The meaning of wah as a message left on our own answering machine @ U of A, Tucson, fall 1991


[18 Aug 2019> Back to transcribing our journels... our left arm was hurting w/ whatever ulnar issue we're halving (a few weeks ago when we were transcribing these, but feels bedder now after 2 weeks of running + hiking in Oregon + California) so we tried using voice-recognition software (built-in to Mac), but ain't so sure it saves time as usually u got to go back + fix all the misunderstood words (witch are quiet a musing). We didn't bother to change or initialize the names, except if it was personal stuff these folks might not want on Inurnet. This journel starts right after the eclipse in Mexico, July of 1991... we were enrolled at U of A starting fall semester of 1991 (PhD program in physics) + it just so happened there were 2 friends of our cousins at our eclipse party driving back to Tucson, so we hitched a ride with them.]

[cover of the journel the below text was transcribed from]

Tucson—July 22 [1991]

Well I am in Tucson finally, I got accepted and I’m looking for housing. We made it out of Mexico alive. After our experience with the waterpump, Mexican customs and discotecas we split. We only got as far as Los Mochis—it was dark and late and impossible to see the road. Everything in Los Mochis was very expensive and like the states. We had to eat and stay at nice places cuz none of us had cash, only credit cards.

We headed out of Los Mochis to Guaymas and then to Hermosillo. There we had to stop to make a claim on Mark’s insurance. It was incredibly hot and there were no phones that worked. When I finally found a phone I couldn’t hear and the guy gave me shitty directions, but we finally found the paint store where the adjuster was. He looked at the broken window and took pictures. Whatever. We were out of there. I crashed in back or read Calvin and Hobbes. The roads were finally good so we flew…. wasn’t long til we hit Nogales. Long wait at the border. The guy took 1 look at us and pointed to the inspection station. Brian and Mark blamed it on me, for my scruffy dirty hair… haven’t showered for days, sprawled in back ½ naked. The guy asked us lots of questions, cross-examining us to see if there were holes in our stories. Then he brought out “Rusty” (looked like Clifford the big red dog) to search our car. Rusty hopped in front and in the trunk sticking her nose in everything but didn’t find anything. Then Brian and Mark insisted we eat at McDonalds, the 1 in Nogales that is the 2nd biggest in el mundo.

The rest of the way to Tucson was nothing. Went to Mark’s house… his whole family was there—sister and fiancée and his brother Chris who eats no vegetables and plays D + D all day. He’s 28 and still lives at home, no job. We went out later and saw Terminator II—violent apocalyptic flick.

I started looking for places the next day. Mark  was called into work but Brian came by and picked me up to help me search. His place is cool and is only $90 a month. But they already found somebody to rent it when he leaves. I borrowed his boke and searched around more. When I got back to his crib he got called into work so I just let myself in and hung out watching TV. His roommates Brady and Cathy came in and just said “hey,” like strangers always come in and watch their TV. They got this cat that is totally in heat and acts like it’s having orgasms when you pet her, uncontrollable hormonal urges. After a few hours Mark came by. We went to some café and checked out this warehouse w/ bands playing that I noticed earlier. We returned to pick up Brian and went to some party. Full-on kegger fresh out of high school, party animal frat boys and bimbo girls. Quite funny, haven’t been to 1 of those since Foothill [community college in Bay Area that we went to]. I conned them into ditching the party to see the punk bands. These guys Dominique and Taro came w/ us.

The warehouse was on some back alley and had cool décor. A strange hazy green light outside and inside all sorts of art and sculpture. There was a huge “box” made of sheets w/ colored lights that you could go inside and dance around and people would see your trippy colored shadow. This band was playing that was typical thrash punk, sort of like Hüsker Dü. The drummer was good but the guitar was just a wall of fuzz. I think their name was “Plastic People”.  There was lots of sleazey punks lounging around. I felt older than most everybody. Afterwards we went back to the party. It was boring, for me anyway as I don’t like to just drink. [... continues on like this for another page or 2, waking up late, eating at Denny’s, house hunting, eating pizza, playing video games and sleeping on couches...]

July 24
Went to Bri’s and he wasn’t there. So went to McDonald’s to get a cup of coffee. Was sitting there bored and this guy is sweeping under my feet so we got to talking and ends up he’s a physics student. Weird. So I gave him (Bill) shit that he had to work at McD’s. “Well, actually I have another job, I work at SCLERA [same group where we got accepted to work as a research assistant].” Double fucking strange. Will I end up working at McD’s too? Back at the ranch, Brian wasn’t there so chatted w/ his roommates til he got back. We then went out and played pool at this place called the clubhouse. Around 1230 we went back to meet Mark and we stayed up late. Slept at Marks.

Yesterday I was ultra-efficient. Saw this place on 5th that’s cool. I want it. But some dude may already be interested. Then did bureaucratic shit for Eva [dept secretary] – she showed me the ropes, I signed up for the Spanish proficiency etc.… looked at various places and got a reservation to LAX planes almost cheaper than the bus.

I went to Bri’s late. We ate Ben and Jerry’s, beer and pizza that Mark brought from his work. Then we went to play pool and foosball and watch bad country bands. Serious redneck-ville. Brady came by and she was all decked out. Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde… don’t even recognize her when she gets all dolled up. Ended up crashing on Brian’s couch. I was ½-asleep watching MTV and Brady gave me a pillow, telling me to sleep on the big couch. Everybody else was asleep and she kept coming in and out… I was getting weird vibes. Then she just left. It must’ve been 4 AM.

This morning I checked out 4 other studios. I was trying to get in touch with T.A. Miller – I really want that place on 5th. Have an appointment in a few minutes with Boyer Rickel – The creative writing adviser. [insert of map w/ phone numbers and addresses written on it, as well as letters, various newspaper clippings, etc.]

Phoenix — July 26

I'm at sky harbor airport. My errands in Tucson are done. I got the studio I wanted– on 5th st. Great location, nice front porch. $195/mo.

So let’s see… talked to Boyer Ricker, all the creative writing classes are packed, but I’ve got 6 or 7 years. I tried to register by phone only to get a message “you are encumbered by health services” by some robotic voice. I got in touch with a human who told me I needed the measles shot… whatever, stick a damn needle in me, inject whatever you want [evidently we weren't always trypanophobic]. Some woman did and now I have red dots on my palms… side effect. I tried to get my ID but was told I had to register 1st. I tried to register but was told, “you are encumbered by health services.” Dumb bitch didn’t punch it into the computer. Finally she did. I registered for graduate-level mechanics, Electricty and Magnetism, Quantum Mechanics and 3rd year spanish. Then I got my ID card —red (graduate) background w/ RA/TA stickers.. I’m in the in-crowd now. I went over to Bri’s and chilled as usual, MTV Real World style. We went and ate at Dos Pesos—1 of those places with mist machines to cool the patios. 1st time I saw it I thought the place was on fire. We waited for Mark then went to this place w/ a hard rock band playing, but they didn’t want to pay cover. Social Distortion is playing there Aug 7.

Then we went to this more up-scale place that had a blues/Jazz bar. We drank coffee on planks and there was trippy psychedelia pictures of colored cactuses in deserts on the walls. I got a message that T.A. called and I got the place. Yah! Mark took me down thursday morning and we had 99¢ breakfast at Blue J’s then put money down on the place and got the key. A key! [draws pic of key.] Went to Bri’s and back to Mark’s. Right when we got there his family started wigging out cuz it was Chris’s B-day and they wanted to go out. They were screaming and yelling behind closed doors so i didn’t hear. Finally we consented even though Mark and I had just eaten. We went to the Black Angus and Chris and David and Mark’s mom had big gross steaks. Chris was especially funny, he was bugging out cuz he only wanted lettuce in his salad and was trying to pick out all the little bits of purple cabbage. He is very stuck in his ways... “When my meal comes (steak and potatoes and no veggies) I’m going to have a triple kamikaze,” and arguing with his mom about it. He’s 28 going on 12. And Mark’s parents are insane too. How did Mark get so sane? He went off to work and dropped me off at his house and I swam and baked in the twilight Tucson sun.

When he got back, we went out looking for excitement – having screaming conversations to cars at intersections two cars on the other side. We picked up Brian + went out wandering, midnight through the campus. Running thru sprinklers, playing drums on the rock with holes, looking for manholes to go underground, hanging out in the lawn furniture in front of the suburban assault vehicle—trailer with a huge gun muzzle coming out and tank treads. We went to this guy Elliot’s house. He lives in an apartment with total white trash roommates… no shirts drinking meister-brau, bongs lying around, girls that are 8 months pregnant etc... He was asleep, came out with this huge mop of unkempt red hair, quite surprised to have visitors. He’s a creative writing major. He got a bag of pot out and him and Brian toked up and we listen to Jim Morrison. Afterwards we went out and played pool at Troy's (what’s new). Hitting balls with sticks into holes to pass the time. Holes, balls and sticks...“What’s up with that?” And of course we stopped and got .25¢ donuts on the way back… starting to get accustomed to this place. I stayed at Brian’s cuz I had to be up early to go to U of A to catch the roadrunner airport shuttle. Beep beep.

Beep beep. 8:30 AM. What time did I go to sleep? All I remember is chilling on the sofas with them watching that god-awful movie “Pretty in Pink”. Good thing I set my alarm. And how come I don’t dream anymore? Or at least remember them. I pose a philosophical question: if you don’t remember your dream—did you dream? I quickly got up and was out the door with my pack. The sun was already brutal. Walking 2 or so miles through asphalted strip mall hell. I got to the U of A visitor’s center right at 9:15 a.m., right when the bus pulled up. Red Stafford and slept to Phoenix, Phoenix – what a cool name. Got dropped off at the Sky Harbor. Even better name. Ate and even took a long 50¢ shower. Now we’ve boarded the plane. The overhead compartments are full and people are wigging out. “This is vicious!” says the A.R. splotchy fat woman. The dude next to me is stressing big time. The seats are taken, this was the last. “I hate the middle seat,” he keeps saying, shrugging his arms across his chest—constantly adjusting the AC and asking “what time is it?” Does it matter? We get there when we land.

Los Angeles — July 27

Arrived in LA. Made the mistake of telling Kevin [our brother + co-author of 'SSEY"—the impetus to transcribe these journels, for vol II] was arriving Delta when in actuality I was on Southwest. Delta was all the way in terminal 7. So I quickly hopped a bus over there… looked around but he wasn’t there.. I tried the red courtesy phone to page him but it didn’t work. I was standing at the information counter trying to ask her, when Kevin walks up… “dude, uhh, you messed up,” all nonchalant-like. So then we were off to Santa Monica—freeway hell. We went to these 2 galleries that were pretty interesting—vials of urine spilling onto the floor, shit smeared in a crease down the wall, a circle of rubber snakes with an electric motor twitching them in the middle and a metallic slug – with smaller slugs hanging off in the fractal manner, all by Mark Gonzales. Then we went to La Cabaña, as usual, and of course Kevin got chicken enchiladas. Afterwards we went to M’s house – Really nice girl, hope Kevin doesn’t blow it by losing patience and getting bored. She had friends over and we sat around playing with her dog. Kevin’s show was at 6. At 6:30 I was telling Kevin “Maybe you should be at the gallery? After all you are the curator”. “…yeah, I guess so.” When we got there, there was only a few middle-aged housewives but at least I got to eavesdrop when he dropped them B.S. about his pieces cuz he never bothered to explain them to me. The show itself was not too inspiring. Kevin’s pieces were great… but maybe he chose bad pieces to go along with his so he would look better. I’m not sure I understand it... bodily confinement. Red pieces of exposed inside in the belt hanging down. Keep those pants up. And a fire escape like thing with wood inside–52 2x4s from floor to ceiling. Solid. Confined. Self-portrait. Yellow. Wood. Threat as a means of control. Kevin was blabbing to art people so I wandered off thru nowhere-land Santa Monica to find coffee.

M was there when I got back so I talked with her. I think she’s perfect for Kevin she seems to understand or see through his weirdness. I hope she didn’t feel uncomfortable in front of me like I was evaluating her, this is the first “girlfriend” that Kevin has ever introduced to me, or his family. She let loose a bunch of stuff I’m sure she was happy to get off her mind. More of his friends started showing up. Roger and Gretchen. Colin, Edward and Denise etc.… The usual crowd except Richard for some reason is mad at Kevin. The most entertaining thing was this one piece with a wire coming off the wall down to the floor— everybody kept tripping over it, then they’d feel really bad. At 9 we hit the Shamrock, in 2 cars. I went with M and we got to talking about Indonesian dance – you can’t shut me up once I’m on to that subject. We discovered M didn’t have her ID when we got to Shamrock, but she talked her way in. There was a punkish noise kind of Sonic Youth band playing. Played pool and watched. No one else from the opening who said they were going bothered to show up. The last band was really good, but we left because we were hungry. It was 1 AM but Sanamluang’s was open. Where else can you eat Thai food till 4 AM but Hollywood? It was full of trendy dopeheads and other strange and unhealthy looking people. The food was good. The original plan was to take Kevin’s car to his house while we went back to Venice with Mary, but in the end we all went to Kevin’s. I slept in the storage room in back. The cats kept sniffing me on the floor and the people next-door played weird music—a monotonous drum machine—all night.

Got up and went to M’s. Picked up the dog S who chewed up everything in sight including a jar of hot mustard during the night. We started to drive down to the Boardwalk but S was drooling like mad so we walked. Hard time finding agreeable food—couldn’t eat at teriyaki donuts because of the dog so we got falafels. Went to Venice boardwalk and they were having a Hare Krishna festival. Typical Venice madness, all sorts of freaks lurking about, but we couldn’t stay long cuz I had to go to the airport and M had some appointment. So here I am. Waiting at terminal 42A—same terminal I was in when I got back from South America. And now on the plane to Portland, Oregon via San Jose (where I’m getting off). M is also from Portland. That seems so far away. I fell asleep on the plane as we were taking off. It’s totally empty, weird, orange juice and peanuts.

Sleepy Creek—July 29 [mother's old place out in the sticks, sorta near Burney, CA]

Got into San Jose and got off, but the plane continued onto Portland. I was there for an hour. I tried to call Eric or Arthur but they weren’t home. I read and watched people play with her babies. The plane from SJ to Reading was a little 20 or so seater – 1 seat on each side of the aisle and the roof too low to walk. It was a sickening ride – swayed back and forth like a skateboard. There was a middle-aged housewife sitting across from me who seemed very horny. She had a very short hiked-up shorts and keeps stroking her thighs. When I got to Redding mom wasn’t there – she was late. We drove to Sleepy Creek. Karlene and Chato and Mauro and Arely were all there.

Istanbul [the turkey] got run over by the plumber. Things were bushy, green and hot. I fed the fish and played with the kids. I slept on the raft. Everybody went to bed around 10 PM. I was still in nighttime mode, party time. I made my bed and cruised to the middle of the pond. The moon was almost full and coming over the pine skyline. I read Stafford [William? Or Stanford, Frank?] then lay and looked at the stars. The anchor was too short so I kept drifting. Just when I’d fall asleep I’d wake cuz it sounded like a bull frog was in my ear... sure enough, I’d drift into the cattails. In the middle of the pond the frog chorus is totally surround-stound stereo and you can see the entire sky. It’s nice to fall sleep and wake up disoriented, facing whichever way, drifting wherever. I woke up in the morning to a loud chorus of honking noises. Stupid Canadian geese. How can I complain? I looked up – there was 25 to 35 huge geese clumsily circling above and making quite a honking racket. They came down about to land then aborted… flew right over to check me out. “What the hell is that shit?” I stayed low trying to cover myself as much as possible. They circled again and this time “landed,” splashing down clumsily into the water. I hadn’t noticed that there was a goose already on the pond that was in the bushes. Perhaps he even called them. He’s a permanent resident, I call him “geezer” cuz he seems feeble. Karlene says he got left behind by his friends. It was a grand awakening. They all seemed tired from a long flight and took to preening. I watched them for a while. I’m sure everybody in the house was laughing at me… here I am sleeping on a raft and a big flock of Canadian geese (24) accosts me. I got up to put on my pants and mom starts yelling for get down. Those geese are going nowhere. If anything, her yelling will scare them off. I jumped off into the cattails. Spent most of the day sorting through my stuff. Throwing all those shitty pictures away. It seems there is 5 rolls of duplicates of those modeling pictures Susanna [ex] and I did for Gail, a hundred zillion more pictures of blurred US festival shots, zillions of shots of Chichen Itza and other ruins, and tons more of Arroyo Seco or whatever beach. And have my clothes I’m relinquishing. I hate doing shit like this. Boxes of crap mixed together that I didn’t deal with before. Later on, i joined the boys– swinging out on the swing into the lake. We caught a bunch of bluegill for ceviche. Chato made catfish w/nopales. Yum. Then Mauro and I went to catch trout in the creek. We didn’t catch anything much less get a bite, but it was nice trudging in the cool water of the stream at twilight, hopping on the rocks. Mauro stuck with me because I think he’s scared of bears. We saw a lot of bear shit and tracks by the river. We walked back in the dark.

Slept on the raft again. This time I drifted towards the house and had dreams of giant masked men. The geese left. Only geezer remains. I woke up late. Arely and Amiel were throwing things at me. I took my sweet time getting up. There was a leftover tuna sandwich on the raft – I threw it in and hung over the side watching the bluegills eat it up close. More sorting through boxes at the bathhouse (toilet barn). Cooked Cajun halibut and a wicked stirfry. Then went into Burney to get blank tapes. Burney is probably the logging center of N. Calif. Therefore the area of most conflict with environmentalists. I got a lot of stares with my huaraches, backwards baseball cap and ripped shorts. Back at the ranch I set about the task of recording all the records I never got around to putting on tape. Karlene and them have left to Callahan so now I’m here alone with mom. Why is she such a pain? I know she’s got good intentions, but she has a way of asking stupid favors right when you’re busiest. And a certain way of talking that spoils things. I’m still here recording. I keep skipping the fucking record because mosquitoes land and I slap and SKIP! Pisses me off. 2nd ½ of the Elvis program is it all. Making suggestions of things I’m about to do. That’s the worst. “maybe you should put those pipes in the drum”.. [then we drew a picture of the pond with the raft, geese, cattails, etc.]

Menlo Park– August 1

Back in 2063. Another day organizing and packing – or was it 2? Time took a hike. I recorded dozens of albums. Mom was pissing me off immensely, “I hope you’re going to clean off the porch when you’re through.” Or “did you clean up the bathhouse?” when I’d cleaned it days ago and she already asked. Or telling me to do stupid things moving stuff like move cardboard boxes of junk from the barn to the bathhouse. All useless trash. She hangs on to it all. Or she makes suggestions of things I’m about to do… that’s the worst. “Maybe you should put those pipes in the drum”.

And meanwhile Otto and Hilde’s (who I suspect are Nazis in hiding) son Eric is hanging around being bored – catching fish so I can take them off the hook for him (otherwise he just lets them die cuz he can’t take the hook out) always when I’m in the middle of doing something. And mom saying, “come on, he’s a nice boy with no friends, take him fishing.” And then he will be like “hey Derek, how much have you had to drink today? I bet you’ve had more than me.” Which he asks only cuz he want’s me to offer him a diet Pepsi. And it ends up Geezer’s got a wife and kids! They were hiding in the bushes. I stopped sleeping on the raft because the anchor broke and I didn’t want to drift into the bushes and I kept hearing bats and it was driving me crazy cuz I couldn’t see them and they sounded like they were right next to my face. So I slept on the porch. It was quieter cause Karlene and the kids and Bandito moved out. I finally finished packing every potential nook and cranny of the Bronco (Bill). Even tied a bunch of stuff on the roof. He drives really funny because he’s all weighted down – Mom thinks it will ruin the shocks. We took off this afternoon. She kept whining that she wanted to stop at McDonald’s. The night before she had to go out and find junk food (all this healthy lentils, brown rice and tofu that I’ve been cooking was driving her nuts even though she supposedly taught me these good habits…). We drove all the way into town but nothing was open. Sure glad I don’t live out here. Now I’m talking about the next day when we set off and stopped at the Iron Skillet – some hillbilly trucker place that says “no hitchhikers” on the door. Mom complained about my driving the whole way,” you’re going too fast! You’re going too slow!” or she’d make that horrible dry heave sound from her throat like we were about to die whenever a car braked in front of us. Arrived into MP just as Granny Nee was leaving. I got mail from Leeanne, Justine, etc. and other goodies. Oh yah, so I’ve been thinking this whole time “damn, I only have $2000 bucks, how did I spend all that money???” when I get this letter from Home Fed, which I thought I’d closed. Ends up I have $3000 dollars, with the interest it’s been earning! What an airhead I am. Guess I take after mom. It was like that feeling when you find a $20 in your jacket you haven’t worn since last winter, magnified by 150. Yee haw! And I was dreading if I had to resort to asking to borrow from mom to pay my tuition. Kimi was here. She got accepted to the fashion Institute in S.F. and seems to be doing well. She had a date with a guy that was NOT, I repeat, is NOT a guitar player. Or a bass player! I called E [an ex] cuz she also left a message here… so I’m in the middle of telling her about Mazatlan when she starts crying… “I have to go (sniffle). I’m okay. Don’t worry about me (sniffle sniffle). Really, I’m fine (sniffle, sniffle). Should I feel bad about still being in love with you? (Sniffle) I can’t (sniffle) help it.” Was it Vonnegut who said saying I love you is like holding a gun to someone’s head? What could I say? And if I didn’t say anything I was a jerk.

Went out two Vietnamese food with mom. Then saw Thelma and Louise with Arthur and Andrea. Now I’m lying here in the middle room – one of the most comfortable beds in the world. The grandfather clock is ticking – funny how they call it that, cuz it is grandfather’s clock. I’m feeling very inspired for some reason and have nothing to address my creativity… There it goes! Dong! Dong!... tick tock tick tock tick tock, 2 AM. I feel like I should go to sleep so I can wake up and be inspired tomorrow but I’m too excited... hmm. Maybe I should write a letter? But to who?

Tucson — August 7

Another day or so in Menlo Park. Eating at the Good Earth for breakfast and spending lots of time doing endless errands. Went up to get my bike up at S’s [ex]. Nobody was there, T’s in Tahoe, B in L.A. and the girls in New York… actually, S called me from there to try to talk me into doing some roadtrip with her across the U.S… and then Europe, India, Nepal, etc. and if I don’t sound excited about it then I’m a party pooper. Anyways, got my bike and came down. It was all in parts so I had to put it together. I got all the crane’s together and realized I was missing a key element – chain ring. I I figured it must have broken, why else would T take it apart and not put it with the other pieces he set aside for me to take? So I spent the better part of an afternoon going to every goddamn bike store between Palo Alto and San Carlos, but nobody had this archaic part. So I went all the way back up to S’s to look for it… they have this new rooster that kept pecking at my toes. One of those bantam things with feathery legs. I finally found the ring in the chicken coop. Arthur came over and we tubbed waiting for Kimi, but she flaked. Developed pictures and finished packing next morning. Mom left to the mountains so I was all alone in 2063. (the “old” house). Arthur and Kimi came by to kidnap me, to take me to wash clothes. Well, while you’re kidnapping me do you mind if we go to the Chinese market on Castro St? We did and I tried to get everything I didn’t think I could get in Tucson. We drove around and ended up at this birthday party for Jim in Portola Valley. Jim is John’s brother, the guy who died in a motorcycle accident while I was in South America. Good friend of Eric and Arthur’s. So it was at times a grim event. I didn’t know anybody except for Kimi and Arthur and when they were off having heart to hearts with John’s parents I felt a little uncomfortable. There was a kegger and lots of munchies so I kept stuffing my face. There was this girl that was incredibly attractive, but Kimi or Arthur didn’t know her to introduce her to me, and well, I’m too shy. I started a movement to do the Sailor and Lulu dance in living room but it didn’t catch. Arthur took me to the creek where he used to play with John as a child. It was sad. It was dried up. Made coffee and drank it in this beautiful kitchen with lots of plants. It was getting chilly, the coffee felt good in the conversation good. They went back to Sioux Ave, I got my timbale and saw their new puppy. Then Arthur and I went off to see "Bill and Ted Go to Hell”. Death was excellent, the cool grim reaper, it was worth for laughs. It was late by the time we returned. I was planning on leaving early the next morning ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding 9 AM Hmmm. Do I leave now or leave in the evening and drive all night? I didn’t want to get there at 2 AM as it worked out. But I left. Stopped at Casa de Fruta for a brief break. Then just drove. Got to LA at rush hour but it wasn’t so bad. Kept on. I figured I would maybe stop and sleep in the desert. But I kept on and next thing I knew… Tucson, before midnight. I did a 16 hour drive in 14, not stopping except for gas and to piss.

Home sweet home. White walls, white floors. Like an art studio. Everything kind of dirty though. I unpacked the stuff off the roof, but waited on the rest. Slept on a blanket in the middle of the floor. Bloody hot. (Hold on, I have to talk to Eva… I’m back). So I wake up with the sun right in my face. No curtains. 8 AM. I had my Spanish CLEP at 1 PM (so I thought). Hmm. Before I put anything in here I have to clean up this shit hole so I set about the task. Scrub scrub. I bought a bunch of politically correct cleaners, stuff with no bleach, biodegradable etc. “Environmentally friendly” sure, but the stuff just wasn’t cutting the grease. All they do is put a bunch of palm oil and other nice sounding ingredients into a recycled plastic container. Sure it’s all the things they say, only problem is that it doesn’t clean worth shit. Just kind of spreads oily goo about. Oh well, I tried. Next time it’s 409.

I went to the thrift shops on 4th ave and got a dresser and a kitchen table. And I just downloaded Bronco Bill into my abode. What a mess. Such a mountain of things. By that time it was 1 PM. I ran over to the testing office with a pencil over my ear and said “here I am.” She gave me a queer look and said “it’s tomorrow, where have you been?”

Fuck if I know. To think I drove like a maniac to get there. I told her I drove all the way from S.F. to take this test but she didn’t believe me. Oh well, now I have an extra day of hard-core studying... yah, right. Then I went to every futon shop in Tucson to find the cheapest one. Found one for $240, a killer queen size w/  a frame about 2 inches off the ground that reclines up or turns into a sofa. I’m a yuppie already. Then I bought this portable closet thing and all sorts of other goodies. I attempted to organize things till past midnight when Mark came over. We chilled on the new futon, then went to 2 Pesos. I had the shrimp, loaded it with too much pico de gallo.

Next morning I woke to T.A. Miller peeking his head into my window, “Hullo? Oh, hi Derek.” I had complete bed-head and was sprawled out in my underwear on top of my sheets with the fan pumping. He’s all “say, I see you got a closet that’s just like the one we were going to build.” So I let him and the carpenter Jim come in and totally invade me. Stepping all over my things. First they put up blinds in the kitchen. I mentioned that the hot water in the bathroom wasn’t working and he replaced the whole fucking sink, which is too bad cuz I liked the old one. It was antique and the new one is a cheesy McDonald’s type. He’s also going to replace the old clunker stove. He’s alright. He wanted to give me new salmon colored drapes but I said no way! Just say no to ugly curtains. I went to the electric co. to open an account, then called the telephone company and got an account with them. Then I chowed Chinese and opened a savings and checking account at Valley National. Is this national “account” day or what? With the checking account I could pay the $45 which was necessary to take the CLEP. Which I did and it was great fun. Then returned the closet thing, which is good because it cost me $69. And I got blocks and planks to build some bookshelves. I’m still not done. And neither is T.A. or the carpenter. I’m now chilling in the Québec. No wonder they collect it The Québec, it’s so fucking cold in here. 20 minutes ago i never would have imagined I could be too cold. Back to making “home”.

[on the porch of our "home" on 5th street w/ our neighbors ferret that used to come into our house if we left our door open]

Aug 9

I’m sitting in Dos Pesos and it’s completely ape shit… outside in the patio with the artificial misters, the wind is howling in every which way, blowing stuff off tables and all over the restaurant. Sunset. A mix of oranges and grays and flashes of lightening. The rain quite hasn’t started but I can smell it and hear the thunder. Everything is electric and alive. This the relief from this hot dingy weather.

So let’s see… Wednesday was still more errands. I was being held up by the closet being unfinished, the bathroom unpainted and the stove in the process of being removed. It was all pissing me off and then i call Mark and he says he’ll be over but doesn’t come for 3 or 4 hours. Could’ve done a lot of errands, but oh well. We cruised over to Bri’s and hung out there then went to Yokohama rice bowl. Brian went off to work so we tagged along to bug him there—at The Gap. He owes mark $10 dollars so Mark figured he’d just get an item from The Gap. Got our tickets to Social Distortion, then went back to my pad: 53 E. 5th St. Tucson, AZ 85705. Mark went to do stuff at his house and I took matters into my own hands to paint the closet and bathroom. I told T.A. if he doesn’t get the guy to do it quick I’ do it myself, so he took the hint and left me the paint.

Mark came back at 8 and we went over to the Wild Wild West. The place was packed, parking lot full, people parked in the gutters, alleys, empty lots and lining up for tickets. It was a full-on redneck bar — cowboy hats and boots was the fashion. I had my Indonesian vest and huaraches, couldn’t keep myself from laughing, to the chagrin of uptight Cowboys. The place was huge, a converted bowling alley. The dance floor is 6000 sq ft² in the shape of a race track and couples were two-stepping counterclockwise, hilarious cause each song had a special “line dance”… how everybody learned how to do it gets me. Seems kind of boring, just walking in circles, no rhythm, no soul, no freedom of expression. Around the dance floor and on 4 massive screens facing all directions they were showing big macho men and their machines, motor-cross racing, wipeouts, monster trucks driving over other cars, rodeo stunts, etc. Violent action. There were tons of pool tables, video games etc. and even little shops where you can buy cowboy boots, CDs and other goodies to be good little cowboys. Not sure what the hell we were doing there. It took us a while to find Kathy, the place was so big. She brought us beer on the house and chatted with us. Then we found Brady. Brian told me she averages 7 marriage proposals a night  tonight at W3 (Wild Wild West). We went into the “rock bar”… whole nother section where they rock out, more of a nightclub atmosphere. We ran into Dominique and his friends there. It was 9:30 so we decided to split to Mudbugs to see Social Distortion. Missed the 1st band, but saw the 2nd, they were great but I forgot their name – a real lush rich sound and a good vocalist. We were segregated into the 21 and over section near the bar that’s sectioned off with this netting. I wanted to mingle with the youngins and see the sweat on the guitar players fingers, but Mark was slamming brew. They finished and we waited, checking out the punk rock chicks. Then Social D came on and we were up at the stage and I met this girl from Spain. She asked me whether people would start moshing when Social D came on and I didn’t need to answer cuz Social D came on and people started moshing in wild frenzy w/ the 1st power chord. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” The Spanish girl was grabbing my arm and using me to cushion the blows, telling me to protect her. People on the perimeter were violently pushing and throwing people into the writhing pit. Next thing I know I was swept all the way up to the stage. They had a guard rail to keep people from stage diving. I felt myself losing my shoes. I had no control over which direction I went. Elbows in my back. There was a lack of individuality, it doesn’t qualify as dancing cuz you have no freedom of choice. The entity was the undulating mass. I lost my shoes. I tried to get it but it was lost in an instant and I was pushed away. I found a few others hoes and a purse on the ground, but not my shoe. The perspective at ground level was funny. Just furious thrashing and kicking, amidst sweat and lost articles. Feet are strange things. People were stepping on mine – I had to retreat to the outskirts near the net. Social D has changed a lot since we saw them 7 or 8 years ago in Berkley, a lot more tattoos and their music is basically just rock’n’roll now, hardly punk. No surprise, they always seemed like poseur sell-outs wanting to be rockstars. I kept getting pushed into the net almost pulling it down. It was violent. There were drunk frat boy Nazi-punks just grabbing their friends and throwing them to the floor for the fun of it. Wasn’t like a good ol days when people were helpful and would pick you up off the floor if you fell. I felt like an old fogey… last time I saw Social D, Mike Ness was a young rebellious skinny punk with enthusiasm. Now he was old and bloated with a beer belly and thought he was Elvis reborn. But they were tight. I stood in back with my socks sticking in the goo watching people do the next best thing to stage diving – getting lifted up onto the mass and passed about up to the stages only to be violently pushed down by the roadies who thought they were the ultimate commandos. It was a constant tug-of-war – the roadies inciting more violence.

This girl with long red hair and a black flapper dress was giving me the eye then came over and stood next to me, blowing smoke in my face. She was dancing around, almost poking me with her cigarette and rubbing her ass against me. Really annoying. She turned around and asked me to put her cigarette out for her. I just gave her a look like ‘who the fuck do you think you are?’ and kept watching the band. She looked offended, walked away and put the cigarette out herself. After the show finally ended I looked on the floor and found lots of stuff—3-4 baseball hats, shirts, shoes, quarters, car keys, etc. but not my shoe. Then I found Mark, he’d found my shoe in the mosh pit. I saw the Spanish girl and talked with her for a while. Mark and I went to to Denny’s after and had grilled cheese sandwiches and coffee and chilled, people watching. He told me about catching arrows in Saudi Arabia. It occurred to me that at this instant Mark had gone from somebody I’d been randomly hanging out with to a friend.

I have nothing to show for myself today except for a few more things, including my tapes, up on the wall. A little more organized. I got my phone hooked up, w/a built-in answering service so I don’t need a machine. Called S and she had gotten back from the east coast. She sounded all excited to see me, which is weird. I thought she was living w/ this Mike guy, but she seems to want to start things back up.

Aug 11

So what’s this all about? Everybody’s trying to figure that one out. What’s up with all of this? Why here, why now? Why am I so fucking bored? I want to dive in and get massively involved in my studies, with work, with making money so I can travel to India next summer, finish where I left off. I want to make more tapes, plant plants, cook more, work out more—most importantly, I want to get on with just “living” and living with style. Having fun, being in love, feeling passion for life. I need an injection. I need release from this limbo of frustration—of planning for the future instead of being in the hear and now. I want to be on the couch on the front porch sipping ice tea (which I am). It’s pointless to think about it. It’s gotta just happen. Enough of this silent desperation.

So what I have done? Jack shit. I pace around in my new found home gluing things together, planting plants, getting furniture—trying to decode the inside of this metaphorical mind, trying to create something… don’t know what. Fantasizing. I call my answering service and leave messages for myself. So damn lonely. Things still seem in disorder and unclean, but it seems all I can do is wait. Just keep running til it happens. I got my sofa last night, it’s cool. Mark came by and we went to look for excitement. 1st stop was Mudbugs… by the time was got there it was 10:30 and the last band Shagnatty was 20 minutes into their set and I didn’t want to pay the $4 cover. So we went to this bar that qualifies as a generic dictionary version of a “bar”. Where people gather around the “bar” and consume a frothy yellow liquid that loosens them up and makes them feel a little bit not like their regular selves. We had a beer then left to Club Congress, the 1st place I can relate to. Not full of rednecks like W3 or high school punks like Mudbugs or frat boys and dumb sorority chicks like all the other places. C2 is divided into 3 rooms, a large lobby that has a more uptown ritzy vibe with fashionable people sitting at tables where you wouldn’t feel out of place sipping coffee or wine instead of beer. Then there’s a legitimate bar and then a dance hall where bands play. Dark and trippy with loud danceable music and video screens showing weird black and white science fiction movies. And lots of pretty girls. What more could you ask for? We boogied all night, the atmosphere was psychedelic, trippy music and lighting, strobe induced weirdness. I was staring at this girls polka dot dress (band w) and when the strobe flashed I’d see colored spots in the back of my eyes. The best thing about the place was that I didn’t feel inhibited. You could be weird and dance with yourself and fit right in. You could just be yourself. In the cooldowns in between, Mark and I would sit and ponder the meaning of “wah”. It’s kind of a synchronicity, but it’s something you experience with someone else, like when you’re doing something and are both suddenly struck by the same emotion, when it’s indescribable in words, you just turn to the other and go “waaah.” Kind of like when Bill and Ted look at each other and do that guitar solo thing. Say you see an empty lot that is technically an ugly eyesore, but both people see something beautiful in it that maybe only they would agree on. That’s wah. This ties in with my earlier vision I had in Peru of applying a fruit or vegetable to every indescribable emotion. Like when you to try catch someone’s attention, like a waitress, and they are totally clueless, that’s “palta,” according to Limeños.

Got sidetracked there. So at 1 a.m. we turned into pumpkins. Bars close. No liquor. The law. No money. No point in keeping the music going. God forbid we’d let people have fun in our place for free. Shut down. I was particularly attracted to this one girl who was a good dancer. But we figured her and her friend were just teases and didn’t even attempt to meet their acquaintance. I noticed a lot of groups or pairs of girls leaving together, even girls by themselves. My kind of place. We went and chilled on my new porch in the dark. The warehouse across the street was still happening and I could make out the guitar riff from TSOL’s “I want to fuck the dead” so we went and checked it out and sure enough… it was TSOL! We walked in during “Superficial Love,” which was the last song. Too bad we didn’t know about it.

Woke up this morning and got my guitar, drum machine and other goodies out, while I sipped coffee. By the time I got my clothes on it was 1 p.m. I was bored as hell and had to get out. So I went and saw the Sunday matinee and I’m sitting in Pizza Hut experiencing the Tucson convenience.

So there was this storm the other night, TA was fixing my swamp cooler. He had on a nice white shirt and slacks. Big fat drops came and got him wet and splattered and the dust. He didn’t even notice, a true Tucsonian. He retreated into my kitchen. We stood in the doorway and watched it come down. The sky was reddish gray and flashed with lightening, the thunder sounded like the cracking of ear drums. Rivers soon flooded over the curbs and sirens could be heard in all directions. The dog that was always looking for shade was at my doorstep shivering and wet, trying to get in.

Afterwards the ants came. I noticed a few off near my bend. They were picking up little things that looked like leaves. But they weren’t leaves, they were wings. I looked closer and they were flying ants that were shedding their wings and becoming ants, then ate their own wings in a self-cannibalistic feeding frenzy. It was a frantic display. It was apparent that this happened but once a year, triggered by the 1st monsoon. I tried to sweep them out my door alive, but they kept coming from unknown corners.

[then there was the dream from Aug 11, 1991 that we already archived in our dream log, but we'll include the original here for reference].

Menlo Park LA August 15

Impulsively decided to head before the weekend to retutn mom's car so as to get back before Monday. Got a ticket SFO to San Diego on Friday eve and San Diego to Phoenix on Sunday night. Flooded my plants (got some new cool cacti). Tried to get out of Quals, but no can do. But I’ll get 2 more tries as long as I show improvement—incentive to miserably fail this one! Got a late start Tuesday morning because I had to do all these errands but was on the road by 11 AM. I Was supposed to meet Renaldo between 4:30 and 5:30 in Glendale, but it wasn’t gonna happen. Desert Driving—I love the part with the windmill generators. But I can definitely foresee that these wind machines are not the solutions for the future. If we had them everywhere it would be ecological disaster and an eyesore. Would be a cool place to shoot a video though. I saw a billboard near Palm Springs that said “animal activists are enemies of the state.” What the fuck is up with that? Where’s the logic… oh, I see, if you want to save endangered owls cuz its ecosystem contains giant metal towers with spinning turbines spaced every 30 feet—sufficient to drive it out of it’s ground, that means you’re trying to destroy the country? I mean really. Those damn commie environmentalist don’t actually give a damn about spotted owls, they’re just looking for an excuse to disrupt the country.

Flew through the desert with a sweaty back on vinyl seats (the air con was making the car act funny). Those roadstops in the middle of nowhere to make calls are the best. Told Reynaldo’s wife I wouldn’t make it. Made it into L.A. just at rush hour, 6:30. Traffic hell. On the overpass over the 110 downtown there was a busload of tourists taking pictures of stopped traffic. Not traffic jams are a tourist attraction. It’s absurd, 12 or 15 lanes of traffic all backed up in a haze of smog. Got to Kevin’s. He had a sprained ankle, on his couch with his foot propped up, watching T.V. We never left his studio. Ordered gross cheese pizzas and free cokes. I got “Rust” [art piece of his that actually we just got back from our mom's place last week cuz we lent it to her back back when we moved to Africa + didn't want to bring it with us... we shipped it by Greyhound so should get it in a few weeks so we can install it in our new home] from under a pile or garbage.


Kevin ordered me around, hobbling on his golf club cane like an old man. I took Rust in her coffin in exchange for the goat horn mask I got in Mexico. At least on indefinite loan. Kevin had a home studio visit at 9 and at 11 a.m. so I took off before then. Stopped by Glendale and woke Reynaldo. He lives in this dingy apartment with his wife and 3 or 4 kids and all sorts of relatives, grandparents, etc. that kept appearing from other rooms. With his bathrobe and bed-head, he tried out the panpipes and told me the story how him and his father left everything behind and travelled by bus from Peru to Mexico (taking 2½ months) then crossed illegally into the states. His dad is a welder, and Reynaldo runs a valet parking lot in Hollywood. I hung out there all morning, ot a late start out of L.A. It was really murky and drizzly and didn’t feel like August. Stopped and chowed at Denny’s but then got sleeping going over the grapevine.

I woke up drenched in sweat in a hot car up on the grapevine in the parking lot of some hotel. It felt like I had been sleeping for 10 minutes, but the clock said 1 pm.. I had been asleep for 2 hours. The sun had broken through the clouds and baked me awake. Did the increasingly familiar I-5 central calif route. Hot and dusty, making friends with other cars just by the way you drive. Speeding together watching out for each other. Sometimes with other cars for hours, didn’t know who it was, but they kept a good consistent speed. Or I was the pacer and I stuck my cruise control on 77. Got into San Jose at rush hour.

Aunt Mary was here at the old house when I arrived. Haven’t seen her in a while. Eric was in the cabin in his underwear, cigarette in one hand, remote control in the other. Went for a swim and de-smagged. It was Andres B-day so Arthur came by with Jonathon and David (?) (the reformed alcoholic). We met Andrea at the Louisiana Purchase (or whatever that place is called). And who should be sitting at the table but Yvonne! What a trip. Ends up she’s friends with Andrea, part of the San Jose/Palo Alto punk scene. I’m surprised I never crossed paths with Andrea before, or maybe I have. Yvonne is still in P.A. working as a maid, in love with an Elmer Fudd older man pool shark and still into 70s ethereal horoscope shit. It was a great dinner. I had eggplant stuffed with seafood and someone threw confetti in my hair and put mardi gras beads on me. There was some other people I had never met. These 2 guys serenaded us w/ Dixieland music, banjo and clarinet. Afterwards we went to Antonio’s nuthouse [what was the dive bar that Facebook now calls their HQ]. Antonio himself was there, wearing a hat that made him look like an Italian immigrant from 1800. Andrea’s cousin was the bartender and gave us free beer but was a bitch and unceremoniously kicked us out, dumping the balls in the middle of a game that Jennifer and I had going. Now that girl is a trip, “ya know, I moved to Humboldt cuz it’s soooo cool. I have a garden and a cosmic boyfriend and love trees. My friends love trees too but they just want to smoke pot all day. I try to organize rallies but they just want to take drugs. And I love the Indians, but we should just leave them alone, blah, blah, blah…” all in a real psycho ethereal hippie tone with her jangly bells and hugs not drugs smiles. She just wants to hug everyone all the time and I told her I didn’t want to cuz I like to save up my hugs to make them count, not just waste them indiscriminately on people I just met. Then she asked if I had a girlfiend and I said no, and she says “Carrie over there thinks you’re cute… but you know, she’s on a this big mountain Hopi trip, and I don’t know, I’ve talked to Hopis and they don’t want our help, blah, blah, blah.” Meanwhile Jonathon’s off with this romantic notion of being Morrisey, wearing beads and with daisies in his back pocket and David (Eric’s friend) is wigging cuz there was some liquor in the dessert and it was triggering an alcoholic relapse, and Yvonne is talking about what a classic Pisces S [our X, who Yvonne was best friends with] is, and how Pisces and Scorpios are so cool together and how S is the sweetest thing to grace this planet, talking her up like we should get back together. By this time Jennifer is plastered and looks like a witch.

I drove the drunk people back to the A’s house (in the stylin’ Cadillac) and hung around there. Kimi is miss student now, at 2:30 with coffee and chain smoking, huge bags under her eyes trying to make a color wheel for her color theory class but she can’t tell red from blue. “Kimi you look like shit, go to sleep,” I say. Jennifer stumbles in and throws up. No one cleans it up. Jonathon is trying to call his university cuz it’s 10 a.m. in England. I came back to the old house and crashed in the attic. Woke up, closed my bank accounts and did errands, then lounged by the pool.

San Diego — Aug 20, 1991

The next morning I took off with mom so she wouldn’t have to return to take me to the airport. We stopped 1st at the Stanford store [of Folk Art Intl] to drop stuff off. Explored the inner workings of the Stanford mall. Then we went to the warehouse. We met David Hall and his girlfriend Sandy for lunch. They are the new age couple of the century… tie-dye drapey cotton clothes and shawls and lots of crystals around their necks.  We had a new age conversation eating vegetarian food. Sandy just stared off all spacey with a far away look, then told me I had a shining star on my shoulder. Whatever. Went back and worked at Folk Art the rest of the afternoon and wandered around looking at all the weird tribal art. Mom took me to the airport around 5 pm. Caught my plane, the stewardess was giving me these weird intense stares then signaling to me, I just pretended not to notice. I’d pretend to sleep and open my eyes and she’d still be staring. She was like 40.

S picked me up and made fun of my new fashion statement (huaraches, shorts, my e = -1 shirt, my bone necklace, a sport coat w/ baseball hat backwards. I have no long sleeve shirt otherwise I would have worn it and can’t pack my sports coat so why not wear it? Went to her house, a SoCal new age house w/ wood floors, stain glass windows and lots of houseplants. M [her boyfriend/roomate after us] was there. She’s got the big room and he got this tiny little room. There was an awkward moment where they explained how that worked. We chilled then ate Thai food and came back and just went to bed (I’m sleeping in one of those satellite dish chairs). Next morning after a nourishing breakfast of leftover Thai food, yogurt and granola we walked along the beach north. Things are mellow, but still a little weird. I’m not totally myself, feel restrained. I figured since I wouldn’t see the ocean in a while I should jump in. M was into the idea but was reluctant to go unless S went and she was being poopy and lazy. She sat on the beach with a thermos while we acted like juveniles, running and doing flips into the wavers. I was surprised it wasn’t that cold, so we body-surfed for quite a while. Then we went and took some fish back to the aquarium and traded them for African frogs, little angels and “Geo”—a big iridescent bass lake fish. Next door was this market that was killer – they had all sorts of Indonesian spices and sauces—kare, gado-gado, sagin pecel, etc. So I stocked up. Got raunchy take-out Chinese food and eat in the back of Evelyn [her truck]. We dumped the fish off and stared at them in their new environment than made off to this art opening at the San Diego contemporary la Jolla. Kevin said there’d be free food and drinks and music and was invite only but the food costs money and everybody was walking right in. But the show was great. First Mowry Baden. I wasn’t too thrilled about this photocopy stuff but his user-participation pieces were great. Especially “I walk the line”–a large yellow room with a railing going up the middle—well, here’s a picture [includes a postcard]. The effect is you’re fooled to think you won’t make it over (but the floor rises with the rail). Audience participation pieces. Quantum mechanical concepts, you don’t just view it, but are part of it. It was funny to watch how other people approached it—some were just too cool to do it, and others like M, too stubborn. He didn't appreciate us taking him to this thing, he hates art. Anyways, there’re photos some of Baden’s other sculptures—instead of saying ‘sponsored by the artist’ or some private collection they said, “destroyed”.  That was cool. (Yah, we're finally taking off!)

He had some other trippy sculptures involving such objects as records, hair, Coke bottles… David Hammons was even cooler, a complete genius guru. We entered thru a black curtain into a dark room. Hanging from the ceiling were many little glowing Jesuses. Gospel music emanated from hidden speakers. There was a fan that caused a subtle breeze to blow the little Jesuses around. It was ultimately cool when it was pitch dark but people kept coming and going, letting in the light. And then there was a huge Persian carpet with pieces of fried chicken hanging from it. Walked up close and the pieces were stale and oily and smelled… there must’ve been lots of microscopic creatures living off the chicken. The grand finale was the basketball game. First off, there were 3 or 4 backboards on the wall… just a few days ago when I was at Kevin’s I saw a backboard and thought it abstract, when taken out of context and told Kevin he should just take a backboard and hoop and hang it on the wall in a gallery and call it art. What that was basically the idea, but it was beyond that. He had a glass backboard with chandeliers on it. Yet another maid of a lampshade. And yet another with the car door as a backboard and a trashcan as the hoop. There was a group of black dudes hanging out with a basketball opposite to a wall of rich white anal art lovers on the other side, staring at them. A jazz band played under “Rousing the Rubble”. The presence of David Hammons was striking and obvious. He’s black with an unruly bush of gray hair, wearing a white robe-like thing. I don’t know–technically not that outlandish looking, but there’s something intense about him. Next thing I know is the 6 guys are playing basketball between 2 of hoops. They were dressed nice in suits, but taking themselves seriously. Hammons was conducting the band in a very unorthodox manner, watching the basketball game and impulsively giving facial gestures or hand movements as he gets inspired, and the band was excellent at transcribing every motion he gave, in a trippy, sporadic, jazzy, avant-garde manner. Langston Hughe’s poetry should’ve been recited. The audience, basketball in a gallery, the hoops out of context from their usual purpose. A weird ritual we take for granted, no wonder the piece is called “taken for granted.” And the jazziness of basketball. Utah! Be-bop! Be-lewww, Babelblop! Swish! 

And then back to the real world, still feeling like I was part of my art installation. M was being all awkward and out of place and I felt bad for dragging them to this. No “wah” going on here. So we split and went to Pacific beach and had a big fat pizza can had this idea to ride the roller coaster. We got stuck in the cruiser traffic, but it was okay because I just stared out that all the weird people–in Pacific beach is full of them. Why here I don’t know. By the time we got lucky and found a parking place, the roller coaster had closed down. We felt we should use our spot and park and just walked about, past the plunge, the indoor pool where you can float on inner tubes and watch movies on walls, by the gyroscope, work-out machines, sleazy people, surfer dudes, trendy SoCal types, blonde tan eggie-buffs with mustaches and shiny black 4x4s and pit bulls, druggies, rednecks, marines, college students, hippies etc. etc. S wanted to go to some bar but M was being poopy and disapproving so she turns to me, “what do you think?” Yah, why the fuck not, go in and grab a beer. Are we having fun yet? Look at those people in the Red Onion, they are having F-U-N! They’re smiling and dancing and drinking. F-U-N! We took a table and watched a country-folk band play covers. M was looking bored. I tried to bring him into the conversation but it was pointless, there was just some bad vibes going on with them and I was stuck in the middle of it.

We are now descending to Phoenix, it is 10:45 and the shuttle is supposed to pick me up at 10:30, and well, we’re still in the air in a holding pattern. And that was the last shuttle, so looks like the airport floor will be my bed tonight.

Tucson — Aug 20 (2 a.m.)

Nope, by some stroke of luck, the shuttle bus was ½ hour late so here I am! Back to my yarn… this morning we got up and ate leftover pizza. M went on an errand for an hour and S puts on a Run DMC tape and starts dancing, complaining how M refuses to dance and how dull he is. Not sure what she is doing with him, but I don’t want to say anything. The girls just want to have fun. M came back and we went to the swap meet. Not much weird junk but plenty of weird people. I went off and got some cassettes and got sufficiently lost from them. We met up and went to the Del Mar race track. What a trip. I went to the bathroom and somehow got by the guard by accident and got into the clubhouse, the elite area with rich people in box seats. But S and M couldn’t get in, so I left. Right as I got there a race was ending and people were frantic, screaming and waving their tickets. We went into the inner field. They brought the horses out for the 4th race and we sized up our vibes then went to the betting booth. From the inner field you couldn’t see shit. The horses were off and we just heard the excitement and then all of a sudden they were across the finish line. My horse won, made $15. We went back to the grandstands and did about 3 or 4 more races. We were going crazy, making exacta bets (where you pick them in order) or 1:30 longshots. But we all ended up losing, I lost $14 altogether, erasing my winnings. M lost too, S barely broke even.  It was for the thrill though. [includes some of the betting tickets] We went back to Cardiff and ate at that same Thai place. So were sitting there chatting and it occurs to me that I should inquire about the time. 7:30 and my plane leaves at 8:50 and takes ½ an hour to get there and I haven’t packed and we’re nowhere near the car. We went back and I threw my stuff in my quilt bag and sat in the backseat smothered under a box. We made it in time but it didn’t matter cuz the plane was late. That’s when I took up writing this entry. We were supposed to leave at 8:50 but didn’t board til 9:20. I checked the box w/ Kevin’s art so was worried I’d miss the shuttle. The couple next to me was freaking out, huffing and puffing until she was hyperventilating. All because we were late. I’m too tired to finish this. They announced that if anyone gave up their seat they’d pay for accommodation, a flight in the morning, and a free roundtrip ticket anywhere in the U.S.!  I jumped up—sounded better than sleeping in the airport since I thought I would miss the shuttle. But I was in back and by the time I got up there they found someone. Oh well, so I was writing this the whole flight. Touched down at 10:45 and i rushed to baggage claim, and the shuttle appeared right as I got the child's coffin holding Rust. There was this other woman Ms Martinez that I met in S.D. that was on the shuttle. It was a trippy ride. The van was packed full of people not into talking. The driver attempted to get the ball rolling and stuck on A.M. radio and started whistling, like a blackbird. On a dark desert highway. Cool breeze in my hair. I dozed for what I thought was an hour, but awoke and it still said Tucson 72. In a ½ asleep state the radio said Gorbachev had been forced to resign, which woke me up. Then a commercial break then a CNN bulletin saying there was a coup in Russia. Everybody remained silent, listening. I felt like this was one of those moments, “where were you when…” in a shuttle on a dark desert highway with a dozen other silent passengers. He drove right by my place but was only allowed to stop at certain spots so went all the way to the University and I had to walk all the way back this huge 4 foot box and my hippie quilt bag full of tapes and Indonesian spices. My feet hurt cuz they were dry and cracked so I had to walk on them funny, when finally home sweet home. I couldn’t get the fucking door open though. Watered the plants then turned on the swamp cooler (it was 89° at 2:30 a.m.) and ate clam chowder.

Tucson — Aug 21

I’m sore as rotten fruit from working out and it’s my last day of non-school and my eyes are stinging red and my nose stuffed up and it’s hot and muggy. I woke on my 1st day back and had to fix my bike before I went in. By the time I got there it was like 1 p.m. Henry was there and said “hey, it’s the ether man” in his very serious quiet tone, then explained his joke in the same tone, evidently the women in the department think I’m “cute”. But I still don’t know why I’m “ether” man. I’d like to know who in particular thinks I’m cute, Sara? So he talks for a bit and ends up they might put a telescope in Bolivia or northern Chile. Yeah boyz. I got there just in time for grad student conference that I’d missed the first part of. We launched right into the middle of this very technical discussion of the design of the new telescope that they’re planning on putting in South America. Supposedly a killer new design and we’re supposed to tell anyone about it, like top secret classified shit. More talk about disclosures and patents and lawsuits and these little devices that fit in a suitcase that he wants to take down to S.A. to measure “transparency” i.e. how many clear days and how clear. Being that these may be in the middle of nowhere in the altiplanos they’ll have to run on solar cells, appropriately enough. My mind was flying how cool it’d be to be sent down to the altiplanos with llamas amidst the snow-capped Andes at 15,000 feet with a secret suitcase and a bunch of solar cells. The meeting went on for hours and I was totally lost with all the technical bits but got to meet the other grads, a fairly nice bunch. Afterwards Henry told me he wants me to personally help him design the telescope and may send me to South America to set it up and maintain it. Yah boyzzz. He was also going to do everything in his power to make sure I didn’t have to take Quals. Doubly fuck yah. Evidently it doesn’t bode well on SCLERA if I screw up the Quals.

On the way home I bought a paper boy basket for my bike. It didn’t fit. The girl at the shop was making fun of my archaic bike and asking me what type it was, so I had to explain how it was cobbled together from various scraps, starting w/ a Schwinn cruiser frame. Then I got a blow-out, so had to walk the bike and the basket home, awkwardly. Then got P.O’ed at the P.O. people cuz I still don’t have a key… they said they left it on the door but it wasn’t there. So then S calls and says “do you still love me?”… what am I supposed to say? Again, the Vonnegut quote about the loaded gun. I got all insensitive and cynical and she starts crying and I felt like shit. And she still talks about this India trip, but sounds like a nightmare, but she freaks out if I don’t act enthusiastic about it and would freak out if I backed out. At any rate, we’d need money to go, so will just use that as an excuse. It’s all just so weird, having just spent the weekend with her and her new boyfriend who she says now is not her boyfriend but they are still living together. I’m just sick of all this drama, I don’t feel much of anything for her anymore, but she goes on about me putting up defensive protection mechanisms and psycho-babble. I say no, actually I’m happy being single. I guess that’s how I feel about life in general, I’d rather not have anything and just fantasize about what I could have. I always want to believe there’s something more, even if it means feeling unsettled, better that then sedentary complacency.

So yesterday I got my special keys, insurance card, $256 in books (ouch) and looked up some articles. Went to see Henry and he’s still working on the Quals. Got my bike situation straightened out, new tire, new chain and these fancy side paniers that convert into a satchel. Set me back $49 but I don’t have to buy a backpack to carry my books. Tucson is also notorious for thorns so had to get these special inserts for the tire so I don’t keep getting flats. Rode all the way out to the film place on Oracle to test the bike out. Picked up my reprints and then went to Food Conspiracy and stuffed my paniers with organic strawberries, spinach, onions, mushrooms, lemons, bell peppers, ginger roots, soy, sprouted bagels, etc. [includes itemized receipt]… I’m such a “crunchy” as people here call it, or as Mark calls me, “granola”. I dig cruising around on the bike. Got back and put lights on and a rear reflector and went to the rec room to work out. That place is cool, and free.  I’m sure I’ll spend a lot of time there. When I got back there was a message from Mark saying he’d come by at 9:15 but it was 10:00. He said he was meeting Brian at Blue J's café. I took a shower but then decided not to go, too tired. I would have to ride all the way back there and then back afterwards.

[in our kitchen we think]

Aug 23

This is the story, the story of Derek White sitting on his porch in Tucson, Arizona at 12:30 a.m. with a tall glass of iced tea, the ice cubes tinkling in the glass. The rhythmic humming of crickets and distant traffic is being disrupted by loud cymbals crashing and drums banging, punk rock screaming chants. The way it echoes off the buildings and empty streets. I opened the curtains to let the light out so I could write. Sirens. Helicopters hover and spin around, floodlights flashing around. This is it. So I be student. An official status. Grad student. The beginning of a new persona. I awoke Thursday, early 6:30 a.m. Wanted to see if I could get into this creative writing class. No go. Lots of students waiting. The teacher was like a bohemian Geena Davis, more like a student then the conservative crew wanting to take the class. She had red hair, ethnic garb and dark sunglasses. She seemed cool, but oh well. So then I had an hour to kill before my next class. Hanging around the student union. Buying a drink even though I wasn’t thirsty. 8:45, 9:00, 9:10… I go to class 20 minutes early, Thermodynamics. Bill (or McBill as I call him, the guy who works at McDonalds). The teacher is Dr. Hsieh, straightforward. No discussion sections, no office hours, not even a T.A. (thanks to Reagan and Bush). There’ll be a system where we exchange papers and grade them (haven’t done that since grade school). I went home afterwards to study, haha. I was stressed big time about these Quals. Then Henry calls—NO QUALS! Music to my fucking ears. I’m excited as hell, dancing around by myself in my kitchen. Evidently it had gone to “supreme court,” a committee w/ Bickell, McEntyre, Garcia, etc. It’s all very political and tit for tat, each professor giving their vote in exchange for something else. Whatever, all I know is no Quals!

I went back at 3:30 to try to add this other writing class. So there’s one seat open, no creative writing majors waiting (who get priority), 2 creative writing minors—me and this other girl. The teacher asks the girls what grade she’s in, “senior.” She asks me, “1st year grad.” What? Graduate. “In what?” Physics. The class turns around and stares. “Hmm. How can you have a minor if you’re a graduate student.” So I explain how graduate students also need to declare a minor. This one annoying guy keeps turning around to stare, like “oooh, you’re in trouble.” I gave her my name and # and went to check once and for all what was up. Nobody in the Creative Writing dept knew what to do. No one in the Physics dept knows. They never have people declare such disparate minors. Eva and I searched everywhere for the answer. Finally McIntyre told me only 500 level classes count for credit. Fine. I return to the creative writing department and they tell me they don’t allow graduate minors in C.W… but the English dept does. So technically I can take grad lit classes. But the only class open at this point I want to take is “James Joyce”. That’s serious the class name. But they couldn’t track down the professor so I went home and recorded a new tune on my 4-track:
Track 1—drum machine with distorted samples, compressed into fuzz thru my digital sampler, played through a transducer I put in contact with a pot that I put a little bit of water in and swirled around while I recorded.
Track 2—Drums and backward cymbals
Track 3—Balinese Legong excerpts sampled then overlaid backwards in proper tempo and pitch.
Track 4—bounce 1-3 so can reuse them

I had another 8 a.m. class this morning. Optics. A real eye opener, haha. Bickell’s the prof. A real nerdy type. His hair is gray but is so dirty it looks brown. Country boy. He pronounces further “further” like Elmer Fudd. Makes you realize how many times 1 can say futher in the course of alecture… “futhermore, … futher findings reveal we need futher studies.” Next, Quantum Mechanics. Patrasciou. A European jock type. Buff Italian with tight tennis shorts. Sarcastically criticizes any mention of philosophy, hard core scientist. He says talking about philosophy of QM attracts the same types that believe in UFOs and ESP. Went and saw Schneider (the Joyce teacher) during my break. He was expecting me and readily agreed for me to take the class, told me the word “quark” comes from Joyce. Homework for Tuesday? Read the 1st ½ of Dubliners, we get off easy this week. I was intimidated but excited at the prospects and the challenge and Schneider seems cool. I purchased Dubliners and began reading it. At 1:00 I had E + M [Electricity and Magnetism]. The prof is Leavitt, who looks like porky pig w/ 100s of pens and gadgets in his shirt pocket. He speaks quietly, but it didn’t matter cuz he spent the whole lecture talking about Copernicus and the Catholic Church. Then I had a meeting w/ Henry (after another hour of coffee and reading Dubliners). He gave me a personal lecture on the new design then goes o.k. I want you to write a computer program that figures out what’s up here (pointing to board) to make sure it’s all right. He shows me his notes and tells me to copy them, but they are all seriously Greek to me, even if I could read his handwriting. So I copied a chapter on “Thick Lenses and Principal Planes” from Geometrical Optics and told him I’d have to dig up some books to review this shit. I took off and worked out, crowded as hell, had to wait to get in. Read Dubliners on the stair machine and sweated til my shirt was soaked through.

Came back and called Mark but he was playing soccer. Called Brian, he said he was about to call me—he was on the other line with some company from Santa Cruz that makes weird “smart” drugs that make you think and concentrate better, he figured my Santa Cruz connection might give insight. He stopped by we drank iced tea and he said “cool” a lot then we went out to see this girl. He would come with me to Club “Runes” but I keep forgetting he's underage. So it’s Friday night, I didn’t feel like dancing, sore from working out. Decided to see a flick, rode my bike through desolate dark streets and alleys of Tucson and saw “The Doctor”. Maybe I needed an escape but it really swept me in and afterwards I realized how corny and bad it was and felt like such a sucker. The story of my life.  Then I dream I had some girl over and she started listening to my 4-track tapes (works in progress) and it was making me really uncomfortable. [then 2 more dreams from August 27, 1991 which I already logged in my dream journal]

Aug 27

Studied all day Saturday. Mark met me later but he didn’t feel like going out clubbing, so we went and played pool at this place called The Shanty, a kind-of yuppie student place.  Studied all Sunday too. I’m into it. I want to get a grasp on the situation. Want to get it control so I’m not ruled by the stress of catching up. But it never ends. Mainly the SCLERA thing. Just when I thought I was beginning to understand the system he did an about-face and they’re using mirrors instead of lenses. And it’s all so vague for someone with a math degree, not a lot of numbers but lots of technical jargon. I’m surprised any of this shit actually works. Henry wants me to do nothing in particular, just understand it for now. I don’t what to read, where to begin. It’s so vast and ever-evolving, where can I jump in? I might me more into it if I understood it. Think I have a handle on my classes at least, for now.

Aug 28

I went to my Joyce class for the first time. I had good reason to be apprehensive. The other 8 or 9 people are all older lit grad students and have already read all of Joyce’s works. They launched into this high-brown conversation alluding to all his other works and making anecdotes to his life. It was all interesting, and I can follow what they’re saying, but I have no input in the class and there’s so much background info I don’t know about, having never read Joyce. I think I might have to drop it just to give me extra time with the full load of physics classes I have, not to mention the work at SCLERA. Maybe it will be offered again.

Last night went and saw Burning Spear, Pato Banton and One Blood. [includes flyer]. Drove to the El Camino ballroom with mark, discovered on the way that you can make cool noises by holding rubber bands out the window. A lot of people were gathered outside. Sunset. People tailgating, drinking Cuervo. Weird scene. Met this rasta soccer player named Ocean that Mark plays with. Some girl befriended Mark and I, cute funky girl that was 19, a freshman. It occurred to me that I was old and couldn’t really go out with whoever now. One Blood was really good. The El Camino Ballroom is as it sounds, with a huge dancefloor so you’re free to jump around all over. Pato Banton—didn’t know what to make of them. Positive and good music, but pretentious and preachy, pulling at heart-strings of young white college liberals. They had some song about how you’re a nobody if you don’t believe in god and how evil scientists are and the white stoned hippie kids are cheering and clapping. Then he told everybody to hold up their hands and grab the person next to you, preaching about god and love… what, are we in kindergarten? But when he goes on about peace and love, talking about how racism comes from the heart, to not go along with it would make you a racist devil. I just hate these situations where you’re obliged to comply (even if it’s something you agree with) rather than think critically… leads to mass hysteria. You lose individuality and freedom of choice. Then again, feels sort of good to lose yourself in a writing sweaty mass of naïve hippies with good intentions. There was also lots of Native Americans, that mostly just sat around shy and uneasy watching the fanatic college liberals. During One Blood’s set this one Navajo dude, the sort of host/M.C. got up and started doing this rap about Indian lands and oppression and all that. We met these girls in between Patu Banton and Burning Spear and ended up dancing with them the rest of the night. Mark exchanged numbers with one of them, Donna.

Reality hit when my alarm went off at 6:45. My head felt like a bucket full of lead. I could barely get up. Survived my classes then went to the library and found a couch, but didn’t really crash like I wanted, just dozed off for a few minutes. Then I went to my 1st physics colloquium. I feel fairly stressed and not very confident. I’m trying to catch up but have mixed feelings about whether I want to get sucked into this insane sub-culture. I look around the colloquium and didn’t see many positive role models, definitely weighted to left brain thinkers. Then again, I see scientists as the new mythmakers. But they are so caught up in the scientific method they don’t see the myth, they don’t appreciate the madness. They just view it as the ultimate reality, not as metaphor (or at least superficially don’t act like they do). It’s all so weird if you take a step back, this holistic, complex, lattice of interactions. Sometimes I feel like I’d be better off taking peyote, to see all these things I feel are there but can’t articulate, to try to formulate a picture in my mind. But then the day to day of macroscopic reality gets in the way. The trivialities of life. Well, back to the library.

Sept 2

[Dream from Sept 2, 1991 that we already logged]

I said goodbye to S and walked the brick path around the corner to the front of the library while she drove off. The clock struck 12 ominously… dong, dong, matching the stride of my footsteps, dong, dong. Echoing backwards... gnod, gnod. Echoing through all the buildings of the empty campus. S drove off across the desert to San Diego. Ahead, the library opened at 12. Good timing. Clear my brain, what did I have to do? The keys rattled in the lock as I approached. I entered along with the other early birds waiting for it to open. Into the sterile, air-conditioned, quiet, controlled environment. Up the steps. Keep going. 5th floor. Top floor. Climb as far up as possible. Stop at the water fountain to get a swig of cold refreshing water. Clear my palate. Walk by the rows of empty desks. Trying to feel the vibes of each one. Which one will I end up with? So many to choose from. A seat with a view. Over to the south side, looking down onto the stadium. Pull my journal out of my black satchel bike panier and begin writing, to clear my mind of the past so I can look ahead.

Weds, Thurs and Friday I was just getting more and more bogged down and frustrated. 1st off, I left my notebooks w/ ½ my homework in Hsieh’s office. I got it, then realized the 2nd ½ was in my book at home. Airhead. More talks w/Henry H. Nothing sticking. Graduate colloquium, punch and cookies. Not knowing a single soul. Studying in the library. Sitting at my desk at SCLERA for 2 hours a day. Fighting the crowds at lunch hour to get a vita sandwich, riding my broken bike, the bearings grinding and sometimes just locking up. Working out, getting my aggression out on the stairmaster, weights. Come Friday I promised myself I’d ignore all my studies. S was coming. Came home to wait for her. At 4 she comes. We walked up 4th street, went downtown to the Quebec and had iced coffee. Cruised congress then went to 2 pesos. Things were strained, not really happening. I just wanted the weekend to be over, but just trying to find things to do to bide the time, so we wouldn’t have to talk. Took her to Wild Wild West. They wouldn’t let me in with my hat backwards, said it was a gang thing. Annoyed the hell out of me, but I didn’t want to spoil the evening so I turned it forwards, but then turned it backwards once we got inside. Let S take in the novelty of it all. The 2-stepping cowboys, the boots and moustaches, the freaky line-dancing. Went home and then to Groundworks, this funny Misfits sounding band was playing, most of them in their boxer shorts. The singer pulled down the boxers of the guitar player while he kept playing naked, strumming his guitar like he was jacking off. Jumping around doing the splits, rather amusing. We didn’t stay around for the other bands. Then we went home and went to sleep, which was awkward.

The next morning we had breakfast at Blue J’s, went to the Arizona museum, they have a piece of the meteor that made the largest crater . The size of a bowling ball, but 157 lbs. I tripped, thinking how this hunk of iron came from the depths of space. And you could touch it. S satisfied her dream about seeing an Indian reservation. Went to San Xavier and saw the mission. There’s something about talking w/ S that is really frustrating. And it’s even more complicated cuz B [her dad] is friend’s with Dr. Hill. She called home and he wanted to talk to me,  and asked me to buy a sawed-off shotgun for S. He was dead serious, thinks she needs it for protection. He said he’d reimburse me. I’m speechless. The fact that he’s asking me, and not S, but I guess in Arizona it’s legal, unlike California. He repeats that he’s serious. I fumble for an excuse, she doesn’t know how to shoot it, concealed weapons are against the law. Finally I tell S what we’re talking about and she grabs the phone and tells her dad she’ll only get a cannon mounted on her roof, not a shotgun, and hangs up. Apparently he’s already asked her to get a gun, why he’s trying me.

But then she keeps hounding me about my belief in guns, telling me you’re stupid and close-minded. But I tell her I don’t care what she and her dad believe, we agree to disagree. I want nothing to do with guns. I’d rather get shot by some crazy dude then live my life in paranoia, thinking I need to defend myself. But she says i’m ignorant and naïve in mindlessly believing in peace. So that’s how things are, she doesn’t respect my beliefs and I certainly don’t respect hers. So we’re driving out to the Pasqua Yaqui rez and she asks what are we doing for Thanksgiving. And how we should plan for India next summer. First of all, this is not fun, second of all we disagree fundamentally on personal beliefs, and 3rd thanksgiving is a weird thing to talk about on the way to see an Indian reservation to ease her white guilt. Not to mention that we're sposed to be just friends. I’m getting really annoyed and feeling trapped. I don’t want to totally offend her and get in a big fight, but just want the weekend to be over. So I just try to be vague and say I don’t have money, don’t want to plan something and let her down. I mean, she must be a masochist if she’s enjoying this time w/ me, RIGHT NOW. Why would she want to spend more time with me? Reminiscing about our past trips and keeps asking me to agree with her how much fun we had. If I say I like to travel by myself she takes it personally. And we’re bickering over such petty shit, driving through this beautiful dessert and I tell her to look out the window, RIGHT NOW! But she keeps talking about the future, thanksgiving, xmas, wanting to lock me down with plans. She wants to go to Ajijic and I tell her I was just there, that it’s just a town full of old gringos. But she wants to see for herself. She keeps asking if I’m going to the bay area for thanksgiving and I keep saying I don’t know, and she starts shaking and can’t speak. I stop at Old Tucson but she won’t even get out of the car. I hate this shit more than anything. Fine, whatever, I continue driving. Stop at Gates Pass, “lets go see the sunset”. But she just wants to sit in the car and sulk. Then she says “don’t say I’m sulking, cuz I’m not. I just want to sit and think.” So I climb up the rocks and watch the sunset by myself, the kind of sunset where you want to clap and yell, “encore!”. The dude hasn’t missed a performance for millions of years. 

That night we didn’t do shit. I’d ask if she wants to go dancing and she’d say it’s up to me.  Everything is up to me. What do YOU want to do? She wants to see a movie… fine, whatever. There’s a Madonna film on campus, which sounds excruciating but anything to make 2 hours go by. But there’s a long line and she’s all wishy washy saying maybe we should go somewhere else. I figured if I didn’t take a stand we’d be stuck in this fucked stalemate so I say let’s go to Club Congress, but then she says “maybe I should just go back now, to San Diego.” Which silently I think is a great idea, but tell her no reason to be rash. She starts crying, “just take me back to your place. I’ll sleep and wake up and go to San Diego first thing in the morning.” We get in her car and I start driving nowhere in particular. I hate this shit more than anything. I feel sorry for her and want to help her, but this only makes things worse. She’s talking about how depressed she is, but I can’t help her cuz she keeps mixing “us” into it. “Forget us, let’s talk about you,” I say. She says I don’t care about her, that I’ve changed and that I’m mean and cold. I don’t deny it, “the truth is I don’t feel anything,” I tell her. “But I can’t be concerned about your well-being if you keep criticizing me.” Then she says she never said I was mean and cold, followed by more bouts of sobbing, the conversation going nowhere, and I’m just driving her truck randomly wherever, eventually parked in some grassy park.  I tell her I am what I am and if I’ve changed then it is for a reason, to protect myself, in self-preservation. She continues to tell me I’m cold and selfish and I nod in agreement which pisses her off even more. She’s not in a good state, she needs professional help. Her needing me to be something I’m not is hurting her. She says it’s easy for me to say, that I have no neurotic hang-ups, that I’ve never been depressed. And she’s the one who was with me during the darkest 5 years of my life? It’s all so ridiculous. I shed a few tears over how hopelessly frustrating this situation was, which made her feel better. We went out to the desert museum the next morning but then she falls back into the same routine bitching about all her family problems and if I don’t listen I’m a jerk. Ate at Rosa’s then met Mark and Brian and went to the Santana concert in 2 cars. There was traffic backed up for about an hour going in, so as we were entering he was already playing. We assumed there was an opening band, but no. There was still hordes of people filing in. We got beer and managed to get up front and had a rocking good time. Hard to disagree with Carlos. There were these tough-looking bikers next to us and when Carlos would talk about peace and love, or how we were “flesh angels” the bikers would scream back in a drunken stupor, “PEACE!... LOOOVE!!... ANGELS!!!” They were pretty funny. Leaving was hell. Rows of stopped cars emitting exhaust. Drunk guys yelling obscene insults and chugging Jack Daniels. 15 minutes later they’d be throwing up their 280z. We almost ran out of gas idling in the jam. The guy in front of us abandoned his car to take a piss creating chaos he was oblivious to, calmly returning to his car while everyone yelled at him.  Finally we made it out and regrouped w/ Mark and Brian at Denny’s, which made it more bearable. Woke up tired and sore, had breakfast, gassed up and then she dropped me off and she’s gone, feeling a weight has been lifted, but now stuck with the reality of my optics book and QM homework. [Followed a page of our song titles, like we were putting together an album or mixtape].


Sept 6

Mon > Tues > Wed > Thurs > Fri… before you know it, a week’s gone by. Sleep, eat, classes, work, study, eat, sleep. I wake up (usually w/a case of bed-head) and organize then shower. Meanwhile the water’s boiling. Make coffee in a sock.  Eat cereal w/ soy juice, while reading or studying. 7:40, hop on my pee-wee bike. Pedal the 12 blocks or so. Optics, the eye opener. Then Quantum Mechanics. Then I head down to the basement, where I sit in my grim office and get frustrated cuz I don’t understand anything or maybe Dr. Hill would blab in my ear to try to get me to understand. Then I’ll grab a vita-sandwich at the completely insane student union. Then E+M. He lectures straight out of the book so I don’t bother taking notes, usually nod off. Then I hit the library. There’s a few variation on the theme, maybe a nap in the library that fucks up my sense of time. Coffee and donuts. Pool break. But usually home late and leave early and don’t get enough sleep. Perpetually trying to catch up. But I feel a bit better, more caught up. Saw Barton Fink last night, but other than that nothing exciting. Feeling faintly uninspired. [followed by the 4 dreams already logged on Sept 6, 1991]

Sept 14

It’s a sunny cool Saturday morning and I’m sitting on the porch. The train is making a racket in the background, always a freight train going by this time on Saturday. They’ve gone from level 5 emergency alert to level 4, stand by. My peppers and chilis are doing fine, but not my tomatoes. Spent last night recording a mixtape for Jeff, a talking tape w/ music and weird tidbits.  Still not much happening at SCLERA. Becoming friends w/ Chawn and Bill. Chawn shares my office me and is in my quantum class. He’s an alright guy, a little nerdy, kind of like Joel. McBill also works at SCLERA and is in a couple of my classes. He talks a lot. There’s a girl in my E+M class who as far as physics majors go is fairly pretty, especially if she'd shed the dark circles under her eyes, from lack of sleep probably. I’m sure I look worse. I always sit next to her but I’m probably oblivious to her. Studying at the Quebec is far more entertaining then the library. I was grinding out my QM HW and there’s this psycho at the table next to me staring. He looked homeless but then started talking to himself about ionization and crystal energy. He was reading a book on alternative energy that had a lightning bolt on the cover. He was like the scientist from Repo Man, probably a defunct professor or Los Alamosite.

Saw The Commitments for free on Wednesday. I disliked it at first but liked it upon reflection. It’s starting to cool down and get clearer. I was supposed to go up to Mt Lemmon w/ Brian today but I just don’t think it’s gonna happen. The trip from Mexico to Canada will have to be post-poned. [followed by a drawing of a desert landscape and Mt Lemmon. Then followed by 2 dreams from Sept 15, 1991.]

Sept. 15

Drove up Mt. Lemmon with Brian and Mark. Stopped at ABCO and got all sorts of junk food, then through town up into the foothills. Looked at a saguaro with ultraviolet glasses and you could really see how it was dead the base. Midway up all these trippy rock formations started to appear, through shrub and mesquite then into deciduous and pine forests. The air was a lot cooler, almost cold. Brian was driving like a maniac. There was a ski resort that charged people $4.50 to go further up so we walked. Got to the observatory… not sure if it’s SCLERA, Steward, or both.  Saw all sorts of mushrooms and butterflies and crystals and ferns. Found a few baby horny toads, they didn’t spit blood out of their eyes. Tripped out on the way the grass was laying, in vector fields. Went back and the football game was going on. Stupid at Ⓚ and got Brian his 6 pack I told him I’d buy him if he picked up a 5-10 split he had when we went bowling (Tuesday night—I bowled 192, 175, 169). I was gonna go home and study but they were gonna watch the game and I’d never seen a college football game. “We” beat Stanford on these weird freak touchdowns, but it was still boring. Brian had a few beers and was driving like a freak on the way back to my place. He had ¼ lb. of roast beef for lunch and I told him it would make him aggressive, sure enough.  They were going to see Friday the 13th part whatever and I didn’t want to see it, let alone drive with him drunk so I passed. I studied a while then walked downtown, past Downtown Performance Center, a bunch of people were watching some performance art thing. Kept walking, down to Club Congress. I actually paid to get in. Had a few beers and felt sick and lethargic and didn’t dance. They were playing weird movies and the music was loud and throbbing. I asked myself why I was there. It could be a cosmic thing, like going to church on Sunday, instead go to a weird club and dance all night. But the vibes weren’t happening. Maybe I was hoping to meet someone, but what would I say if I did? You couldn’t hear anything. I left and stopped by club Runes. A mellow Mazzy Stare like band (but inferior) was playing in the dirt lot out back. I watched them then went in. It wasn’t too exciting. Then Mark walks in. He went to Nightmare on Elm st or whatever and Brian flaked. He watched 10 minutes in 3-D but it annoyed him so he left. Went to his car and pulled out and hit a beam making a big dent and punctured his tire.

Sept 16

I came home through the back door. The front door was wide open (it was stormy) and there was a large gross turd that wasn’t mine. That really tripped me out. Someone left a shit in my toilet, but looking around nothing was stolen. Must have been T.A. coming in to use my toilet. Or what if some transient dude breaks into houses to shit in their toilets? I’m watching ants dismember a cockroach. Last night they took about an hour to completely dispose of 1, tonight they were making me quick work of it until I blew on them. Obviously I am procrastinating again.

[alley behind our studio]

Sept 18 [dream that we forgot to log until now]

I was riding my bike on the side of the freeway. It was rush hour. People kept running me off the side of the road. Some man hit me then got friendly and started telling me about this weird freaky woman he used to know. This other car was purposely pushing me off the ramp even though that’s not even where he’s going. I’m like “fuck you asshole.” There was a little 12-year old kid in a hot rod, his hair feathered back. I got to an underpass where a lot of people were gathered staring at bumper to bumper traffic. I saw X and said “hey, are you looking for me?” She said “yah, I figured I’d find you here.” It turned out to be designated area where they allowed homeless people to sleep, a big dirt lot under an overpass. There were people in circles sleeping against one another. There was this man who was drunk and another bum was stealing his shoes while he was staggering about. He polished the pair of sandals off and decided they’d do. Then he took the flannel shirt the drunk man had. It was hot but maybe the bum was thinking ahead for the winter.

Sept 20 [another dream that we forgot to log until now]

We were in this class. The teacher had boxes of stereos. He was more like a businessman trying to sell me stereos. He was playing “music” which was actually a visual image of a light bulb filament. He was taking it through successive stages of distortion and magnification and eventually led back to the original image of the filament—demonstrating the fractal nature of this stereo. I asked him how he did it, but he was too busy trying to sell these stereos. Some of the boxes had miniature colored baseball bats sticking out of the sides. I examined the stereo and deduced that the first stage involved sending the signal through this special pronged cord into a condenser in back. X was there too. We had to be somewhere but she was polite and offered to walk this guy to his “car” ( actually a huge modern bus with just him and his stereos) and I politely followed behind staring at her curly red hair that shined with brilliance.

Friday night 1 a.m.
Once again, on my $20 salvation army sofa. The din of trains, sirens, drunk laughter, the DPC, punk rock noise and other live rock bands are all meshing into a surreal doppler effect in the breeze—swirling through these Tucson streets. These 2 guys are picking a fight with each other, “go ahead, hit me mother fucker!” And yelling insults, posturing. A girl tries to break them up (probably why they are fighting). Cars keep pulling in an out of the alley. The cool breeze is excellent and gently rustles the leaves. It’s noisey but peaceful and mellow. Brian flaked on me—he was supposed to come by and take me this party—all for the best. Finished my HW for optics and QM. This week I developed, polished and refined the art of sleeping 4 hours a night. And I’m sure it will continue as I have many tests approaching, including the dreaded thermo test on Tuesday. And I’m way behind at SCLERA. He switched me over to studying “speckle imagining” which is really intense stuff. They take distorted and blurred blobular telescope images and pass them through Fourier transforms that eliminate phase distortions from atmospheric turbulence and give a defined picture totally in focus. Sometimes it illuminates things not apparent beforehand. A bright blur that turns out to be a binary star system. Totally incredible. At first it really disturbed me, like maybe we are finding things we are looking for and this whole bit of digitizing visual images. But then again, isn’t everything not discrete and who’s to say our eyesight is a superior reality we depend on it so much. Without it we grappled in the dark. [followed by fish stamps and then this full page drawing:]

Sept 26 [yet another dream we forgot to log until now]

There was 4 of us, the killer, a girl, me an imaginary few instiller (sp?). The killer was a big dude with long hair and a goatee, the girl was having sex with him, she was pulling on his tongue. They were outside on a patio in some weird city. Then she went inside. I knew she was going to get a razorblade to cut his tongue off. He lay there naked on the massage table, the he heard her rustling through the drawer in the house and it occurred to him what was up. He pulled out his switchblade and threw it into the house and it stuck into a kitchen cupboard. He went in after it, then followed her up the stairs. I materialized, I was no longer just an observer. I followed them back up the stairs. It was very dark. I threw something into an empty room. I heard him scuttle towards that room. I wondered whether that would help her, or it could things worse. I stood in the. Stairwell. Then started screaming “no, don’t kill me!” then braking things. That attracted him down. I sat calmly at the table drinking beer. He joined me. He was incredibly nervous. He thought I was his friend and was confiding to me how there was someone else up who was trying to kill him. He became totally distraught and vulnerable and I became more mellow and in control cuz I knew that person was me—that I would kill him, that I became the hunter rather than the hunted. The calculator was my switchblade, firmly in my back pocket.

Sept 26

What is this pursuit. A freaky evening studying in the library. I had tremendous gas. Felt like sleeping, but didn’t want to fart in my sleep and gross everyone out. So I went and slept in the cactus garden. Woke up and mindlessly walked back into the library before asking myself “what the fuck am I doing anyway?” I came back farting tremendously. So damn lonesome, pacing the floors, needing something [pen fades out] Well, for starters a new pen. I had to have an escape. I hopped on my bike went cruising the flicks. The wind picked up right up then it started pouring. A very dusty rain. It was setting car alarms off. Then there it was, larger than life. Kissing, romance, death, hypnosis, etc. Thriller. I came out trying to pursue this in my life. What is the word when everybody emerges from the movie theatre and they’re still stuck in whatever movie they were watching? I embraced it. The fear. It was still freaky and windy outside. I sped out with a death wish. Thinking death was something to look forward to. Pulled off Grant cuz it was busy, down 15th ave. Total shantytown, dark houses lit from the inside by TVs flickering. Groups of young Mexicans drinking beer next to their cars, the wind blowing stuff all over the road. All these people going somewhere, or nowhere. And me, procrastinating.

Saturday night out with Mark and Brian. We went downtown and it was hopping. Guys with boas around their necks, some guy playing a homemade industrial cable plucker. Got Brian into Runes somehow. Then we went to look for some stupid party of a friend of Brian’s. We saw bunches of staggering lame college students everywhere and lots of parked cars. We were walking down this street and this group of guys jumped on this car and broke the windshield. So Mark yells, “hey, that’s my car! What the fuck are you going?” They jumped in their car and said “some black guy just bashed it in with a bat” then sped off. But we got the license # and Mark went into some neighbors house and reported it. We never found the party. Went back to Runes. As we approached a helicopter was shining its flood on the band in the back lot. It was a wild scene. They looked like a devil worshipping cult and they totally played off the helicopter like it was part of their show. Total riot. Ended up there was a big drug bust in the back lot and there were cops everywhere. And the band played on.

Oct. 4

It’s been a while. Not good. Been busy, busy. It never lets up. Go to classes/work. Maybe go workout. Then to the library all night. I go through stages of highs and lows. Maybe I’m manic depressive. Sometimes I’m super high on life and inspired. Sometimes like Wednesday night I get so depressed I feel like throwing in the towel, calling it quits.  Whether it’s this physics stuff or just life, I don’t know. My brain gets sore. I get damn lonely and feel like a loser. But then the next night I’ll feel totally inspired and on top of it. Dr Hill has me helping out Jin Chen, since I told him I was overwhelmed by classes. So I try to help him when I can. He’s a funny dude, at first difficult to understand him, terrible English and bad breath, flakey skin, talks with a neurotic stutter mixed with a fast thick Chinese accent, but once you get past that he’s a nice guy. We calibrate the CCD detectors that are for the telescope to measure the sun’s intensity. We spend hours troubleshooting—it’s always stupid things wrong these complex electronics and computer stuff. We usually work with Lisa who is a 1st year grad student also. We made this degenerate bet on Friday, “I bet I did worse on the GRE then you did.” “No way you could’ve done worse than me.” So we bet a pitcher of beer. I got a 540, she got a 520. SCLERA has all these visiting researchers from China, Russia and Iran. I had 2 tests on Friday so I should have gone out. But I didn’t, had to clean this shithole. Dishes piling up til the point that I’m sharing my abode with ants and roaches. So scrubbed everything. One day I left a pot of adzuki beans and corn soaking and came come and it was covered with ants. I picked it up to carry out to the trash and ants were all up my arms and I’m dumping the beans/corn in the trash and brush my arms frantically and swearing at 2 in the morning and I’m sure the neighbors were wondering what the fuck I was doing. Then maybe I’d sit at my chair upright and see how long I’d last, trying to look inward into an altered state of meditation, listening to Tibetan monk chants through my headphones, imagining low growling mumbles of wave packets of electrons or field lines and particles doing a cosmic dance. Friday night I fell asleep for maybe an hour. Chawn came by at 7:30 knocking at my back door. I forgot I made plans to go hiking with him. So I got my boots on and we piled into his neon green open aired Jeep. Stopped at Safeway for munchies then to Alvernon to the base of the Pontatoc Canyon where we met Dr. Lee Schultz, a friend of Chawns. Total sport hikers. We took off up the canyon hiking briskly with heads down, like this is what we’re doing, hiking. Dr Schultz is 56 which was good cuz he kept the pace slow, otherwise Chawn seemed itching to tear up the mountain like he had something to prove. We crossed the wash and headed up to the Ridge, the trail getting steeper. We met up with these 2 girls and their dog Sam and they stayed with us for a while. They told us about this some mine shafts at the end of the trail. We went there and they were pretty trippy. They were in the side of the cliff. I got there first with Chawn. We walked in quickly, about 100 feet or so. He got to the end and is all “well, I think I’ve seen enough.” He’s a snobbish spelunker… if it’s not a real cave then it’s not worth it. I went in again when Lee got up. There cool crystal formations on the roof and little crickets everywhere. There were a few other mines but they were duds and didn’t going too far. The girls got up there and went to the cave, but not further. Chawn couldn’t understand how these girls or people in general could go for a hike way up the hill and not go to the top. The whole afternoon was like that – we totally disagree philosophically on everything that I was just trying not to irritate him. We went along the ridge ahead of me and got to the top of that particular peak. There were lots of much higher peaks across the valley – and finger rock. It was very beautiful. The jagged canyons on one side, the spread of Tucson on the other. I did some zen rock pilings but it was hard because it was windy. We munched nuts and nectarines then went down. Lee was slowing us down immensely and it was getting very hot. It’s a very long, or so it seemed, going down. Then we stopped off at Chawn’s place – this total townhouse place in a gated community where all the places look the same. The only comment I made was “do you ever forget which one is yours?” In the living room were lots of pictures of planes, Topgun, Harley-Davidson’s and blond girls—but all neat and orderly. He’s really quite strange, he’s got a unpredictable side it seems, a lot of built-up testosterone, pent-up anger and stress, but he stays cordial and nice. We met Dr. Schultz at Taco Bell then he drove us back here. Mark is in Santa Barbara and Brian’s girlfriend is here for the weekend, so he’s busy. I miss the little buggers– kind of weird.

October 10

Another night to bed past 12:30 PM to wake up at 6:30. And I’m making it a point to go to bed early. My only regret is that I’m not remembering my dreams. I remember them but they are muddled and scattered and images drift and fade as I try to piece them together. Took the last of my midterms. So then I had time to deal with bureaucrats. The people in administration you who I have to be involved in 6 graduate classes, and then filling all sorts of waivers, blah blah. Valley National is charging me $7.50 every time I withdraw money as a service fee. Assholes. Played D&D tonight after getting pizza and beer. Chawn and I went up to Laurie and her boyfriends. I have mixed feelings about D&D… It definitely attracts nerd and degenerate people and I’m not into all the goblins, wizards, etc. But it has a lot of potential. I am getting sleepy [handwriting barely legible] but I know the next page will contain an intense dream.

I’m scared shitless now and have the chill for probably the first time since I’ve been in Tucson, just had this nightmare. [then logs dream from October 10 that correosponds to "In Cursive Spelling" in Poste Restante, here's the correosponding "Exhibit B. Curfew Validation":

1 AM Sunday, October 13

I awoke from that dream last night with chills running down my spine. Out my window some punk rock girl was screaming at her boyfriend. Cops were busting this skinhead with no shirt and cowboy hat. They hassled him and handcuffed him then let him go. The evening began with a game of ultimate Frisbee. I went with Lisa to get her stuff. It Is a few rooms up on that floor where all the 1st year graduate students are, except me. I was introduced to all the ones I haven’t met. I’m kind of known as being the outcast, the new quiet grad student that hangs down in the basement at SCLERA. They’re all very friendly. We went off to meet other physics students, mostly grads that are on the ultimate Frisbee team. A lot of fun, and good exercise. Our 1st point I made this totally kamikaze sprawled out lunge for the frisbee and instantly was accepted by the team. The AP (Associated Physics students) won the university tournament last year, so they’re dam good, they start playing competitively in the spring.

Afterwards I met them at the “Tucson Eat Yourself” where they had food booths from every country imaginable and a stage with a turnover of different music and dancing, etc. from all over. I hung out mostly with Jesus and and his girlfriend Deirdre. Jesus is this really cool long-haired mellow Mexican dude with a cool attitude. We watched the African drummers and Ranchero bands till about 10 PM then we took off to Runes and CC but they were both dead so I went home and slept 11 hours. Much needed.

Didn’t get much studying done today. Met Mark at 7 and we went over to Tucson Eat Yourself. Chowed down, watched bands, then went to Runes. The band was playing that was totally awesome, “Acht Nine”. Just a drummer and a bass player. They were incredibly tight and fast, furious and funky and clean. There was this boring ethnic Fusion jazz band playing, and later outside was Cosmic Boogie Tribe. It’s nice out there under the stars, saw the most intense falling star/meteor I have ever seen, breaking apart in the atmosphere, looked like just over our heads. Oh yeah, we met Brian there and some girl J, the one he met the previous week before at a party and fucked her in a drunken state and now was fulfilling the obligation of taking her out. We also hung out at Québec for a while but it was an early night which is good because I have to get up early and finish my homework then go caving with Chawn.

October 19

Last Sunday went caving w/ Chawn. We left around 2 driving north in his neon Jeep— the most uncomfortable car I’ve ever been in. Feels like it doesn’t have any shocks, it’s awkward to sit and jerk all over the road. We drove north around the Catalinas. I don’t have much to talk about w/ Chawn, he just wants to make stupid small talk stupid and avoids any conversation leading to something deep. We went past biosphere II and Oracle then the road turned to dirt. The ride became very bumpy, supplemented by lots of dust and gas fumes. We went passed Peppersauce (the ‘party cave’) lots of cars parked, and continued on. We were going to Scrolls– the cave unknown to the uncool. We pulled off into a field. I should mention that once we got past Oracle the terrain changed to a pseudo-chaparral, bushy shrub and trees that reminded me of Chico. In the field I saw .38 shells, which lead do a conversation where C went on about the virtues of guns… what a redneck. We went down a steep hillside of limestone and came to a rocky area with a big hole in the ground. We were getting the ropes ready when we heard a car pull up. C started freaking out because he thought it was cops. It’s illegal to go in this cave. Ended up being these 2 guys. Sean was very rude and told them the cave only went down 90 feet and wasn’t interesting. This whole “Cave God” mentality is kind of lame. Sure, they’re probably preserving the cave. But is a cave a cave unless people see it? And they’re not preserving animal or plant life because there is non. Cave gods are too extreme and selfish in thinking only they get to appreciate the cave. So we repelled down. I went first, put the harness on and leaned backwards into the dark void—trusting myself to the rope. I walked straight down letting the rope out slowly. I came to an outcropping where things became awkward, but I made it. Then i kind of slipped through this vertical crack to a rather large room then sent the harness up and Chawn came down. He threw the harness on the rock and slid down into the pit. I had to wedge myself headfirst straight down and couldn’t reach. Finally I somehow got thru with my flashlight. In this large room there’s a secret only cave gods know about… they blocked off the passage that led the rest of the cave with huge rocks. We dug it out and crawled through this passage that led to whole network of passageways many just narrow enough to squeeze your body through. I had my bicycle helmet rigged up with my bike-light strapped on. It was very awkward, the light stuck out and I kept bumping it and the helmet wouldn’t fit through the smaller passages and I would always have to take it off and push it ahead of me. Chawn had a map, but he was still as lost as me. (He’s been in there 3 or 4 times.)  We finally made it to the room of the scrolls—a very large room with lots of stalactites and one huge one in particular giving the room its name because it looks like a scroll. There were cards everywhere in the caves– fragile outcroppings that look like playing cards, made of crystals. A strange conversation followed. I commented how being in a cave was like being in the bowels of this giant organism how we were inside here to which he said, ”yeah and you have to be careful, just like when you’re in a girl you have to be very gentle and careful.” It totally made me want to gag, coming from such a macho dude. He got us very lost, but it was fun being lost. His sense of direction was terrible and we kept going in circles. The scrolls room was like a strange attractor, finally I took a tunnel and we made it out, having to climb up at least 90 feet. It was cool and dark when we got out and the stars were brilliant.

Another week. Helping Jin randomly fiddle with circuit boards. Him blabbing on in broken English while I’m falling asleep and have no clue what he’s doing. For hours. Studying nights down in the basement. Meeting all the janitors that cleanup after hours. I have my old crap Walkman (with a speaker) that I play gamelan music on. Friday we had a long SCLERA meeting. Thursday night I saw ”Kingfisher” which was excellent. And I just came back from “My Own Private Idaho”. It’s nice that there are some damn good movies being put out (unlike music). Except the U of A kids couldn’t handle it, too weird for them and they made stupid homophobic comments, grossing out at the part where River Phoenix says he wants to kiss Keanu. The ants are taking over my kitchen, taking away my garbage. It’s now Saturday night, “American Death Trip” and the “Melvins” are playing across the street at the DPC and I’m once again on my front porch. Feedback sounds like sirens. I think what I’ll do is go to sleep and set my alarm for a few hours from now so I remember my dreams.

October 24

Well, this is the end of this chapter. Nothing like ending to start again fresh. Same old shit… “working” at SCLERA, getting sucked into the social work seen. Soldering circuit boards together whilst chewing the fat with Gloria or Jim or Bill or Jin or whoever. Most of the work is frustrating, fixing other people’s mistakes or miscommunications. I’ve given up on being stressed out about all this, but I don’t know if that means I’m on top of things yet. Thermo and QM tests next week. Went to Gates Pass with Brian and saw an anticlimactic sunset and then had pizza while talking about the “softness” of Americans. Tonight, after another exhilarating game of the ultimate, I made a huge batch of salsa. Bill and Nancy and Lisa came by and kidnapped me. Went to Bills then to Clicks billiards. Overpriced and they wouldn’t let people under 21 in. C met us there (and by this time we had picked up a few others). I hopped into his vehicle and directed him to Troys’s, the others followed. Troy’s is much cheaper and they let Ronnie in. I was doing lousy at pool so I played chess with Bill. Then we went to Village Inn and had pie ala mode. We drove by Backdoor at 1:30 but it was already closed. I don’t know, these physic geeks are nice, but I just can’t relate to them. Tuesday night Mark came over. I made a shiitake mushroom seaweed almond stir-fry, used the mortar and pestal to ground the almonds. We went to Brian’s old house. We brought a lot of beer and [starts to get undecipherable, like I was falling asleep]. It was a fun evening. They all got stoned, Brian and Brady acting funny and weird. I had a lot of beer, it’s been a while since I’ve done that. Shit I’m tired. Over and out. [Lots more concert flyers, newsclippings, letters, including letters to congressmen, and from the Selective Service System threatening to prosecute me for not signing up for the draft.

[back cover of journel]

[continues in next journal, Nov-Dec 1991 in Arizona and California]

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