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I think I need to get out of this town.

I do love this place, maybe cause it has made me who I am today. In the past few months my life has been good, but events around me are in disarray. Hermetic was a good man, I only talked to him on occassion, and it was usually smalltalk or bullshit. I miss a man I can never get to meet at some random noder gathering. Then after getting hit by that steam roller, I get barraged by September 11, 2001, so off I go to mentally rescue my friends and help them today with their feelings on the matter, even though I am flying as high as a kite despite the recent events of those two days. So I have had my job for over two months I think it has been. I love it being a cook and I have great pride in the work I do. Now, I think the best option for me is to move out on my own, either elsewhere in town (which is neither possible nor feasible at my current amount of wages), move out to some other large city in the United States of America. If I move out and live in the United States, then I can benefit from SSI, which would be till I got a job with benefits and a Union job would be a plus. I could get into the Ironworkers, I did sit in a jail cell, with an ironworker, we had known each other from before hand at the coffee house we both frequent. He went to find and protect his kids. The police chased a fugitive, that wasn't really a fugitive, but a big misunderstanding by the police. So I go out to check on his wife and kids because he has somehow got into handcuffs, and is 'roughed up' and looks like he got beat up. Then I turn around and ask into the general vicinity of anyone in hearing range, a little bit of criticism.(For the record this was long before 9-11-2001, and that mess ) "Why does it take 20 police officers, with 6 city police cars, two state police cars and a paddy wagon to arrest one guy?".

So the captain turns and comes up to me and asks "do you have a problem?"

I affirm the response with a yeah, yes, or some polite affirmation variation.

So this other police officer that is about 6'5" feet tall, bald, and muscular, confronts me, paraphrased >.

So to make a long story short I get to go with my friend that I helped to defend, and we end up sharing a cell after I calm down in the solitary cell from a panic attack. So the point of all this is, I thought about suicide again, and as in my previous node, I know it won't happen, I can control this demon. Although I wonder about it all, all my friends that have bipolar disorder and are medicated, they still do crazy stuff, crazier than normal. Drive really fast, cut themselves, do drugs and have an addiction problem with those drugs, or a binge problem with them. Especially alcohol, that's a big one for one guy.

I wonder should I move out, out of town, out of country, and only if possible out of this world?

(in the actual physical sense not the 'mental, metaphysical sense' that involves 'souls' and what not, but maybe a part of me did mean that in an ironic metaphor?)

Then again, this may be a shout out for help, but my therapist said I was fine not more than two days ago, and the only thing that could have caused this was me getting a ticket for driving at a a safe speed on a wet road, a minor offense but still an offense. My insurance is already high and I can't afford it already, and my mother has enough problems keeping our house. I even help out there.

Today was a good day. First, I awake to the knocking on my door from the UPS man who has a package for me. Gleefully I sign for it and unpack my new 1GHz laptop. All day I've been playing with it -- watching DVDs, burning CDs, etc. I even noded with it. Except, when I logged onto e2, I had noticed some of my nodes had been downvoted. That is, of course, normal; however, not only were the nodes that were downloaded of a factual nature, the facts contained within were correct facts.


This makes me angry. I could find nothing wrong with them -- grammar, facts, context, anything. Do I get a friendly /msg with tips to help a poor, newbie noder like me? Nope. Now, I could understand this if I or my friends could find fault in composition or factual nature of the node, or if the node contained opinion -- those are things which could provoke a downvote. Personally, a downvote means little to me with respect to XP. XP is abundant. A downvote means someone disagrees or dislikes something which I have written. If you don't like the truth/facts, tough cookies.

Today is my birthday. I will have lived on this planet for 23 years at 10:23am. All of this time, unfortunately, in Nashville.

I do not expect to recieve any gifts, since I have given myself a gift that I have needed for a long, long time: getting away to New Orleans, LA. (Of course, if you'd like to send a postcard, I would appreciate it :] *)

The sad thing about being me at this age, however, is that I'm starting to *FEEL* old. My joints often hurt, my ability to stay awake longer than 24 hours and appear to be an extremely caffinated, cracked out hooligan has been revoked, my energy levels are much lower than I would like them to be, and I suddenly have been hit with a feeling of responsibility.

I don't like the self I have grown into. I want my old seventeen-year-old days back. When I didn't care about anything but having fun. (I know, you're saying "You're only 23, you haven't even begun to get old." To you, I say that age is only an indication of time removed from your life.)

Well, I'll stop now. I'm tired. I'm in New Orleans still, I just walked 32 blocks, was standing at the Voodoo Music Experience for 6.5 hours before that, and aphexious' keybord doesn't like me.

I wonder.. if Daylight Savings Time is now over, does that mean that my exact birthdate will now be at 11:23am? *shrug*

* - Send postcards to the address in my home node.

It's quiet right now. I'm sitting here, on aphexious' hardwood floor in New Orleans, with my laptop appropriately resting in my lap. I've just gotten back from an early-morning stroll down St. Charles street, before the streetcars have begun to move and traffic consists mostly of stragglers from the night before. The occasional drunk wanders across my path, muttering to himself (all drunks seen so far this morning are male) and minding his own business. The past two days I've been doing battle with my stomach, which really, really sucks. You see, I have this condition called gastritis- kinda like an ulcer only not.

I went to the Voodoo Music Experience with toastido and a few others. I had gone against my body's wishes, it telling me in no uncertain terms that my stomach wasn't in the mood to do anything remotely physical. That included walking, standing, breathing, eating, talking... well, anything, really. I ignored my body's cries for rest and went ahead as planned- hell, the tickets were $35, paid for by toastido, and I wasn't about to simply throw them away for a little stomach cramping, right? Ugh... what a bad decision.

We made it to templeton's without incident- meaning I hadn't thrown up yet or passed out from agony. We had stopped to get me some Pepto, which helped a tiny bit, but nowhere near enough to made me road-worthy. Still, I ploughed on to the park where Voodoo was being held. I was all but writhing in pain. The SUN hurt.

We got through the gates without any trouble- cops were all over the place, waving metal detectors over people like magic wands. I lost a small Swiss Army pocket knife in the exchange, but it's a small price to pay for good music, right? We trudged through throng after throng of people until we finally found the main stage and I swear people were giving me strange looks- to get strange looks from people in New Orleans takes some amount of skill, apparently. I saw some people that would have been drawing crowds in Nashville for the way they were dressed, but in N'awlins, nobody hardly noticed. Me, however, with my paling face, awkward gait and chest-grabbing, as if to make I was having a heart attack (and it felt like I would at any moment), well that was nothing short of outlandish for some folks. But no one said a word. Toastido shot a few concerned glances in my direction, but I kept silent, groaning only when the sub-woofer of some concert stage pounded just a little too hard.

We found the main stage where Better Than Ezra, Bush and Tool were scheduled to play and pulled up a patch of grass to call our own. The act that we'd come upon sucked. I don't care what anyone else says, they simply sucked. It was like Jamioquoi meets Seal meets Limp Bizkit- ugh. The bass speakers were beating the hell out of me, making the pulsing in my stomach ten times worse. Imagine putting a peeled banana into a plexiglass vat with water in it, then pounding that vat with sub-sonic waves. Now... eventually that banana is going to disintegrate into nothingness... and that's exactly what was happening to my digestive system at that concert. I needed to leave or things were going to get very ugly very fast.

I rose, explained the situation to everyone and began to make my way out of there with an escort from the group. Indra363 was with me the whole way back to aphexious and BAR's pad. We hopped onto a coach shuttle bus, courtesy of Sheraton Hotels (and the $5 fee paid by Indra363), got dropped off in the middle of downtown New Orleans and flagged a taxi for the rest of the ride "home."

I must tell you here and now that New Orleans has the absolute worst roads ever, anywhere, anytime. I would gladly go back to Nashville and deal with all the construction crap there than stay here and live with these roads on a daily basis that CAN'T be fixed because of the damn water level here. Those roads, riding in a taxi cab, were like murder on my stomach. Every ten seconds I groaned pitifully.

As soon as we reached our destination I plodded my way into bed and stayed there until about 2 hours ago. I think I slept for maybe 20 hours total. My stomach is still unhappy, but I'm treating it better today. I don't want my gastritis to get in the way of me having a good time here in New Orleans. This will likely be the only vacation I'll have for another 5 years and I want to make the best of it. Sitting in bed can be done anywhere. I have only a few days left in N.O. Somehow, someway I will get better and I will make the best of this trip- even if it's the last thing I ever do.

Everything I own in covered in ash.

My clothes, my desk, my floor. I am sick with the flu. I will probably have the flu for weeks. I'll be lying in bed instead of writing papers and working on projects, and there is no doubt that I'll have a cigarette in my hand.

When I woke up Friday and realized that I had the flu the passing thought that this would cut down on my smoking briefly passed through my mind. It has. To a degree. But right after that thought, my next one was "I have Anthrax." That is unlikely as the former thought. They are each a fantasy that I will midly entertain for a while, until each one is proved false.

Its hard to stop doing something that you do in times of stress. Its even harder when the stress levels are elavated. I am finally realizing one of my bestfriends is using me just like she uses everyone else. I am finally realizing there is nothing I can do to help my boyfriend. You can't change people. And I don't want them to change... I just want... To make a difference.

So, I sit there and smoke and worry. I wish someone would tell me what to do. That way if I ruin my life there will be someone to blame other than myself.

The real world sucks. And I'm not even in the real world yet.

I spoke with a good friend of mine over a bowl of mongolian barbecue the other day, and the conversation drifted to a P.O.D. song I had recommended. He in turn gave me an almost 10 minute rant about the fakeness and triteness (is that a word?) of the song and generally ripped the song a new one. If you ask me he's overly sensitive about religion. He's an atheist, I'm not. Most of the time we respect each other's positions, but every once in a while it turns into this big old hoopla that he never seems to let die. I just need to watch what I say, that's all.

Today during my break I heard that a police officer in San Jose was killed this morning. No suspect information. Nothing. Just an officer dead on the street next to his car. He was 23. He had been off of his probationary period for a mere 2 weeks, and had only been a solo car for that long. Maybe it's because I'm a dispatcher that it hit me so close to my heart. Maybe it's because I will be a cop in several years. Maybe it's because he was only 4 years older than I am now, doing exactly what I would be doing. I don't know why, but I have this feeling that I will die in the line of duty. It's a premonition, that's all, and I'll do my best to prove it false, but ever since I began thinking about this line of work it was something that I almost took for granted. I know it's morbid, but every time you put on that uniform, you are taking the chance that it will be an E.R. nurse who cuts it off. Or the coroner. That the next uniform you'll be wearing is the Class A's you're buried in. And after a motorcade and a gun salute and taps the chief hands your wife or your mother the flag that draped your coffin and says "I'm so sorry." They always say "Keep God as your backup." But what about when He calls me as backup for one of His children. I will respond to the call. And I may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

I ran a red light on the way home from work today. It was 3:30am and there wasn't a car on the road except me. But somebody could have been. It just makes you realize that you can be a lot further away from reality than you realize.
The dead punk rocker and Cleopatra kissed somewhen around one o'clock this morning. The room they were in was very red. The apartment building containing the room was also very red, and could have been mistaken for a Bourbon Street monastery.

Cleopatra's lips matched the room. The Punk Zombie's were pasty, of course, and probably tasted like beeswax and titanium oxide.

Words followed the kisses. Inebriated questions and answers. Uncertainty was tabled for later; right now this was the thing to do.

Later, on the dark porch, more of the same. Other people came and went, some photographing the incongruity. The Punk Zombie, ever in character, saluted them with the middle finger and told the lensers to 'fuck off'. Cleopatra smiled shyly with her bare arms around a cold, stiff neck.

They watched a Polaroid develop, slowly and milkily. It was sideways and perfect.

Halloween, whenever it's celebrated, is magic.

Punk's Undead.

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