On ground. Night of the living dead. Zombie holocaust dream. Flesh eating. Intestines. Blood. Cannibal. No one left. Body parts holed up in my old apartment in Chicago. Not Chicago. A mattress in the dining room. Papers strewn about. A few bookshelves. Everything in disarray.
Burning a plastic bag filled with plastic army men in a tin can out on the porch. The source of the zombie plague. Overpowering stench.
The guy at the internet café. The kid. Saying something about do you want open time. Something like that. I’m still learning Spanish.
Bueno. Todavía estoy aprendiendo español.
What do you speak? Qué hablas?
Oh so do I. California. How much time do you need?
I just have to check a few messages.
So open time?
His shaggy dark hair. Dark skin. Baggy jeans and high tops. Talking to his friend about video games. Smack Down. Gran Turismo. Sitting behind his main computer. Sun bright in the street.
Dream. On stage with PAL without my guitar singing songs. Jumping around. Freaking out. Screaming. Rocking the mic. My turn to play guitar. I put it on. The strap around my shoulder. Tuning it between songs behind my amp. White t shirt. S looking at me. I’m happy. Excited. Walk up to the mic. Wake up.
A movie event. Hollywood types everywhere. A big house. Swimming pool. People want things to go smoothly. Sitting at a table for dinner. Formal dinner. Eating food. I’m chewing on some food. Then a feeling of panic. Terror. Horror. Revulsion. It’s meat. I’m eating meat. Spit it out onto the plate. Chewed up sausage or ground beef. People looking at me. Eyes wide. Take that Hollywood, I think.
So weird to be back at feast. My first Baha’i thing in eight years. Scared. Panicked. Thinking what am I doing here? Looking face to face as they discuss Baha’i affairs in Spanish. Nervous. I know what they’re talking about. They want me to talk about the Baha’i community in Chicago. Join study groups. Play guitar. Sing. What do I know of the Baha’i community in Chicago? I stopped going to things when I was 17. I feel like crying. Conflicted. Feeling like I’m using them. Their kind older faces. The younger ones, eager, ready. What the fuck am I even doing here? I don’t even know what I believe anymore. I’m just trying to be a good person. I don’t know about god. About religion. About spirituality. I don’t know. Sitting in a circle. All eyes on me. Do I tell them the truth? That I’ve got issues with religion. With Baha’i rules. About my crisis of faith. Will they want to help get me back in? I don’t want that. What the fuck am I doing here? Getting out of the house. I’m fronting. I’m an imposter.
On the way to the Baha’i center. The Baha’i man in his 50’s who picked me up at the KFC. Talking to me in pidgin Spanish and sign language. I’m having a hard time understanding what he’s saying without all those articles he’s leaving out. Verbs and nouns and gestures. Immense storm clouds. Dark purple swallowing the sky. The horizon. Dense. Moving slow. Glacial. Scraping the ground. Lightning. Rain on the windshield.
Organized religion. Right now I’m too cynical. I can’t help it. Agendas. Goals. Conversion. I have a problem with this. Trust. What makes one more right than another?
Bus terminal. Northbound. Chihuahua. Sonora. Late afternoon. Kids running around. A two year old chasing a rubber ball. He catches it. Throws it again. Runs after it in his awkward run. Weaving towards the ball not really a straight line. His young dad watching after him.
Group of guys sitting at a table. Smoking. Drinking cans of Modelo. Close to the two fast food stands.
Young mom walking to the phone to one of the ticket sellers. To the tables. She’s pretty. So many seem to have kids. So young. Low cut jeans, tight shirt.
People with their luggage walking to the buses. 90 dollars to Ciudad Juarez. Cool breeze. Sipping coke from a cup. Waiting with Ignacio and Rufina. Watching the clock. 5.50pm.
On the bus back home. Thinking only of the young mom. Looking at her in my minds’ eye so hard. Someone boards the bus up front and startles me. Interrupts my daydreaming. I’m looking at a person where the girl just was. Looking out the window. Rush hour. 7pm. Downtown Guadalajara. The bus stops are packed. The sun slowly going down. The old Spanish buildings. The government centers. The cathedral. The young mom back at the terminal.
Mexico Diary (colonia el vigía, zapopan, jalisco)
4.15pm. Went to el centro. Té de manzanilla con azucar y limón. Walked around with Ignacio. Bought bread from the vegetarian/integral panadería. Got soy burgers. Heard jazz from what he said was a municipal academy. It gave me hope. Trumpet flurries drums from upstairs. The second floor windows. Us underneath walking in the shade. Living life like the retired. Nothing going on. Music. Sitting around in the middle of the afternoon. The kids outside playing in the street. The donut kid. Donas! Donas! Llegaron las donas! The other kids chanting the same thing after him. He carries them on a tray resting on his shoulder. Sunny. Dry. Low 80s.
No good dreams. All of them terrible. So far. Waking up in the middle of the night. People killing themselves. Shooting themselves. Gun at head. A jolt. Half their face off. Neck hanging open. Sitting on the ground wondering what happened. Breathing. Chase anxiety dreams. Unknown terror dreams. Lonely dreams. Wake up from all of them at 2am. 3am. 4am. Calm down. Calm down. Try to sleep again.
The ipod died today. Two weeks and it’s dead. Fucking technology.
The ipod came back today.
Listening to Lungfish.
Filled with doubt. Questioning everything I’m doing here. Not knowing what to do. Doubting everything. Insecurities in isolation. Wondering what’s true. What’s not. What will last. What will not. Feeling alone. Cut off. Unsure of everything. My future. My right now. My feelings. Unsure. Feeling unsure. My chest and stomach. Empty. Drained.
The Pupils. 10am.
TV on in living room. 4.21pm.
TV on in living room. 5pm.
5.15pm. Storm. So much rain. Thunder. The street at the corner a river. Water flowing fast. Cars plowing through it. Against the current. Paper, garbage carried along. Lone stragglers caught in it are soaked. Walking uncaring. Too beyond wet to care.
The boys at the tlapalería clap and cheer when the rain gets furious comes down in sheets. They stand in the entryway and watch.
The water pummeling the sky light by the bathroom. Intensifies the situation. Wind.
Wind blows the rain through my window. Into my face. Smell it. Taste it. Lower the window a little.
It comes down straight. Direct. Now. So constant.
Trees still except for the rain hitting the leaves.
Heads peering out windows in the houses. Every so often curtains brushed aside.
A few people on bikes. Water filling the backs of pickups. More debris in the temporary river.
Rapids form at the speed bump in the river. Rain pummels the clay roofs. The splashing creates a thick mist haze.
Thunder. The boys at the tlapalería improvise a tiny boat and set it on the river in front of their store. Watch it float down the street and it’s carried away. Its little white sail.
7pm at KFC. Plaza Patría. In his 50’s.
Avenida Mariano Otero. South West.
holy shit was it cold last week! like 30 below 0. i call that cold. i know if you live up in minneapolis or winnipeg it gets colder. but 30 below is pretty cold. winter came on fierce right before we left for new jersey for christmas. and then when we got back it was 60 degrees for a day. no shit. but then winter came back even more! it’s a bit more normal this week – teens, 20’s etc. i can ride my bike again. that’s something. here are some winter pics taken from inside our apartment. where it was warm. i sure wasn’t going outside to take pictures.
i turned 30 back in october. for the occasion h and i went up to the middle of nowhere wisconsin for a few days. we stayed in a little cottage thing on a pond. it was righteous. it was nice and fallish. sunny on the first day. rainy on the second. and on the third. snow. hooray! these are a few pics of the great outdoors of mid wisconsin. i’ve been 30 for a month now. it’s not bad. kinda nice.
this is in the yard of the cabin. h took this one.
the pond (photo by h)
the woods. flying saucer attack stylee photo by h.
from the car.
around the cabin.
from the car.
on the way home.
on the way home.
also from the car on the way home.
and so’s this one.
sorry for the delay in updating. h and i were off in san francisco for an archives conference. and more importantly for food and record shopping. got to try indonesian food and burmese food which both ruled. there was also an awesome japanese restaurant that i’m sworn to secrecy about. we got to go to three record stores – amoeba of course, as well as rasputin – which was down the street from our hotel, and aquarius – which might possibly be the world’s nerdiest record store. tons of music and h and i had hardly heard of any of them. nerdy experimental psych noise action. which is definitely music that’s outside of my sphere of knowledge, although h knows more about it than i do. but aquarius schooled us. awesome!
i also got to see an exhibit of joan miro prints at a gallery that was on my way back to the hotel. it was a fancy pants richy rich gallery, but they were open to the public for free, which was nice. the prints were way awesome. etchings and lithographs. the colors were amazing. i tend to be drawn to artists that use a lot of strong color. i think it’s because of my color blindness. that my eyes and brain appreciate strong strong color.
we also got to go to giant robot and an awesome art store/gallery called parklife. they had this way righteous exhibition of paintings of jazz musicians called other rooms/other songs by ian johnson. we were stoked and wished we could afford some of the paintings. but we settled on the exhibition catalog and a print by deth p sun. the store was a surprise. we had no idea it existed but wandered over there while waiting for burma super star to open up for dinner. we were way glad we went there though.
other than that we were busy with conference sessions. and i went on walks. anyways. here’s some pictures i took with my new polaroid – my dumb phone. hooray! san francisco is a cool place. but i could never afford to live there. drag. now i gotta run to work.
these are some of the pictures i took while i was in mexico. i was thinking i might use some of them in flotation device 12, but due to aesthetic and thematic reasons i decided against it. i might put some more up later. i didn’t take a lot of pictures while i was there because i was there for so long that it felt weird by the time i actually took out my camera. like taking random pictures of yr hometown or something. so i don’t have any of guadalajara. just a few of the house where i stayed and some a few of the neighborhood. i do regret that i didn’t take more. oh well.
this first one is in the common area just off of my bedroom which is the door to the right. to the left is the door to the bathroom. there’s an open air skylight above.
this one is taken from my bedroom.
this one is looking north from the main balcony out front.
more from the front balcony. a woman sold fresh carrot juice at the house at the far left of the frame where that dark doorway is. she had a juicer and would juice the carrots and pour it in a bag, put a straw in there and twist the bag shut with the straw sticking out. yay for morning!
this is looking in at my bedroom. there it is. or was.