5cense 587> Homecoming II: a homeless lost soul in limbo in CA + AZ, 1991

[what follows is a transcription of part II of Cal's green lizard-skin journal, after coming back from SE Asia in early 1991 he hung around California + Arizona not sure what to do w/ his lilfe, applyling for jobs + graduate school+ generallly just being a slacker bum.]:

Mar 3 [1991, Menlo Park, Ca]
Went to the Asian Art museum [... at which point he describes a number of exhibits in great detail + includes this drawing:]

I was checking out the Electronic Tibetan Thangka exhibit in which you have full visionary control over a large video screen overview... you point at a segment + it magnifies + has 3 other screens showing mythological devices + random interviews w/ Tibetan monks. I pressed a button + suddenly there was a loud clanging of large bells. At first i thought it was part of the exhibit, then figured it was someone that had come too close to a piece in the museum + set off an alarm. So i kept playing around w/ the electronic Thangka when the security guard asks me what the hell i'm doing still here. I joined the masses outside + watched the turtles in the pond as firemen commandos stormed the building to assess the situation.

Then I met D + L + walked on electronic stairs + pedaled on a stationary bicycle, watching bad Madonna videos. Then D + i hit the town for his bachelor's night, on Broadway. Showed D my secret parking spot + sure enough it was still there, vacant. Just like the old days. Weird cuz i associate that area w/ punk shows + not the sleazey strip clubs. Been a year or 2 since i've been up here + the old clubs (On Broadway + Mabuhay Gardens) are not what they used to be. Am i the same person when i was so caught up in that sub-culture? Seems so long ago, but at the time it was the only reality i knew. I wonder if i will look back on this moment in the same way. [ ... ]. It was in the name of tradition to stay out til the early hours to make L worry (who was out on a bachelorette night of her own). After Broadway, we went to the Palladium but ended up not going in. Then we went to the Haight + looked in record stores + went to the I-beam. We played pool + then this funny band came on that was trying to sound like the Dead Kennedy's, the singer in  blue business suit acting psycho, singing childish lyrics about how lunch boxes + big bird. Then played pinball + won 6 free games off 1 quarter. Then "House of Wheels" came on, a tacky 70s Led Zep type of band somehow transported to the 90s. Shit! We're well into the 90s! Is this what it's all about? Next thing i know the decade will be over + what will we have to say? There was a war, the music sucked, the fashion derivative of the 80s, which was already a rip-off of the 60s + 70s. And it's now, big as ever.

March 7
Well i didn't get the job in Berkeley which totally changes my perspective. Suddenly realizing how hard it is to find work. Here i am willing to work my ass off, but no one to hire me. I'm becoming increasingly disillusioned, though mom is back so maybe i'll work at Folk Art [where his mother worked] at least for the time being. Either that or i'll head to Argentina. J [his brother living down there] called + said i could get a plane ticket for $700 + leave the return open-ended. I could work for him + see L [his nephew]... sounds tempting. At least i could delay reality. Tuesday i went to the immigration office in S.F. to get forms for J, found out they need to come in person. Had to wait for hours + fill out all these forms just to find out they were complete assholes. Then picked up mom at the airport, coming from Mexico. Felt nostalgia for all that time i used to spend at SFO [collecting carts for quarters]. Could see mom thru the doors haggling with the customs guy, nothing changes.
Today i went to S.C. but no luck finding job opportunities + nobody was around except R. I did find a possible teaching job in India/Nepal. Had tofu sauce at the Saturn then came back + cleaned out the bamboo thicket, in part so i didn't feel like such a mooch + partially to fuel my dreams. The bamboo like subconscious brain folds that needed cleaning. Then went + saw Isabel Allende at Kepler's. I got her new book in Spanish + got it signed for Ñ, told her es para mi cuñada que vive in Patagonia.

March 12
Picked up S at SFO + took her up to her house. I kept trying to change the subject but her parents kept talking about school + work, etc. trying to give me advice. They mean well, but i see outside help as a threat to personal choice. I want to do something cuz i want to, not cuz someone recommended it. My allergies came back like it's their household i'm allergic to. Then we went to the rehearsal dinner in ½ ☽ bay for the rehearsal dinner.
Next morning i was supposed to pick up Kevin, i called him at 6:55 + woke him up. His plane was at 7, so obviously he missed it. But he came later on standby. Then met S + S for breakfast. Kevin went on + on about the famous people he hung out with + how he works 26 hours a day, 8 days a week + how he made $40 million dollars + Mazzy Star this, Doors movie that, complete exaggeration. I think it's funny but S + S were taking him seriously. He does open up a lot more in the presence of others. Meanwhile things are hectic at Granini's. R + G came stumbling in, then A w/ Wolfie (the dog) running around barking, Granini lecturing on + on about the value of a diploma + sound investments, making wisecracks about the war + capital gains tax. Woke up early the next morning + drove w/ Kevin + S to ½ ☽ bay. The rainclouds rolled in so they had the wedding in the bar. [then he goes describing the wedding].

self-portrait "working" at Folk Art Intl

March 14

Huddled like a political refugee in this attic. Tuesday i went to work at Folk Art, great environment anyway, surrounded by all sorts of cool art. Icons + relics of inanimate matter covered in dust, Shiva + Parvati embraced in stone since 3rd or 4th century. Fijian forks for eating human flesh. Cleaned the place up + got a free lunch too.  Then met J + B + M for Indian food. Yesterday went to S.C. + got 3 letters of recommendation, sent transcripts + all that good stuff. Ran into R, then J, the psycho kecak guy. He's now a conductor. He started at me w/ glazed over eyes + tilted head. Think he took one hit too any of acid. Went down to S.C. harbor to look for crewing positions, nothing doing. Put up a notice to see if anyone's sailing to South America. Then wrote a short story + played guitar. [presumably what follows were notes for a story?]
1. Cutting lawn, baby birds being fed.
2. Me being force-fed.
3. A cellophane lion-tamer whose whip was dripping off the wall.
4. Castillo [Mexican tower of firecrackers] image amidst a thunder storm that scatters the crowd.
5. See the worm coming from the bird's head + drop the cobblestone on the bird.

March 18—Tucson, AZ
Saturday night K came over w/ A + her boyfriend, some guy who ran around naked humming some mantra really loud, a real sugar bear type. N's back from Europe, psychotic old vagabond. Early Sunday i split Menlo Park > 280 > 580 > 680 by the windmills thru another dust storm on I-5 so bad i could only see 10 feet in front of me, tumbleweeds blowing all over the highway. There was a big 20-car pile-up, red emergency lights everywhere in the thick brown dust. Got to Pasadena + Kevin was fighting on the phone w/ his kind-of girlfriend + then was paranoid that she would throw dogshit at his door. We went + kicked a soccer ball around in the "gum job" park, the archery range where bored housewives go to hook up w/ young art students. There was a truck in the parking lot w/ a "stumps of mystery" bumper sticker. Kids rode BMX bikes in the canal. We were under these 2 big bridges over the arroyo seco—a canyon where the devil lives. Big arched bridges, one was closed cuz of earthquake danger. We climbed up into the big one. [drew picture of arched bridges]. At first we tried w/ our shoes but kept slipping, so we did it barefoot + made it all the way to the top, wedged under the road, like trolls. The view was awesome.

Kevin [a.k.a. Chaulky] being a troll

Then we went + saw Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead w/ his neighbor, a really nice girl, Kevin should go out w/ her, but he thinks she's boring. I thought the movie sucked, but they both liked it. Then we went to different Irish bars looking for C, but didn't find him. Stayed in the 3rd bar full of weirdos. Some skanky woman came up + grabbed my face between her hands, breathing her foul breath on my face + said "you look like, like, ..., like my worst enemy." Then she asked me to dance. I declined. Then she took a sip of her neon green beer (it was St. Patrick's day) + asked Kevin, who also declined. We found C back at the house already wasted, but still drinking beer + trying to talk us into doing bong hits w/ him so he "wouldn't feel like such a loser". When I woke up at 7:30 the next morning he was already drinking a bud. I drove off thru the desert, on the road again. Thru Phoenix, didn't make it to Tucson until around 8 so didn't want to impose on Dr. H at this hour so checked into an EZ-9 where i am now, watching Twilight Zone.

March 19
The pen i'm writing with has a message taped to it that says "this pen belongs in China". A white Teddy bear sits + stares at me from an armchair. Immaculate flowered sheets, wide wood floors + white walls, almost like i'm in a spanish mission. I'm at H.H.'s house in Tucson. 7:30 wake-up call, took a shower + got breakfast on University road. All the women here have tan shiny legs. At 9:00 i called H, parked the car in an alley + went to meet him in the basement of the physics bldg. It felt more like a job interview + i wasn't really prepared, thought it was an informal campus visit. He has a big office w/ a secretary, sat me across from him + grilled me. He talks very softly + deliberately + has beady inset eyes, sort of looks like Sean Connery. He told me about SCLERA [Santa Catalina Laboratory for Experimental Relativity by Astrometry]. Then he introduced me to D, who seemed eager to recruit me to the High Energy Physics group. He showed me the accelerator, mostly for measuring C14 for radioisotope dating. Then D passed me off to C, who showed me his project working w/ these huge Van der Graff generators— i didn't know most of what anyone was talking about, but just nodded  + said "uh-huh" or raised my eyebrows + said "wow." Then i was taken back to H who introduced me to everyone in SCLERA + i went to lunch w/ J the technician + some grad student from Texas. [goes on more weighing pros of cons of grad student life, and other people he talked to]. After further interrogation, Dr. H said i seemed to have high self-esteem + didn't seem broken by undergraduate education, like most students. It was hard to contain my laughter, little did he know. He asked me if i thought i was smart + said no, that i valued being creative over being smart, which seemed to go over well with him.  That + that i identified more w/ experimentalists rather then theoreticists, that i liked to get my hands dirty. He did pry a bit about me taking a year off, whether that meant i was flakey. At 4:00 i walked around campus (beautiful campus, but mostly conservative looking students) then drove around the desert. Met H later at his house—beautiful hacienda in cool desert setting, cactus gardens (no lawns or anything like that). Met his wife + daughter + then went to get pizza + it took forever so had to make a lot of small talk. Then came back + endured more small talk. His son's artwork was all over the house, seemed interesting, would of liked to meet him. Anyhow, it all sounds good, studying the sun [draws pic of "El Sol" loteria card]... "global climatic change of solar variability". Hope i can get a fellowship. [followed by this page of blurry photos, presumably outtakes.. .. shd also note there are numerous other newspaper clippings, tickets, found images, photos, postcards, letters, lottery tickets, etc. embedded in the pages.]

March 22
Next day woke up in a strange bed + took a strange shower. Got down to the kitchen + cereal + OJ awaited. More small talk w/ L + i then i took some grapes to go + split. Through the desert on back roads, thinking about the sun. I could dedicated my life to studying it. The sun shines on everyone unconditionally, gives life, doesn't ask questions or discriminate. A reliable friend. After Phoenix went to check out Sedona. Mom calls it some sort of spiritual vortex. Pretty cool at first glance, surrounded by giant red cliffs. But as you get closer the view is obstructed by condos not to mention a huge cross in the side of one cliff. I wasn't feeling so spiritual, made me more cynical. Stuck in traffic, long line of Cadillacs w/ Jim + Tammy look-a-likes. Got to Flagstaff + decided whether to stay (rooms were $14.99) but pushed on to the Grand Canyon. The road rose higher, to almost 8,000 feet. It started to snow + there was already 2 feet of snow on the ground, but the road was still clear. Got to the park... $10 fucking dollars! They got you by the balls tho, what else can you do, turn around + take your kids back to Iowa? Driving up to the rim i felt the presence of a massive void. So + so lookout, this is it. The one + only Grand Canyon. Probably the single most famous  natural land formation in the world. I stepped up to the ledge. There it was, so immense it was unreal. Seemed 2-dimensional. I don't think the human eye was meant to comprehend such vastness, almost seemed like a big billboard. Can't gauge perspective or dimension. I spent a minute contemplating this when a big cloud came in + turned everything into a whiteout, all in about 30 seconds. That was all i saw. If i was going 73 mph instead of 74 i might not have seen anything. The snow was coming down hard now. I retreated to the cozy Tempo [Ford, his mothers]+ unsuccessfully looked for a room, but everything was expensive. Plodded on into the blizzard, snow now sticking to the road + it was now dark. No chains. With headlights it looked like i was going thru hyperspace. All was white. I spotted some red taillights, a big semi-truck, and just drove behind him until i got to the 40, then found another set of red lights to follow + followed them very slowly to Willows. The first place i stopped had no rooms. Then i found a beat-up hotel, rang the bell + a funny Hindu women came out. I could smell wafts of curry coming from the other room. She seemed so out of place w/ her big jacket + sorrels on. She asked me twice if i was alone, said people often lie. She gave me a room w/ 2 beds + told me to sleep in just one of them, and make no mess! Yes maam! I asked if there was some good places to eat hoping she might offer me some of that yummy smelling curry, but she directed me to a steakhouse w/ a huge plastic cow out front. I couldn't bring myself to eat there, so tromped on thru the snow, in my holey tennis shoes, walking backwards so i didn't get blasted in the face. Finally found a generic coffee shop w/ waitresses who called you hun but were the masters, don't fuck w/ them, stranger. Yes maam! Had breaded rainbow trout + mashed potatoes + watched the snow come down. I almost did use 2 beds cuz it was so cold, but was deathly afraid of the wrath of the Hindu woman, so just cranked the heat.

It was still snowing in the morning, a foot of snow had piled up on the car. Went back to same coffee shop, same waitress. Evidently they were stuck there all night. They told me the snow wasn't supposed to let up until Sunday (2 days). Fuck that, i'm out of here. Wiped off the snow + scraped the ice. Got stuck at first + had to back down the hill, but after that it wasn't so bad. Better to drive on packed snow then clear roads w/ ice. It was still snowing 50 miles later, at 5,000 feet, then 4,000 ft, then 3,000 started to taper off. Hit the Hoover dam, chocked full of tourists. Lots of lots of cement, one hell of an engineering feat. Went on to Las Vegas, downtown. Watched all the depressed people gamble. I limited myself to $4, changed to quarters + played video poker for hours, at one point had $15-20, then quit when i got back to $4. More snow in the Mojave desert. Decided to go all the way > Barstow > Bakersfield > 46 + finally the 5. The conveyor belt sweeping me home, like a rat on a wheell.  Cruise control. Different way then way i came... 10 > 17 > 179 > 89 > 180 > 64 > 40 > 93 > 15 > 58 > 99 > 46 > I-5 > 152 > 1 > 17 > 280. No eating cuz it makes me sleepy. Lots of coffee. I was taking the lid of my coffee when red lights appear in rear view mirror. Trooper analyzes my movements, smells my breath. Says i was swerving. Sorry occifer, was getting the lid off my coffee. When he heard i was driving from Arizona he told me to take a break. Rest my legs. After that i was paranoid, was i driving in a dream state? My mind was too busy to sleep. Thinking about the route, the metaphorical crossroads, what to do w/ my life. 1). Get a job. 2). Want to go to Argentina. 3). Need to take GRE. 4). Take E+M [Electricity + Magnetism] at SC spring quarter. 5). Take QM [Quantum Mechanics] at Berkeley over the summer. 6). Work at Folk Art. 7). See solar eclipse on July 10. How can i do all this? Step 1, buy a VW bus. I can live in SC, then Berkeley, drive down to Mexico, then to Tucson... IF, the big if, if i score high enough on GREs + take those classes. The strongest pull i feel right now is to get out of 2063 Santa Cruz [his grandmother's house]. It's toxic. I need independence. If i go to Argentina it can't be until after i take GREs + get U of A stuff squared away. And i need money for all this. Guess i'll toss the coins at the crossroads. I got to Casa de Fruta  slept there for the night in the car. I had to go to Santa Cruz the next day to get an unofficial copy of my transcripts. It was Friday, last day of the quarter. My only chance. Casa de Fruta purposely plays psychotic music in the parking lot to keep people form sleeping there. But i sort of enjoyed it, made for twisted dreams. Woke up at 7 a.m. after a restful, but cold sleep. Got to SC right at 9 when they opened. Got passed around back + forth between the registrar + college office, each telling me to go to the other. Waited for hours, finally Bobby, quirky Chicana w/ baseball cap + fuzzy sweater, went to some secret vault to pull my file. Finally got my transcript... but my GPA? What do I tell U of A? "Tell him Santa Cruz doesn't have grades." Made photocopies, all 42 pages. By the time i was out of there it was 11:00. Went back to Menlo Park + had Vietnamese food w/ mom then went to the bank w/ her. Quite the spectacle. I took a seat+ just watched her, pretending i didn't know her. [description of mom's interaction in bank] The teller + everyone else in line stares in disbelief. But hey, that's my mom + i'm proud of it. I'd rather have her then some AR prim + proper housewife w/ a buffon hairdo. It occurred to me she is a female version of Ignatius T. Reilly. Had dinner at D + L, then took mom to the airport, she's going to Argentina for a few weeks. [followed by notes from I Ching coin toss:]

March 29
Went + type up my statement of goals at Sioux Way [cousin's house], then hung around there. TY came by, surprised to see me [Cal knew him thru another circle of friends]. Still the same pudgy, pastey guy w/ black pants, purple shirt, cowboy boots, black nail polish, trendy red hair, that loves to gossip w/ girls. Finished all my U of A stuff + sent it off then met S + M at Page Mill parking lot. We were on a mission to get pictures developed + take them to some lawyer dude in San Jose. While S was inside, M got sick, probably from not eating breakfast then scarfing nachos + neon-colored "Robin's Eggs" while S drove like a maniac. We were outside a B of A so i told M to go barf in there, but they wouldn't let her. Meanwhile i was catapulting apples off the antenna + throwing Robin's eggs around. She came out + i did that trick where i pretended to eat my eyeball, w/ a robin egg pushed against my cheek, and that was gross enough to cause M to finally heave her nachos + laugh hysterically at the same time, towards the B of A window. Then i came back + hot-tubbed + hung out (as usual) playing guitar. Tuesday was sposed to me R in SC but it started snowing! And sticking. So we went + had a snowball fight. Hwy 17 was closed. Went to work out w/ D +L, then cooked pad thai + szechuan eggplant. Wednesday went to S.C. met R + N, this guy she fell for in Scotland. He quit his job + moved to California (they've known each other all of 3 weeks). The honeymoon's over + now the realities are setting in. Cruised Pacific + had Dan Dan noodles, the usual shit, Natural Bridges, see the butterflies (tho there wasn't any), etc. Thursday,...shit, what did i do? Oh yah, helped D + L move, got a big U-haul. They've got a lot of crap. I got exercise + a free lunch.

April 2 — Montgomery Creek
K brought Wolfie over, wanted me to watch him. Took him for a walk, but couldn't get to the creek, all fenced off. Haven't been getting much studying done, too many distractions. Made some samosas + all these strange people kept coming by. S from Rome,  a clone of my mom. R + G came by + we hot-tubbed, then E, A, D + A stumbled in fresh from Pinnacles where they were camping. Ate the samosas. I got incredibly flushed + began to sweat, all for no reason, which made me sweat even more. Strange physical calamities i have. Kept happening all evening + next morning, maybe i'm sick. R + G are getting married. She's good for him. You can tell he wants to break out of his perverse film-maker mold, now he's a vegetarian, writing children's books. Then went + saw S + J, J wants me to get B [a burned-out lawyer] a job at Folk Art. Then they were thinking of match-making him w/ my mom. That'd be weird. [followed by a few more pages of hanging out w/ friends + family in Menlo Park]. Now I'm in Montgomery Creek. Loaded D's car w/ 5 boxes of food, he gave me a bunch, then Granini gave me some. I plan to just study here by myself. Patches of snow still on the ground though it's warm.

April 8-9, Montgomery Creek.
Q: At what expense of entropy has biological life evolved?
I can't study anymore, all the words + equations bounce off my eyes. Nothing more will penetrate. Painting mom's barn + eating tofu + brown rice + hanging out w/ Istanbul the Turkey, who has a crush on me. I was studying outside + she came over + started pecking at me, so i picked her up + moved her elsewhere, but she kept coming back + chirping, making me a racket. Then she started ruffling her feathers + doing this creepy dance. A turkey trot, strutting her plummage. Or i guess his, which would make him a gay turkey. If i was a gay turkey i might go for it. He follows me everywhere + clucks outside the window whenever i'm inside. Yesterday I took Ar + Am to see "Secret fo the Ooze"—Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Babysitting them for the afternoon. With all the other families at Saturday matinee. But we were the coolest. Afterwards went + got Happy Meals at McDonalds. Ar is a little terror, running around chasing girls + looking up their dresses. Am had to ride the Dumbo. I've gone thorugh 730 pages of O'Hannian [? must be a physics text]. 200 or so pages to go. I'm hung up on the E+M shit.

the camper Cal lived in in Santa Cruz now parked on his mother's property w/ added roof

Date unknown
Dear Diary,
The meaning of life is breakfast in the kitchen facing the winter sun. One of the pipes has a leak + last night it made this cool ice sculpture. My black sleeping bag keeps me toasty but it's cold studying, my hands freezing.  Too stingy to waste electricity on the heater, when i'm studying E+M. I dreamt of this strange "cave" i was digging. It was perfectly symmetric, like a crystal. [Attempts to draw picture]. I was polishing each face to reveal molecular structures. Weird colorful patterns emerged the icy gray, w/ different crystal tunnel offshoots. A + A keep distracting me from my studying. A just asked if i want to look for "haircut water" which after much prying i found out means spider web. He calls trees "grow up" + calls the bathhouse the "toilet barn". The lake he calls "go away". For holes he says "worms". How can i resist hanging out w/ this little guru? We just went to look for dragons. I asked him what the smallest unit of matter was + he said "stars". I asked him where the sky ended + he said "a river". After following the "tracks deer" we found dragon scat + the top of an old-fashioned washing machine, the kind w/ a ringer on top. The dragon (power-line tower) towered over us. This kid is 3 yrs old + has more intuition then most adults. We set up a dragon trap w/ our new possessions—the washing machine ringer, a beat up starter, some funky lids. The nuclear kitchen is still in tact, aging nicely. The lamp + boxsprings fell over.  I would have liked to see it w/ snow on it.

Monday afternoon i went down to the creek. I didn't have much patience for fishing, so instead explored the brush on the other side of the creek. I went up to that plateau above the creek + found an arrowhead, well, ½ of one. I imagined some Native American on this spot, sculpting it or stalking through the forest. Maybe he even shot a deer w/ it. I always felt this spot could be an Indian campsite. I looked around some more + found chipped pieces of flint. Supposedly obsidian doesn't occur in these parts, so it was brought from elsewhere. I sat on the edge of the cliff listening to the creek, the sensory roar sweeping me in. I closed my eyes + imagined what the sound would look like if you were blind. Back across the log over the river, billions of sprouts everywhere. Saw a skunk foraging in the road. I called out to him + he squinted his eyes at me but don't think he could see me, or figured i wasn't a threat cuz he kept foraging. Had to get around him without spooking him. Found some petrified logs under the powerlines then saw a coyote running up a hill, beautiful + healthy + big, looked like a wolf. Tuesday studied out on the raft, good place to study physics floating around on water. What an amazing construct the concept of color is! Just a number, frequency in physics, but in our brains more than words can describe. Blue sky! Life is weird + wonderful.  And the physics of sound + smelling + taste, how we can get pleasure of certain molecular arrangements from sensors on our tongue. And when we touch something do we actually touch it? Like physically make contact? Not before the electric fields interact. We live in a lattice 99% of which is empty space that just gives the illusion of being solid, cuz of the illusion of light. Now it's time to anchor myself in the middle of the pond w/ my quantum physics book. Oh yah, i made ceviche w/ 13 blue gills + ate it all myself cuz i put so many jalapenos nobody else would eat it.

April 13— Mountain View
Studying in the Mtn View library. Brings back memories all those days studying here, taking breaks to eat Chinese food on Castro street. Back now to study for the G.R.E. Too cold up in the mountains. Sara [his '66 VW bug] wasn't in the mood. Maybe it was the flat black paint i coated over her psychedelic paint job. Rolled her down on the dam but she wouldn't start, so had to just leave her. Istanbul was pecking me, pissing me off. tried to catch the big bass i saw eating tadpoles. K came back + jump started Sara + i took off. Driving without insurance is fun. Back in ol' Sara, listening to my old tapes. Put $8 dollars of gas in her + made it all the way back to Menlo Park, thru rush hour traffic in S.F. Dropped her off at B's, sold her back for $50. What i paid for her. She served me well for 3+ years, I'll miss her. 


Mom came back from Argentina Friday night at 2 a.m. Stayed up late having a heart to heart w/ Granini then went to pick her up. I leave for Argentina in 2 weeks, got my ticket. Right after the G.R.E. [Followed by this page:]

April 20, 1991
Nightmare: What was i doing when the bird landed on the back of my neck? Awaking me to consciousness, it's talons digging in, beak pecking my flesh. I cringe in terror, trying to make my neck disappear. I reach back but it's on my spine, can't grab it. It's shrieking + clinging + i cant see it. I shrug + twist violently, grasping for a hold. I feel feathers, primordial fear instilled. The lashing of the ages. I am no longer thinking but am a vehicle of  instinct. An accumulation of my ancestor's fears. Their collective memories etched in my genes. I fall straight back w/ back held straight to smash the bird against the ground. It could have been wings sprouting from my back if i only i had tamed the fear. [draws picture of "the black bird of intuition" on his back]

April 24
Yah! GRE's over! Had to wake up at 6 a.m. tuesday morning + go up to Berkeley in rush hour traffic. Took the general. Then again today at 6 a.m. to take the physics... nervous as hell so couldn't sleep. All sorts  of weird noises all night, cats or wild animals creeping around on the roof or in the attic where i'm sleeping. But now it's all over! Onto a new chapter. Tomorrow going to San Luis Obispo to see D + T then San Diego to visit S, then to Vegas to see the Dead, then to L.A. for Kevin's b-day. Then May 1 my plane goes L.A. > Miami > Paraguay > Buenos Aires + who knows from there. Still don't know for sure about Arizona, ends up they never got my letter of recommendation from A.K. so i had to harass the S.C. math board about that. Called S.S. [ex-employer in Santa Clara], still the same, except now he works 18 hours a day instead of 22. But he says he'll soon reap all the hard work. He tempted me with a job, but i already got my plane ticket. Don't know why i didn't think to call him earlier. Talked to M, he finished his thesis + is going on a roadtrip, bought a VW bus. Ends up S [friend from Palo Alto that went to SC after] got my old spot + wanted to buy my camper. Oh yah, i finally got my package  from Indonesia. Everything in tact except the giant Garuda mask i got for Kevin, but i was able to glue the wing back on. And got my journals, phew! was started to worry. Took 3+ months. And now this journal is coming to a close. Shit, i'm tired, been up 19 straight hours. ZZZZZZ.

[Then there's a list of books on the back page, some already included in the previous post. But in addition:]
Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck—boring trash, Steinbeck's worst. (Jan 23)
History of Luminous Motion by Scott Bradfield—Yes! Gave me new twisted perspective on California. [+ then he repubilshed it 25 yrs later!]
Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams
Drumming at the Edge of Magic by Mickey Hart [given to him as gift]

[+ at this point (chronologically, May/June 1991) we then went to South America.

 586 <( )> 588 >Appia Antica all the way to lago Albano thru Celio rione under a blood moon

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