It's odd. For a generally happy person, I seem to have kept my old love of depressing and passionate songs. Radiohead, Moist, blaring out of the speakers as I sit here alone. I like to sing along, even if I can't hit all the notes or remember the words. That's all right. It feels good just to get it out.

I was up until at least four AM last night, talking with my love about times past, and what we felt that each of our individual purposes in life were. It's hard for me to think about the past now without wanting to cry or hit something, because there are so many things I should have done differently. So many things I would probably do the same way if I did them again, just because I so rarely think about these things.

For just about everyone, life is relatively simple: "I am myself. I am real." Very few other people are real to each of us.
Allow me to use an analogy here. It's like an RPG. "I am the main character. The rest of you are members of my party, meaning you follow me for a certain amount of time and affect the way that I act: you help me in times of crisis, you become a role model of some sort, etc.
It's as if I've lived my whole life like that, where I was the main character (in my mind, anyway), and everyone else just sort of, existed. I hurt people, I threw people away, because I didn't stop to think about it. I focussed my life around myself, because it pleased me and I felt that that was all that mattered.
If I stopped to think about it, the fact that I thought of myself as important, I began to worry, because I felt that I wasn't doing enough with myself, and whatever destiny was laid out for me would never be fulfilled. I couldn't see what it was, and I worried myself sick over it constantly.

Then, several months ago, after a long talk with my love, something new occurred to me. I was thinking about it Friday night, too, more extensively than before. What if I wasn't important? What if I was merely a pawn for Fate? I looked back over my life, and saw that although I was very rough with a lot of other peoples' feelings and lives, I unintentionally taught many of them lessons about life, whether we knew it or not. I may have kicked some people around, and I'm not proud of it. But they've all come out of it having learned something about themselves.
Now, don't think this is me trying to make myself seem like a good person for being an asshole. I'm just trying to explain about this.

It feels like Fate has been putting me through some experiences, just giving me a situation and leaving me to deal with it, because of where I will end up. I've done stupid things, yes, but I've learned. Some things actually repeated themselves, and afterwards I felt like a student whose teacher just handed an assignment back and told me to do it over again until I got it right. I've hated a lot of things that have happened to me, but overall I think they were necessary.
My previous relationship, a long, painful experience with a lot of stupidity and yet also quite a bit of self-analyzation, led me to where I am now, contemplating the fact that I'm not really the one who is important right now. Perhaps one in a million people in this world are actually important. To use a chess analogy(I love analogies):
The really important people are the queens, because they can go in any direction they choose, can do anything they like. If lost, it is so much more difficult for the rest of the players to succeed. The queens can work behind the scenes, or out in the open, but either way they are important.
The other players, the rooks and bishops and knights, are there to help the queen get where it wants to go (those who don't are compared to the players on the opposite team). Killing the king is not something the queen can do alone: likewise, whatever destiny is set out for the queen in real life, it cannot complete it alone.

The pawns are the masses, the ones who don't really matter. They are born, they live, they die, without affecting anyone very much. Something I like to quote:
"They go to work to get the money to buy the food to get the strength to go to work to get the money to buy the food to get the strength to go to work until they fall over dead." -THEY (I think by Robert Heinlein, although I can't be sure)
The queens (or even the other players, sometimes) are the ones who tell the pawns what to do and when to do it. "Mob mentality;" that is the pawns.
The king. The King is the important player who must be protected at all costs, who is the crucial point in the game. Whoever owns the one king is the one In Control. The king can't really do anything. He is the one in power, although he is told what to say and do by everyone around him. They make the decisions and he announces them to everyone else.

I'm not a king, or a queen, or even a pawn. I'm a bishop, sliding through the hidden cracks in life, my moves not always noticed until too late. Affecting the way things move, person by person, barely noticing things myself until later on.
If I hadn't been sent into my past relationship (affecting him as well, dammit), I wouldn't have met James. It may sound like heartsick bull to anyone else, but I've seen things, heard things that give me reason to believe what I believe. Our not meeting the way we did would have had a definite negative reaction, for a significant number of people.
But I am a ripple, that shakes the frog and wakes him before the heron does. I am not important, but the ones I affect might be.

It's an interesting thought.

I've always wanted to just live, to lead a "normal" life and be happy with it. But I have conflicting images on that. On the one hand, I see that content, "normal" life as it could happen, yet on the other hand I see things happening. I think our future holds some events that are going to change the way things work for a long time, for a lot of people. And I'm glad if I can help. I don't have the nerve to be a queen, but I have no problem being a bishop.

It's sort of comforting, having some idea of what is going on. When you don't, you ask Why? a lot, and the silence afterwards is never pleasant.
Most people are smart enough to know that the answer(s) to that particular question are rarely what they want to hear.

I was sitting on your couch. Your cats were lounging against my leg with their feline weight; gentle and light against my denim. The magazine was pointless but distracting. I heard you getting yourself ready upstairs but I sat quietly. The night rained on outside and the house was cold.

But you were close.

I still remember the dim light from the kitchen warming the room I sat alone in with it’s intimate glow. And I wonder how you look and how you smell from upstairs where you are.


The car ride was spontaneous. I sweat and I call you from the cab of a large Jeep but only the answering machine responds. I’m glad you have a roommate. With a little bit of pride and a lot of gusto, I find myself driving towards you on Christmas day alone. Cigarettes and a foreign cell phone are my only company. Except thoughts of you and your strange room.

I hurry.


When I hear the sink turn off and the light go out and the door close, from upstairs, all I can do is wait. My heart beats, my breath moves but the world is frozen in apprehension. Your shadow dances on the wall where the staircase bends and I catch myself not breathing.

Not moving.

Then I see you.

Words fail. The earth moves. You glow with the light of a thousand pagodas. I fall but I love every minute of the trip. You descend and all I can do is stare. Every step and every stair bring you a little closer to me but not close enough.

Your eyes reflect all available light in a perfect, prismatic stare and I stare back. There you are with nothing between us but air and tension. I’m ashamed.

I’m ashamed of my sweat. Of my scruff. Of my gaze, settled on you and every shadow you create by being opaque. And suddenly you’re closer than I can bear with your lips and your hips and your upward gazing eyes. I wonder if I can handle it but you seem so real and right.

My arm caresses and traces the outline of your body, creating another body for you in the shadows. Then we smile to ourselves and outwardly they touch. Lips placed against lips in an electric dance that I get lost in but don’t mind the confusion. You’re here and I’m with you and the cold air outside doesn’t mean a thing with your warmth around me like an ozone of familiar safety.

Why does it have to be so easy?

Nothing in the world could make as much sense as you do pressed against me in a soft pressure that cripples me. It’s really not fair. But you won’t hear a peep from me except for a few moans of pleasure from beneath the sheets of your bed on the floor. Even your cats like me.


Once again, even in the middle of it all, my thoughts go to the vision of you coming down the stairs. By yourself but not alone. I stared and you didn’t mind and I couldn’t help myself. You made every word for “beauty” seem insignificant. I see you in a version of slow motion only three-dimensional and staring back. Skin like lava but sweeter and hair like the fragrant breath of September in the mountains; I breath it in.

Your body is a shadow that rests against mine in graceful weight that only I can feel. You flex and relax in a perfect cadence of tempting undulation that only I can understand. Every breath you take is filled with desire that I exhaled and the room is polluted with us. I take a breath so close to your skin that you invade my lungs with a pleasant headiness that overtakes us both. I can’t help but sink; falling farther than ever and hard enough to break something that only you can fix.

And that’s how I know – I’m home.

Today’s my birthday, I’m not gonna be able to see my kid for reasons that, to me at least are beyond my control. Hopefully I’ll at least get a phone call. Needless to say, it won’t be the best birthday I’ve ever had but I’m gonna try and not make it the worst. I don’t know how to do that but something will come to mind. For now, I’m outta words.


Pieces of a puzzle, fragments of questions, no answers.

You should know that scene near the start of Ridley Scott's movie gladiator. The old emperor tells Maximus that despite the corruption in the capital city, "Rome is the light." Holding the barbarians back. The analogy to the viewers is clear – The leader of the free world stands proud despite the conniving politics.

But what makes "the leader of the free world"? There's more to leadership than having the biggest bombs and a burning desire to use them. By having the biggest guns, can you force others to accept you as leader of the free? That's not leadership and it's not freedom.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the thugs in the white house are not just fools, not even just a danger to their own country, but a danger to everyone else on earth as well.

"The people always get the government they deserve". So they say. But do we really? If you can't blame a country's voters for their government, whom can you blame? Media? That same voting public keeps those media in business by buying their products.

Whoever came up with the "government they deserve" crack probably didn't have just democracy in mind. He seems to be saying "Don't let yourself be oppressed. If you don't struggle, you will have let yourself be subjugated". Free you mind and your ass will follow. The same applies in countries where the democratic process is less than perfect. Indeed it's easier, as you have in that vote a peaceful lever with which to increase your freedom. If enough people care strongly enough, a candidate will appear.

Did the USA not care about their last election? Did the Iraqis not have in themselves to rid themselves of Saddam Hussein? Did both countries get governments they didn't deserve?

America for a start has the lowest level of aid to developing countries in the western world, and half of that goes to Israel anyway, which is not a particularly poor country as these things go. It's basically a hand out at the behest of a special interest group for political ends to prop up a government of increasingly questionable behaviour. Most Americans are unaware of this. Can they be blamed for it? The principle that ignorance of the law is no excuse is founded on the correct idea that you cannot be wilfully ignorant when behaving wrongly.

The US foreign policy defenders admit that mistakes have been made in the past, dictators propped up, but that shouldn't stop them from doing the right thing now. So when exactly does someone transgress from good person who occasionally makes mistakes and does a bad thing over to person who does bad things most of the time? When do the apologies and promises of change stop cutting it?

Dissing America as a whole on this site (founded, developed, maintained, fixed, loved, cared for, hosted, paid for and made wonderful by Americans) is a mug's game.

However, the view looking across the Atlantic from here in London is frightening. You can almost hear the American ranks and the minds closing. Over here, radicalisation and polarisation due to American actions has been predicted - "100 Osama bin Ladens being forged in the middle east" etc. But I see it happening in ordinary Britons too.

So! If'n you'd like to see some of my wife's paintings up close and personal, perhaps while drinking coffee and perusing a book of essays by Susan Sontag, the cafe at Borders on the Santa Monica Promenade is showing her work through the month of April.

On Friday night we drove to our friend Jaq's apartment near the Promenade. Jaq is a floor manager at Borders and responsible for the artwork on the cafe walls, which is how mi esposa landed this gig. It had been a while since we'd seen him so over a late night pizza we caught up. The next morning (after taking a few minutes to turn Jaq on to Homestar Runner) we ate breakfast at Polly's Pies ("Welcoming as many guests as the law allows: 96") and then drove to Borders for the hanging. It was a little stressful, as such things are, but in the end we got things the way we wanted, having to dislodge only a few paying customers from their seats so we could pound nails where their heads were. One group commented very favorably on Angela's work as we were hanging it, which is always nice.

Early on during the nail-pounding, factgirl and her daughter Hellcat arrived. They amused themselves at the toy store next door while we finished our gritty labor, and then we walked a few blocks (It's just halfway down the next block, I swear, facty insisted at each new block) to a really good Thai restaurant within prawn-throwing distance of the ocean. After a delicious lunch and swell conversation in the course of which Hellcat proved herself to be just about the sweetest, cutest smartest little girl ever, we piled into the Factmobile and jetted off to the Giant Robot store on Sawtelle. You may be familiar with Giant Robot the magazine of Asian pop culture; this is their retail outlet and I'd been dying to go there for years. The store was full of Asian imports of the type you don't find at, say Mitsuwa. I'm guessing this is what the hip alternative kids in Japan are into. There's local product too, and I yearned for a t-shirt with a Recognizer from Tron on it. Tragically they didn't have my size, and twenty-three bucks is a little steep for a t-shirt anyway. They also had Micronauts and again, if I'd had twenty-five dollars I could have once again owned Baron Karza, this time in translucent red plastic befitting his evil nature. Angela scored a shirt with a bunny crouching in a pair of headphones on it. Factgirl bought a piggy bank of that brown guy with a big open red mouth and jagged teeth--you know, the one who looks like poop.

The wimmenfolk moved on to look in other stores that carry dishes and paper and such (Sawtelle has a plethora of Asian import stores, which we were completely unaware of before this trip.) I remained in the GR store trying to find something to buy. Just as I was about to leave I caught sight of a display of those little plastic toys that come individually packaged in very small cardboard boxes so you don't necessarily know which toy in the series you're getting 'til you open it. There were plenty of thse around the store, but THIS one had pictures of Mothman, the Jersey Devil, the Jackalope, and the mysterious Crystal Skull on the display, plus other creatures and artifacts from the type of books I was addicted to as a kid. The line of toys is called The Great Mystery Museum Collection and as soon as I find out more about them I'm going to node it. I grabbed three, one from each series, and found myself in possession of incredibly well-made and detailed plastic reproductions of El Chupacabra, a sea monster/submarine tableau called "U-28 Saw It", and something called the "Shaded Figure" which I remember Von Daniken used to argue was an ancient sculpture of a man in a space suit. They are some of the most wonderful things I have ever seen. Oh, and I got a poster for my wife by the same artists who did the bunny shirt; it's a takeoff on the famous Hokusai "wave" image, only if you look closely you see that the foam is cascading bunnies.

After grabbing some refreshing cold drinks at a nearby tea shop and catching a glimpse of a posse of young mobsters piling into their Mercedes, we returned to our Santa Monica parking garage and said our reluctant farewells, promising to meet again soon. One parking toll booth and seven dollars later we were on the road again and heading for home.

This morning I placed a call to Igloowhite's cell phone. Oddly enough, on one of the very rare occasions we're in Los Angeles he was to be in San Diego. We'd hoped to get together for lunch or coffee or something while he was in town, but when I reached him I learned that he and his special lady had ended up only spending one night in town and were already back at Firebase Igloo. "Dude, what the FUCK?" I said, hiding my disappointment. We then discussed the chapters I'd emailed him of my novel. He was very encouraging, and his perceptive criticism of those parts that still need work I recognized as being right on the mark. I was very grateful for the feedback, and as my deadline to get the manuscript to iUniverse is the end of this month, getting the story into its final, best shape is a now-or-never endeavor.

After we hung up, my thoughts turned to just how close that deadline is. I suddenly had a vivid and painful realization of how many times over the past few weeks I had watched television, played computer games, read books, noded and slept when I could have been writing. I was filled with shame, then terror which turned into a deep and all-pervasive gloom which lasted about an hour. I then became hungry and had a sandwich, after which I passed through rage and despair. This by the way is my normal response to criticism.

Then...well, then I wrote a daylog.

In summary, it was great to be back in L.A., and to see our dear friends Jaq and Kate, and while I'm sorry that Mr. White and I missed each other there will, as they say, be another day. Furthermore, I have a crapload of writing to do and will probably miss my deadline and be a pathetic wretched laughingstock the rest of my life. But on the other hand, I'm not being shot at.

Today was quite exciting, as compared to the everyday routines. It was nothing major, just an empty thirty gallon fish tank, but for some reason it has become an infatuation with my room mates and I.

This past weekend, we decided that our apartment needed some pets, and a visual centerpiece for our living room. We unanimously decided upon some fish, and thanks to a generous donation of the tank and stand, began work on a habitat for our future pets. For some reason we are all very eager to start this aquarium, I suppose it is just having something visually appealing in our new apartment, and also owning our own animals is an attractive notion. Whatever the reason for our anticipation, we purchased some gravel, filters, a heater, and some decorative rocks for the tank. As I type, the water is filtering and preparing to receive it's inhabitants. The tank should be ready sometime this week. So we're all waiting for the water to be ready to support the aquatic life with great eagerness.

Started the morning feeling monkish, or something. Skipped eating breakfast, went down to do the laundry, chipped off a bit of the tome that is Charles Payne's I've Got the Light of Freedom -- proper start to the day.

We had a strategy session today, these are always amazing meetings. I've been writing a lot about this question lately, thinking about it. The movement, which really doesn't yet exist, needed to make a shift, and I think it took us all a few weeks to realize that. We finally started talking about what to do in the medium-term, build a grassroots movement for justice that will last. Not get rolled into a moderate democratic campaign just to have an alternative to Bush, but still to defeat him at all costs. But still, we talk about peace, we talk about a peace candidate, we still talk about ourselves as an anti-war movement, as a peace movement. This position I don't understand, peace is but one issue, there needs to be a large-scale justice movement.

The thing I love about the people I work with, though, is that as soon as I bring this point up, Howie starts talking about his SDS days. Apparently, when the anti-Vietnam War movement was starting to grow, SDS faced a similar decision (between broad-based justice movement and single-issue), decided to become more broad-based, and regretted the decision. Then Steve starts talking about his days back in Venezuela, and when they faced a similar choice, they regretted coming down on the single-issue side of the debate. The whole exchange got us absolutely nowhere, but I'm organizing the first step towards a large-scale on campus movement -- a social forum of progressive organizations; people seem to agree with me that its a good idea.

Afterwards, Liz and Adam and Margee and I head over to Durham for a gathering of African-American clergy to announce their opposition to the war with a prayer service. A small, but diverse, crowd, we walk over from the parking lot of a local shopping center to First Baptist Church. Some white students up front, whom I took to be church-goers, asked the minister to start up a song, and pretty soon we're all singing the old freedom songs. (Someday, I'll find something substantive to say about how white progressives of my generation are continually trying to relive the freedom struggle of the Civil Rights Era that, by skin color and birthdate, we missed out on).

The church service which follows is quite simply fucking amazing, filled with prayer and song and the kind of true, hardcore belief that so many Christians have forgotten about -- that I'd forgotten the power of. One minister gets up to preach the main sermon, and he begins with a quote from the Bible "which is so familiar to all of us, that we can recite it together now, John 3:16... For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him would not perish, but have eternal life." He preached, what would it be were God not still loving the world, were the world given up to the hands of sinful, flawed men. "No no no no, a thousand times no! God still loves the world!" And that the world which He loves is the entire world, that his love is not limited to the country in which we love. Standard beginning

But this man goes on to tie everything together, wrap it in a neat little box, and smash it to pieces. Why does it matter if it is unpatriotic to oppose war? It is not our duty to be patriotic. War, even when justified, " ... is evil. And people may call me naive for saying that, they may call me unrealistic, they may call me inexperienced. But I am a prophet of God, and I speak for the one who is reality."

It has been nearly a week, and this is still resonating with me. Something about going to this service, and then watching Matewan has revitalized my faith, and this is important enough to me that I figure I should record it at least for my future self, and for the people I know or don't know who happen across it. Apologies for the hasty style, y'all have no idea how much more I want to write but I can't find the things to say or the words to say them with.

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