On spatial + temporal atomicity, Kaibab death trail, lightning + being a bouncer at L7 (1992 flashback)
[12/19/19 > Back from NYC + our beddre-½ is back from UK. It's cold out + were working on Textiloma. Ain't much else to say so we'll get back to our archiving, this from May-June 1992, in Tucson, picking up from this entry left off (still in the same journel).]
May 1 [1992—Tucson, AZ]
Tuesday night hung out again with Zeke. It was his last night. We watched old Bad Brains, Minor Threat. etc. videos from his Philly days, from like 1982. Zeke the prepubescent 12-yr old doing goofy stage dives. Becky Wreck was even in some of them. What a trip, like a year or less before i met her. In one scene she goes nuts and tries to rip H.R.'s shirt off.
[We mentioned Zeke Zagar in the last post, but not sure we've ever mentioned Becky Wreck here... in fact, we forgot her last name was Wreck until we read this. This is the beauty (for us anyways) of transcribing these journels. We were in a band w/ Becky around 1983-1985 in Berkeley/SF, called Unkel Fester. She is/was an awesome drummer. Her partner at the time Maxine sang + another lesbian named Kate played bass + there was me, the 16-yr old straight white boy, on guitar. We lost touch with Becky but seems shortly after we knew her she was in Lunachicks + then made a number of appearances on Howard Stern, who anointed her "lesbian of the year".
This is the beauty of Inurnet. (Becky if you come across this, would be good to hear from u.. if u don't remember Unkel Fester, here's a clip (from 1984) to jar your memary...)
Anyways, pardon the interruption, we'll get back to 1992...]
Zeke left wednesday. He left me $50 bucks, which is kind of nice right now. Hope he didn't get arrested at JFK for stealing the credit card #. Wednesday night the violence in L.A. erupted over Rodney King and has been going on since. Complete Mayhem. Things were building up to this. "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.... Ball of Confusion, that's what the world is today." I called Kevin on his b-day, took a while cuz all the lines in L.A. were clogged. He said the city was in chaos, dusk to dawn curfew and he couldn't even leave cuz all the freeways were closed off. Colin went out to buy a gun. I'm just retreating into my discretized space-time paper. I'm really into it, i just can't organize my thoughts on paper. Guess i need to just start writing and not think. My mind has been very clean lately. I feel very aware, healthy. I get this nice buzzing sensation where i feel i'm on the verge of some personal spiritual breakthrough, hard to explain. When i meditate i'm normally too tired or too restless, or too much on my mind. But when i don't try, i get these moments of lucidity. [Zo] has completely written me off. She finally consented to talk to me, on the phone! Lame. She said all this crap about how it was too intense and that she stilled like me and wanted to hang out with me. Next day when i went out with Sather she gave me the impression, or rather Zo gave her the impression, that we were just friends. Why am i so naive? It's obvious she's into this Seth dude cuz 1). he's her ca. 2) he's rich. 3). he has a Nissan Pathfinder 4) he lives in a nice house in Sam Hughes and 5) he's probably got a lot of pot [all a reflection of our one insecurities]. This would be okay if i just knew where we stood. Sather thinks she'll break up with this Seth dude in a few weeks, but i'd be an idiot to accept her back, or at least i'd lose all respect for myself. It's been 3 or 4 weeks but i still think of her incessantly. I check my answering machine first thing when i come home hoping there might be a message from her. I'm so lame, so naive. I was so good for her and she fucked up, but what else can i do besides lose my pride? In a way maybe it's a good thing. Women interfere with your personal growth, take up a lot of free time. But independence comes at the price of loneliness, a double-edged sword. The only person you can trust in this world is yourself. You shouldn't have to depend on others for your happiness. I say all this, but they are just pathetic justifications, i don't have a choice, there's no chance to get back together with her. At least there was no malice. We both realize we're just different, not meant for each other at this time in our lives. I was stupid to think i'd be the one to break her shell that keeps her from being intimate. But if she thinks what we had was too intense, what else can i do? You live and learn. Accept things at face value, you can't expect people to change. I just need to move on.
May 5 
Seems the rains have come early. A much-needed rain to smooth down the jagged rough edges. I keep consulting the I Ching, this morning it kept talking about the rain, the storm would release electrical tension [draws hexagrams of «receptive earth» over «abysmal water»] Gentleness within, movement without. "Thunder rolls and the wind blows, both examples of extreme mobility" and so are seemingly the very opposite of duration. Being that i just finished my temporal atomicity paper i'm particularly obsessing over duration right now. It goes on—duration is a state whose movement is not worn down by hindrances. It is not a state of rest, for mere standstill is regression. Duration is rather the self-contained and therefore self-renewing movement of an organized, firmly integrated whole, taking place in accordance with immutable laws and beginning anew at every ending. The end is reached by an inward movement, by inhalation, contraction... and this movement turns into a new beginning, in exhalation, dilation, expansion. Anyways, i was going on about the rain. The "yang" of this "opposition" (concerning Zo). [draws more hexagrams + notes from the I Ching]. "People living in opposition cannot carry out a great undertaking in common." Usually opposition is an obstruction, but in this case it is a polarity of the comprehensive whole. If that's relevant to the Zo situation, then check this out—the 2 elements, fire and H2O, never mingle but even when in contact they retain their natures. So "the cultured man is never led into baseness or vulgarity through intercourse or community of interests with persons of another sort, regardless of all cominglings, he will always preserve his individuality." And "Remorse disappears—if you lose your horse, do not run after it; it will come back on its own accord. A horse will run further away if one runs after it." I don't know, this stupid book keeps dropping hints that Zo and I will get back together, but that seems unlikely. [...haha, not only did we get back together but we're still togther after 28 yrs!]
Anyway, RAIN... what was i saying about rain? Sitting and watching it clean the streets, absolving it of its impurities. I wonder if it is washing the blood from the streets of L.A. The yang was "deliverance". The obstacle has been removed, the difficulties are being resolved—southwest furthers (stay in Tucson this summer) if there is no longer anything where one has to go, return brings good fortune (could use some cash). This refers to a time when tensions and complications begin to be eased. At such times we must make our way back to ordinary conditions—"the southwest" (it really said that). The periods of sudden change (discrete time) have great importance. Just as rain relieves atmospheric tension, making all the buds burst open, so a time of deliverance from burden, some pressure (final paper) has a liberating and stimulating affect on life, of deliverance. Thus the superior man pardons mistakes (forgives Zo?) and forgives misdeeds. He forgives misdeeds, the intentional transgressions, just as water washes everything clean.
Yes it has, it has stopped. I just took a 2-hour nap. I finished my paper. I was touching it up and went to print it out at 11:00 (it was due at 2:00) and the last 5-6 pages weren't there! Holy shit. I couldn't retrieve them so i had to type them back up at full speed. 12:30. Then i printed it out and there was this one page that was in all these trippy characters, worse than Greek! Chawn wrote in a page for me and evidently he pushed Ctrl+R which causes everything to be scrambled (though not on the screen). I finished at about 5 til 2:00. I didn't bother sticking around for class. So that's all I've been doing and I don't feel like talking about it though it has been incredibly inspiring and really opened my eyes to new ideas. [... for any 1 curious, hear's a scan of the original paper, which in this 2011 post we doctored/extrapolated on, saying we ruind the only copy we had, but there was another copy in the pages of this journal, along w/ many other letters, notes, etc. which we're not necessarily inklooting hear..]
My only breaks were to see Basic Instinct and working the D.P.C. [Downtown Performance Center] Saturday and Sunday night. Saturday they had a band from Japan called Nimrod. A pretty Japanese woman in a kimono looking all demure comes out and takes a seat in front of a stack of electronics, and then this incredible onslaught of noise erupted that she somehow controlled with a dish. A deafening roar that felt like it was causing internal hemorrhaging in my brain. The next song she took off her Kimono (to the sound of loud grunge), completely naked with a nice body. Then she came back, still naked except for a G-string and a leather S+M outfit. She started whipping the guy and rips off his clothes until he was wearing just a leather jockstrap, then starts whipping and kicking him then poured hot candle wax all over him. Nice. And i was getting paid to see this, not a bad job.
I feel a compulsion to hit the store before it closes. [then we scrawled some random notes...]
The uncertainty principle is a consequence is a consequence of every electron being absolutely identical. Absolute identity of particles demands that there cannot exist for them sharply defined trajectories.
The cess pool as a metaphor of all sins and excesses of man.
The train is passing. The thunder flashes, lighting up the wet streets. It's 10:00 o'clock at night and i'm in shorts watching the rain from my porch. I feel a faint warm buzz, but i'm not sure why. It could be the coffee, the only problem is i have yet to take a sip. It could be because i've been climbing all day and my muscles are fried. Or it's just cuz the rain is beautiful. The way it drips. The way it smells. The way it cleanses, purifies. These are the same drops fishes will eventually swim in, boats will float on, that clouds are made of, that splatter on my face in sudden realization, that flood the storm drains and join the ranks of rivers... back to the sea.
I'm in a new reference frame now, all in a sudden a different perspective. I'm basically done with classes. I have a philosophy final but i'm pretty much gonna blow it off. I feel almost liberated, but still hanging from some loose threads. SCLERA threads that control me like a puppet. Dr. Hill listed me in one of the meetings as working some projects this summer that i ain't so keen to work on. Bottom line though is I gotta eat. Can't do nothing without pay. I'm thinking i should lay all the shit on the table and tell Dr. Hill my heart's not 100% committed, that it's not a deep passion. I'm just hesitant cuz he treats me so well and he's understanding. And what else would i do? If only i had a regular fellowship with no strings attached. If i get the NASA fellowship that would help.
They had budget hearings thursday and friday which has me thinking a lot about university politics. It's sick, a crime. What is happening in this university? In this state, country? It will produce a degenerate generation which will make the state of affairs even worse in another decade.
Oh, but the lightning is beautiful. When it flashes through the sky, ripping it open and letting the rain fall through. Last Wednesday was Wyse Monkey Orchestra at the rock. It was a lot of fun. [We almost edited this out cuz we're embarrassed to admit we ever listened to such bands, just goes to show that the '90s were a real low point in human history that we would be so desperate.] Yesterday played golf with Mark, then played soccer with a bunch of South African dudes then went and saw Thunderheart. Today got up early and climbed all day with Tugrul, Dale and Elizabeth.
Sunday, May 17
No worries, school is officially over and summer is here. Almost like that nostalgic grade school feeling. It was rather anti-climactic though. My philosophy test was tuesday, but i didn't take it. And things with SCLERA are still vague, i just go in there and pretend i'm busy. He's "pretty sure" i'll get funded. I was even at the stage where i was about to go in and have a heart to heart with him, how i wasn't into it at all. I went in but didn't speak my mind and i'm glad i didn't. Talked to Thews and there's no way i can get a regular fellowship... of course, why would they want to fund me when i already am funded by SCLERA? These fellowships are just carrots to lure us donkeys in, but now that we're in we're stuck. Then i talked to Chawn... he didn't even get accepted to U of A (w/ a fellowship), so needs to work at SCLERA like me. And the job market sucks. So that kicked me in the head, saying, "hey Derek, beggars can't be choosers." So i'll just shut my mouth. Besides SCLERA is probably the most interesting group at U of A, it's just that U of A sucks for physics. Wednesday night started my Denny's no sleep escapades. Wed's night with Harlow, first to Bentley's where ran into Rusty, Brett, Sather, Mia, Geoff, etc. Same crowd as always, minus Zo. But they left and then Zo and Seth came in. She was really friendly to me. Harlow had to study for his math methods and i was reading a Hindu version of "Atoms and Self", but actually it was all under the pretense of consoling him about his father, not getting accepted to U of A for grad school, and whether he even wanted to go at all. Once Bentley's closed we continued on to Denny's where i hatched the idea of going to a different Denny's every day for a year, in different towns across the U.S, saying it was your birthday and getting a free meal. It would be an interesting American experience. Then write a book about it. I'd definitely have to give up being vegetarian. Got to sleep around 3:00 or 4:00 and had to wake up before 8:00 to tutor. Sheer hell, no one's been there during finals week. Usually read or talk to Firouzeh or Alvin or Chandra or do mindless work for Louris. Thursday was happy hour at G-moz. Zo + Gwynn showed up, Zo + Seth went out back. I figured since Zo said come to G-moz i'd take the liberty of sitting at their table. But everything got weird, i felt like i was making the scene uncomfortable. So why not drink yourself into oblivion? Had a few beers then switched to wine and after about 4 more glasses was fairly annihilated. It didn't take long for Zo and Seth to unlock their bikes (that were locked together) and leave, probably why i felt inclined to drink so much. Meanwhile Mark showed up with Clair, trippy girl. Really sparkly beautiful eyes just like Mark raves about. I kind of mentioned to Clair that we should go to Nogales and next thing i know there was a movement afoot to go to Nogales. Thought it ended up only me, Mark, Chawn and Clair followed through with it. We stopped at Claire's and i had a few hits off her bong, which only added to my disoriented misery. I felt really tired and passed out in the car, waking up when we reached the border, wondering where the fuck we were. Walked across and went to some really seedy bar that reeked of pine-sol. There were tables full of horny guys drinking beer with glazed looks on their faces, some of them with slutty looking girls on their laps. Prostitutes everywhere and sleezey waitresses in tight dresses with holes in the side and tons of make-up that were giving me the eye... scary. There was some really tacky wanna be passionate heart-throb singer singing wild drunken mariachi music. We bailed to try to find "la cueva" going around all sorts of sketchy back streets amidst rumors that it burned to the ground. and reopened elsewhere or whatever and ended up at some slick dark cocktail bar. I kept talking about Denny's to the point where Mark and Clair now call me Denny, and we stopped at a Denny's on the way home, 2 or 3 a.m. Saw Elise, the biker girl that gave me a ride to L.A., in the parking lot, with her motorcycle in back. Too funny. Vegetated eating gross grilled cheese sand and dries til 3 a.m. and of course early the next morning i had to work, last day tutoring. Lunch with Jess S and Gwynn (i think they just feel sorry for me) and then i tried to talk to Dr. Hill and he wasn't there and then hey, it occurred to me that i'm free! The next 5 days are mine to do what i want. I went and chilled at the pool where i ran into Sean + Jesus then went with them to happy hour at the Shanty then progressed over to Ben's Genitals [what we called Gentle Ben's]. The place was packed but i didn't know anybody. I sat and people watched then ran into Tim. Wise Monkey Orchestra started playing so we went up to dance—Ignacio, Susan and that whole gang. There was a bunch of frat boys who were being dickheads and slam dancing violently, knocking people down. Really annoying. Brian and Rich showed up, then Mark Levine (Zo's ca), who stood next to me the whole time but never said anything, i don't think he knows who i am. [this is the same Mark that we'd run into years later in NYC + he ended up hosting the Ark Codex launch party]. Tried to go to Dave's (Big Deluxe) party after, but the cops had already broken it up, so went to my place and ate leftovers then went to Claire's but she wasn't there so we hung out with her roommate Dave, analyzing the trippy front porch bee phenomena.
Saturday i somehow ended up hanging with Shaheen all day. First i wanted to say goodbye to Gwynn who was leaving for the summer and both the Jesses showed up. Then met Shaheen at the rec center to shoot hoops, then went to buy climbing gear, then to Harlow's graduation party. Then Bill's party... all these lame social obligations. Actually there was some interesting people at Bill's party, Dave Hammer, Tom and Deb the caving freaks, Bill's brother and his long-haired biker friends, and Firouzeh and Juliette and Jazelle. Once again, 2 or 3 a.m. and had to get up at 7 to bike over to Shaheen's to go climbing with him and Dale, great day for climbing. I pulled off that 5.9 (Ego Donor) that i wouldn't even try last weekend. It felt beautiful. Came back and had dinner with Sather at La Indita, in the patio next to "It's Butt Time" [what we affctionately called the gay bar "It's About Time"]. Then went to Bentleys to get wired and now i'm ready to crash early (11 pm) as soon as my laundry's done. Laundry? [followed by the long (4 pg) dream from May 18, 1992 that we already logged, that correosponds to "Dragging a Cat Downhill: A Lesson in 'Action at a Distance'" in Poste Restante, w/ this correosponding image:]
I'm lying on some gross carpet in a hotel room in Flagstaff. Everyone else—Sean, Gary, Michelle—are pretending they are asleep. It smells of fresh paint. Monday morning Sean calls me at 9 asks if i want to go to the grand canyon and i say sure and he said he'd pick me up at 10. Ate some spaghetti then figured i'd better pack. By the time we ran errands, got food, met up with the others, etc. and generally got our shit together to salir it was around 12:30. Stopped at some McDonald's in Tempe where we met up with Jesus and Deerdra. Stopped again in Flagstaff at a Safeway then continued on. I was with Sean, Michelle and Gary in Gary's beat up Ford whatever, Lincoln or Fairmont. Leaving the disgusting lovebirds (Jesus and Deerdra, Uve and Jennifer) to themselves. Got to the campground probably ½ before sunset... this is when things started to get fun, the shit that brings out the true nature in people. Deerdra's freaking out that we got to hurry and get the tent up before it gets dark, everyone frantically hustling about. I figured i'd at least be helpful to alleviate the stress. So we're staring to set up tents when some people tell us the campsite is taken. So Deerdra and Jesus take off in a frenzy to find another place. They come back and tell us we can go in the group camping. So we pack the tents back up, jump back in all 3 cars and race off. But then somebody said the gate keeper said the spot we were at was actually open. So we rush back and begin to unpack again—false alarm. Ends up it actually was taken. Complete hectocity. Jump in the cars and rush off to group camping. I figured it was a good time to bust out the red wine, but still feeling obligated to frantically help with whatever they're doing to set up (all i planned on doing was throwing my sleeping bag on the ground off in the forest somewhere). So we get the 3 tents up then everyone starts munching on everything. I grabbed a can of soup and went over to our neighbors fire and threw it in. Talked to them a few minutes until my soup had heated then took the can out of the fire and opened it, bon appetite. Everyone retired early. I grabbed my sleeping bag and a few garbage bags in case it got wet and walked into the trees. The moon was just beginning to rise and was hiding behind dark clouds periodically. Uve had been watching the weather all week and said it was down into the 30s so i had my thermals on. (now it's too windy to write, on the curvy road thru Sedona).
I had this really violent dream with all these murders. [we forgot to log this 1 in our dream journel]. I was running through these forests where this sick [undecipherable... ] I was running like a wolf, totally aware and fearless, on the prowl. I woke up and i was jacked full of adrenalin. The moon was on the other side of the sky and looked freaky. I was waiting for the adrenalin rush to subside when i heard some coyotes (probably explains the dream). I tried to ignore it but they were getting closer and i was thinking to the coyotes i might look like a garbage bag full of meat. So i got up and decided to sleep nearer to the campground. I woke up and it was light out. The night before everyone agreed that the 1st person up would wake everyone else up. So i threw rocks at Michelle's tent and she's all complaining that it's only 5:00 so i didn't attempt to wake anyone else up, but then when they finally got up hours later they all bitched me out for not waking them up. Had some Java and Bagels then took off. Parked at the rim and walked along it for a while till we got to the trailhead of Bright Angel Creek. (now we're driving through an intense thunderstorm, hail so bad we had to pull over, the road's covered in marble-sized hail).
We started our journey down the well-touristed trail, down, down. We got about ⅓ the way down and Deerdra and Jennifer started bitching and they went back up with Uve, leaving me, Sean, Michelle, Gary and Jesus to plod on. Past the Mississippi zone into the Pennsylvania zone and its red soil, thru 7 zones til we got to Precambrian. Like an unearthed grave. And then the might Colorado. Flowing muddy molten liquid, pulling the soil to the sea, very rapid. It suddenly became very abstract to me, being on this plant of soil, solid substance. What is substance? To have this solid substance with liquid substance running through it really tripped me out, this liquid with an unwavering end to just get lower, reach the sea, carving this immense fractalian sculpture that we were hiking thru... This was all just protons and electrons interacting to give us this sensation! Such a big sensation and it's been going on like this almost since the beginning of time. If you stop to think about it you feel like nothing, so trivially small. All this void, this huge void was once full of dirt that is now in the sea. What was now isn't. And the tourist rafts floated by with lame tourists waving. We continued on along the river for a few miles then crossed this suspension bridge into Phantom Ranch. Gary, Jesus and Michelle decided to join Sean and i in returning up Kaibab (rather than retrace Bright Angel) despite all the warnings that said do not attempt this trail, no shade, no water, no fun." It was twice as steep as Bright Angel. But why do the same route twice? Just ain't elegant. The first ⅓ of the way was slow, Sean and I kept having to wait for the others. So finally i got the keys from Gary so i could fetch the car and talked Sean into running the trail. He was all "you fucking asshole" but did it. We ran til it got steep, really steep. Got to a flat area where we could run again. Then it started raining harder (it had been drizzling off and on all morning). But it got worse, and really windy. Couldn't tell the difference between rain and sweat, and if you slowed down the wind chilled. It was obvious this was a storm. I had gotten ahead of Shaheen so huddled like a caveman in a cave waiting for him. I figured we should stick together in case one of us sprained an ankle or something. We were no longer having fun. The trail was really muddy and slippery, the mud was caking to the bottoms of our boots making it feel like we were trudging uphill in lead boots. The wind was howling in exposed areas, pelting the rain against us. The only relief we got was once in a while there'd be a sheltered area, a cliff or something. We were totally unprepared, no jacket, only our t-shirts (after all, it was in 90s or 100s when we took off). Our only option was to keep motoring or freeze. But i kept having to wait for Shaheen. My arms were beginning to get tingly and felt like needles going thru them. We were hating life but plodded on, step 1 foot forward, slide 6 inches back. The rain and wind didn't let up and the trail wound around to the exposed part of the ridge. We'd see a rim and think that was it, but then we'd get to the top and we were nowhere near. But we eventually made it [ends up 2 people died this day hiking on the Kaibab trail].
Then came the chore of getting the car... 3 miles away. We tried to hitch a ride from the parking lot but nobody took sympathy. So we took off walking and finally some couple gave us a ride, and not only that they gave us cookies. They also stopped for 2 kids and their teacher, Hopi Indian kids on a field trip but got split up from their group. They were shivering and wet and crying and i didn't feel much better. Got to the car and put on warm clothes but was still shivering. Then we ran got a plastic thermos and filled it with hot chocolate and i poured a cup of coffee into my stomach and felt like Superman. We were on a mission now to rescue the others who we figured would be even more miserable. Got to the trailhead and grabbed the hot chocolate and cookies, warm dry clothes, etc. and started running full speed back down the trail. Meanwhile... [then we let them write their own perspectives in their handwriting... sorry for the bad scan job]
[...We got 3 rooms—the one Gary, Michelle and I got was really] crappy. But it was only $21.50 split 4 ways, not bad. Hot showers. We got Jesus's stove out in the room + heated up some cans of food and ate watching T.V. Sean and Michelle got the beds. There was a loud thunderstorm during the night. And loud trains passing by a few blocks away. Went out to breakfast the next morning in Flagstaff then headed down to Sedona. Saw some expensive galleries and shops full of crappy crafts and all sorts of unnecessary stuff. Things to make people's lives more complicated. Entertained by Uve's car alarm which went off periodically during the weekend, he kept having to go run to turn it off, not sure why he even bothers. We finally split up and went our separate ways. We (Michelle, Gary, Sean, me) went and saw the chapel up on the red cliff face. Then just headed out. Michelle drove 100 mph to Phoenix except when we hit an insane hail storm. Toured Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe, then visited her friend Don. Ended up eating Thai food in Tempe. Tried to see the Imax movie "Ring of Fire" but it was sold out. A lot of driving in the rain around Scottsdale and Tempe and now were on the I-10 back to Tucson.
Got back just in time for L7 at D.P.C. Steve already had someone working the snackbar but they needed a "bouncer" to keep people from going backstage. Earl's Family Bombers opened up, they came out in dresses and lipstick. They were o.k., lots of energy but not motivating people to dance. I was busy memorizing roadie's faces and the bands and friends of the bands and keeping undesirables from going backstage. The place was packed, sold out. People squished all the way back. Probably the first show where Steve had to stop letting people in. L7 came on, 4 radical punk lesbian feminists, they were intense. Talented and raw energy, sassy and feisty, ragging on people for how violent the mosh pit was getting. Doing stage dives and knocking the mic into her teeth, she was really annoyed, understandably. It was getting difficult to keep people from going backstage, everybody had an excuse or story, and while one person was pleading their case, another would try to sneak around or just run by even tho i told them not to so i'd have to run and grab them, at which point others would take advantage and run by. It became a free for all that i wasn't able to contain by myself. Especially for me, i'm way to polite and small to be a bouncer. Met Brian and Mark and K and went to Denny's after.
Didn't do much at SCLERA thurs and fri except socialize and play on the computers, write letters, etc. Friday night i was on a mission to exterminate the dam roaches. They are getting out of control, must be dealt with even if with poison. I can keep my place clean as i want, but they come from the neighbors. I went to the Jesses new place, pretty cool. Bri and Jeff were there and Zo and then Mark and Rich, etc. sitting around drinking beer. But i opted to exterminate roaches. Went to Fry's to get weapons, Black Flag. I let them have that night as a last meal, while i read Mulata by Miguel Asturias. Good surrealistic stuff. Then next morning i bombed the place at 7:30 and evacuated to Michelle's place to help her move. Of course everybody except Gary flaked so it was just the 3 of us and her and Gary were on some weird trip, so i did most of the work. Then i rode over to Geoff's house, he was blaring The Dead in his pig sty of a house with bikes everywhere, at least 9 of them in the living room. And Geoff sweaty and white with his goatee managed looking for a clean bowl so he could eat cereal. And Tim's room is an archaeological dig, the messiest room i've ever seen. We headed over to do Finger Rock. We somehow managed to get on this trail that looped around and over Finger Rock on the other side of Pontatoc canyon. It rained on us a good deal of the way, almost felt like we were in Oregon. It took 3 or 4 hours straight up a steep rocky trail. By the time we got to the top there were forests and everything was different. The sun came through and we could see over the other side to Oracle. The coolest part was when got to the top there were these trees that from a distance looked like they had red bark. But as we got closer we realized they were completely covered with writing masses of lady bugs. Entire trees covered so you couldn't see the bark. And some of the other plants were also covered. It was really trippy and was confined to this little area. We speculated why but it's still a mystery.
The hike down took forever but was different cuz the sun wasn't out. Stopped at El Taco then to Bentleys where i got a free coffee for going in the out door. Then went and saw The Player which made me feel Hollywood was having a good laugh at the expense of movie goers. Rode home and there was a message from Juliette and Jazelle for me to meet them at Sweetwater to dance Brazillian. So i went over there, the place was packed and hard to dance. I kept getting pushed into the mic stand but it was fun, until Juliette got kicked out for not having an ID. This guy Dwayne we were with also got kicked out for being too drunk and not having the right image. He made a big scene, yelling fuck you and slugging the walls while the pompous manager called the police. Jazelle and Juliette are fun to hang out, sincere and genuine and nice. A fresh change from hanging out with white privileged college kids. I hope to hang out with them more. So that was an active day, 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 am. cleaning, moving furniture and boxes, hiking, then dancing, good workout. Slept 5 hours, woke up at 6:30 to ride over to Sean's. Tugrul and Peter, this Austrian post-doc, met us then we went to get Paula. Drove to Onyx where Chawn, Dr. S and Robert were waiting for us. The trip into Onxy was incredibly slow. We had to set up ropes on everything. Across the balcony traverse down and up the gorge then through the warm hole on the "ice" and into the knick-knack room. Then we rappeled into the coral pit and went to the Big Room—first time i'd been there. It was gorgeous, very big and huge formations. There were huge broken off stalagtites lying in ruins like ancient greek columns. It made me feel very small. Here being the mudslides that tunnel down 300 feet to a lake big enough you can go around on a raft. There was also this wormhole in the Window room that i explored down whilst waiting for everyone. It just kept going down. I'd like to come back and follow it further to see how far it goes. Paula was having lots of problems and when we got back to the coral pit and had to climb up she completely lost it. I've never seen anyone panic so bad. She was crying and hysterical to the point where she couldn't even speak/ She was just stuck there afraid to go up or down. We did everything we could. She was on rope and all she had to do was pull herself up with ascenders. It took hours. Sean and I were supposed to meet Michelle for a dinner she was cooking us, but it was obvious we wouldn't make it. It was well past 10 and it was a few hours to get out. I did the coral pit with 2 backpacks on my back and on belay. When i was below i heard Tugrul slip and fall 10 or 15 feet but he was alright. When i got to the point he was all don't climb that way it's slippery" but i told him i'd done it 2 or 3 times already. I made it across but wasn't looking so then i hit my head on the downward protrusion really hard. Smack. Fell and landed on my butt and slid to the edge of the pit. It was very funny, Tugrul was laughing so hard his belly hurt. That's what i get. I went on way ahead, sitting in complete darkness/silence for 15 minutes or leaving little mementos for the others. Pelting them with clay balls.
[this isn't Onyx cave, but w don't have many pics from our caving adventures... think this is G in Scroll cave]
Coming out into the fresh stormy sky was a great feeling. So infinitely big and free. By the time we got back it was past 2 a.m. and i had to ride my bike back from Sean's place. Slept like a rock. Kept getting phone calls the next morning, vague recollection of barely being able to speak to Sarah. I felt totally hungover tho i hadn't anything to drink. Then Juliette called, we were supposed to hike Sabino canyon. I felt like shit, but consented. Got up and took on the task of cleaning my place since the bug bomb. Everything literally looking like a bomb hit. This roach thing is becoming an obsession. They represent things that subconsciously plage me, things left undone. Creeping into the cracks of my cupboards, my soul kitchen. They live in sewers, the universal consciousness, and creep into various individual minds, at night while you dream. They 'bug" you. They are an evil plague and must die.
In the end Ruben flaked and we didn't go to Sabino cuz he was the only one with a car, which was good cuz it took me all day to clean my place and generally chill and vegetate. Met Sather to go out to eat. I was talking to her on the phone and could hear Zo and Seth giving her shit for talking to me. Evidently Zo thinks something is going on between me and Sather. Let her think what she wants. Had dinner with Sather then went to Bentley's. She was acting a little strange to me. I hope she doesn't have a crush on me. That would suck.
Hung out at her house watching Goodfellas then went home. Juliette and Jazelle and Ruben came by and we drank a bottle of wine and chilled at my place then went to Club Congress disco night. Had to wait outside for at least an hour. The place was packed. Met Sean, Michell and Gwella and boogied all night to '70s hits. Went with Michelle after to her place to get some pie. Shit, hope she doesn't get any ideas either. She's far too militant, or seems like she would be in a relationship. She makes a killer apple pie though. She was really pissed off that we flaked on her dinner, she spent all day sunday cooking.
This roach obsession is reaching new proportions. I woke up room a deep sleep after slapping my arm and feeling this moist mushy squirmy thing. I jumped up and turned on the light and there was this huge moist sewer roach, looked like it had crawled fresh out of the sewer. He was on my arm where my scab was, probably chewing on it. i was so disturbed. I couldn't get back to sleep for a while. And that feeling when i slapped it in my sleep half-conscious and feeling this squirmy bug. What's up with this, what does it all mean?
June 3 12:30 a.m.
Well, I’m getting paid, but i'm still as poor as a fly without shit. And am doing some interesting work designing the astrometric telescope, learning Ray Trace and P-CAD. I'm really enjoying the summer lifestyle, free weekends and free evenings. Wednesday night went to play softball. It rained out. The weather has been really twisted. Went with Mark and Michelle to his house with the intent of seeing his soccer game but that was also rained out. We ended up at the San Francisco bar and grill where we saw Sam Taylor. Good shit. Elaine, John and Dave we're also there. I'm crashing...
Thursday i walked into SCLERA. Sleepy-eyed, i went to get a coffee. (around 8:30). Dr. Hill called me and Zong Jie into this office. The meeting went on til 1:00. My stomach growling, had no breakfast. 1½ hours was spent watching Dr Hill silently ponder the problem of whether a parabolic mirror gives a perfect focal point and what it's curvature must be. After watching him for an hour i figured i may as well try it [writes out equations:]
[So I said something. Dr. Hill] looked at Zong's answer but it was basically a guess and he wasn't satisfied. He went on plugging until he says, "oh it's easy." and he did it basically the same way i did it. Went to dinner at Michelle’s. Sather and I have this sick competition going about who "scored"... that is to say who mooched a free meal. I've managed to score very day this week, Thai food that Chawn paid for, pizza from Mark, lasagna at Coffee etc. paid for by Gary and dinner from Michelle. It comes at a cost tho, Michelle was giving me vibes like she was coming onto me so i bailed. She's nice and all, i'm just not into going out with anyone right now, still crushed by Zo. Speaking of, went over to their house, the typical people were there, Mia, Kirsten, Sara and her stoner friends. Sara has become quite the preppy school girl gone drug dealer. I went with Mark the night before to get some mushrooms and she whips out her scale and measures them out like a seasoned professional. She looks like shit, really skinny and smoking way too much dope. So anyways, i go over there and it struck me as how degenerate it all was. One could waste their whole life drinking beer and smoking pot on their front porch. No ambition. Not even interesting conversation. And when i didn't accept a beer they immediately assume something's wrong with me. And Zo was off with Seth which just made me more depressed. Time to move on.
Friday Chawn comes into work around 11:00 a.m. and we both look at eachother like let’s blow this popsicle stand. So i finally bought some climbing shoes and we went up to Windy Point. After doing the 5.7 "Swim Fin" we did another climb that we found out was "Shitty Little Climb" (5.9+). It was a lot of fun. We didn't have time for a third but we went and rappeled Beaver rock. By. time i was going down it was twilight and the Tucson city lights were shimmering below far away. Beaver rock is a 140 ft. drop mostly in free fall. I started spinning and couldn't see the ground but could see the blur of city lights and the first stars. It was a fantastic scene but i was getting very dizzy and disoriented and if i let go of my brake hand i would've been toast. The lower i got, the faster i spun. It was a kaleidoscope, spinning panorama. Saturday got a late to start to Sabino canyon (after softball practice). The Disneyland of Mt Lemmon... we got off the trail but still would run into people getting drunk and throwing their beer cans into the river. It got a little better further up, water running over cool rock formations. Sean and I took a spin but this other guy Dusk didn't [??]. It ended up we had to bushwhack way up this hill over rocks and cactuses and prickly bushes, constantly watching out for rattlesnakes. Went to the Sweetwater with Sean and Gary. Got home at 1 a.m. and Giselle, Juliette and Ruben showed up, saying "where were you, we were at the Sweetwater." Not sure how we didn't see each other. They hung out at my place drinking cheap wine until 3 or 4 a.m.
Dale flaked on our sunday windy point plans, so i said "fuck it, Shaheen"... we can't rely on other people for ropes. So i went and charged a rope. We went and swam then vegged in the sun. We didn't have to go to Windy Point but went to Gates Pass to see what we could find. Lots of crumbly flakey rock. Nice sunset though. Monday night was "Sounds of Brazil" at Sweet H2O. It's becoming tradition. We could afford their drinks so we went to Ⓚ and got some Boone's Strawberry hill shit for $1.99. We drank it outside the Sweetwater in Ruben's car. Juliette couldn't get in cuz she lost her ID. So i just danced with Giselle and felt bad cuz Ruben didn't want to dance. Giselle's a really cool girl, she's got a real positive vibe. Must be hard being probably the only black girl in Tucson (not on an athletic scholarship anyways). When 1 a.m. rolls around she's like "I'm not tired, i don't want to go home yet." But i had worked out and played softball before Sweetwater and had been up since 6 a.m. and had to get up early and Ruben was tired... we felt like such party poopers.
Been working with PCAD and Ray-trace. Ray-trace is really cool. I plug in these numbers and push a button and it shows the 3-D design of the telescope, exactly how it's sposed to be. Cool. Last night there was a Green party meeting so Chawn and I went to it. There was maybe 20 people there. Lots of good ideas and intentions, but very disorganized and unfocused, no one with any leadership skills. And the bureaucracy of it... they spent so much time talking how much time we shd be allowed to talk about each subject! But not to get frustrated. It just encourages me to get involved. I think Chawn was pretty into it as well. Except someone ripped the back light off his bike while we were in there. I went to Giselle's afterwards, very intense girl. So easy to talk to and a lot to say. She's one of the more inspiring people i've met in a long time. She gave me some of her short stories to read. Went home and was up til 1:30 a.m. reading them. Powerful, moving stuff. They really captured my attention and inspired me to write.
Let's see, that was Tuesday. Wednesday night played softball (we won) then went with Mark over to John Hankels were i scored big time on free food. Not only did he feed us all cuz he was moving away and didn't want the food in his fridge to spoil, but he gave me a bag of groceries including a bottle of wine, pasta shells, a quart of spaghetti sauce, etc. When we started to "hang out" (Claire, her boyfriend, Dave, and some other arrogant frat type) i started to get antsy. I'm getting sick of hanging out on people's porches drinking beer. Thursday night Mia came over for "guitar lessons" Haha. Well, i did try to teach her some chords but we ended up going out to coffee then playing chess on my porch by candlelight til 3:30 a.m. She also came over Friday afternoon while i was packing and unleashed all sorts of stuff about her mom dying when she was 11, etc... i really like her as a friend, but don't want to lead her on. Chawn came by and we took off. Bill, Bob, Rodney and Ken came in another car. By the time we got to the parking lot at Madera canyon it was getting dark. We hiked up to Josephine saddle in the dark, with the aid of Chawn's carbide lamp and mag lights. It was hard going with a 40-50 pound pack and my pack isn't the best for this kind of stuff. Slept in the windy saddle. The tent sleepers (Bill, Bob, Ken and Rodney) were up early and bitching about how they couldn't sleep. My bed of pine needles was cozy except i woke up with my hair full of pine sap. We hiked up past Baldy saddle to this cool little campsite. Dropped off our gear and went to the top of Mt Wrightson (9450 ft). Awesome view, 360° panorama. Chawn i did some climbing that afternoon while the others played cards in the tent. It was "interesting".. the rock was unstable in many points, i dislodged a 500 lb or so rock that i was about to use as an anchor to belay. It went crashing down and smashed into bits. The others came running out of their tent saying it sounded like a mortar shell. We did this one climb, maybe a 5.7 or 5.8 that was alright except for the lichen and sketchy handholds. Then Chawn tried this harder route up the Lady Bug crack but fell twice at the overhang (on top-rope), one time cuz a hold broke and another time cuz he slipped on lichen. He didn't enjoy it. I tried it and stuck my finger in a crack that was teaming with ladybugs. Nice colorful lichen. I got to the overhang and my arms were giving out, so i just made my move, stretching as far as i could and pulling, barely making it over. I was tasting copper, it felt satisfying. But overall we were disappointed with the rock quality, which did not satiate our desires. So Chawn and I decided to bail down after dinner and a beautiful sunset on what seemed like the top of the world. Brilliant purples and greens. It was almost looked like pictures of sunset from space. The downclimb in the dark was easy but Chawn's knee was hurting so i had to carry 1/2 his pack. We were both exhausted on the drive back. Went to sleep at 1:30 or 2:00, but got up early to go to Windy Point. Called up Shaheen and dragged him along. The weather was sketchy but by no means stormy. Mom called that morning and when i told her i was going climbing she told me to watch out for lightning. Hmm. I thought that was strange and even told the Sean's on the way up. We went out to Beaver Wall to top rope Stems + Seeds (5.9). I felt scared scampering around near the edge even though the week before i felt fine up there. I was getting really nervous watching this guy free solo a route on Windy Point Vista, thinking how stupid he was. I rapped down, a long rappel down in this crack over an overhang. It wasn't Stems + Seeds. I took a shit in the bushes then scampered back up and switched the top rope. Now Chawn was really making me nervous, way out on the edge and i kept telling him to clip in. I waited til i had to go out towards the sloping edge (that went down 140 ft) to hand him the rope. Sean was going to rappel down and i was getting freaked out, saying i didn't like it up there at all. Chawn said, "you don't feel like climbing today, do you?" and i said no, that i just didn't like it up there on top where it was all exposed. So i decided not to rappel and scampered down the backside feeling sort of like a woosie, wondering why i was scared today. I got to the bottom (feeling safe) and was trying to yell to them to throw the rope but they weren't responding so i climbed out on the branch of a tree where they might see me. Then there was this bright white flash and i saw a thing white streak out of the corner of my eyes. I felt a crispy discharge in the air and simultaneous with the flash was a thundering crash, followed by an eerie chorus of wailing and screaming. It sounded really twisted, like a warped tape from my perspective cuz it was coming from above. At first i thought maybe the lightning scared some climbers and caused them to fall. I yelled up to the Seans "what the fuck happened up there" but got no response. I was pumped with adrenalin and ran up the hill. I got up and saw Harlow and Shaheen running towards the road. At windy point vista people were screaming "oh my god" and children were crying and there was two circles of people looking down on something. I still couldn't believe that someone got struck by lightning, it wasn't even raining, but they were on top of the cliff so it wasn't someone who fell. This was the only thunderbolt the whole day. Ran over to the vista and there was two people down. There were a few other people that were scraped and bleeding, which made me confused. One person had scrapes on their arms and cheekbones. There was people stopping traffic trying to find someone with a cellular car phone. One of the guys hit was a climber. His face was covered with blood from biting his tongue and he was paralyzed below the waist. But her was sitting upright and somewhat coherent. All he wanted was to get off the mountain. They carried him to the parking lot. The other guy was really messed up. He had a big gash in his eyebrow where he fell. His eyesocket and face were caked with blood. He had little scrapes and nicks all over his body. His chest was all bloated and blueish. He seemed to have an entry point in his shoulder, his shirt was all charred and his shoe blew right off and he had a burnt sock hanging from his foot that was all singed. He smelled like burnt hair and flesh. But he was breathing and had a pulse. All he could do was moan. We lifted him off the rock to somewhere less exposed. His flesh felt really pastey and cold. His wife was completely hysterical, not helping the situation. They had 3 kids who were also hysterical. It was a freaky scene. We hung out for a while afraid to go get our ropes from the exposed edge. We were really lucky, we were even more exposed than they were. If Harlow and Shaheen were standing it might have been enough to make a difference, but they were sitting on the edge. Needless to say, we were in no mood to climb after that. We quickly grabbed our ropes and split. There's a lesson to be learned. Trust your instincts and don't climb on high outcrops with storm clouds around.
Shaheen and i rode our bikes up A hill in the rain and did a pseudo par course. Rode over to his house then went out to Arabic food, picking up Michelle on the way. Sean went to visit his friend Debbie leaving me at Michelle's. We went to school and then my place. I felt a bit weird being along with her, kept dropping hints that i wasn't interested in her in that way. While she was in California her dad had a stroke and she was complaining about how Nitesh wasn't supportive as far as touch feelie hugging stuff. Sean was supposed to meet me at 10:30—my bike was at his house so i had to go back to Michelle's so he could meet me. Had to wait there for over an hour, extremely exhausted and still kind of freaked out. She kept showing me shit like her yearbook and boring books to try to entertain me. Eventually Sean called, he forgot all about me. Back to his house then had to ride home. I was exhausted and freaked out and looking forward to a decent night’s sleep when Mia calls, sounding very distraught. She was very upset and when i asked if she was ok she said "no" and that she needed someone to talk to so what else was i supposed to say except come over. I wanted to be supportive and help her with her problems w/ her and Brett but didn't want to become part of her problem and complicate matters further. I didn't want to kick her out but kept dropping hints, making it very clear that it was not my intention to lead her one, that i was single and happy that way, didn't want to get in a relationship with anyone, still recovering from Zo, but that only made matters worse. Even if i was attracted to her it's too much like she's jumping from one boat to another without learning how to swim. She would project her insecurities into another relationship. I was freezing standing outside. She kept saying go head and go in, but she was just going to just sit there on my porch and that made me feel weird. Finally i said, "look if you're so afraid of being alone you can sleep here." She was reluctant but accepted because she didn't want to leave. She stood in the corner while i pulled the futon out. It was really awkward and uncomfortable, i tried to alleviate it by saying "you're not just gonna stand there and watch me sleep, are you?" She said not to worry, that she would sleep. She was acting all strange, i asked if she was sure she didn't feel weird. That i didn't want to confuse her more. She mumbled something like "i'll let you sleep" and rushed out the door and i'm sure she was probably crying but i didn't want to chase after her. I was exhausted and had to deal with my own incoherentness. [Followed by 3 dreams from June 12, 1992, the 1st of which seeded "Even Crawdads Once were Bedwetters" in Poste Restante, w/ correosponding imedge:]
Menlo Park—June 12
Worked on Mentat all week at SCLERA. Fun stuff. Monday night went to the Sweetwater after the softball game... me, Giselle, Juliette, Ravi and Mark. Danced with Giselle most of the time. She's fun to dance with. Starting to like this Brazilian music, specially the bass drum beats. Tuesday was the reggae sunsplash concert, once again with Mark, Giselle and Juliette. It was really commercial and cheezey. Bob Marley would roll over in his grave. But it was still enjoyable. Wednesday night went to dinner with Mia, which was miserable. Her conclusion about me is that i'm a sick + twisted F. Scott Fitzgerald loner character type... she's really mad at me, which sucks. Then softball, then over to Michelle's for Gary's surprise party. A lot of people showed up. Sean was supposed to bring Gary over at 8:15 but they kept stalling. Gary wanted to watch the end of the game (Blazers won!) and then take a shower.
Thursday at 3:00 i took to get the U-haul then met James (a.k.a. Jimmy) at the storage place. He looks like a cop, his face all pocked. Total redneck. So weird that i knew him when he was a kid. [son of my mom's friend in Mexico + i think we were picking up folk arts for her w/ this U-haul, that i can't be sure it wasn't a shipment of drugs!] He didn't like when i reminded him of that. We cleared his storage unit out then i had to follow him to his place in Southeast Tucson. He was going like 60 mph thru back streets and i broke some shit trying to keep up with him. He got out of his big redneck truck, carrying his pistol into his house. He had more shotguns, M-16s, pitbulls, bragging about his arsenal of guns. When i told him i didn't want to go shooting with him he said, "I always thought you were a little strange." From there i bailed only stopping to get headphones from Zo. Saw the sun set over Phoenix and continued on through the warm desert night. Wired on coffee and chowing sunflower seeds. Towards Palm Springs it started to get really windy and i was getting sleepy so i stopped for a nap. 12:00 a.m. The moon looked spooky through the trees that were frantically blowing in the wind. Woke up and the moon was lower—2:00 a.m. Continued through the post-industrial apocalyptic L.A. with the moon setting in an orange haze silhouetting factories. The smog so thick you could barely see the moon. Up over the grape vine it was cold and windy and everybody was bundled in warm clothes except me. Saw the sun rise over Bakersfield, reminded me of driving back from Baja. And also History of Luminous Motion [by Scott Bradfield, which we ended up republishing decades later]. I took another short nap near Coalinga and got to Menlo Park at 10:00. I love driving long road trips. It's like meditation. The motion, concentrating on the road. Puts you in a state.
June 12 —In Transit SFO -> LAX
Got into Menlo Park after driving all night. Took a nap by the pool then met David at his work. Got lunch with him and then went back and Brian came by and we went to Pete's to get some coffee. Sat in the park and took in the whole Cali yuppie culture, has changed so much in the few years since i left. Hung out at Granny Nee's. Then went with David to pick up Leslie and she wasn't where she was supposed to be, hiding out in some obnoxious cafe. She was all pissed blaming it on us, acting all psycho. We wanted to get sushi but she said she hated sushi blah, blah "i missed my aerobic class for this, blah, blah." So i just left them and went to watch the Bulls-Blazer game and she got irate and left in tears and David chased her out and had this drawn-out bullshit drama. Then David and I went to meet Susanna, Sara and Salvo. Miyake's was completely packed so we went to Redwood city to eat Thai food. Saw Marty (skate rat) and that was weird, he looks all normal now. Caught up on old times. My writing is getting bumpy cuz we are taxiing and about to take off. Next morning had breakfast then drove the U-haul up to South San Fran to drop off the shit then had to return the U-haul. Was supposed to meet Susanna and Salvo [our ex + her new boyfriend] but they were a few hours late to go shoe shopping. I don't envy Salvo's position. We had the red convertible and were styling, driving over the 17 to see Sarah's graduation. Weird to be back at UCSC. Lots of new buildings, new faces, but a lot of the same mentality rehashed. Then saw Sarah before she "walked". This was what i was supposed to do 2 years ago, but i skipped my graduation. I didn't miss much. We met up with Thad and went downtown. Everything is still in a state of confusion, big empty tents and piles of rubble [from the earthquake in Oct 1989, when we were living in Santa Cruz]. It seemed like an old western town with a big wide dirt road. Some of the shops were opened with a series of fences and weird cat walks you had to take to get to them. (now we're leaving the ground). The grey bay and grey clouds. But still beautiful.
We met Arthur + Andrea at the New Roasting company after I bought the Indonesian hat that has become my new thing. (And now we're above the clouds and the might Pacific). Hung out with Arthur and walked around Pacific Ave. then went to the beach. It was funny, we found this surfboard up on campus so we took it and had it in the back of the convertible with us. And Thad and i were sitting with our sunglasses and shirts off being cool. Went to Natural Bridges and both Salvo and I stuck our tongues in sea anemones. And of course i baptized myself in the ocean. Dropped off That then to cafe Madumar to meet Sara and her parents and Jillian. Great dinner, Californian cuisines. I.e. semi-Balinese /Indian vegetarian dishes. Lots of good wine. Went to Jillian's house and hung out then went to the Catalyst to see The Square Roots, dancey ska/reggae. I was dancing with Jillian most of the time, attractive girl. Then Sara and Jillian left and we went out to the lobby and Arthur and Brian were there so we hung out and had a pitcher with them. Then drove back over the hill. Woke up and had breakfast with David and Mon at some risqué place where i had a strawberry cheese and basil omelet topped with sour cream. Then went to Castro market where i had a field day buying all sorts of weird Chinese and Thai shit, sushi rollers, sea weed, wasabe, pickled ginger, jackfruit, etc. All for my service of driving the U-haul. Played Dominoes w/ David then went to Sarah's party. Clara was there who's done a lot of climbing so talked to her a lot. And Jillian has climbed a bit too. It was one of those wicker-chairs-floppy-straw-hats-by-the-pool parties. Very British, as you'd expect from Sara. Now we're flying over L.A. about to land...
... I fell asleep while we were landing. And again while we were taxing. I always do. Then i go into LAX and realize i had 10 minutes to get to my gate which was miles away thru long boring underground tunnels, cemented with nothing to guide you but perspective. They were announcing last call and almost closed the door on me. Back to Sarah's party, i didn't know many of the people but it was cool. The dinner was incredible w/ morel mushrooms + salmon + other yumminess i couldn't even pronounce. On a long table set by the pool in the sun. I sat next to Salvo and had an interesting conversation with him, his outlook on life is a lot like mine. Some girl across from me had been in South America in the same places at the same time as me so it was weird talking to her, wondering if we'd bumped into each other or had the same travel companions. we had to run as Salvo + Susanna had a plane to catch. Went up to the Blocks, first so they could pack + i hung out their chickens. Then i took them to the airport in the nick of time. Got back to 2063, David had just left. Got tired of waiting. And there was a message that Arthur and them were going to be at Club FX in San Jose at 8:00 and it was 9:30 so i took off. I managed to find it tho i had the slightest idea where i was going. I went in and nobody was there. I drank coffee and watched some grunge thrash band. Eventually Art + Andrea showed up and we watched their friends band "Dear Deceased—"... stoner Sound Gardenish sound with an awesome drummer. (now I'm taking off L.A. -> Tucson). Went outside and Brian + Kimi were out there. The moon was eclipsing and looked really intense. I saw it earlier on the freeway, right on the horizon. I went with Kimi + Brian to the Ajax bar with funky old lounge chairs and candles and unfinished murals. Then art and Andrea showed up and we went to Denny's and drank coffee til later. Went to Kimi + Bri's place in Sunnyvale—total quaint suburban action. Chilled on the front porch in the quietude. By the time i got home it was past 3:00 a.m. Went to breakfast early with mom, managed to shower and pack, mostly all that weird food i got, in about 20 minutes and that's that. Back to the reality of Tucson. Yah, but what am i really feeling? I mean these are all actions. I'm feeling a little tired and heavy from too much food and not enough exercise., but otherwise feel in control, like i'm ready for anything, feeling independent and strong. And I'm in motion right now which is my favorite state of being. Come to think of it, i've never flown L.A. -> Tucson so this is a new experience. I feel glad to be in my shoes. I wouldn't have it any other way. Everything is exactly how i want, well, maybe not exactly but close enough. I create my reality. Maybe it's this new hat.
June 16, 17, 21
Oops, way off on the date there. As if it really matters, except for the fact that it's summer solstice and that's special. So back from California. Took a bus from the airport that took at least 1½ hour. Met this woman who came from California to get her kid. She had just had a trial with her ex... she told me the whole story. Here i was admiring how cool she was with her kid, speaking to him like a friend. Then she turns to me and asks if i have any ganja. Typical week so far of working, working out. Saw Sather for the last time this summer on tuesday night. Wednesday night after softball went to Jesus's for a poker game. There was about 6 or 7 of us. me, Mark, Sean, Uve, Jesus, Dave, Ronnie, ... we set a $5 limit on cashing in. I got really luck won 2 pots and was up to $15, but then it slowly dwindled throughout the night, until my last hand, 5-card draw, 3 of a ink to take the pot. In other words the pot kept building cuz nobody got 3 of a kind or better. After 3 or 4 rounds i was dealt a straight right off the bat. I didn't try to hide a thing. Bet a quarter but Dave kept raising a quarter. Everybody stayed in cuz they were so invested into it. When i asked for no cards they still didn't get catch on. Last bet was 50¢ max, which of course i bet and Dave kept raising me. The pot built up to $15-$20. I showed my straight but Dave started to lay down a higher straight, but he didn't have the last card. I kind of felt bad, everyone lost money except me.
Friday afternoon took off to the Chiricahaus with Mark. We left around 4 or 5 and got there at dark. Got one of the last campsites and made a little fire and ate quesadillas. As we were going to this bed this skunk came sniffing around our campsite. I was alseep but Mark said the skunk went by him and up to me and started sniffing my sleeping bag. Woke up early and bailed before we had to pay. Went to Massai point and did the "Heart of Rocks" loop. Spectacular rock formations. "Phallic rocks, schwing!". They looked like an audience of silent faces. All sorts of formations to read into. Huge balancing rocks [draws pic]. The walk took us about 4 hours, also stopping at "inspiration point".
Heart of Rocks, Chiricahuas
Then we took off to the Dragoons where we were supposed to meet Sean at 12:00. We left before 11:00 but got held up stopping at banks, getting gas and Mark taking a shit then through all these gates on that 15-mile dirt road to West Cochise Stronghold. We didn't get there til 1:30 but Shaheen was almost an hour late so it was cool. We set off to go climb Cruise Corner and 2 other climbs near War Paint. The directions from the book were vague and misleading. It said 3-40 mins of bushwhacking but it took us almost 2 hours of boulder hopping + bush-whacking from hell. Cruise Corner is a *** 5.6 which we figured we'd lead, but it wasn't bolted and we didn't have gear. Neither was "We Be Jamming" right next to it. Sean and I had to do this hellacious climb to the top so we could top-rope it, using some webbing to get up the tricky spots. And there was no top bolts or rock or tree to use an anchor and the sun was getting low and we knew we'd have to down-climb to get off in the dark so we down-climbed back thru shin-daggers and catclaws over boulders, watching out for rattlesnakes. Sweaty back, scraped up legs and then all the way back to the car. Drove back to the campsite then to the springs to bathe, probably the best part of the weekend. We were filthy and gross and i found this little pool and got buck naked and jumped in, cool and refreshing stream. A bit chilly but invigorating. It made me feel alive, like an animal. Everything was vibrant and renewed. then we built a fire and tossed some cans of lentils on the fire and waited til they started to bulge and them pulled them out and ate them. Then crashed hard.
Woke up at sunrise with all the mosquitoes. Shaheen went and slept in his car. It was hot but i just buried myself away from the mosquitoes to sleep more. Eventually got up and after eating a melon and trail mix went to go find Paleface slab, near the whale dome. More creek bed boulder hopping bush whacking. More vague aerial shots that looked nothing like what we were looking at. But we found it. I geared up and was going to try to top-rope it, it was a 5.9 slab, not a good thing to lead for the first time. I went up this drainage ditch. It was really hairy and steep but i was usually in a crack and not that exposed. I got to one point where i had to climb up this sheer cliff with shin daggers and it got ugly. I elected to go up this chimney that really sketchy but i just wanted to get up there. I made it up but it was frightening. And i get up to discover it's a deadend, to sketchy to continue on. I was about 15 from the top. Maybe 150 feet down. I got really scared and just wanted to get down, so i wrapped the rope around and rock and rappelled down but then i couldn't pull the rope down cuz the rock is like sandpaper so i bat-manned back up. Contemplated all sorts of ways to get off but in the end just had to downclimb, which was not fun at all. Got down and Sean and Mark were of course really bored. Shaheen wanted to try leading Ojo Blanco but i told him i didn't think we were prepared, especially being so far away. We hardly had any slings, the rope drag etc. Not good for a first lead. O the way back down boulder hopping he fell down head first and somehow managed to twist his body so he landed on his backpack. He was alright. Another unsuccessful day of climbing. Lots of bushwhacking and unprotected climbing, loaded down with gear. We decided to head down after another dip in the spring. Got home and took a shower and a nap. Ahhhh... A nice afternoon of vegging out. What is the feeling of the last page of a journal? It'll take more than this. 12:00 midnight. "Falling" asleep. I close my eyes and experience a falling sensation. I see rocks and handholds and lichen.