At the end of 2022, I had six friends staying with me from out of town. On the last day of the year, we started considering the year to come — but instead of going through the usual motions of making new year’s resolutions for ourselves, we decided to make resolutions for each other.
Surreptitiously crossing the Uzh river at 2am, with the full moon starting to set low on the horizon, the first thing that strikes you about the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is the sound of it. Just two hours outside of Kiev, all the sounds of civilization disappear, and only our radiation dosimeters are left ticking softly with the wind.
A prank war in a low moment.
I made a series of mistakes that culminated in the worst sailing accident of my life, and almost took me to the bottom of the ocean.
There is a Pittsburgh punk tradition called "Fun-A-Day." For the entire month of January, participants of the "Fun-A-Day project" pick something and do it every day. Someone might do "postcard a day," where they write a postcard to someone every day. Someone else might do "tresspass a day," where they make it a point to tresspass somewhere every day.
Many years ago, I became strangely enamored with sneaking into movies. I can't really remember how it started, and the funny thing is that I don't even like most movies - but somehow, in some strange way, the experience of sneaking into a movie theater was just unrelentlessly fulfilling at that point in my life.
Sometimes I think about my life as a series of schemes, plans, plots, and experiments. Everything I've e tried, every hare-brained scheme I've hatched, every implausible thought I've run with up until this moment. And if I'm really honest with myself, the trail of ideas that disappears into the horizon behind me is completely and utterly mined over with failures. Comic failures, tragic failures, dramatic failures - failures of all types.
You tell yourself that you won't get in the car with the crazy people, the drunk people, the ones that don't seem quite right. But at some point, you'll be desparate enough.
Every once in a while I remember events from my childhood, and it's as if I'm only fully comprehending them for the first time. You know, things which were obviously absurd, but which you never questioned in the unassuming notions of your youth. Lately I've been thinking about The Money Machine.
"...and then one day, we saw it. A cruise ship docked at the Port of San Francisco. The sight conjured images of Jan Valtin's epic stowaway voyages around the world, and all of a sudden the way to get to Hawaii seemed obvious."
A few of my housemates and I were in town for Christmas. We got to talking about how we like celebrations, but just aren't that into celebrating the birth of baby jesus. It occurred to us that a celebration we do like, though, is Halloween.
One of my top five most embarrassing moments.
Eventually I asked why he was going to LA, and he immediately said "I'm going there for Truth." "What kind of Truth are you looking for?" I asked. Again, without any hesitation, he responded "It's connected to my telepathy, the daemons that have been chasing me for years, and the rapture that all of our lives are connected to."
After six months, the timing of open schedules and good weather actually converged, so I finally endeavored to bring my boat back from Morro Bay to Berkeley.
Jesse and I spent a lot of late nights walking home together. Over the course of those months, we walked with our heads bent low through the rain, sighed deep on clear nights, and moved eerily through the fot. We were even shot at once. Through it all, we discovered some of the many mysteris of Capp Street.
The greater story of my life has been the story of a giant pendulum swinging back and forth along a metaphorical axis of desire. On one side is an affinity for travel, newness, excitement, and adventure. On the other - stability, community, and connection. The tempo changes with time, but the pendulum has never stopped swinging.
Riding trains in all the wrong places.
Riding trains across the country and back again.
One weekend Kristin and I climbed Matterhorn - ollowing the footsteps of Jack Kerouac, Japhy Ryder, and Henry Morley.
...just as we stepped inside, we caught the end of the El Toreo birthday ritual. Theirs was slightly.... unusual.