Wednesday, December 8, 2004

There's a show I'm supposed to play and I don't want to play it.

I'm at my parents' house, which is gutted because they're selling it, and I find that there are many large rooms that I've never been in, rooms that are hidden behind other rooms-- for instance, a shower that could fit 5-6 people comfortably and has a small one-way window looking out into the bathroom I remember as a child. One of the hidden rooms still has a rug and a television in it even though the rest of the house has been cleared of all furniture.

Monday, December 6, 2004

I'm at a hip record store with a list of LPs to buy. They don't have any Kate Bush records, which bums me out. They have a Bowie record called ENTER SANDMAN but it's just a 5-part goblin play that I already have a record of under a different name.

The new Kid606 record is there but the tax on it is really high. I know I should save my money and just ask Miguel to send me a copy in the mail. They also do have the new The Blow remix of Mogwai, which I am curious to hear. The art on that one looks a lot like the ATTITUDE 12".

Later I'm going to Sunday school. I have to walk there, it's in a schoolroom tucked away in the wings of a huge, ornate cathedral. I'm walking with a younger boy and trying to explain to him that he needs to learn about existentialism so he can catch up and appreciate Sunday school from the other side, post-rebellion against church. I can't believe he's never heard of existentialism, and I feel like a tool using that word out loud to him over and over again.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

I keep trying to go into this house, but a guy with greasy dark hair and a crappy trenchcoat keeps moving me out of it with his mind. A friend of mine calls the house over and over on the phone. One time they accidentally answer it, "411 Miniatures?" We open the phone book and find out there's a comic book store called 411 Miniatures run by two guys, one of whom was in that house and the other one, we assume, is the guy moving me with his mind.

But it turns out that the guy who was moving me is the BROTHER of the guy listed in the ad as the other owner. "Where is he?!" we yell after walking into his house. With this knowledge, he can't keep me out. He tells us to find his mother. "Oh, so your brother is with your mom, huh!"

We go find the mom. Sometimes the other brother, who we cannot see, he controls the mother's voice and body. She doesn't seem to be able to stop him from doing it. We tear off her shirt and there is an ear on either side of mom's ribcage. There's two eyes under her breasts and a nose. There's a shallow mouth where her bellybutton should be. It was the other brother.

In the end we didn't know if the brother was controlling the mother or if she was faking and maybe controlling him. Maybe it was all some kind of weird trick.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Roby and I are at some beach, and I am a little confused and annoyed because we are paying for this 50-some year-old black man in a suit to come to the beach and join us. Roby thinks she wants to marry him.

I think about it a lot before making my argument. I think I have a good one.

"But our wedding was so insane and spectacular! Now you're just gonna marry this old dude on a beach? That's lame. You can't follow up our wedding with this, it's disappointing."

Roby is too excited about her idea of marrying this old guy to really consider my argument. She's all smiles.

I go in to some bathroom and start yelling at some guy that's in there.

"Who are you!? Tell me who you are!" I yell. The guy has glasses and long, dirty black hair and a stupid beard.

When I yell at him, he seems amused. He's smiling, I think he thinks it's a game. "I dunno, who am I?" he says, grinning.

"Who are you?" I yell. "I know why you're here!"

Monday, October 18, 2004

I’m in some unfamiliar town—maybe it’s in Florida, or Virginia, and I’m staying at my friend’s parents’ house in the suburbs. It’s a great house and his parents cook great food. It’s summer outside, too, and I’m on tour, although it would appear that I have a day off to visit my friend (who is on tour with me)’s parents. It’s almost 5 PM, though, and I tell my friend that in order to get to Atlanta before too long, we’re going to have to leave soon. My friend, however, and his parents, insists that I take their family car and go to Atlanta myself. “It is only a five hour drive,” they say. “That’s not so bad to do by yourself.” I am a bit overwhelmed by their generosity. “We will meet you there tomorrow.” I cannot believe they would let me take their car without their son along with me. It keeps getting later and later and I worry that I might not make it to Atlanta before midnight.

When I finally get away from the house and on the road, Roby is with me. She wants to stop for food before we go. I am a little lost in a maze of rural side-streets but I locate an Asian restaurant called Buddha-something that looks like it might have some cute snacks. We park at a parking meter and walk towards the restaurant. We see a tall Asian guy in a yellow sweatsuit taking out the garbage. For some reason, he kicks this white business guy in the head two times, then in the ribs. The kick to the ribs seems to really devastate the business guy and he doubles over howling terribly. The dude in the yellow sweatsuit resumes taking out the trash. The kicking man and his kicking seem to arouse a feeling of déjà vu in me.

We go into the restaurant and a young Asian girl behind the counter politely informs us that they don’t seat people or server food for another fifteen minutes. I am in a hurry to get on the highway and I tell Roby that I am not comfortable with waiting fifteen minutes, and then spending more time here sitting down to eat—I think we should get on the road and stop for food later. She is disappointed. I offer that we could get some drinks to go and take them with us. By now, however, a bunch of other people have come in and are standing in line. We get in line, too. A man two or three places ahead of us in line receives the same kicks from the yellow sweatsuit-guy—we think he might have been rude to the girl.

When it comes our time to order, Roby goes to the bathroom and I lean over the counter to tell the girl I want two bubble teas. “We don’t have bubble tea,” she says. I point to the chalkboard behind her, which lists “Bubblesa” as one of the kinds of tea they have. She tries to explain to me that means “iced tea” and not the kind of “bubble tea” that I want. I make a very clever remark that I can no longer remember, and she becomes incensed and tells me that all I am good at is criticizing her and her brother. I can see that she is livid and I walk from the counter and grab Roby, who is just emerging from the bathroom. I take her outside and we go towards the car, which is initially a little hard to locate. We start running toward the car, thinking of the kicks.

When I’m almost to Atlanta, it’s a bright summer day outside and I’m inside a new rental car with Roby and my male friend and maybe one other person. We’re zipping down the highway and my friend is at the wheel. We turn off to use a left-side exit and find ourselves driving around a long, curving exit-ramp. I turn to Roby and say, “Did you see a car just coming the wrong direction towards us?” My male friend nonchalantly requests that I take the wheel from the back seat while he retrieves a CD from the console between the front two seats. He shifts his body around while he digs around in the console and it makes it quite hard for me to see the cars on the road from my awkward position. “I think all the cars are going the wrong direction!” Roby says, although she is not panicked. Cars start honking at me. I am confused because there are no wrong-way signs and I did not see or do anything which would make me think that I am the one going the wrong way. I try to pull some fancy maneuvers to get around the oncoming cars and nearly succeed, but just before I am able to reach the right-hand shoulder, a white sedan pops out from behind the cars in front of me and hits our car head-on. It doesn’t even dent our fender, but we watch this white car and it’s sole occupant bounce backwards into the grassy hill beyond the shoulder and come crashing down, which shatters the windshield. Everyone in my car falls silent. I am worried that maybe I killed somebody and will have to go to jail, but I am also wondering if I will escape all culpability because we’re paying an extra eleven dollars a day to the rental car company for the optional Loss-Damage Waiver.

So we’re in Atlanta, at some kind of weird coffee shop show space, sitting on a bed with a canopy that is against a wall and has a nearly see-through piece of fabric that hangs down from the canopy, like a privacy drape. I’m there with Roby, she is sad about the car accident. I tell her that it’s OK, she and the others should keep going with the tour, I would stay in Atlanta until things were sorted out. There is a movie being projected on a screen just outside the little drape, and I am trying to talk to Roby and also pull the drape back in order to see the movie. It’s a weird animation about a guy who tries to do a puppet show for some people but they keep stopping him from doing it and making him leave. I say to Roby, “Hey, watch this movie, it’s got puppets in it!” but she doesn’t seem to care much. I terminate the conversation and devote all my attention to trying to figure out the movie but I’ve missed too much and am frequently interrupted by people at this coffee shop.

I ask my uncle Mike if I can have another one of the pages of the paper, because the movie has become a comic and I am on a couch in my parents’ living room with my uncle Mike. Between us are a bunch of newspaper pages with the various parts of this story in it. It is a weird and sad story. My uncle starts telling me that it has many allusions to other movies, and I tell him I figured as much but am not very familiar with the films being alluded to. He begins to list them. The one which is of most interest to me is a movie from the 80s about a depressed artist who believes that he is supposed to do something great and important but who cannot find any support or interest in his artistic endeavors, and sinks deeper and deeper into depression with each successive failure. At the end of the movie, the artist is masturbating and his ejaculation becomes the San Francisco Bay. Most likely there is some sci-fi element involved--- my uncle does not explain how his ejaculation becomes the San Francisco Bay -- but the movie sounds really good and I make a mental note to rent it.

I grab the most recent newspaper in a final effort to understand this animated story but it has no pictures at all, just writing by the story’s eccentric author. I don’t feel like reading the writing. I look up at the TV and a tiny little ghoulish green face, covered with slime, is being cradled by a man’s hands. The little ghoul is whining, and soon his whines become coherent: “Blood! Blood” The little ghoul crawls along the man’s palm to the base of his thumb, where there is a pink tattoo of some weird geometric design. The ghoul-baby bites his skin and gets blood all over its face, then turns on its back and rubs the blood all over its face and body with tiny gross hands, crying happily, “Blood! Blood!” I turn to my dad, who is sitting on the fireplace hearth, and ask him if this is the movie called “Ghoulies.” My dad replies that it probably is. Then I look back into my own hands where I am holding a scaly, black purse with a couple of these ghoul-babies in it. I close it up and throw it on the floor. “We should probably burn this in a fire, right?” I say, rather calmly. Realizing that the babies might crawl out, I grab a poker from the fireplace and push down on the opening of the evil, scaly purse, to keep anything from pushing its way out.

Friday, August 20, 2004

I'm in a school that is kind of like a mall crossed with a small stadium. I'm in a classroom that's up on a mezzanine level, looking out onto a courtyard that resembles a football field. There are lots of classrooms facing into this courtyard. To the left and right above us is a balcony on which these dudes are shooting tear gas grenades into the various classrooms. Some kind of siege is going on. Most of the other kids in the classroom I'm in are hiding behind desks. When tear gas grenades start coming in through the windows, I try to get people to run to the other side of the room so they're not in the blast. I whack one of the grenades back out the window with a chair, after it lands right near me. Then I go to the back of the classroom where there's a rack of shoulder-mounted rocket parts. I put a rocket into a launcher and creep along the wall so I can pop my head around the corner and put a rocket up on the balcony. I do it successfully, but the rocket doesn't explode right away, it just sits between two girls who are each holding small grenade launchers. One of them freaks because of the rocket and I watch her fall off the balcony to the courtyard below. It's grisly and I feel bad about it, but I have to look away quickly because they balcony dudes open fire in my direction. I sneak out of the classroom into this mall-esque setup and see a rack of shitty old rifles behind the glass wall of a different, empty classroom. I smash the glass with the butt of my rocket launcher and take a few rifles and give them to the cowering kids in the classroom, then look back out into the courtyard warzone where these two hipster kids that are on my side have busted out right into the courtyard, which I think means that we've "taken" it. The dudes on the balcony are outgunned and give up.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I'm in a huge crowd of people when I notice a guy and a girl (the guy about a foot taller than the girl?) with pieces of red fabric braided into a single braid on the side of both of their heads. I don't know how old they are but they make me feel young. I do not recognize them and I don't think they see me. "Hey!" I think, "Somebody else has a red piece of fabric braided into their hair? I thought that was my thing..."

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I'm in this back yard that is full of people, most of whom I don't know. There's a man that has it in for me --like, I think maybe he wants me dead-- and he can turn into a hamster or rat. He is currently in rodent form in a fishtank that is on a pedestal in the middle of a fenced-off portion of the yard. The fenced-off part is overgrown with tons of weeds and tall grass and branches on the ground. I am talking to the rodent-man quietly, and he says something that makes me think he's going to get me real soon. I start screaming at him, causing a scene, because everybody thinks I'm just yelling at a hamster in a tank-- a hamster that a lot of people have been going up to and checking out because it's kind of a cute thing to have in the yard. The hamster gets out of the tank and runs away really fast, hopping a little bit. I run after it and do a really good job of not losing him, but I can't get quite close enough to grab him. People think I'm crazy, I guess, as I chase after this little hamster that is really a man. After a couple moments of following this guy and trying to grab him, I realize I'm no longer chasing a hamster but a tiny cheetah cub that must have been living in the overgrowth and frightened by my mad scramble to get the mouse-guy. I decide that the mouse-guy won't be a problem for now because there's so many people paying attention and I think that if I can catch the little cute cheetah cub, who is soft yellow like a chick with some thin white and black tiger stripes (no cheetah spots) that they will not think I'm crazy or at least forget about it while they pet the cheetah baby.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

We're playing a show at some college. Roby has a friend here so she's off hanging out with her friend while Cale and Make Believe and I set up our gear on this little stage at a coffeehouse. The stage has that grey carpet that's like a bunch of hard little nubs, like the kind they sometimes have at kindegartens. We play and there's no breaks in between any of our songs. Then Make Believe plays and then we go outside for a while and see Roby sitting on the curb and then, like 20 or 30 minutes later, we all come back into the coffee shop to do one last song. All my gear is packed up in its box and I think, "Should I take it all out again or maybe just one or two pieces and play on this song like that?"

Thursday, August 5, 2004

I'm going to work for some family that knows my family. I've never met them but they're upper middle-class heads and they're nice. They have a huge house with nice carpets and furniture and knick knacks and those glossy mahogany coffee tables. There's about 500 people walking around their house and walking up the street to some kind of Christmas pagent. I walk there, too, and I walk back. I'm by myself.

Monday, July 26, 2004

I'm at a family gathering at a large resort. I guess it's a resort, it's not very nice. It's kind of like a sprawling farm with lots of places for visitors to stay. There are a lot of family members here that I've never actually met. I am not thrilled about being here, but there's a girl I like around and I'm trying to spend as much time in the same rooms as her as possible. It's not totally working out as well as I'd like, though.

I walk outside and it's dark and there's some art outside. There's some straw on the ground, too. It might rain soon, or maybe it already rained. One of the pieces of art is an old-looking wooden shed, made of thick, dark wooden boards with black cast-iron hinges and little doors like you'd see on an antique stove. It doesn't have a big door, but the front wall is set back a little bit so that the roof hangs over, and you can stand under the little bit of roof and look at the hinges and doors and at a TV screen that is set into the wood. On the screen is footage of you, looking directly into the camera which must somehow be inside the screen. The footage is time-delayed, though, so when you make a face or thrust your hands toward the camera, you don't see it actually happen for a few moments, followed by all the confused expressions you made after the screen didn't show you your thrusting hands or goofy face. Every once in a while the little doors open and instead of coo-coo birds coming out it's a wobbly head, your head. I see my own blue-ish head wobbling out of one of the doors and I think, "Wow, I wonder how this art knows how to take my head off of my shoulders and the things behind me in the camera!"

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I’m standing on what feels like a boat. I think it’s just the street, though. But it drops off sharply on either side. It’s like a street made of a bunch of concrete boats chained together. There’s some other kids on the “boat” that I’m on. There’s a multi-level blimp up in the air above us, and we’re near an airport, because planes keep showing up really close to our heads, flying over and down the direction of the street. They’re these new kind of planes, one guy is explaining how they’re the newest kind and they have four of some specific new engine part instead of having just one like the old ones did. They have a special new name, too, and they look a little bit futuristic and cool. One kid is flipping out about how close the planes are, he thinks he’ll be able to touch one, they’re that close. I’m standing near the edge of the street, facing away from the drop-off, and I watch one plane get way too close to this delighted kid, then soar up drunkenly and almost hit the blimp. It dawdles in the air for a while before it falls to the ground near our part of the street. We’re safe from the explosion and I’m actually quite excited about having been able to watch the whole crash and see it coming. We can’t see the wrecked plane, though, which bums me out a little, but we’re just too high up and since the street drops off so sharply, we can’t get a vantage point of the actual wreckage.

I have to fight somebody later and I throw them to the ground by pushing on their shoulders. I am a lot better at fighting then I thought and it makes me feel strong and powerful. “I am a tall guy,” I think, “Of course nobody should want to fuck with me!”

Saturday, July 17, 2004

There’s a school but it’s secretly being used as a jail and I am the newest member of a syndicate that is going to free the prisoners. We stage a bloody coup and I get to use a big gun to shoot down security guards, who come in waves and waves. We have smoke bombs, too, and in the smoke I run to the room where the prisoners are sitting in their orange jumpsuits. I blow open the lock with my gun and run into the room followed by two other members of my group. I am really excited and I shout, “Guess who’s free, motherfuckers?” and notice that some of the prisoners look confused, like I might be there to shoot them. They’re tough-looking guys—long, dirty hair and tattoos, real generic prisoner-types. I tell them that our “headquarters” is a classroom on the same level and that anyone who wants to help fight can go there to get a weapon, but anyone who wants to just leave should follow me down the escape chute. We find it quickly—it’s dark, a cross between a laundry chute and a waterslide. I get in even though I’m really scared about what might happen if the school’s security forces have located the exit of the chute and are guarding it—what if there are dead bodies blocking the bottom of the tube and we get stuck in that tiny space? It’s really, really long and I have lots of time to think about it as I fall face-first down the cramped hole.

There’s a soccer game later and some of the prisoners and some of the guards are playing. I am full of energy and run all over the field. I am not really good but I hustle hard and get in the way of the other team’s players.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Somebody shoots somebody else and I am very upset. I don’t actually talk to the shooter but I talk to somebody else about how wrong it is for him to be actually shooting off a gun. I’m sorta dealing with it as if this guy had just gone to a party and broken a lamp or TV set and left or something. I’m upset, but not in the right way.

Monday, July 12, 2004

I’m at school, in a math class that I have been skipping for the past few months. My speech teacher, Mrs. Whatever-her-name-is-with-the-white-hair comes in to get something. She doesn’t say anything to me, or really even look at me, which bums me out because I have been skipping her class for at least two or three months now, too, and I have no intention of going back there. I wonder in my head how I’m able to pull this off, to skip these classes all the time and not get totally fucked up for it.

There’s a show, though, that I have to play. The sound-girl is wearing a white shirt and she has long, dark hair and glasses and she’s overweight. Another guy is playing keyboard and laptop for me (not Cale, though—this is some jocko dude) and I’m playing laptop and we’re supposed to do a total Stars of the Lid ripoff set. I don’t know what the venue is but it looks like a slightly smaller version of the room 606 & I played at ATP. There’s not that many kids in the room because we’re the opening band. The sound in the monitors keeps getting quieter and quieter and I try to compensate by turning things up on my mixer but it doesn’t seem to help. We’re sorta line-checking but all these kids start standing around looking at us and things are running late so we just kinda keep going and just figure we’re doing our set now. Which is a terrible idea, especially since we’re doing Stars of the Lid ripoff material. At some point during this first song, I walk out into the audience and hear that the music in the house is really, really quiet. The sound girl keeps getting up and leaving the desk and I keep asking her to turn up the sound, but every time she does it gradually gets quieter and quieter again in the monitors. I don’t remember how the show ends, but it does.

A little later, I get into an altercation of some sort with a trio of boho-hip-hop-at-the-height-of-boho-hip-hop looking folks—two dudes and a chick. One of the dudes has a kind of thugged-out do rag on, though. The chick looks just like an angrier Lauryn Hill. I don’t remember what the altercation was about, though. I deftly avoid getting my ass kicked by do-rag.

I have to go to a banquet, though. I don’t know if it’s a banquet about my dad, but he’s got something to do with it and that’s why I’m there. My sister and mom are there, too. There’s a lot of fancy-looking people seated on one side of a long banquet table with a white tablecloth-- so many that I can’t see t hem all. Most of them look old and rich, though. We eat good food and I act quiet and a little aloof, like I would at any type of event like this, family-related function. Then these stewardess/waiter-type people start pushing carts down on the other side of the banquet table, handing out these prizes or gifts to most of the people at the table. My sister gets some kind of weird toy bunny that’s still in the packaging. My dad gets some kind of really specific computer or printer adapter that I look at and wonder why this company or hospital or college or whatever organization is in charge of this gathering, why would they get something so weirdly specific? Like, it’s an adapter for a very specific type of printer. Most of these gifts are like this—consumer electronics seemingly randomly grabbed off the rack at Circuit City. A photographer is following behind the two or three cart-pushing waitress/steward gift-distributors, taking pictures of some people happily holding their prizes. He stops and tries to take a picture of my sister smiling with her eyes squinted shut holding this bunny in front of her face, but this older, white trash woman waddles behind her holding some giant stuffed animal—some grey Pokemon-looking thing. She’s trying to get in the picture and the photographer is holding off on taking it because he doesn’t want her in it, but she seems to be pretty oblivious to this. An old lady is washing her hands at a sink behind me and saying something about it, making disparaging remarks about my father. He is being himself, friendly and laughing, and I don’t understand why he doesn’t do something about this bitchy old woman. The old woman is wearing a pink old-lady suit, and muttering about my dad. I get really pissed. Then I hear the people to my right talking shit about my dad, too. I turn and realize that sitting one person away from me is the boho-hip-hop trio. I look at them for a second then put both of my middle fingers in their faces and say, “Fuck you, you shit-talkers. You don’t know my dad.” They get livid and insinuate that violence might happen but they get up and leave without doing anything.

I get up and run to the end of the banquet table, where there are stairs going down. There’s 3 railings in the stairway, and I hop on top of them and slide down the railings on my feet, sometimes having to jump to avoid breaks in the railings or switch my feet between different banisters. It’s a long, long stairway and people are going up and down it but I avoid them easily. I’m sliding down the rail so fast. There’s windows above my head and sunlight coming down on me. When I finally get to the bottom, I’m back in school and I run right towards this red school-door that’s in front of me. I push it open and there’s a little tiny paved path for janitorial vehicles that’s going across the side of the school, and then a grassy hill that’s really steep, then the curb and a real road. A black limo –a classy one, like a Rolls Royce, if they make limos—is sitting at the curb. The door opens from the inside. My dad is the one opening it. He tells me to get in, that we’ve got to get to the airport and get on our flight to go home. I get in.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

I’m sitting at a table in a really weird, plush restaurant that’s not too busy, and at the table with me is the GZA. He’s smiling. I ask him when he and RZA are gonna get a television show, and how I think it would be amazing if they did. He laughs and is real polite, all like, “Oh, I don’t know about that…” I have to get up and go to the bathroom, so I do. I walk to this bathroom that looks like the bathroom of a rich person’s house. It’s really narrow and there’s a candelabra of black wrought-iron in front of me, jutting out and I feel like it’s really in the way. There’s music coming in through speakers in the ceiling, very triumphant-sounding, glorious, airy music. It’s pretty loud for bathroom music.

I walk out and I’m in the lobby of my elementary school, Carroll Manor Elementary. There’s tons of people here. I go out on the front steps and there’s tons of people on the steps. I run into someone I know and tell them I’ll be right back to chat. I go to the parking lot and get into a car with my ex-girlfriend Katie (I think.) We’ve got to get to Dulaney High School. She’s driving this little silver speedy car, a really nice one, and she’s driving too fast. We pull up over the curb and start driving on the grass to avoid the traffic in the high school parking lot and then we see like four or five cops. They stop us and tell us to get out of the car. Sensing that they’re going to frisk us, I take the little green change-purse-esque zipper bag that I keep my drugs and drug paraphernalia in and put my phone over top of it in one hand, then pull them both out of my pocket, using as much of my hand as possible to cover the bottom of my “works kit” so it looks like I’m just holding my phone, and I throw it in Roby’s spare shoulder bag, the one with lots of cat hair and the patch of a bunch of mountains on it, which I have in the car with me because I’ve been borrowing it from her the last 3 weeks. The cop who is standing behind me goes through my pockets and then reaches in the bag and takes out my little green pouch. They don’t even say anything, I just know that I’m now busted for drugs which is a big deal. I’m really stressed about it but they basically let me leave and go to school.

I walk through the hallways and tell somebody about how I’m busted for drugs now but instead of going to class a bunch of us go outside and stand on the ridge of a mountain. There is harp music coming out of the sky, like it’s being piped in. I think it sounds beautiful and we climb the grassy mountain, looking out at an amazing scene with clouds and mountains and green valleys. I turn to Cale and start laughing about how perfect the harp music that’s coming out of the sky is, and he laughs, too, and agrees. Soon other kids we’re with are all laughing and climbing up the mountain. The harp music is really, really loud.

Thursday, July 8, 2004

Tim Kinsella puts on a parachute and jumps out of the plane we’re in. It’s not a passenger jet, it’s kind of like a more realistic version of the X-Men’s plane or something. So now it’s just Cale and me in the plane, and we’re flying pretty close to this river that runs through the middle of this sprawling amusement park, like Disneyland, with Houses of Blues and other theme-park shopping and theme restaurants around—mostly shit like that, with some rides. The place is awesome—really clean, really shiny, very impressive. But the plane is going really fast and getting really close to the water and I tell Cale that I don’t know what to do, so he should just get out of the plane and I’ll take the blame for crashing it here. It hits the water and it doesn’t explode, it just spins and flips and maybe a wing breaks off, as if it were a plastic toy that was tossed along the surface of a lake. We get really wet but we’re OK, we swim to shore, where there’s a Planet Hollywood or Planet Hollywood-esque restaurant that some meathead bouncers are guarding, velvet rope and line of high-maintenance bitches and all that. We know that the bouncers are reporting us to the park security on their headsets. I tell Cale to take off but I stick around hoping that they’ll show up and I can take the rap. I’m really sure that nothing bad is going to happen to me. When the security doesn’t show up soon I get lonely and decide to go find Cale and Tim, and I sneak off while the bouncers are talking to some girls in strappy heels.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

There’s this huge, end-of-the-year thing going on for school, involving a giant bicycle race through a huge, weird cavern. The bikes are special bikes that send information to a Nintendo of some kind, so while you physically bike around, other kids are watching a TV screen with a video game on it, and their friends who are on bikes are in the video game. I am in the race and I am doing OK, even though there are certain parts where it is almost impossible to pedal because the incline becomes really suddenly steep. Also, there are big crowds of students doing other things that you have to bike through, which is dangerous. It’s a really long race, it’s taking over an hour even though the area for each lap isn’t all that huge. On my 3rd lap, I feel somebody’s hand on my back, pulling at my shirt. I protest, but the smiling student to whom the hand belongs informs me that stuff like that is totally OK since it’s a video game. “Alright,” I say, “Then you’re gonna see some real Road Rash shit now!” I push a different kid over with one hand as I pass him, his bike and everything falling right over, and I can tell it hurts even though this “is a video game.” I decide to try and just win on speed.

I notice a huge screen above me that has peoples’ high scores from earlier games at this end-of-the-year party. “MC Lickatung” has all the high scores for a sit-down Mario Kart tournament. “MC Lickatung” is the Instant Messenger name my friend Elizabeth used to use, and I haven’t seen her in a while, so I’m determined to find her. I don’t know where to start looking, but I see this kid Greg that she used to like, and I wonder what he’s doing here.

The race ends abruptly. I go to my locker but I can’t remember the number, just the combination. When I find out which one is mine (with some help from this big jock named Ramas) I forget the combination. I try a few things and luckily my third try is correct. The locker is empty, though. I pick up my backpack and start running for the front of the school. I know that something changed and my bus used to be one of the last to leave, but recently it’s always been one of the first and I have missed it every time. As I’m running, I bump into my friend Jake’s mom who offers me a ride home. I tell her I really want to try and make the bus but I end up talking to her for too long and once I finally make it outside to the front of the school, my bus is gone, I can just tell. I take out my cell phone and call Jake’s mom to see if she’s left yet. She hasn’t. I get in her car and find out that we are on our way to Ocean City and that my sister is going to be there.

Sunday, July 4, 2004

I'm in this video store, it has no windows. And bins of used VHS tapes, rows of bins, and then shelves on the wall and even on the triangular ceiling. So video tapes are right next to your head at all times, old video tapes. There's 2 levels, too. And it's cramped and dark, with tons of videos. I'm here with my dad because we're going to see John Sales do stand-up comedy. I went to middle school and high school with him and in middle school he was like the biggest cut-up. Class clown on a steroid. And now he's doing stand-up at this video store and I got tickets in advance and there's a lot of people here, and they laugh at all of his jokes. They really like him. I'm psyched for the guy. But for some reason I leave out of this back door, a door customers aren't supposed to use in the bottom floor.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

I'm riding my bike down Damen Avenue, past the Kedzie Industrial Corridor or whatever it is called (this is in the city of Chicago) and down by the United Center. There's not a whole lot of stuff along the right side of the road (if you're heading south) on that stretch of Damen and the sun has just gone down and it's just gotten dark, and as I am passing this empty parking lot to the right, an old blue pickup truck pulls up like it's going to come right out onto the road, so I slow my bike up a little just in case the dude doesn't see me/doesn't care. As I get closer, I see that the dude does see me, and he's an old black man with a grey beard. Then I notice that there's a yellow rope tied between two poles blocking off the exit that this truck is aimed at, and I figure that the guy has slowed up not so much because of the white kid dressed like a little boy who is coming down the street on his bike, but because he noticed the yellow rope, too. But I am wrong. After I pass him, he drives out onto the street, and I look back over my shoulder and watch the yellow rope snap SPI-GANG! He pulls out fast and then rides pretty slowly in the far left lane, never passing me, a guy that's just on a bike, all the way to Roosevelt.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I call this girl and apologize for not having returned her call before.

It's the morning and I just woke up. I ask this different girl, one that I woke up beside, if I should wear flip-flops for the second day in a row. She says that she really wants me to wear them today.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

I'm supposed to play two shows in a row in this shitty dive bar. The ceiling is really low. I'm first of three, opening for some band that I really admire. A lot. And that I'm kind of friends with (it's not anybody I've actually toured with before, though, I don't think.) The first night, for some reason, I start abusing the crowd, calling them names and making fun of them, and after three songs I'm taken off the stage by the guy who runs the club and told I can't play there the next night. Some other stuff happens, I guess, then the next night I come back and my friend Height has been tapped to replace me. I feel kind of bummed that he didn't tell me that they asked him to replace me, then when I watch his set he starts totally ripping into me, on the mic, during the songs, pointing at me and totally dissing the shit out of me. After like 3 instances of this, I walk out, while he continues to berate me.

The club is next to a lot of abandoned cars, refrigerators, rusty construction equipment, and a small crashed plane. I walk across this gravel lot and go into the woods. Back deep in the woods I become a part of this group of kids that is in possession of a totally bloody, ripped up rabbit. It belongs to some little girl whose house we are next to. We have to get into the house to steal something, but if anybody sees us we will be killed. It's just this nice, suburban-family house in the woods, but apparently there are multiple dudes on watch for us. Luckily, we have this trick that we can do (there are maybe 8 of us, and we're all pretty young)--- we can fold ourselves up into our hair. Like, my whole body fits underneath of my hair, and then my hair gets greyer and thicker, and looks like some kind of head-less vague animal quivering on the dead-leafs-and-sticks-ridden ground. We have to hum while we do it, though, because apparently this makes us seem more like furry animals and less suspicious. We do it once when we see some dudes, then I pop up and go into the house. It's just a regular, suburban-family house with nice mahogany tables with knick-knacks on them, but it scares me. I know that somewhere in the house is the little girl whose destroyed rabbit we have (real rabbit, like a pet, not a toy) and if she sees me I am very afraid of what she might do.

Friday, June 25, 2004

I'm trying to slap this girl that I know on her stomach but she's not letting me. I'm really mad at her. She keeps pushing my hands away, and I see that she's knotted her shirt so it stays up about halfway up her stomach. I can't get the knot out, and in the midst of my anger I start wondering why she would wear her shirt this way---- it's not like her at all.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

This guy shows me this art book. It's high-quality --- looks like a bunch of ads from Vice Magazine or some fashion douche rag like that. He says that every girl on these pages is a girl he dated and then decapitated. I tell him that that's gross and that I don't believe it. He tells me that no one believes him either, that's why he gets away with it, and every expensive-looking book he publishes like this gets him completely out of the woods in the investigation of the girls within's' missing-person/homicide cases. I'm not sure if I believe him but I don't want to talk to him anymore.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

There's this old teacher with a beard and glasses and a plaid button-down shirt, and I'm in an empty department store after-hours where he's got his desk with all his papers and stuff and empty coffee cups strewn about right in the middle of the store, mixed in with the displays. So there's beds around and chairs and stuff that's for sale, and a bunch of desks, and this one desk has all his stuff on it. I'm really winded, and I sit down at his desk and start poking around the papers. This teacher is walking around, maybe getting more coffee?

Before I know it, there's a drumset in front of me, and I'm holding drum sticks. Ryan Shelkett is playing a guitar and this young version of that same teacher (who I've never actually seen before) has an electric bass slung around his shoulders and he's holding a microphone and making up lyrics to this thing tune that we're improvising. There's no stage, it's like an old gymnasium with wooden floors, and just a little bit of light from a single lamp that allows me to see Ryan and the bassist. I know there's an audience in the shadows but I decide not to look at them-- I'd rather not know how many people are there. I play some dumb stuff on the drums before the bassist/teacher asks me to switch with him. He's not feeling the stuff that he's singing and wants to hear me improvise some words. I take a long time getting up from the drum stool before I pass him the drumsticks and grab the mic.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

After a school assembly lets out, I find a friend of mine standing still in the hallway, facing me. She obviously did not go to the assembly like everybody else. She says, "I think we should do it."

"Do what?" I ask, feigning complete ignorance/innocence. I don't think we should do it, but I am afraid to tell her this.

She takes my hand and leads me through a series of small-ish box-shaped rooms that have some futuristic-looking furniture in them, but easily ignorable furniture. The walls are grey and probably made of metal. The ceilings are maybe 14 feet high. Each room looks basically like all the others.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

I’m at a party, it’s really late, and I don’t actually think I drink anything, or see myself drinking anything, but I’m completely wasted. It’s really late. The people at this house party are all strangers to me, and I feel outside of all of them, alien—alien enough that they don’t think anything about me, they just look, don’t have an immediate instinct as to where to put it, then they move on, it gets no more thought. For some reason, though, I am here and I am trying to go to sleep. There aren’t many people and most of them seem to be trying to go to sleep, too, everyone sleeping on beds in different rooms and all of us lying down in our clothes. I lie down with this girl but I can’t fall asleep, so I go into the hallway and lean against her sister. Her sister is a little younger. I wonder if anyone thinks it is sketchy that I was in bed with the first girl and then leaning on her sister, I wonder if anybody thought that “something happened” in the bed. I am pretty sure nothing happened but I begin to doubt myself. Nobody talks to me but nobody seems weirded out that I’m there—like I said, there’s no reason to think about it, everyone has plenty of other things to occupy their brain. Somebody decides that we should all go to the movies.

It’s a really fancy theater lobby. I’m still wasted. I approach the concession stand and space out looking at the menu, which I cannot read, and space out when the overweight girl working the register asks me for what I want. The person in line in front of me, who is waiting to receive the food she has ordered and paid for, says something about my spacing out but I don’t catch the gist of it—whether it was a little harsh or light-hearted, I don’t know, and I find myself talking in that voice I usually use when I’m around a lot of people I don’t know and trying to act totally unafraid—a little extra-friendly, wordy version of my best impression of Richie Molyneux’s party-speech. As I start talking, I find I can’t really maintain my balance, and as I start tilting forward, I lose control of my mouth and all these words keep coming out of me, ending with, “There’s not a problem, is there? Everything’s cool, right?” in a tone that is way more confrontational than I want. Internally, I panic—I am not used to losing control of my mouth like that. The girl behind the counter couldn’t care less, though, and my panic, at least for the moment, seems unnecessary. I try to order some food by basically guessing and agreeing with the girl behind the counter, but I don’t pay any attention to the exchange because I’m too busy in my own head trying to figure out why my brain is unable to do multiple things at once anymore.

I think I order a small bag of popcorn and some kind of orange drink. I move to the left to wait for these things. There is a guy on a barstool sitting with a drink at that end of the concession counter, I didn’t notice him before. I start talking to him but I have no control over what I’m saying. I start rambling on and on in a drunk-guy-on-the-train type of way and I am sure that I have never been this guy before. All the kids from the party who I came with are out of the lobby now, either in one of the theaters or gone. I can’t stop the words that are coming out to this guy who clearly doesn’t care. I can tell he’s getting annoyed. My words and voice make me sound completely oblivious to the fact that he’s annoyed but inside my head, I know exactly what is going on. I don’t understand why it is going on. I feel tired and wish I hadn’t come to the movies, wishing I was in a bed somewhere.

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

I'm in a turret on the top of a small submarine. A famous record producer is piloting the submarine, in a glass-enclosure that is half-exposed on the top of sub, like a bubble. He is talking to me and showing me how great the submarine is, and I am excited. He's bald, too. The submarine starts submerging but my turret doesn't work right-- it's supposed to suck me down into the sub but only my waist and down goes in. Water is around my arms. The producer seems a little frustrated, he doesn't know why it's not working right.

Later, there's a house full of people. I've never been here but it's cool, it's a great, spacious places. Lots of rooms. Very wide floors. Everybody here is a college student or a guy in a touring band. I see a bunch of dudes walking up the short little grass hill that's between the sidewalk and the front door, and I get scared. But they're just more band dudes. They're really nice, actually. I fly around the house, gliding slowly in a lying-down position, but I don't talk to anybody much.

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Basically just one specific anxiety I have been having the past 2-3 days played out with slightly different actors in a very realistic way, although I guess there was some Hollywood-style time-compression on the narrative. I can't remember the exact story or the new names that people had, but I'm pretty sure it involved being on tour this summer. I have this image stuck in my head of a girl with straight brown hair and tinted aviator sunglasses, really fashionable sunglasses, and she's got a tank top on. I don't know who she is or what she was doing but she was, I think, a big part of this dream. Did she have a tattoo? Nothing is clear--- maybe she didn't.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

I have a jacket, a sport coat, and a bag with a camera in it. I'm at a school but it's night-time, it's some kind of extra-curricular workshop or activity or something. I also have a bright red scarf that I can wrap around my face quite quickly, and a samurai sword in a slender black sheath. A woman in her 50s is leading a group of kids in some kind of game like that one where you walk around and shake peoples' hands and one person is designated as an "assassain" or something, and while shaking that person uses his index finger to covertly stroke the inside of the palm of the person whose hand he is shaking. Except in this version I actually get to brandish this sword. I don't remember exactly how it works, but I was really good at it. I needed to put my jacket and coat and camera bag somewhere, though, so the teacher explained how to open any of the lockers that are in rows outside of the school. I went out and opened one and it was full of somebody's books, as I expected most of them to be. I went around to the front parking lot and tried some of the lockers there, but they were a different kind of locker that didn't open with the same button-combination as the ones on the side of the school. In the parking lot there are two disembowled campers--- as in, there is the driver's seat and steering wheel and dashboard and windshield and front tires, but everything behind the driver's seat is missing, and the body of the car just lays on the ground. There's two of them like this. I consider putting my stuff in the glove compartment of one of these campers but I don't think it'll be safe, which is when I realize that I can just put these things in my car!

I have apparently driven the Wayback Machine (1996 Ford Taurus Station Wagon that was accidentally destroyed at the end of 2002) here, so I go put the code into the door and throw my coat, jacket, and camera bag on the passenger seat, then lock the car again. When I go back into the school, there are a LOT more kids than there were when I walked out, and the game is underway. I twirl the scarf around my face and take out my sword.

Later, it's daytime and I'm at a school I've never been to before. It's my first day here. It looks like a combination of the little bit I've seen of UMBC's campus and the Carroll-Manor-Elementary-on-a-steroid that I see sometimes in my dreams. After one class, Scott Gould and I go to the bathroom to smoke. He has this tiny, tiny little pipe that is very thin and little and we smoke out of it quickly. We decide to skip class and we walk around the school. After that class, the bell rings and we go up to the top floor of the school and smoke again, missing our next class. I think a younger boy or two has joined us by this time. When the next class begins, our group heads outside and starts smoking again. Scott goes on about how great this pipe is but I feel like I'm not high at all. Outside, we walk up to a group of three younger girls and a boy. Two of the younger girls--- one is white, the other is black---- start giving us some shit, telling us to get away from them. I go and sit on a short cement wall very close to them and ask, "We're friendly people. Why are you guys being unfriendly when you haven't even met us?" One of the girls steps forward and starts talking a lot of shit. I tell her to calm down and ask her where she's from. She says Baltimore city, and I ask what part. I forget what she told me, but I say, "Hey, I lived in Waverly for a while," and this does seem to mean something to her. She sits in between Scott and I and Scott passes her the pipe. She still seems a little on edge but she's much less hostile.

Monday, May 31, 2004

I join this band. Zach Hill has apparently moved to Baltimore and plays drums for these other kids, one of them looks a lot like Steve Malkmus. I'm gonna play guitar in this band. We play a show at a bowling alley/arcade where the celing is really, really low. It's dark inside, smoky-- I think I've seen this exact venue in a different dream, but never in real in life. We're playing this show but I've never rehearsed with them. I'm confident about it anyway. We start playing this song when for some reason everyone else in the band stops and starts playing something doofy-- like "Happy Birthday," but not exactly "Happy Birthday," but like that. I get bummed out. After the show I get on this ride with some girl, a little car that goes really fast down this long lane in the arcade-- really long, way too long to be in a building--- and you hold a little plastic gun and shoot different faces and targets that are against the left wall. When you hit the faces in the right places, little plastic eggs full of candy or toys come out of one of those hen coin-op machines at the end of the lane. The girl and I ---something about her reminds me of Janis from MEAN GIRLS--- grab as many eggs as we can hold in our hands after getting off the ridiculously long ride. I see some of the band kids cleaning up their equipment and decide that I've made up my mind to quit the band.

Somehow, the back patio of my parents' house is right outside of this venue, and all the band kids are sitting there. I tell them I'm not going to play with them anymore, and start walking up towards my parents' garage. One dude, who reminds me of my old friend Kevin, is really nice to me about it, calling out to me, saying something that I don't really acknowledge.

I go back to the front of the venue somehow. I'm standing there, talking with that girl I shot the plastic gun with and her friend. Suddenly I'm aware that Mr. Kachurak, my eleventh-grade Spanish teacher who kind of resembeled The Penguin, is looking for me. I open up the door that I am leaning on, the door to a NYC-style walk-up apartment building, and I duck in the tiny lobby of the building. He starts opening the door so I book up the stairs. The staircase is really narrow and I'm sure there's not going to be another way out up here, and he's not going to just stop pursuing me.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

I'm in high school. This girl Becky who used to live across the street has come back from wherever she went for lots of years and is a new student at the high school I'm going to. She's had a major boob job and collagen in her lips (which are slathered in bright-red lipstick) and her skin is really pale. A lot of people remember her from elementary school when she lived here and went to elementary school with us, but everybody's different now, especially Becky. On her first day back at school there are some problems and she walks out of class, then it is somehow it is decided by a group of young boys who like sports wearing bright orange shirts that I am the best person to talk to Becky and make sure she's OK, help her transition into this high school from wherever she was before.

So I have to go to find her, and me and this group of orange-clad young sports-boys leave the school and walk into the woods. In the woods we find this huge, nice house that has been built into the side of a gigantic tree. There are some suburban families visiting this place-- there are lines to get in. Apparently, there's an eight year-old girl that lives in this house with her parents. The parents are at work now, as they are every weekday, but the girl stays home and conducts tours and shows people the house. The house is tricked out with multiple extravagant and complicated Rube Goldberg inventions that this little girl creates. She demonstrates their use to the suburban families that come and pay to see them. She is very well-spoken for her age--- I don't talk directly to her, but I hear her addressing some touring families. The little orange-clad boys I am with all seem to be very smart, too, although they are indistinguishable from one another. I see Becky in the house, but I am not sure how to get to her from where we are standing, on a platform built on the gigantic tree.

Friday, May 28, 2004

I'm in a house I don't recognize. It's very white inside. I've got to practice with this new band for a show that is very soon-- maybe later today? Something causes everybody to have to leave the room to go into a back room I've never been to-- I think they are changing their clothes or putting something away. My sister is somewhere around here, too. Christy Carlson Romano kisses me on the mouth, to my surprise. We get into a white bed and make out. The door to the room that everyone is in is in the same wall that the headboard touches. They are taking a long time, and Christy and I get undressed and fool around. The door starst to open and she tells me to hide under the sheet. I do, even though I know it's going to be really obvious that a body is under the sheet. She says something to one of these guys that I'm practicing with, it's sorta awkward but nobody makes a big deal. I get up to get this practice stuff underway.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

I wake up in my bunk in my quarters in a large, grey, chunky spaceship. Huge spaceship, shaped kind of like a wedge of cheese crossed with a rock from the quarry. I feel a little hungover, but not from the previous night-- from lots and lots of nights, from a whole era. I am tired as shit, and an old man -- a Pete Postlethwaite-esque guy, real proper and butlery-- politely informs me that I'm needed in the cockpit. I drag myself there with resignation.

There are a handful of other people on the ship and most of them are younger than me. I am not in charge officially, nor am I a part of any military or otherwise organization-- I am merely on the ship, and something about me (have I been on a lot of spaceships?) has the crew here looking to me for leadership. No one goes into light speed without checking with me first, to see if I think we have enough room to make the acceleration without smashing into anything.

I'm not sure if we were trying to get somewhere specific or what. There was a touchscreen I used to help set the course of the ship and it had planets and asteroids on it, some of which were marked with big icons-- a different fancily-dressed woman on each place marked this way.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

I'm playing a video game that requires me to be inside the game. It's an army game, and there's some kind of intrigue going on at an army camp in the Mid East desert. I am sneaking around the tents of the camp trying to avoid the soldiers, especially this one Asian guy with thin wire-framed glasses who maybe is specifically looking for me. I find this girl that I am looking for and we escape into a city that is definitely Baltimore, going to a tall, brick apartment building I have never seen before but that this girl lives in. On one of the balconies that face the street on the building, I see another girl I know wearing some wicked black heels and thigh-highs. This girl goes into her apartment right after I see her but I can't tell if she saw me or not. The girl I found in the army camp is younger than me but she has a really nice apartment. To my surprise, we get to dry-humping.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

There is a college in Baltimore that is based around one huge building on stilts, surrounded by a few smaller, satellite buildings which are connected to the large building by different bridges. Mostly rope bridges, although fairly sturdy ones. I am just beginning my first year at this college and I don't know anybody, except for Keith Becraft who I stumble on while I'm trying to figure out how to get to the other side of the main building. On one side of the main building is a chasm, and a long bridge goes over it connecting the main building to the city. In the chasm is a small forest where blonde-haired thieves live. If you somehow fall off the large bridge over the chasm, you can't enter the main building from the forest, you have to go back and climb the slowly-rising embankment to leave the chasm and find the bridge and cross over to the main building. I am having trouble doing this, although I only see one thief and he doesn't bother me, he just runs really fast and gracefully away when I look at him. Anyway, I bump into Keith who is with some other younger kids. They are going to get a shuttle into downtown so that they can go see wrestling. I don't think I am invited but I contemplate following them anyway, thinking, "Maybe I should stay on campus and try to meet some cool girls?" But instead I decide I will go on the shuttle with them--- I can always decide to skip wrestling and try to meet some cool girls in the downtown. My dad shows up briefly, he is going to wrestling, too.

Finding the shuttle is hard, we make a stop at Keith and his friends' room. I look through their CDs and notice they have a DVD of the movie OLD SCHOOL. I think that maybe I should join Keith and his friends' nerdy frat because at least they aren't trying to be something besides themselves and the rest of the school will probably love them for it in a year or two. I think that I have to start packing CDs I want to bring on tour with me when I go on tour in a few months.

We get downtown. We go into a mall and make a beeline for the ATM, but the line is too long. Keith knows about another ATM outside so we go out a door and find an even longer line for that ATM, but we stand in it anyway. I talk to some girls that seem really judgemental and I think we talk about pot but I don't remember exactly how it went down. I remember thinking that they didn't like me even though they weren't making that completely obvious.

Eventually I did get into the wrestling but I didn't sit down, I crawled through the arena looking for something or somebody. The wrestlers were all over 7 feet tall and most wore elaborate, almost ceremonial, masks. A lot of them were dropping from the ceiling to beat each other up. I could barely notice, I was looking for something or somebody else that I was convinced was at the wrestling place.

Monday, May 17, 2004

It's right after the last day of high school, but I'm older. But for some reason me and a lot of people my age that I remember are at the 7-11 in Jacksonville, Maryland. Standing around, waiting. I feel a little uncomfortable and decide to try to deal with it by being loud and confident. I talk with the guy behind the counter about the new fruit flavors of some weird health drink, and about some ranch-flavored chips that have been dipped in mangos. All these kids are waiting around for a party to start. There are two high school senior girls in their pajamas filming everything on a consumer-model video camera. Some busses arrive with teachers and students on them, and everyone starts rushing towards the tennis courts beside the 7-11.

I never really find out what exactly people are supposed to be doing. A bunch of people have their names read by a teacher standing in the tennis court but it seems like no one is paying attention. I get on one of the busses and it drives somewhere that it is night, where a bunch of kids are finishing taking a test in a large storefront-- like an Office Depot that's been emptied and filled with those chair-desks that lecture halls have. We're all disappointed for some reason-- I think we wanted to go in that building? We keep driving and it turns back into day, but not the next day-- the same afternoon that I first started waiting in the 7-11.

I think about going home. I get in a fight with a really tiny kid a few seats behind me--- I'm sitting at the very front, behind the driver, and the two teachers who are on the bus for some reason are sitting across on the other side of the aisle. The little kid is really small but has some real coarse language for me-- apparently I hit him with a ball or a rock or did something like that to him a while ago. I don't remember it, but I tell him I'm sorry if I did and try to squash the beef. He seemed ready to really let me have it, but drops it when I refuse to get amped up myself. We start talking. He mentions that the girls shooting with the video camera don't have any underwear on, and he uses some slang acronym I'd never heard before that means a girl with no underwear on. I tell him that it doesn't really matter because they're both buckled and he laughs. I ask where the bus is going and he says Kansas City. I think that maybe I should get off before the bus pulls out of Jacksonville again and go home, so at the stoplight of Sweet Air and Jarrettsville Pike, I lean forward and ask the driver where the bus is going. He says "Tennessee, maybe North Tennessee County," and I ask him how long that drive is and he says "Maybe 1 or 2 hours."

I think, "Hmm, I wonder if I should get off the bus. I'll probably just end up going home since I didn't know many of the kids at the 7-11 or the tennis court--- I'm not even their age or attending this school anymore..." but I don't really have anything to do that day, and the bus is in motion, so once we pull away from the light I'm pretty much going to Tennessee with these kids.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

There's this big boat, like a cruise liner, that these high school kids have rented for the "big game," and they're on the deck, but it's obvious nobody else is on the boat. I am not on the boat. I am watching it on a TV. I think I am near the harbor the boat is in, though. The kids on the boat are dressed up in school colors.

I'm going to class. The campus is as big as a city again, but it's a totally different city. Getting from place to place involves walking into an office building, going up flights of stairs, exiting through a different door, going into a parking garage, going down a bunch of stairs and through a service basement to get to the subway. I run into Justin Timberlake and he recognizes me and asks me what's up, all familiar-like. I am kind of bewlidered and am not sure how to play it, so I play it like of course JT recognizes me. Then it turns out he thinks I'm some dude named Eric, but he's pretty nice about it. We both have to go to class so we continue on in opposite directions. There's nobody else in the subway.

I'm in a class. We're all sitting around a huge rectangular table and we're watching some video we're working on. "Do I fall down all the time?" I ask, watching footage of myself falling down by accident. Everyone agrees casually that yeah, I'm always falling over. I get up and accidentally fall, and while I'm falling towards the ground I'm suddenly very sad that this is who I am, this guy that always falls on his face and it's kind of funny but kind of weird because it happens so often. I decide, while still falling, to go with it and make my fall more exaggerated. Then I just stay on the ground, face down, and don't move. Nobody bothers me. I try to think really fast, come up with a solution to this problem before I get up, but I know I can't stay down for too long or it will be awkward.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I have just gotten finished eating a meal at a camp for little kids, and now I'm walking down the streets of Manhattan, talking on my cell phone to Julianne, telling her the whole story of Ben Valis, how he was in these bands and he started the best all-ages club in Baltimore and then moved--- but I'm being really, really detailed and taking a long time. As I'm walking, some girl with a lot of freckles and light hair recognizes me and I have to wrap up the phone conversation because freckles starts walking up alongside me like she has something to tell me, even though I've never seen her before. At the end of my Ben story, I tell Julianne that just recently I read in the newspaper that Shepherd Fairey has pledged to give Ben and his new dance-squad that he's started 9% of the profits from all that Andre the Giant stuff that Shepherd Fairey sells.

Saturday, May 8, 2004

Somebody died.

Friday, May 7, 2004

Under my bed there is a severed head and some pale, disembodied hands. I have cut them off of a mafia-type dude. I have the head because there is a bullet in it that I want to get out, and I have the hands because of something about the knuckles or the knuckle bones.

I wake up and a boat with my class has landed at this dock. It is swarming with mafia-type guys. They are shooting at us. Everybody is scrambling to get onto little boats and get into the town. The town is on the water and there are few streets-- and these are not canals, this town is off-shore, out in the ocean. I get on a boat and think, "I have to take care of this mafia problem or the whole class is going to get killed because of me." Under my clothes I have a black ninja outfit, but it's not stupid looking. It looks pro. But I have never been taught how to be a ninja, I have only taken up this role recently out of necessity.

In a Chinese restaurant in this town's "downtown" area, a few classmates and I find a little safety. Some girl sits really close to me and then another girl starts touching my head at one point. I am confused because I don't think I have any history with either of them. All I can think about is putting an end to the violence.

All the other students hiding out in the restaurant decide it's time to go to class. I tell them I will join them shortly. They go through a secret passageway in the back of the restaurant and I am left alone. Some bad guys show up. I am really scared because I don't have any special powers that make me sure I will win. Scared as hell, I manage to not get shot and to kill all the bad guys with a sword that they didn't know I had.

I go into class late and find my seat. It is seat 62. It's a big lecture hall. I am embarrassed for being late. I am not able to think about the teacher's lecture because I am trying to figure out who the boss of the mafia guys is. If I figure that out, then I can probably stop the danger, although I am just a kid and I have no idea how I will get information about a mob boss. I think that maybe if I fight some more dudes and kill them all and stay alive, I could try to keep one sort-of alive too and make him tell me-- but realistically, I think, I was so scared out of my mind while I was fighting those guys that I don't really believe I have much chance of intentionally keeping a dude kind-of alive.

Soon, though, another student gets up to go to the bathroom, and something makes me realize that HE is the boss of the mafia guys! He is my age but he is big with a bald head and he is Asian, which completely throws me for a loop because I'm a ninja and all the bad guys are mob dudes. It's a perfect scheme. Why he wants to kill his class is not clear, but it's obvious that is what's up. I follow him out without saying anything.

He goes into a hallway and starts running. I jump on his back. We are in a narrow hallway and there are lots of framed pictures of varying sizes hanging up. You can touch both walls of this hallway if you stand in the center, that's how narrow it is. It is short, too, with no doors down it, and at the end there is a glass door that opens into the outside. I understand that he is trying to get to that door, and when he does, all of his bad dudes are going to be out there and see us and kill me instantly. So I can't let him get to the door, but I am on his shoulders and he is too strong for me to stop him. So I grab a little picture and bash him in the face, but he doesn't care. So I grab the biggest picture as we pass by it and I use the wire that's nailed to the back to strangle him. I don't take it off the picture or anything, I just loop it over his neck and start twisting the big picture around. The picture is in between our heads so I don't see him die but I feel wet blood on my fingers. He falls down.

I also realize now that the trouble is not over. I don't have any of my stuff-- at some point I took off my regular clothes and my passport was in my pants' pocket, and my other clothes and books are in my room on the boat that brought us here. I think and decide I probably don't need my walkman or my clothes, the passport is the only thing that bugs me because I will obviously have to get out of this country now that I've killed some people, including a powerful gang leader.

A horse-driven cart pulls up outside the glass door. Two old ladies from the Chinese restaurant are driving it. I had talked to them before, I realize, and told them to meet me here for a getaway. They are going to drive this horse cart to another part of China, a small town that is a ways away from here. I decide I am going to stay and learn some more fighting ninja shit-- that maybe the bad dudes will be expecting me to go back to the US and wait for me there, or get me enroute. Or maybe the government will think I am just a killer. I am really anxious and worried about living in China all abruptly like this, but I tell the old ladies that it's what I gotta do. They take off and I crouch in the back of the cart.

Nobody speaks Chinese at any point, everybody speaks English.

Thursday, May 6, 2004

I'm on tour with the Postal Service again. I'm about to start playing but there's something wrong-- like, I think I should be playing first but I'm playing last, or vice versa-- I can't remember the exact details. I'm not angry but things aren't ideal. We're playing at a college that is out there in rural Virginia. There's a lot of caves and caverns and mines in this town-- actually, that's really all there are, caves and long empty stretches of road and an occassional abandoned-looking barn. The classes are held in the caves. The show is in a little cabaret in a cave, with a small stage and when you're standing on it, your head almost touches the ceiling.

After the show I know everybody at the school because I suddenly go here, and have gone here for a while. In a huge cavernous room with giant stacks of bleachers on each side, there is a game/class going on. Kids on either side of the bleachers are on different teams and they are supposed to kill each other with toy weapons. There are toy rifles, toy pistols, and toy daggers. I am the "general" in charge of my side and I am very upset that at least half of the kids on either side don't seem to have a weapon at all and are just goofing around. When the game starts I aim at a kids' head way across the cave on the other bleachers and squeeze the trigger. These toy guns don't shoot any projectile, nor do they seem bulky enough to shoot some kind of light beam, so I don't know how kids are supposed to know that they've been shot, but I've seen a few go down in a realistic way, so I assume they work somehow. Some kids on the other side start throwing rocks and we're all really scared of them, they look like they hurt. A big group of jock boys stands up and turns their backs in my direction, so I use my toy rifle to unleash a torrent of pretend bullets at their backs. Nothing happens, they don't notice. I tell the kids immediately next to me that I'm going to crawl over to the room where they keep the toy guns and get new ones because I think the ones we have are broken. I crawl through the bleachers, trying to avoid incoming pretend-fire and actual rocks.

I find the gym teacher near the storage room and tell him that hardly anyone is actually trying to kill the kids on the other side, and that I'm not sure how the rocks fit in--- are they grenades? He smelts me a ring in the storage room, a ring that has a 1/4" triange facing down, two squares, and then another triangle. I love it. Each shape is divided in half and one half is smooth gold and the other half is cross-hatched with a grid of silver scratches. It looks like the ring I had made at Busch Gardens years ago when I told the lady at the monogrammed ring booth that my name was "BALLSOUT." (I actually did lose that ring in gym class, now that I think about it.)

I take the ring and leave the gym and walk into a music video that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are shooting live as it premieres on MTV. The singer is a lot younger and college-r looking than I would have expected. At the beginning of the video an animated flying purple furball flies past an animated dog-like creature to the place (in rural Virginia) where the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are playing. The guitarist is playing piano and I recognize him from the time I met him in England. The drummer, at one point (in the video), tells some sound guy off screen to make his drum sound "more cripsy." There is the audible sound of the drum mic overloading for a second, then it returns to normal. I think to myself, "That's kind of a neat thing to put in a video."

After they're done, I walk up to them. I didn't see the crew shooting the video while I watched it, and I don't see them now, although I can kind of feel people walking around. I talk to the band and ask them some questions. They are very nice. They know who I am, which surprises me, but I play it off cool like no big deal, of course they know who I am. I ask them where they're going next, and they tell me the name of a venue that I don't recognizes. "Wingbirds" or "Winghouse" or "Wing-something." I think it might be in Pittsburgh but I don't know for sure, I ask them where that is. They ask a crew guy that is wandering around, taking down cables or other equipment from the video. He says the town is called "Andy" and I'm pretty positive that is in PA, but it doesn't seem to mean anything to the band.

I ask them if they are going north or south, and they say they don't know. The crew guy asks somebody else, a local guy who is helping out, if Andy, PA is north or south and they don't know either. I ask the band if they came from the north or the south when travelling from their last show and they scratch their chins but can't come up with the answer. Then somebody notices my ring.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

I am seated at the back of my science class. There are way too many kids in this class, and a girl named Shelly is giving a presentation. She is in the corner, singing a gospel song. A boy named Greg with really big eyes is standing behind her, doing back-up vocals, a job for which he is clearly not the right man. Towards the end of the song he starts visibly forgetting the right words and Shelly has to start whispering the right ones in his ear before she sings each line. Everybody laughs.

The science teacher, Mr. Wilson, who always reminded me of a more serious David Letterman, says something to the effect of, "I don't think it would be actually possible for anybody to give a presentation that makes you hate them." He's saying it as a joke, like "don't worry about anybody hating you because of this, it's not going to matter that much." I enthusiastically raise my hand and tell him that somebody could probably give a presentation that made you hate them-- say if, for instance the presentation involved giving you a disease and then curing you of it but they don't do the curing part right. I try to think of another example before he moves on to the next presentation.

Sunday, May 2, 2004

In the center of this school, there is a part of the building that rises up and if you go to this part, the topmost level, it is made up of one large conference room with many windows. You can see the roof of the rest of the building out of the windows.

On the roof, there are lots of middle school kids advancing, trying to get into this top room. Some of them have black masks on. The class I am in is small -- maybe only 6 students and a teacher ---- and our goal is to kill all the middle school kids before they kill us. This is the class. We fight huge crowds of kids. It is kind of scary because you never know what a little kid is going to do--- they frequently surprise with their erratic and extra-vicious attacks. Equally surprising is their varying attitudes toward what they are doing---- many are justifiably hesitant, but some seem to really relish the task of trying to kill these older students and their teacher.

Saturday, May 1, 2004

Tons of people have been flown to a German orphanage. I am only here for two days, but on the day I am supposed to leave I keep refusing to look at my plane tickets even though I am worried I am going to miss my plane since I haven't looked at the tickets to see what time it departs. Late in the day, I get out the tickets and look at them--- I have 2 tickets, one is mine and one is somebody else's. I want mine to be the earlier one, but I know it is not. My departure is not for another 20-30 minutes, though, luckily, so I go to one of the ladies in charge of the orphanage and say, "I need a car to the airport, how long does it take to get there?" And she tells me that it takes 2 hours. It is the worst thing-- there are so many people here at this orphanage, and most of them have to go to the airport, and I have no idea if the airline will give me another ticket for free, because I definitely can't afford to buy a whole new ticket back to the US myself.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

I'm at this compound/ghost-town that's kind of similar to Camber Sands, where ATP took place, but it's way older, the buildings are bigger and farther apart (you'd have to drive to get to some of them) and it's more remote-- the immediate landscape is sparse and after only a mile or two drops off completely into wasteland. There is no festival going on, nothing going on-- it is the off-season. But I am here along with a handful of people I don't know. Somebody is after somebody else for shoplifting.

In a the building of a large, empty bar that has no electricity available right now, me and some girl push a set of closed double doors at the back wall and and find a whole entire secret restaurant on the back of the building.

I smoke this secret joint and exhale smoke that turns from blood red to purple before dissipating. Loud trumpets start playing behind me and I open the sliding-glass door that leads out to the deck. There's no deck there, though, it just drops off into the back yard. I open the door but close the curtain in front of it and sunlight peeks through the sides and the bottom of the curtain. It's bright daylight outside but I didn't know that because it's so dark in this building and I haven't left it for a while. There's kind of a latent "survival horror" vibe to the whole scene. I'm not sure if the girl is still in this secret room. I kneel down in front of the closed curtain and jack off.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

This is just a regular classroom, although I'm the oldest person in the class by far. Except for Pedram, aka Pedro, this kid who sat next to me in homeroom every year in middle and high school because his last name started with KH and mine, of course, is KI.

Some little tiny annoying kid with greasy black hair, totally waify, does something and a young guy in a collared shirt and a really clean haircut throws him on the ground. I have to intimidate the older kid and tell him violence isn't cool, that nobody doubts that he could beat up the little guy, and that even if that kid is being annoying it's not his place to be punishing this kid. I think he kind of buys it but young male pride of course won't let him buy the whole thing. He's gotta be at least 6 years younger than me.

Later, the annoying kid takes out glow sticks and I tell him, "This isn't Intro to Raving!" then realize all these kids are too young to have gone to a rave. I start telling them an exaggerated story of what raves are like in a fake old-timer voice and like one or two girls laugh.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

This building is basically like the old type of theater-- ie, not a multiplex or whatever. But each theater, each room with the seats and the projector, is particularly small. I am part of a large extended family that has come here, where there is some kind of weird, multi-generational new age school. There are some people attending the class I am in that aren't a part of my extended family, and I know some of them. Geoff Langham and his girlfriend are sitting in the second row.

Changing classes is a huge to-do for the family. All kinds of yokel distant aunts and uncles have to get all their little rugrats' toys and backpacks and put some stuff back into their cars and change some of the little kids' clothes and between every class this happens, and as such, the whole family comes through the door, loud and late, to every lesson.

I have decided to stop being embarassed by this and just enjoy it for the chaotic spectacle that it is. Some distant yokel uncle asks me to carry these two baby dolls that have backpack-type straps on them. I do. I also have a long white goatee for some reason-- blindingly white, and down to the middle of my chest. I put the baby-backpacks on over one shoulder, like cool kids in middle school, one and then the other beside it, and it looks like I have two babies clutching my upper bicep to hang on. Some of the relatives are watching me walk jauntily, pretending to whistle, away from the parking lot (which is indoors) towards the next class and I can hear them voicing disgust and/or concern because they think its somebody's ACTUAL, living babies which are perched precariously on my left shoulder. This is even weirder because one of the baby dolls has big white wings on it.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Dave Chappelle is hosting a giant awards show, and he says, "Wait, wait-- I need a hat on my head," and raises his arms, and this giant crane-thing starts extending, this platform that he's on rises up and into the audience and he swoops out there, I guess in order to snatch a hat off somebody's head.

Earlier, I was trying to have band practice but my mom and Kevin Coelho's mom were there and kept talking to me. At one point they both suggest that I sell my Access Indigo keyboard. There were also two little girls, eating sandwiches at a table. They were maybe 4 or 5 years old, and both of them were talking about their mommies' gambling problems and how that affected them. Oh wait, one of them was MY sister. They both knew what the word "bookie" meant.

Friday, April 23, 2004

I'm going on tour with Atmosphere. Slug and I are hanging out at my grandma's old house getting ready. Somehow I have accidentally asked my sister and parents to come with me and they're really excited about it. The tour is four weeks long and I think my family is going to come for four weeks. I rented a little four-door car. Turns out Kevin Coelho is tour managing for Slug, too, and he's not bringing a DJ or anybody else. While we're packing the car, Kevin comes to me with an acoustic guitar and asks me to show him how to play "My Head" so that Atmosphere can cover it at some of the shows. I figure it out again faster than I thought I would be able to, but I'm puzzled as to why he would cover a track of mine. I'm really pumped to play the new material live for big crowds but I'm really worried about my parents. For some reason I can't bring myself to tell them they can't come. I start thinking about all the ways tour would be different with parents along. I try to console myself thinking it's only for 2 weeks but inside I know that is really a long-ass time when you're on tour.

Later I'm in this bus for some reason, a school bus, riding around Manor Road, on the other side of Sweet Air, down where it's all wooded. The end of my old bus route in high school and middle school. There's some weird shit going on down there, and we're moving along at Disney-ride pace through big bales of hay and construction of some fair-type shit. We're driving on the grass. Me and the other kids in the back of the bus are playing this game where we spot somebody we know's house and then sing a tune using just that person's name. When somebody else sees a house they know, they jump in doing maybe a different instrument (with their mouth) using the name of the person who lives in THAT house. I am prepping to bust out with a 8 or 9 name mouth-guitar-solo as soon as we get a little closer to where Steve Will, Steve Oppitz, Justin Hebbel, Katie Sauerwein, Julie Iltis, and some other kids who rode my bus in middle school live.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

I'm in somebody else's house, and I get a frantic call on my cell phone. My friend Melanie went to go pick up her brother, Divine, from jail, but got busted by the cops on the way and now she's in jail and needs me to come get her. I ask about what's going to happen to Divine. Divine just called Kevin Coelho and some other guy named Ryan who I have never met but think that I've heard of to come get him. I ask Melanie what those guys don't just pick her up, too, and she says Divine didn't tell them she was in jail now, which is so like Divine. It's really late and I don't like the idea of driving out in my car to some jail somewhere, but I guess I have to do it so I ask where it is, and she says western New York. I don't remember how the conversation ends but I never actually get to the jail.

Instead, sometime later, I'm in my parents' kitchen with Lucianne. I can't figure out why there are so many people in my parents' house. Lucianne says we're going to go to the Imax and have breakfast there tomorrow morning, on her, and asks me if I think their breakfast will have enough chocolate in it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I'm with my entire high school on a field trip to my elementary school, Carroll Manor Elementary. I'm the only kid in my high school who went here, and I'm kind of amazed at all the changes. For instance, the library has a huge glass window that faces into the main lobby and entrance now. All my high school classmates are being herded around and shown things by our teachers, everyone doing that kind of weak shuffle as they walk slowly through the place. I'm kind of excited to be back here for some reason, so I'm cutting through the crowd and walking off whenever I feel like it, peeking in classrooms. The elementary school teachers don't really care, but the high school teachers are not psyched, but I still act as if I can't get in trouble for anything. And I don't.

When everyone else is getting on busses to leave, for some reason I get into a car with somebody's grandparents and two other kids, one of whom is a skinny kid with really good posture, glasses, and the beginnings of a puberty mustache. The other kid is a little, underdeveloped dude with dirty brown hair who just laughs. On the way through the parking lot, I pick up this nice, mountain-climbery backpack that is just lying in the parking lot and bring it into the car with me. I'm still in a really good mood, and I tell the grandparents and the other kids in the car that I must be stupid for not driving here myself because I live so close to this place, and it makes no sense for me to drive all the way back to Timonium to get my car at the high school, only to come all the way back here. The grandparents put a tape on the stereo and explain it's the mustache-kid's music. I think to myself that it sounds too much like Prefuse 73, but I don't say anything out loud about it I don't think. I'm not sure if they're HIS grandparents, but they seem really into/proud of the music. The kid sits perfectly straight up and looks straight ahead with a super-serious look on his face and I think to myself, "What's this guy's deal?"

Since no one else is talking, I start examining the backpack and tell everyone that I found it and picked it up. It has a tube that runs around it and curls around the neck of the person who wears it. It's pink+reddish, and made of soft plastic, maybe polyurethene? I'm not really sure if that's the right word for it, but it's probably 2-3 inches in diameter and flexible. I open the backpack and there's one sheet of paper in it. On the back of the paper there's a photocopied article about Mel Gibson's wife. I realize that she's wearing this exact backpack in the accompanying picture, and that the article explains what the tube is. It's a dildo. A long, flexible dildo that wraps around the backpack. On one of the straps there's an electronic switch that makes it vibrate. I tell everyone I could probably sell this for a lot of money on Ebay, but the grandparents tell me that I have to give it back to Mel Gibson's wife, it's not right to sell it. I don't really care what they think because I don't even know who they are. I turn the paper over and there's another magazine article about Mel Gibson's wife, although this one is about her work with charities. I start to think that this backpack is a secret, that the article that's photocopied on the back is probably from some publication that only super-super famous people get, and that if regular people ever found out about the dildo-backpack, it would be a huge scandal.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I'm at a college that is made up of a lot of buildings in the middle of a city. These are not college-y buildings, they're like buildings that would have been there anyway. I don't know where classes occur or what they look like, but I walk through an alley where a bunch of other kids are and go into an old coffee shop-ish place. There are kids in there. Is this a class? Is this just a coffee shop? The kids behind the bar are obviously students. Are they in class right now? I don't know. I talk about the music that is playing with some girls that are sitting at a table. I get a call on my cell from Stefan Constanstinidis, a tiny kid that went to my middle school and was friends with my friend Bill, who was not a full-on bully, but close. A total hellraiser and frequently suspended. His friendship with this tiny kid who sometimes cried confounded me, I think it went back to diaper-days. But in any case, I barely talked to this kid back then, but his name is now flashing on my cell phone, which means I have put his number in here and maybe called him before. I answer it in a funny voice, like I would do to a good friend.

Stefan asks what I'm doing. I tell him that me and some other kid (who I can't remember anymore) are going to go mini-golfing with these high school girls. In my head, I know this is trouble, but I don't know how to get out of it, and I'm not sure that I want to get out of it. Stefan says he and Andy DeVos, my best friend from middle school who was older and did not go to the same school as me (and the most devout religious person I have ever known) are playing video games and they don't think going to Sports (Where the Summer Never Ends!) to play indoor mini-golf with high school girls sounds fun or smart. I laugh and Stefan laughs and I tell them that maybe I'll be able to get out of it and call them up.

The coffee shop has really high ceilings, and the floors are old wooden boards. All the tables and everything seems old, like the stuff you'd find in a really old warehouse. In fact, this could just be the smallest room of a warehouse with walls in it.

Monday, April 19, 2004

I resolve to kill myself because my parents don’t understand me and ask me to do something I don’t want to do. I go to school and Mr. Kovacs is leading the class in some kind of indoor kickball game that’s a lot more complex than kickball. Since I’m going to kill myself I feel like I should do some crazy shit and make people laugh first. I talk to some kids about the game that’s going on because I’ve never seen it before, and they all seem apathetic. I ask Mr. Kovacs when I’m going to get to bat and he seems irritated and tells me that everybody has to go in order. Somehow this implies to me that it may be days, which I do not have, so I flippantly tell him I need to get to bat today. He gets mad but decides to ignore me. I stand on a desk and nobody cares.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

There's a really tall buidling with sandstone-ish sides in the middle of the desert, with a couple of buildings like it around, but clearly a good drive from civilization. There's a bookstore near the top of one of these buildings, although I believe the rest are empty, almost like primitive parking garages. The bookstore is very, very modern though. I work here. There's a big field trip of my school that is here now as well, all these high school seniors and most of their parents, as well. Somehow, I am both in school and subject to the authority of the teachers, and also at my separate job here at the bookstore, where I have a boss. Some parent of some popular girl has a problem with me and keeps trying to tell my boss I should be fired. I am definitely goofing around but apparently I'm so well liked by the bookstore staff and customers that it is understood I have a lot of leeway. There are cars up in the building, in special rooms. Not many of them, and I can only find one. And it's mostly taken apart, as I assume all of them to be.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Me and my sister are in this large, one-level house in rural Baltimore County. It's got a lot of doors-- way too many, although not so many that it's surreal. It's just a rich-people's house. There is a courtyard in the center of the house, like an outdoor part, and there are these white thatch gates in there and also out in the yard. I am rushing around the house trying to keep all the doors closed because slow-moving but deadly zombies are around. It's totally sunny outside and my sister keeps forgetting to close the doors because she's tired.

Later, the neighbors, who are some chatty, generic suburban types that I have never seen before, come over and at first I'm very annoyed with them but then I think they're OK. The wife has black hair tied up in a bun and a mole on her face. She invites me to come study at her university, and I think it's a good idea until she starts telling me what classes I would take, and I don't feel like she understands that if I'm in school, I should probably study writing. A lot of family members show up for some kind of party and my dad's mom because fixated on the idea of trying to light one of her farts with a lighter.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Scott Gould (my good friend in elementary school and an occasional aquaintance in high school) and I are on tour. It is just he and I traveling in a black 4-door sports car. We have a day off in a dark town full of tourists in the middle of nowhere. We eat at a restaurant that has a great jukebox and candles in the bathroom--- the kind of bathroom that's more like a closet, only 1 person can go in at a time and it has the little metal loop-lock nailed into the wooden, painted door. We decide to go swimming next door to the restaurant when we're done but before we get there, we pass a little window that is selling crappy trinkets. One thing they have is an old, 1960s-looking, beat-up box of magic potions that are in little vials. It looks like food coloring but it's supposed to make you look younger. We each buy it and drink the whole potion right there, then we find our bodies have been physcially transformed into 9- or 10-year-old versions of ourselves. This doesn't really phase us, we just go right into the pool-place. A bunch of families are there and some little kids, and we kind of forget that we look like little kids, too, and wonder why these kids are swimming when it's so dark outside.

I have to go to the bathroom again, and on my way there, where the bathrooms are at the back of the room, there is water above the pool. The area above the pool is dry on the other end of the room, where the entrance is, but for some reason down here you are pretty much still swimming even when you get out of the pool, because the water is out of the pool and gets higher and higher the closer you get to the bathroom. It's at your neck once you're in the bathroom, and I open up a stall and wonder whether pee will go where you point it if you're swimming. At first I think, "I guess it must," but then I think about how gross it is to be standing where a bunch of other people have peed in the water. Then I think that since this water connects to the pool water, everyone must be swimming in some amount of pee. I get grossed out and leave.

The next day, we make it to the little college where we're playing. There are 4 or 5 bands and things are running late so we're rushed on stage after watching some crappy unsigned bands. We still have 10-year-old bodies. Scott sets up his guitar and I set up a keyboard, but decide I will play guitar tonight, too. I set up his other guitar and we play a song, it's really pretty, instrumental post-rock, like Mogwai or Tarentel or something. There's no stage, we're just playing at the back of a commons-room-type room with a red carpet. Our song is pretty much just improvised, but we try and make it look like it's not improvised at all and I think we suceed. We play another song where Scott stands at the other end of the room and I stand behind the keyboard, but I just sing on this one. Then I decide that we should set up some pedals for me and Scott starts configuring some weird effects pedal system that has way more buttons than I thought it would, but seems to be designed pretty intuitively. He's very careful about setting it up, so it's taking a while. I realize, while watching over his shoulder, that I'm standing with both feet on his guitar, which he has set down. I get off of it and hope he doesn't notice, then tell him he should just play a song by himself for a second while I finish setting up these pedals. He does, he plays a song where the only lyrics are, "All these marigolds all over the ground, ________(something something)." I can't remember the second part, but it was really catchy and all the kids are singing along by the end. I abandon setting up the pedals to sing along and lead clapping, but Scott keeps looking at me like the clapping isn't exactly in time. After the song is over, all the kids start leaving like we're done. I tell some girl that we're going to play at least one more and the kid who set up the show says we have to stop because the last band just got here and we're almost past the sound curfew. I'm bummed, but we start taking our stuff down and go to the car in the parking lot. We're parked under a big tree that has huge white blossoms on it, and these two girls run ahead of us and get in the car before we do-- one in the front passenger seat, the other in the rear seat behind the driver. I make a joke to them about how that tree is a pillow tree and they agree that it's a weird tree. Then I remember that we have 10-year old bodies and I ask them if they noticed. The girls say yes. I ask them if they thought it made the show better and they say yes. Scott finished putting one of his guitars in the trunk and gets in the driver seat. I tell him we should drive the car right up to the door of the place we played so we can load out into the trunk and leave. We see the other band getting out of there big white van and they are white dreads, kind of crusty looking, but definitely don't look like they're going to be a very good band. I'm worried kids came to see us and are bummed because we only played 3 songs.