There's a huge moon tonight. You would not believe the coyotes - they're yipping and howling like they're auditioning for a Western. The weather's been misty all day long, which is unusual here. There's an eerie halo around the moon and the chill is wet enough to seep into my bones when I step outside. It's October in Eastern Oregon but it feels like February in South Carolina.

I live in a town that packs onions, and it's harvest time. I've been wishing all week long that they'd grow thyme or olives or roses or ANYTHING other than onions. The whole town reeks of onions, onions, onions - a raw sulfurous smell that digs into the back of my throat and forces its way into my sinuses. It makes my lungs burn like I've been smoking a pack a day, and it literally brings me to tears when I open my windows. My apartment is stuffy and hot, but outside there is nothing but onion stink and a shrouded moon and the loneliest noises in the world - trains and coyotes.

I've been thinking a lot about Charleston lately. Impressions, not fully formed thoughts. The olfactory striptease of honeysuckle and wisteria and gardenia, the way the whole earth seems to be perfumed and ripe and flirtatious. The whir of cicadas and the electric surge of gospel choirs. Live oaks dripping with spanish moss.

Eating ourselves sick on fried shrimp and crab so fresh it bit me earlier that day, grabbing beer after beer from the cooler and leaning over old card tables draped with newspaper. The satisfying shatter of claws cracking between our fingers, all of us noisily sucking on every tiny joint and cranny, not missing a morsel of meat, warm juice trickling down our forearms and dripping off our elbows.

Sweat-sheened shoulders and golden legs and everyone so much more beautiful than they ever suspected, the girls in their sundresses and the boys in their khakis. Gin and tonics and barefoot dancing (ever and always barefoot) on arrogantly shabby hardwood decks and those inevitable splinters that earned us pity and an extra beer. Sand everywhere - on floors and seat cushions and between toes and sometimes in our picnic lunches - and no one caring because it's the beach, silly, there's supposed to be sand in everything.

Hammocks. The futility of trying to have sex in a hammock and just giving up and laughing and settling for a cautious snuggle which turns out to be better than sex anyway.

Lazy sweaty days at the beach, stoned on sunshine, watching the glistening sailboarders be effortlessly graceful and the labradors play endless ecstatic rounds of fetch with their people. Driving home sun-drunk and salty with the windows rolled down and the radio turned up.

Pluff mud and marshes, tides and egrets. Dolphins surfing the translucent bottle-green waves and baby sharks trolling the shallows. Water, always water; water the temperature of blood, water that tastes like tears. Water creamy with foam, water amniotic and alive, water that's never the same color twice. I grew up with the ocean in my backyard and now rivers will never be enough.

When my thoughts coalesce into something solid they make me uneasy. They're more questions than thoughts. Is the heart a naturally roaming organ, or can it find a place to rest? What does home mean, and where exactly is it? Does it exist on a map, in a region, in a house? Is home a place or a person? And if it actually is a person, will I be homesick like this forever? When do I stop being a pioneer and start being a settler?

I've been reminding myself that even though there isn't really any good place to be lonely, there are cities cradled by oceans, towns that don't smell of onions. Life is lonely enough; the addition of coyotes and deserts and the occasional distant train whistle is really a bit much.

I don't let myself feel this way very often. Sometimes I get mugged by my past, and tonight I feel tender, bruised by brutal memories I wish I didn't love.

Tonight I miss the South. Her scent, her flavor, the velvet blur of her accent. The way she looks at three o'clock in the morning when she's sleeping, when she doesn't know I am watching her, when she's unaware of her beauty, when moonlight glazes her skies and silvers her ocean and she is achingly, impossibly radiant.

The South is always, always a woman. I'm grieving her like a lost lover.

Six years. I am still here.

Some fragments from an e2-related project. It will not be finished. The links are added content for this daylog, though.

”Dream me the good cemetery”, she said, eyes shining and wide. “For me and at least Itsumo Thirteen and Baby Henry.

I decided to ship the datalinks in proletarian style, using the Zeux Urban Menace owned by the Ng Idea Reef, a conceptual R&D lab project that had become real on the streets. Hyper-black cryptosocialism.

Violence, 20th Iblis thought, was a form of heat - unfocussed dozy energy that would eventually wear down the gears of the universe.

On a varied mix of beer, Baby Henry roared through the streets on his Filipino motorbike. He was the God Rider, the Devil's white cicatrix scar tissue on society's wounds. Cannonning down La Rue De Ramstein to someone's dealer, he was really living.

We were up exchanging mythology for many nights, the nighthawks and whoring atheists that we were. Henry supported the old Pacific bisexual monarchy, as did Rocket. Sasha cried down the Jericho hegemony of bitter old queens with mean, smooth faces.

We were lost in the hotel hallways, chased by jaguars, unchallenged by dark slang. Here, in our greylight, we could see like owls and hear the heartbreak riffling of the universe's punchcards.

"To the Great Michael Alkanov:" he wrote "Station clear. Zen trials in effect. To host party will need winecellar of baronet in castle of philistine. Please advise.".

Bazajet roared through the operating theatre.
“You know, sometimes it seems like a shame to stop” said the surgeon.

The decade saw a resurgence in American guilt, this time focussed on the atomic devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Army Corps Of Engineers were brought in to construct an island of land reclaimed from the sea off the coast closest to Hiroshima. On it was built a bronze statue, of tastelessly gargantuan Soviet proportions, depicting the lower three-quarters of a nude Asian girl, one hand clutching her left breast, the raised to her groin in a masturbatory salute. The headless orgasmonument was soon absorbed into tourist itineraries and the traditional Japanese industry that had historically printed t-shirts of Lady Liberty getting double-teamed by Godzilla and King Kong.
Rain ran sadly in the glass gutters near the tensile concrete temple of the Army Corps of Engineers HQ.

Al-Khaliq handmaid's scurried outside Sound Room North. Inside, the Lion of the Maghreb brought forth his art of arcane Koranic song, the medium juxtaposed with lyrics from the eastern poets - Lo Bztu, Yun Zheng, and, first and last and always, Bo Gaixing, known for the infinite loneliness of his swans and lotus leaves.

“It's the rules! It's not the food of severe relapses - it's just running from shadows, running to die, to kill one of few lives” How Kyu knew about your clothed command, I'll never know.

His hands shook until he had been slicing across the black downs through acid rains for half an hour. He had committed a felony against the order of the cards not the people themselves, but his questionable deed would be severely punished. If he were caught. Sentenced to years in the mining camps on the asteroid belt, perhaps. That would be exile at least, and probably death. If he were caught.

The plane gleamed sodium yellow through the haze of rain, a whale on wet tarmac, waiting to go. Here he was. In an hour he'd be on the plane, and thirteen hours later he'd be coming in to land in Tokyo Bay. A long way, but it was all automatic from here. The only note of unease was that, four hours into the flight, he'd be flying right over those Death Valley motherfuckers. It seemed like too much, tempting fate. But that was superstition and, in any case, there was no way to avoid it.

The miserable duke, black suit drenched in spray, knee deep in the surf. On the shore, Annalise in a vague pink and white dress, screeching and hurling roses. Their relationship was troubled.

I will still be here.

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