Infrared in your arms.

Erosion. It can be a problem. It can be a solution. Usually it is somewhere in the middle when it comes to the erosion of life. Brilliant blues are lighter and reds are closer to pink. The world of memories isn't the problem. There is something more. There are too many dreams left unfulfilled. The promise of a new day wears heavily on the pockets you used to fill with silver before you went off looking for gold.

Enchanted. Look away.

Moments in your life can make you long for when things were different, even though your view in the rear view mirror tends to omit much of what the past really was. When you are thinking poetically about "the good old days" you always leave the pain and sorrow on the doorstep. In the depths of despair you only reflect on how bad things were and the good times fly out the window.

Are we super-connected?

Turn on a dime. Friends come and go. People come out of the woodwork. There is an oasis in the desert of time and we raise a glass to celebrate. We recount times that have been and boast of our plans for the future. Some people we trust with our pain and sadness. Others we only go to when we have something to brag about. It is the way of things. I am the one people have come to, for the past seven years, when everything breaks down and falls apart. I welcome it, and I feel it is part of the reason why I am here. Yet it is not always easy. Sometimes the bridge breaks down between here and Mesopotamia.

How does your garden grow?

Herbs in the forest may not really be herbs if no one ever sees them. They are simply life amongst life. There cannot always be life. Sometimes the meter runs out. I knew a girl once upon a time. When I was playing the field and meandering through the wasteland of my philandering interests, she turned me away and told me I was so much more than I pretended to be. She kissed me and told me that she loved me. Then she got up to leave. She refused to be just another girl on my calendar of events. Yesterday her sister died. There had been a fatal traffic miscalculation having to do with someone using a turn signal when they never intended to turn. The two sisters saw each other before one departed. I could not be there. I was never meant to be.

A bird in the forest beats two on a rowboat

Sometimes I want to be the princess instead of the knight on the white horse. Sometimes I want to uproot a tree and throw it across the road. Sometimes I just want to sit down by the old reservoir and drink beer like the old days. Sometimes I still want to be that fifteen year old boy bringing his crappy manuscript down to the post office on his bicycle mailing it out to another completely disinterested publisher.

You want to know why I can't sleep at night.
You want to know why I can't sleep unless I've got a belly full of wine.

There are those times when no matter how much you believe in yourself you just want to throw in the towel and buy a train ticket. I've known too many people who quit. There is The Muse, hiding out somewhere and feeling sorry for herself while she continues to tell people she's too much for them to handle. There is that friend in Indiana who is the best fucking guitarist and songwriter you've ever met who comes home from work and smokes himself into oblivion because he just can't do it any longer. There is that guy in the park who chases pigeons who used to be a nuclear physicist. Sometimes you just can't fight any longer. I have to. I already played the trump card and ended up trumping myself.

And the band plays on.

As a postscript I must note:
Yesterday my wife received the rules from her school
where she is paying to take seamstress classes
There was a list of policy violations that would result in disciplinary action.
The last three items on the list were as follows:
(1) Littering
(2) Wearing hats or bandanas
(3) Hate crimes (including but not limited to suspicion of murder)
I kid you not.
The world is truly insane.

Everything in its right place.

"Do you want to go to Doc's?"
"Yes. But I have no money."
"It's on me. Can your mom drive you?"
"Hold on, I'll see."
"Ok, she can't drive me. I'll take my bike, be right there."
"Hurry up."
So I hop on my bike, still on my Radiohead trip, music blasting into my head via headphones. Halfway there (it's an 8 kilometer ride), I realize I don't have my ID. A crucial element to infiltrating bars at my age. I turn around, riding home as fast as I can. Wouldn't you know it, I get a flat tire on the way back. So now having obtained my wallet, I have to go very far out of my way to go to the gas station and refill my tire. Ok, I'm on my way now. Rattlerattlerattle. My chain has fallen off. Now I've got to put this back on with my bare hands, getting grease and oil all over my fingers. This will take a long time to scrub out. I'm now thoroughly pissed off, but finally on my way.

Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon.
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon.
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon.
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon.

I arrive at my girlfriend's house, her parents have gone off to a casino or something. So we head out to the bar, and have a couple bottles of Pur Source. We sat around for about an hour just waiting for the bill, then finally got tired of it and went up and paid.

Being the crazy kids that we are, and it now being quite late, we're looking around a schoolyard by her house for a place to makeout. We sit behind a portable on a little concrete porch and have at it, but there's too much traffic. Too many people walking by. Too many stupid noises.

We found an odd little inground staircase at the actual school building. It was clearly lit, but very unexposed and unsuspecting. This was our new spot, and a fine spot it was, except for the painful concrete steps beneath us.

Then the night ended, we went to her home. I grabbed my bicycle, which was still in skeptical condition, and rode the 8 kilometers home again, with the Radiohead filling my brain. Riding the whole way with no hands.

The biggest problem in my life is that I'm really sick of seeing children in television commercials playing Gameboys with no games in them.

My high school football coach by far had the most effect on my life at H.S. He was my computer applications teacher, coach and mentor. He helped me in more ways that I can remember. He constantly helped me in my weight lifting and quickness. We talked about football every chance we could. Even in class, we were always trying to find ways to get better. Coach was always concerned with my lifting progress and attendance in the gym. After my freshman year, he realized how dedicated I was and expected me to be in the weight room four to five times a week. We got along great on the practice field and on Friday nights too.
We both took it to another level between my junior year and my freshman year of college. Every day of the year was football season. We were always preparing. It was constant preparation for something, whether it was for our first game against our biggest rival, or for the next step of football on the college level. He always had an interest in my career, and continues to have an interest in all that I do now. I could always talk to him about anything, whether it was the dirtiest joke, or something of a personal nature. I believe that after four years of H.S. football together, we will continue to be friends for the rest of our lives.

Has anyone read Veronika decides to die, by Paulo Coelho? It's a very interesting book. One of the characters in it pretends to be schizophrenic, to escape his parents. He wants to be an artist. His father is a diplomat of sorts, and wants him to be a serious man with a serious job. Yeah.

I've thought about doing that sometimes. Just flipping out. I mean, who's to say I haven't really flipped out? Earlier this year and late last year, I felt like I was really walking a very thin line between staying in the world of the sane and crossing over to the absolutely fucked up crazy side.

In 7th grade, I started consciously trying to write fiction. I had an obsession with the human mind and the way we perceive things. I wrote a couple of short pieces from the perspective of someone who had hallucinations and a very fucked up mind (I didn't really know about schizophrenia back then). The series was called Monologues of a crazy boy, and it ended with the boy jumping out a window, not knowing that he was up in the 10th floor of a building (I didn't really consider the fact that they bar windows in psychiatric institutions. Again, I didn't know this back then). I was alone a good part of the time I wasn't in school, this was the year my little sister moved with my dad, and I started going home instead of going to my Nanny's (I was old enough to take care of myself). I started having issues, I became introverted and that was the start of the depression that lasted until earlier this year. Many a time I thought about just pretending to flip out so that I wouldn't have to deal with the painful world around me. I was tired of it all.

Sometime late last year, I thought I was having hallucinations. Lights coming in through windows in dark rooms became faces, shadows became people, and I could hear their voices in my head and feel their emotions: Only I could see them, and they didn't like me because I could see them. I told Brian, my boyfriend at the time, about these things, and he was skeptical, obviously. I mean, jeez. Now that i think back on it, I can only say one thing:

A couple of months ago, I was very, very fucked up.

Now I'm okay, I think. I mean, I'm pretty content with life, and all that. I don't get horrible suicidal thoughts. But in my empty apartment, in the dark, the shadows still move. It's kinda creepy. I'm pretty much okay. But sometimes I wonder if a very horrible shock would just make me completely flip out, for good. It's a possibility that scares me.

The human mind is a very complex and interesting thing.

My first daylog. If I even post it. And if I do post it, it probably won't be too long until I'll have it nuked. I can't even post it immediately... I'm sitting on a train from Cambridge to London. Hands shaking. Sniffling. And I haven't even got any tissues.

It started last night. At 1:54am - if the alarm clock was to be believed. I was woken up by the sensation of little legs walking up and down my left arm. Not realising what was going on I dozed on for a moment, only to wake up with a start. I'd finally figured out the nature of the body the legs belonged to. A little spider. I sat up with a gasp; frantically trying to brush off the spider without killing it.

No, I'm not scared of spiders. But in the past few days they seem to be growing in numbers and presence. They are everywhere. In the kitchen, the bathtub, my clothes. I don't mind them sharing a living space with me. If they like running around the living room floor - fine. However, my clothes, my body, my personal space are taboo. Unfortunately, they don't know this.

I brushed it off, somewhere. In the meantime I also managed to wake up call, who probably thought I'd been having a nightmare. I quickly explained the problem, he brushed the quilt covers, hugged me and we tried getting back to sleep. Almost.

Little legs running up and down my leg.

"No! call! Switch on the light! It's still in the bed!"

I glance at the clock. 1:54am. Great. Together we chase this "cute" little example of the common house-spider off the bed.

Lights off. Back to sleep. Back to sleep. Back to sleep.

I can't. I can feel their little legs all over my body now. And I remember what I'd been dreaming shortly before I woke up.

I'd been at some place I called my home. I was talking to call on the phone. There was a serial killer on the loose. For some reasons I couldn't lock the doors. I was scared. Panicky even. Begging call to come home and help and protect me. He refused.

Eventually I did fall asleep.

Now. It's 3.29pm. I'm on this train. But how did I get here? With a bus.

I walked to Tesco to catch the bus from there. I was pressed for time. I really needed to catch this train to London where I'd meet my host-sister. I hadn't seen her for more than two years!

I came to Tesco and the bus was standing there. Waiting. Only about one minute before it was supposed to leave. Door closed. I stood there. Reading the signs.

Push button to open door.
Emergency only.

Push button.

Glancing inside. A driver, lost in thought. Not looking outside.

Ok. What should I do? I unpack my wallet. I'm scared he won't notice me and just drive away. Without me.

Perhaps I'm misreading the signs? What's the use of an emergency button on the outside of the bus anyway? What should I do?
At home we press the button on the outside of the bus to get inside...
But then, things are different here...
I need to catch this train!

Oh well, I'll push it.

The door opens smoothly. I lift my foot to enter. The driver turns just as smoothly. "Why did you open the door!?" he asks me harshly. Not waiting for an answer he continues: "For emergencies only! You can't just enter at your will!"

Pushed outside by his words. I'm hurt. I'm sorry. I didn't know. I was confused by the signs outside and by you not noticing me and scared I'd miss the train.

"I'm sorry", I say, "I didn't know."

He raves on. I don't remember. Hurt and feeling unjustly treated I ask him: "I'm sorry. I didn't know. I'm foreign. Is that how you treat tourists here?" I should have expected his reply: "We treat them that way if they don't play along the rules!"

What if they don't know the rules?

Eventually he asks me where I want to go to.
"That's £1.10"
"I need a return."

I spot a C6 timetable.
"You need a C1 timetable."
"No, I don't."
"This is a C1, you need a C1!"
"I know, but I already have a C1 timetable."
"No, you have a C6."
"I know. I need a C6. I've already got a C1. Thank you."

Some more bickering. I notice he has a patch on his uniform saying "Mentor". Can't be the same kind of mentor as we have here on E2. I "end" it by walking away, shamefaced, not daring to look at any of the other passengers. I find a seat, almost crying.

Yes, I did overreact. So? I'd been feeling vulnerable before, and now this nasty scene.

In all the time I've spent in Cambridge so far, I've never before felt so foreign, so lonely, so "not-belonging" as now. I can feel the imaginary looks of the other passengers on me. Shaking I grasp my backpack hugging it closely.

At the train station. I have to pass him. On the 20 minutes journey there I'd made up my mind to apologise. I step forward. "Look. I'm sorry. I know it was my mistake." He nods, ungraciously accepting the apology, not even looking at me. But I haven't finished. "I only hope that if you are ever in a foreign country you won't make any stupid mistakes." "I'll never go to a foreign country anyway." I can't hold my tongue: "That shows." I leave. Shaking. I'd also meant to tell him that, even if he made a mistake there, I hoped at least he'd find someone more forgiving than he had been.

Upset I manage to get my ticket to London. A very nice and helpful man was behind the counter, by the way. On the train now. A bit less shaky. A bit less in need of tissues.

Thanks for listening.

Today I killed my first couch.

It was a mighty big beast, a hide-a-bed made by Sklar 35 years ago, before they became Sklar Peppler.

When we first moved into the house, we spent so much time manoeuvering that huge, green monstrosity in place that we knew, back then, it would never leave this house alive.

I started with a hide-a-bed-ectomy, detaching the mattress and folding metal frame held by a number of screws and bolts. Once that part was gone, the carnage began.

I dealt the killing blow on the front of the frame, severing it from one side of the armrests. Then repeatedly slashed at its pelt using a box cutter to expose the joints held by wood screws (yes, they used screws back then).

Quick unfastening by electric screwdriver and the carcass was separated into four parts, which was easily carried out.

Now remains the metal frame, all fastened by rivets, no nuts or bolts anywhere. Damn.

Adventures in Moving--Part 1 Next

Why am I so tired? I got to bed at 1:301, but today I feel like I haven't slept at all. Why did I just start writing in cursive2? I am way too stressed already... it took until almost April of last year to get this bad. I blame the NHS application as an immediate cause, and the looming spectre of college applications as a long-range cause. But now I'm thinking in terms of Mr. Greenawalt's "long-range causes" and "sparks"... because that's the breaking point, when I get too stressed out, and war erupts in Europe. Gavrilo Princip shoots Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Then everyone else gets involved. But I digress.

I'm hungry. I didn't have time to pack a lunch today, so I'll actually have to wait until 5th period to eat. At least I brought a banana--but I don't know if I can hold out until later to eat it. Where was I going with this? I don't remember. Nor do I remember driving to school today. I wonder how I manage to do so without killing anyone. Hmm... lost my train of thought again. What was I saying? I guess I should try to say something meaningful before I stop writing. Unfortunately I don't think I have anything meaningful to say. Today I feel like my life has no meaning. Or reason. Or logic.

  1. I'm in high school, in the IB program. That's earlier than my usual bedtime.
  2. The original was handwritten, as a real life journal. I'm transcribing it here for the purposes of sharing my life with the world. Yay!

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