sit down. We looked very out of place. Mostly professors and students formally talking, sitting at long white tables. We bailed real quick. We had to get rid of Chawn, so we said we were calling it a night and dropped him off. So then it was just us 4, Brian and the Jess chicas. Stopped to get some bottles of Bud then went to their apartment. The ‘air’ was a little uncomfortable. T.V. went on, tunes in. Jessica [F] was kind of pacing about and I felt like I was making her uncomfortable. So I started throwing grapes at her. Then grapes were flying everywhere. She was throwing them at us on the couch and we acted like seals being fed, catching the grapes in our mouths. Brian was drinking all the beer. I was helping him just cuz I knew he had to drive me home. Metallica goes on and Brian starts in on his head-banging routine, making all these twisted faces. He’s a funny boy. We finally left but then went over to bug Brady and Cathy and Nanook—the mellow wolf, and their new roommate “Actor”, a Hells Angel in disguise. I think his name is Brett also.
Friday I woke up at 6 a.m. I was having this dream I took this drug and was having magnificent hallucinations accompanied by a tingling buzz. I woke up and my pulse was going like 200 beats a minute. Couldn’t get back to sleep. Nervous energy. Had my optics orals. He decided to not ask us about the ray diagrams but about our projects. It would have been easy but I was very wired and strung out. I drove into the lameness of the Wildcat to zone out. He didn’t call on me, phew! Got my QM test back, 50%... hmm. Avg. 55. Oh well, we can drop one test. Went to the library to study/take a nap. Saw Brian on the way who tried to coerce me to mall crawl. Not. Slept in the library. Got some lunch, saw Jess in line and went out to the mall. Beautiful day. I’m falling deep into her. It’s actually bad, I can’t think straight. Can’t concentrate. I try to look at my thermodynamics and all I see is “Jessica this, Jessica that”. Her skin, that hair, those intense dark eyes. Black as a hole that I’m falling into. I told them there’d be no way I’d meet them for happy hour, no matter what. Worked and studied then worked out—I never get enough of a work out... all this excess energy I can’t shed. And then I went and met them for happy hour at Blue J’s. It was beautiful out on the patio, twilight, slightly cool. People started appearing until there was like 10 of us. Let’s see if I can remember names here—yet another 3rd Jessica who looks like a chubby version of Denise, another quiet girl with nice hair that lived at Point Reyes, I think her name was April. Mia and Brett who were having a fight—stormed off but eventually came back all lovey-dovey. These 2 guys Tim and Jeff, who were hillarious. They never stopped, this continuous yarn, most of which was “had to be there” stuff—all experiences this group had shared but I wasn’t part of. Then Tim’s girlfriend (so everyone joked) Susan, a pompous British girl dressed in black who got bored and left. Vegetated for 3 hours then I went home (despite coercion otherwise) and cleaned up my shithole. Further procrastination on Saturday, managed to finish my E+M homework. Got hungry and realized I didn’t have any money, just $2. Bought a loaf of bread and bananas. Brian came by and stole my tomato and a few dollars in pennies for salsa doings. Then went off to The Gap. I was getting frustrated reading the same page over and over—Jessica, Jessica. I took a nap to escape it all. Woke up in a panic. Threw every leftover in my fridge into the wok and fried it up with shrimp paste and sesame oil. Attempted to study. Called Jessica. They had no way of getting over so waited for Brian to get off work. 9:30 they roll in. Walked downtown, they split off. The first time I’d been alone with Jessica. All my plans that seemed so easy in theory, of just being totally honest, retreated. We strolled uncomfortably around like we were in a Hemingway story—making outwardly insignificant small talk while knowing this was all just an outer layer we were stuck in. I especially thought her allusions to Brian and the other Jess were funny:
“They like each other, huh?”
“Yah, they do.”
Sitting there under the skyscrapers. That ethnic food fair was dismantling. Bonzo Clown hippies with Dr Seuss hats on acid. Psycho hate preachers. A hive of activity. Met back up with the others and strolled more. “My hands are cold,” said Jess. Her small hand felt nice cupped in mine. Groups of drugged out deadheads seeming almost like religious fanatics. Ended up in this classy cozy café, but it was overpriced so we ended up at Quebec. No tables so we sat on the floor. We were sposed to meet Yar at 11:00 in front of Runes. I told the doorman if he saw a Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes character with a low center of gravity to send him to Quebec. He didn’t, but Mark managed to find us. Bailed to the “Fine Line” but it was sold out. Bunch of frat boys and sorority girls dressed in 20s’ attire and being stupid. Went to Bri’s and vegetated. Tried to find this party, I’m batting like 1 and 21 on this party that supposedly exists scene. Stopped at Circle of Korporate death for a 12-pack then went to my place and piled on my futon. The Jessica’s were being silent. It’s annoying how guys dominate conversation and act stupid. We vegged until 2 or so. Mark was lost in “space, time and matter”. Repressed physicist. Even after they left I couldn’t get to sleep. Couldn’t stop thinking about those lips I wanted to kiss so bad. But I’m glad I didn’t. It was funny though, when this couple made out in front of us while we stood and stared.
Do what you feel and feel what you do.
[Brian + the 2 Jess's on our futon]
Dec 11 1:30 a.m.
My ears are ringing and I smell like beer + cigarettes and I’m thirsty and depressed. Why do I do this when I knew this would happen? Get myself all worked up over some girl. I keep falling deeper into her, those eyes like a deep abyss. And I still don’t know her or what she thinks of me. I’m sitting here thinking I could easily fall in love with this girl but my gut instinct is I’m gonna feel a lot of pain. Is it worth it? It doesn’t matter, cuz it’s inevitable.
Let’s see, Sunday I tried to study but all I think of is Jessica. I don’t sleep. I wake up at all hours of the night and think of her. So Sunday I have a thermodynamics book open in front of me but all I think of, all that goes in my brain, is Jessica. So I go and work out and try to get her out of my system. Clean my head. Purify my body. Then I went to visit her at the copy center. And of course I start sweating like a pig and it’s making me more nervous and feeling stupid and everything I ever wanted to say comes out wrong. AARRGHH!
Sat outside the library and had hot chocolate and I guess we were communicating but it’s so damn frustrating (I guess this is the stagnant tar pit grossness with leeches and snakes from my dream). Monday I decided to completely shine thermo—not show up for the test. That made me feel somewhat better. But I haven’t done shit Monday and Tuesday except think of Jessica. What sucks is that I met her under the pretext that I liked her and know that she likes me and vice-versa and that makes thing awkward. I need to be friends with her first. And I have yet to really be alone with her. And all I do is stress out that I’ll blow it—you bastard Derek, don’t be a fucking idiot just chill out and let women’s intuition rule. Like right now I can’t even write cuz I’m obsessing over her, I’m completely dizzy, she’s all over me and in me—her essence pervades and overwhelms me. I’ve got to sleep if I can, I’ll finish this later.
Blazay. Where was i? Today starts the serious studying. Yesterday just another day, last day of classes, mall crawling, asking for work but no one has any and as usual messed up in the machine shop. Read excerpt from Vedic literature amidst a colloquium on heavy ion colliding—the parallels are insane. Hindu’s believe in such things as “soul atoms”—smaller indivisible units of one’s spirit. My stomach was gnawing at itself and making rumbling noises. I was kidding with Lisa and telling her it must be the ketchup and hot water (“tomato soup”) I had for lunch. She took me seriously because she insisted on being the jewish mama and filling my belly, being that she’s on a full-time fellowship and I’m a measly ¼-time R.A. So it’s stuffed potato skins, swordfish, the works. I felt bad but I’ll reciprocate when I’m rich. Why do nerdy chubby girls like her have such cool personalities? The food actually made me kind of ill, I guess my stomach was shocked. So went home. Lisa didn’t want to come to the Green Dolphin, needed to study. So Marks comes by and eats all my food and we drink the rest of the 12-pack Brian left while listening to Circle Jerks on high volume. That was probably the highlight of the evening—I was feeling quite grand and inspired to see Jessica. Went to the Green Dolphin. Chawn and Bill were there playing pool. They kept buying me more Anchor Steam cuz I kept getting lucky at pool. Room to Move comes on. Hardly any people, I was worried Jessica wouldn’t show, it was past 10. By the time she showed up I was fairly obliterated and said a bunch of stupid things. Now I remember why I used to not drink. There was some weird awkward vibes between us. I was in one of those drunken melancholy states so I had to force myself to dance to snap out of it, and drink ice water. She popped around here there so it was hard to talk to her. Meanwhile Chawn and Bill are getting increasingly stupid and yelling in my ear and I’m embarrassed to be with them. When I went outside with Mark he said he could tell there was some weirdness going on between me and Jess. His advice, or my interpretation, was to “shut up and dance with her”. I need some vibe adjustment. So we boogied the rest of the night, except seemed she was continuously surrounded by this buffer of guys. Oh well, what can I do? I’ve never been one to compete. Mark didn’t want to go to the after hours, so Jess goes off with some dude in a new Jeep. And life goes on.
I guess I left my answering on loud cuz suddenly this booming voice comes from my kitchen like cops on megaphones: “Derek, this is Chawn. I don’t know if you feel like it, but I’m really hungover and was wondering if you wanted to go hiking.” He’s got the nerve to call at 8:00 in the morning. The sad thing is I wouldn’t want to do anything other than that right now—go hiking—just not with Chawn. Maybe I’ll go ride my bike out west and bring my books... now there’s a fresh idea.
Ended up going running. Tried to run along the tracks but it was too gravely so I went down St Mary’s under the freeway and then onto the bike path along the river. Nice place to run. It was desolate and there were bums sleeping under the bridges with fires in oil drums and thoughtful graffiti scrawled everywhere. My kneed started hurting after about 4 miles but I had to get back. And I had to walk to school since my bike was already there. Sat down to study for a few hours and then I tried to get up but my leg locked up in pain, could barely walk. Jessica comes to visit around 3, maybe she does like me. Went home and studied then Chawn called and said he’d take me to pizza, him and Dr. Schultz. Jessica calls. Then Mark came by, wanted to go drink. My will power being at a minimum I obliged. Went to the Shanty. Played shitty pool against other people but when I played Mark I’d get really zen and beat him. I woke up early this morning. Started to study and Brian shows up being totally obnoxious and kidnaps me on his quest to get a xmas tree. We stopped momentarily at the 2 J’s house. Jess looked so cute and sleepy, I would have loved to crawl into bed with her. But onto our quest—to Rick’s Xmas trees. He explains that $ is no matter, we get the best tree in the lot and tie it to the roof. And then to his parents house. Generic condoville $200k houses cemented together. Little obnoxious terriers and pads to shock them into submission if they go pee. He takes pride in these things. In the landscaping and “desert irrigation system” he implemented in the backyard. He showed me family pictures. I decided Brian has perfected the art of B.S.ing—he can turn on whatever for whoever. Though I guess he hasn’t perfected it if I can see through it. Went out to lunch at the Miami Vice-ish puke place called Rick’s place. Ends up Rick was Brian’s old boss at Holiday Inn so Brian goes into his bullshit routine about the quality of restaurants in Tucson whilst lounging around in the sun with shades and T-shirts and a baseball hat, culminating in his old boss saying “I’ll look you up if I’m hiring” so it worked.
Went to school and studied, played ultimate. Some of the guys—Ben and John—that we met the night before at the Green Dolphin showed up and played with us. They were on acid and Ben especially would do this trippy cosmic dance before throwing or catching the frisbee. They played really well, you wouldn’t even know they were on acid. My knee was giving me pain so I quit, walked home via the 4th street fair and have resisted the temptation of going to a party with Jess to be a geek and study physics listening to Bulgarian voices.
[followed by dream from December 11, 1991]
Saturday studied in the sun, beautiful day. Jessica was supposed to meet me to go to the street fair, but flaked. It sucks not having a car. Instead I studied, then Mark came by and we kidnapped Sather. Jess [F] was in bed studying. Brad was over. [F] didn’t want to see a movie, but came with us anyway and we got Brian then rented Grifters—shit movie, but it was fun anyway. After we dropped Jess off and Mark and I went to see the rest of Citizen Fish at D.P.C. Very cool. We walked in free and seemed we’d stumbled in on some satanic ritual. It was very dark, no lights even on stage. Just a red haze. Loud grungy ska-like punk emanated forth. A Johnny Rottenish singer controlled the stage. In the pit punks stumbled around in a lobotomized stupor, not even dancing really. Non-conformists conforming like zombies. Went to bed at 4 a.m. up at 8. Susanna called for the last time before Thailand. She told me that Mike freaked out when he saw her kiss Salvo goodnight, making her feel guilty and immoral. Such a loser, he stormed out and left her. Studied on the porch. Called Jess and around 12 she came over and we went to the street fair. Before she came over I was siked for life and felt I could take on anything. Then she came over and I clammed up and got nervous. Lots of people at the street fair. Lots of food booths and street musicians, but mostly grotesque craft booth after booth selling useless baskets with ribbons and dumb glass ornaments. Came back and then Jess left home. I still haven’t gotten up the nerve to kiss her. I fell asleep then went to school, studied, ordered Chinese food. Laid in bed attempting to study but nothing was registering. It’s weird, we’ve talked about a lot of things and been very open but I still don’t feel comfortable. I get hot and flustered and flushed and sweaty. She says she likes to sleep with lots of itchy flannel blankets when it’s hot and get really sweaty. Sounds like my kind of girl. Still can’t decide what I’m getting myself into. I woke up at 6 a.m. and now it’s almost 7.
Well Quantum is done and all I have left is E+M the day after tomorrow. I’m completely wrung out and disheveled and have managed to survive on less than 4-6 hours a night sleep. Had quantum at 8:00 this morning. I had been up since 2:30 cuz my pone rang, some obnoxious modem. After the test and playing pool with Chawn I rode my bike through the rain to Jessica’s. She was being sick and lethargic but I talked her into going to Mandarin Grill. At times I look at her and think she’s so damn cute but then I imagine how things could be—jealousies, the time commitment, inevitably one of us getting hurt. I think I may stay a hopeless romantic and not bow down to that overwhelming desire for a nice warm body next to mine. In order to see her I flaked on lunch with the other Jess and now I feel shitty. That’s the kind of thing love will do, make you do shitty things. Love is blindness as Bono says. I thought that was the one thing I believed in, love as the only thing which can bring pure bliss without consequences. But I guess love is beyond everyday human existence. You can only truly love a concept or an ideal. The unattainable, the unknown, a pragmatic throne in the folds of my brain. It’s no wonder many religions have independently developed the creed—“don’t give into temptation”. The only thing is this usually brainwashes people for the wrong reasons. I’m not sure what I’m getting at. I’m eating dehydrated potato leek soup and top ramen. Been scraping my cupboards for this past week. And then it’s into the night because I can’t study here. It’s a disgusting mess. I can’t wait til Friday.
It’s Friday, I could’ve waited. I’m only ½ annihilated. Studied thru Thursday until I burnt out. Woke up this morning, raining hard. Cold rain. That dead dog was still in the back of that truck, been there since yesterday. I have to ride my bike past it, stiff legs and all, twice a day. Something is definitely wrong about letting some dead dog rot like that. Mett Jess at 9:00, saw the mountain covered with snow on the way. Freaked out as usual during breakfast, suddenly I’m far away, like I’m watching my body go through the motions. Holy shit, Tucson, Arizona. Who is this girl? I watch my body get flustered and flushed. I told her about my dream I had last night—[we already logged it in our dream journal (Dec 20, 1991) but we’ll repeat it here]—how we were swimming in the ocean. We kept swimming and swimming out but could still touch the bottom. Then some big waves came and it was deep. We were totally naked. She told me to catch the curl to the left near the rocks. It was very dangerous. The waves curled over us, it was intense like warm blankets, enfolding death, but also love.
I probably shouldn’t have told her, probably freaked her out. She had to meet Mia at 10:00. Rode our bikes through the rain. Then it was goodbye. We hugged akwardly and I kissed her which I think took her by surprise. I miss her immensely already. I was too tweaked to study so I chilled with Nancy then played pool. The E+M test was alright though excruciatingly painful. Once you’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel it’s hard to pay attention. Afterwards we went to the 6th street pub with Marvin, Bill and Chawn, very dismal bar at noon. Walking back I decided to suddenly scream at the top of my lungs. Damn that felt good. Felt like I had this secret that no one else would understand. Going thru the motions of regular life when all I think of is Jess. Went down to SCLERA then met with Dr Hill which was trippy cuz I was slightly buzzed. He’s so damn serious and intimidating. Looks like I’ll be taking Stellar Pulsation next semester. So I got a bunch of reading material, it never ends. Went and met Elise [someone with a car that was offering a ride to L.A. in exchange for gas money] and I guess she decided I wouldn’t kill her so agreed to leave at 7 am Now it’s 7:25 am and it’s cold out. And too early.
Went home and cleaned liked mad whilst listening to the Sex Pistols full volume. Then suddenly everybody starts calling: Chawn, Bill, Mark, Brian, David, Mom, etc. Chawn came over and we ate whatever was left in my fridge that was edible then we caught the tail end of happy hour at Geronimoz and snagged all the free food we could get. Bill met us there, then Mark, then Brian, one by one. Anointed them with my trusty magic wand and gave them presents. A tape for Bill, a harmonica for Brian and my Banjo to Mark. Had a few more beers then ate all my nuts discussing the aesthetics of each one—walnut, pecan, hazel, brazil, pistachio, cashews, almonds, etc. Went across the street to the D.P.C. A bunch of heavy/speed metal bands were playing. It was very dark and satanic. This band was playing furiously, shaking their long hair up and down like hair monsters, playing extremely fast and loud, a distorted onslaught of noise. The singer sounded like Satan. “I’ll stab you in the back whore!” They had potential though, their fingers working furiously on the frets. The only problem was it was hard to distinguish individual chords with all the distortion. We bailed to drink more beer and eat nuts. Went back for the next band but there is only so much one can take. By now it was just me and Mark, we split to the Shanty, talk about culture shock. Suddenly felt like we were in a beer commercial.
They kicked us out before was even 1 a.m. even though it was crowded. Lame. Didn’t go to bed until 3 a.m. Then woke up at 6:30. Elise was supposed to pick me up at 7 am but didn’t show up until 8. She had a big 4x4 with monster tires and a suped out Kawasaki dirt bike in back. Yee-haw biker girl in tight spandex shorts. Finally we were off. She was very talkative and made good company. Lots of funny stories about girl fights and high-speed chases. She was a bit uncomfortable at first but lightened up. “My mom says I shouldn’t give rides to strangers. She says you might freak out and rape or kill me.” Hehe, you never know. We stopped for gas and she tossed me the keys and went to the bathroom. Guess I earned her trust. Then she’s all “we’ll have to go out and party when we get back to Tucson.” Yah, right. I treated her to Bob’s Big Boy, trippy scene. Our waitress had this high squeaky voice and was psychotic and spilled water on me. I told Elise that meant the waitress had the hots for me. Elise said “I’ve never met a guy so weird.” Obviously she hangs with a more conservative crowd.
Pulled into Pasadena. I drove most of the way from Blythe. Edward was staring at us when we pulled up in her monster truck like what the fuck, until he saw me get out from behind the wheel. I told him it was my bike and he believed me. Kevin was stressed out as usual. “God damn fuckers broke my locks, stole my stereo. Shit, what am I going to do? Should I get another pullout? I’m not going to pay a locksmith $20 to fix these.” Fretting and frumming. Their house was disgusting as usual, full of beer cans and filth and cat hair. Pinball machines, barbells, broken furniture, found objets, manikins, tripods, filters, dart boards. In front they had a X-mas tree with Caution: Police line, don’t cross. And beer cans and hair curlers hanging as ornaments. In the bathroom foil with burnt opium, Kevin says it’s Edwards. Tried to go running, got way the hell out in East Pasadena and my knee started hurting so Kevin went back ahead of me. I was walking back and this woman in a jeep starts wigging out, yelling “my dog! My dog!” I saw this poor defenseless mutt in the middle of the road, cars flying by on either side. Evidently it had jumped or fallen out of the jeep. She starts running back completely hysterical and out of control, running in high heels, yelling “Brandy, Brandy! Oh my god!” She ran right past the dog who had gone into some one’s yard. I clued her in to where the dog was. She was crying hysterically then dropped to her knees. Went to the Good Guys and Kevin impulsively bought a $200 pull out stereo, otherwise we wouldn’t have any music on our trip.
[my ride to L.A.]
[xmas tree in front of Kevin's place]
Dec 24 — Menlo Park
That night we went downtown to 1st ave to some party in an abandoned building. But once in we went through a labyrinth of scummy industrial hallways. We could hear music getting louder and louder, then shaboom! A big room full of trendy artists drinking and dancing. Lots of girls in black dresses with cleavage busting out with lips that putter and lounging around on laps. Fashion victims. L.A. people have gone beyond being narcissistic to the point that they are not so concerned with themselves as who they are "scene" with. On the wall grainy old twilight zone movies looped endlessly. There was a room to the side that had a big sound system and lights but nobody was dancing. But the beer was free. Didn’t know anyone except Paul and his friend Christopher. They asked me if a jar of bees would weigh the same if the bees settled on the bottom or were flying. Hmm. That party was lame so we split up into the Hollywood Hills way up there in this maze of narrow roads, under the Hollywood sign. It took us a while to find. This party was a little better. In a nice house with a view over L.A. Strange mix of people. We invaded the kitchen and drank OJ mixed with champagne. There were trippy old black and white porno movies projected on the living room wall. Denise came in, she can be gorgeous at times, but can also look hideous. Then Richard Hinkle and Edward and a bunch of Kevin’s friends showed up. They had all been smoking heroin and were mellow and pale. I was feeling exhausted and tweaked myself from lack of sleep, but Kevin was busy scamming on some black girl with nice lips. So I sat and tripped out on everyone. I looked down over the balcony and there was some girl that kept lifting her sweater over her head exposing herself to some guy, covering her face in the process.
Woke up next morning covered with cat hair and allergic. We put Kevin’s new stereo in and were out of there. Up over the grapevine, there was snow up there. I read the Bhagavad Gita while we listened to the Mahabharata on tape. Got here to Menlo Park and Granini called David and Leslie and they came over and showed us pictures and we hot tubbed. Arthur and Andrea came by and I played Go w/ Arthur. Eric showed up in a tux (for work). Then Donald shows up and goes into this capitalistic rant about how degenerate the system is for letting people go on welfare and how we have to pay so much taxes, meanwhile blowing cigarette smoke in my face. Annoying. Woke up and Kevin and I did our xmas shopping, quick and painless. Injecting the economy, making Bush happy. Kevin acted lethargic and whined as usual. Went up to Susanna’s to make sure all was okay and the chickens put away. Saw her journal from when we went to Mexico in 86 [our journal from same trip] on her bed and read it, trippy. Came back and we went to see JFK then David and I went to the Susanna’s to sleep up there. Drank beer, made a fire and watched Fantasia.
X-mas is over. It was tolerable. I acquired a few more material possessions for my journey. A lot of practical things, jeans, t-shirts, books, etc. And some cool Bolivian stuff and a puppet. Everyone was there. It was truly marginal. X-mas eve I called Sara cuz she was alone, her parents in Jackson Hole and her Scottish boyfriend came but then they got in a fight and he left. So I sez get your ass over. Sara also came over xmas morning. Xmas is so boring, sitting around at home with the same old people. Would rather be partying in the streets meeting new people. Eric and Arthur got a bunch of goodies, so we played with them, Sonic the Hedgehog which is totally addictive. We’d stay up til early in the morning then dream all the imagery from the game when we fell asleep. That night I went to Susanna’s empty house w/ Kevin and Arthur. We played Go in front of the fire and listened to our new albums. Barry called while we were there and just when I’m reassuring him everything is fine Kevin comes in and sez “hey Derek, the chickens are out and Jake is chewing on one of them.” So I hung up and we cashed the damn chickens everywhere and put the dogs in. The rooster was the hardest to catch, basically had to keep chasing it til he tired out then dove on him.
Met Joel at his work at Silicon Graphics last night [includes guest pass that says “escort required”]. I was in a weird mood, having been playing Sonic Hedgehog and just bored of Joel, who is barely out of college and already talking about saving for his retirement. That and he’s starting to creep me out, wondering if he likes me more than just as a friend. So I get into this corporate death place of work and for some reason decide to tell Joel I'm coming down off a hit of acid. Maybe it was cuz he looked so conservative and generic, showing me his little cubicle. “This is my blah 64,000 blah megabyte blah blah” and I’m like “cool, I’m hungry.” He’d show me some trippy 3D graphics and I’d yell loud enough to be overheard, “No way! Stop that! I don’t think I can handle this right now. The screen is sucking me in.” And his co-workers were peeping over the tops of their cubicles. This made him really embarrassed so we went to eat at Szechuan garden, which is good as ever. He was going on about how much he loved my tapes [the ones we recently rereleased], to the point it seemed obsessive and creepy. So after scarfing some food I said I had to meet my mom and brother now and split. I did meet them and we saw “Life is Sweet” which was pretty funny. Woke up early this morning, fed the animals and came down here to 2063. Everybody was sleeping. Got mom’s ass up so we could work [think we owed her money so she put me to work over the holidays at Folk Art Intl to work off my debt]. Pain in the ass working with her, but the environment makes up for it, all the trippy tribal art—Shiva and Parvati statues, Balinese garudas, big African masks, Samoan war canoes. Cleaned up and organized like crazy. Came back here and David and Kevin had ordered Thai food. I called Jess. I miss her like crazy and think of her all the time. Time hasn’t worn her off on me. We’ll just see when we get back. Also talked to Miles who had just taken the G.R.E. Took a hot tub with Kimi and Tanaqui (Beezie) and now we’re about to head out to Antonio’s nut house as soon as everybody gets their shit together. [the same nut house that was since been co-opted by Facebook as their “headquarters”]
[selfie at Folk Art Intl]
Went to the nut house. Kevin and I bought cheap beer and chugged it in the car so we wouldn’t have to buy any in the bar. Andrea and Carrie and Jennifer were there. Played them pool then Eric, Arthur and Kimi and Beezie showed up. Tanaqui was being funny, acting all innocent like she’d never played pool in her life, shuffling her feet and squinting her eyes, then running the table and acting like it was beginner’s luck. “What do you know?” She’s an astrophysics major at Berkeley now. We left around 1 a.m. Kevin flaked on me so I went back to Susanna’s alone to sleep, not getting to sleep until like 3 a.m. Woke up at 8 to go to work. I was starting to feel ill and was naïve to ignore it. Getting dizzy and feverish, but kept working. By the time I came home I was very ill and have been so for almost 3 days. Didn’t do much except see “Prince of Tides” (gag me new age feel good movie). Then went to the Good Earth with mom and then to Eric and Arthur’s to do god knows what, everything was all starting to run together, series of boring obligations. Get lost in Sonic Hedgehog to cope. Then Jeff called from Argentina, then Brian and Mark arrived and we went back over to the Avary’s. Lots of people sleeping on the floor, blankets everywhere, lots of camel cigarettes and coffee cups and beer bottles. We stopped at the store to get the fixings for a feast—beans, avocado, rice, potatoes, 18 eggs, sourdough toast, all garnished and spiced with onions and salsa, cilantro, peppers, fruit and bacon and ham for the carnivores. We split up to Berkeley in 2 cars, me and Brian and Mark in Bronco Bill. We got there way before the others, cruised around campus and Telegraph avenue. Another one of those dismal gray days as almost always seems to the case in Bezerkley. We got lost going through Oakland following Eric, trying to find the stadium. We arrived and cruised the “Malay”—the parking lot where anything and everything to distort your reality was being solicited. Brian wanted acid, not hard to find. Every other person was saying “doses, doses” like a chant. Interspersed with “shrooms, buds, heroin, ganja brownies, etc.” So Brian dosed and then decides he also wants shrooms. I was obviously designated driver since I didn’t partake anyway, so on top of driving had to make sure they all didn’t go off on some bad trip. After a while we went into the stadium, the floor was already packed but there was a volleyball game going on so we waited by the sideline. After game point we rushed to grab a spot with the hundreds of others with the same idea. Their doses were starting to kick in and Brian was providing me with a running commentary, useful insights a sober person is otherwise missing out on. He kept playing with his hands, twirling them around and going “wow! WOW!” Trying to explain how trippy that was. The Dead finally came on. Funny how they fuck with people’s senses with the use of light and trippy melting slides, obvious to anyone not on acid, but everyone else acting like they were seeing god. The Dead were irrelevant really, they were just an excuse for all these deadheads to get together and trip out on eachother knowing they were sharing a common experience with 99% of the people there. Safety in numbers. I dunno, maybe I'd mindlessly follow the Velvet Underground, but The Dead? I tried to get into the groove and dance but was just on a different wavelength than everyone else. Not to mention that the music just sucks and The Dead were very distant, so far away physically and metaphorically. Couldn’t see their facial expressions, or fingers on the frets. The music came from far away speakers and it wasn’t very loud, may as well have been pre-recorded. I couldn’t make out any connections between the musicians and the music they were making. I tried to enjoy it and not put a bad trip on anyone, but it freaked me out, like a mass hysteria that I was not a part of. Like Jerry Garcia was a T.V. evangelist, no one questioned or criticized. Take acid and obey. Then again, what was there to criticize? Only positive vibrations were in there. Good clean fun except for all the poison coursing through everyone’s veins, brainwashing them into zombies. This really hit me during “Ship of Fools”. The coliseum was shaped like a giant ship and all these fools danced around doing everything capt Jerry said. He’s in a position where he could easily turn on everyone and make them do bad things, that’s what scares me. No one is thinking their own thoughts. The whole coliseum a brainwashed ship of fools. I tried to experience it without the crutch of drugs, but only experienced it at a pragmatic level as an outsider. But without drugs I was not part of the holistic mob.
They took a break and these girls started hitting on me, “do you have any water?” “I like your hat (I was wearing Arthur’s Humphrey Bogart hat)” or “where are you from?” Ended up this one group was RLS [where we went sophmore year] and Catalina students. “Whoooaa, no way! Small world!” Whatever. Not only that, they were sophomores. “You wouldn’t take that against us would you?”. Hmm, it’s been 10 years since I went to RLS. The Dead came back and played a few decent tunes then Mickey Hart went into his space jam and Mark (who was only smoking pot) and I had this strange discussion about rotating spheres full of liquid, fucking with people’s minds that were eavesdropping on us. Meanwhile Brian is still dancing around looking at his hands and going “wow!” over and over and describing how the stage is melting. It took us a while to get out of there. We exited to the wrong side and were disoriented, so had to retreat through the malay maze. Stopped here at the old house and no one was here. Brian wanted to play Sonic Hedgehog while he was still tripping. Then we invaded Denny’s then went to the Avary’s. They had just gotten back from DNA. We vegetated on their sofa. Woke up at 8 a.m. They were all still sleeping so I went up to S’s to feed the animals. Then back here and I don’t know where anybody is. Kind of weird state of purgatory. Kevin appears from who knows where. I think he stayed in the city. Just me and him hanging out in the old house, the only noise is the grandfather clock ticking. Today is the last day of 1991. And as always it’s also the 1st day of the rest of my life. New Year’s resolutions? Control the senses, relinquish addictions, follow the 8-fold path to enlightenment and whatever it is, have fun doing it.
[journel continues here]