Friday, March 30, 2007

cue ultra depressed sad julian playing The Blue Notebooks as loud as he can so his roommate and lady friend have to deal with that.

i'm going crazy. literally. im going crazy. i write lists now examining the people around me. those lists include all sorts of categories. hey, maybe your on the list that says, the people that julian has shook hands with. i'm going to have brown paper bags full of meaningless written lists and ideas. my tiny ode to carlye. which, is not a fun read. and considering the idea of fun, julian hasn't had any real fun in a long time. stuck in a revolving abyss of either, academia, intellectualism, or self-doubt and inner thought.

there's no release man, my hippy friend would say.

no, no there isn't. you are spot on my hippy friend. now lets have at it with the hacky sak shall we.
he returns. with a guest? yes. a guest.

you've got to be kidding me...

i wish i had a valium. or a drink. an escape.

i curse the day that my roommate discovered cologne. he's decided its a permanent solution, and now, even at midnight, pours it luxuriously on his being, and even in my hovel the smell creeps through and i suffer a wrinkled nose and pained breaths. so i have my window open and sleep as far away from the door as possible.
Instead of showering half the time, my roommate thinks its a brilliant idea to bathe himself in foul cologne. Then he comes out of his room and widely moves about the hallway, shuffling around with different garbage bags, and I'm standing there trying to grab a shirt, about to throw up from the amazing amount of different smells coming from him and his room, and then retreat back inside my room and throw my head out the window.

He also decided to walk around the bathroom in his muddy ass shoes. There are large footprints everywhere now. And I just cleaned the fucking thing a week and a half ago.

Time is a shitty constant.

I also bought Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, shipped it to my house. It'll be fun to play when I get back.

like a whirlwind

Thursday, March 29, 2007

preface to the introduction

The story below is a mesh of lots of things. I am trying to relate, all the missing fragmented pieces of myself into this person; that person is of course the protagonist in the works below. Elements of the past, stripping things, moving them around. This story below is also a short story. Though perhaps not entirely complete, it has been revised and worked on for some time and I am putting it here, read it, its about the minimum length, 3000 words, maybe a bit more. Enjoy it, I spent the time writing the original draft in the morning, which, as many writers say and now I have to tend to agree, is an excellent time to write. I spent the time writing it instead of going to a 45 minute lecture on T.S. Eliot. I apologize to Mr. Eliot's dead and hopefully resting soul, I will read your poem good sir perhaps tonight by the sunset. I think it far more appropriate. I rather enjoyed how I spent part of this day. The other half, late afternoon, I took a nap. Indulging in something I haven't done lately. Rather than strain my heart into loving something I don't I figured I'd give it a rest today and devote it entirely to something that I do.

I have been playing with a couple of ideas. First and foremost, I have a rather huge crush on the characters of fantasy and lore. Fairies and Ogres, Minotaurs and the like. Though this piece is devoid of such things, I have enjoyed taking people I see and know and morphing them into such creatures. And I also enjoy mixing completely fictional things into the real. More and more, it becomes rather boring to stick to one or the other. So if later on you read, 'I took out a cigarette, and pushed it between my lips and closed my eyes smoking with the vivid purple sunrise behind me,' know that I wish that I was that cool. I'm not.

A Short Story


I woke up today to my alarm. I didn't mind waking up to my alarm. In fact I like the morning. Things are new, people are getting ready, there is a quiet sense to all the shuffle that is going on. The sun breaks through my contraptions. Duck-taped curtains, rows and stacks of money, circus games from lines of coke bottles, maps that show me the world from long ago, and sketches of people and their faces, made up of lots of black lines. The shower is hot and the steam rolls along the floor and shifts itself to fit under the door and peek out. Glancing and then spreading itself evenly on the floor in the hallway, making a nest until I open all the doors and it disappears.

I figured the morning is beautiful. That people are beautiful in their weird ways, their sparks of amazing flames just going in and out. I don't want to kill that. I want to hold onto that. But it’s getting really hard sometimes. To want to spend time at the lake with them, to just sit out, sitting side by side reading books, talking about really good music. It’s all slowly slipping into worse things, being kind of mean or terrible. Not respecting the fragile nature of everyone else, just as we are fragile in our own weird ways. I’m slipping; and all sorts of dark things just lie there waiting with long slender fingers, touching the nape of my neck as I brush my teeth in the mirror. It is dark. It is getting darker. And then something magical, like a brush of light, or a simple password uttered from someone’s lips, brings me back; out of this fugue like state. ‘Your in a cave. Your lost in a cave.’ Everything is piling on top of everything else. Should I let it? I am asking, that person staring back at me. ‘When did I stop?’

I am spending the morning looking out of my window every so often seeing all the cars sitting silently, waiting to be turned on and driven away. The gentleman and lady are sitting on wooden benches sunning themselves. Drinking cold drinks at 10 in the morning with nothing but big creases on their faces because they are smiling. I am going to write. Unfold my blank sheets of paper and scribble away as the sun shines on them. ‘Shouldn’t you be somewhere else? Doesn't that seem important?’

What do I do when I go back to my past self and I look at that person and all the things that world was. Popping in and out, castles and knights and soldiers off to fight wars against evil. I was good. But that me would have never looked at me and said, ‘This is you. That’s you,’ pointing with a steady finger at a picture of me now. And there isn’t a neatly trimmed lawn, fountains with goldfish swimming back and forth, purple flowered trees. White flowered trees that drop their petals when summer comes, and go-kart rides off hills and dunes and crashing on the soft earth ground. Both of us died. ‘Don’t know who’s looking at what. Who he is.’

A Walk From Kringsja to Downtown, Then Back Again:

On Tuesday I started out at the foot of my steps and was sitting around just looking out and decided I had to do some things. Stories about children marching up and down avenues in tin pasta strainers, spoons as swords, and my dear mother walking our grunting dog along sidewalks came to my mind as I sat there just looking at my dirty shoes.

I picture my beautiful mother standing there and the kids come up to her and they pet the dog and they wave around. Babbling how they are thirsty and that their own mothers are out for the day. Smoking and standing around Laundromats. Or out with their sisters shopping. Two, no, make it three girls are in the little posse, and so my mother talks to them and the dog grins widely like a Cheshire cat, while they rub his stomach and then he wags his tail and they bound away with dollar bills so they can go to the 7-11, and buy drinks as a miniature version of Napoleon's army.

I started walking out and went down the street. I remember a man on his bicycle struggling to get up the hill. And I was listening to music, jamming, glancing back and forth and forward. Sun always there. Each day it’s more and more, always there.

I like to walk on the very edge of the road, along the part that is bricks. It is as if I were a kid back at my old house on Pebble Street, walking along the walls. I’m a tightrope act for the actor Julian. I used to just sit hunched on those concrete walls like a frog, and then I would go from one end to the other, jumping past any gaps. But there aren't any walls for me to walk along, so I just pretend they are there using the edge of the street instead. I do that until I get past the crosswalk. I step off and walk on the sidewalk now because buses and trucks roar past me. They bring a rush of wind and dust and I have to close my eyes and shield myself for a couple minutes until the storm passes.

At one point, before I cross over the bridge to get to the other side, where there is a soccer stadium and a petrol station, I get stuck behind a group of kids. They do that thing, where in large groups, people tend to make a long horizontal line and then no one can pass or move forward. It’s not on purpose, just to try and keep things equal I suppose between all of them. But it’s frustrating, and I have to retaliate with that awkward squeeze move past one of them on the end, almost knocking myself in some bushes. I manage. My acrobatic artistry goes unnoticed and I am over the bridge trudging along.

Then, somewhere along the way I end up at school, on campus from the top end. Lots of the walk is a blur. Caught up in my own world, listening to music and enjoying the freedom the day has to offer.

While writing this, I say to myself, as the writer, this needs more drama. It needs more than just 'you' walking. More than just that mentality that, 'hey man, things are going to be okay.'

Because they aren't. Oh no, it’s me now, wandering down the street clutching my stomach every so often. 'I'm hungry. I am poor. And destroying the very life I am trying to create! What am I going to do? Maybe I should steal,' and my eyes wander around the kids sunning themselves out on the steps of the school. They have giant white purses that are too large to carry anything important. They have giant gold loops and faux leather skin pressed against their sides. Inside must be credit cards, wallets full of Kroner. 'I should steal one,' I mutter. I clutch my stomach again. I sit on a wall and look down at my feet. My shoes are dirty, my face feels small and I feel gaunt. Maybe my cheeks are starting to sink in I think. I think yeah, must be happening. Maybe I am just going to fall down right here.

My finger points down, I trace a rectangle in the air of the floor about my height and width. 'I'm going to lie down right there. I'm going to lie down and not wake up because why wake up. Why bother living through all the absurdity,' I tell myself. But I don't. 'Don't, look, behind,' says a girl who taps me on the shoulder. But I do, and she disappears. I see the most beautiful girl walk by me. She is smoking a cigarette without ever removing it from her lips. She has black sunglasses on, very chic, long dark hair and she is just so fucking beautiful. She doesn't even see me as I have gotten off the bench and walked by her. I turn around but she gets swallowed up in the other people walking to class. I sort of do that semi-reach out with my hand.

'Way to hook me school,' I shake my fist in the air. I shake it long and good but it doesn't do anything. She's gone. I feel gone. I move along. We all move along.

Passing the school, passing every Norwegian student that has packed every sitting stone, every lump of rock, chair, bench, street corner, light to lean on, building to stand against, every lap and every seat that is from one end of campus to the other. All of them sunning themselves, they have a word, a specific word for something along the lines of, 'Glorious sun, sunning myself, I love the sun,' a phrase like that.

Outside the gates of the prison, I made my way along a large hill. Now this hill is high up, and overlooks half of the city, the sky is beautiful here, more beautiful than most other spots. Its like lying on a hill in a movie and watching the clouds roll by. If we were kids still, we could stretch our legs on the cool grass, the still air, the clouds like white ships and we would pretend to be sailors. If we were sailors we could just ride the ocean until we were tan and old. Happy, full of salted pork, vegetables and fruit, all grilled in homemade bbq's of hard wood and metal tops on the deck. We would find pirates and save the women they captured. And the women in our crew would tame the pirates. Then there could be parties on the deck at night with the stars and Chinese fireworks lighting our way on the ocean waves. Whitecaps looking like the tops of old bald men. Explosions shattering our eyes until all the revelry dies out, the laughter just falls apart and we close our eyes sleeping right there on the deck with a cool breeze, summer night, and the ocean beneath us on our lumbering, creaking, steady ship.

The hill was just green grass and no one was on it. I passed it, walked down towards the soccer fields and watched children kicking the ball around. Parents dozing off in the sun, and a couple of coaches shaking their heads. I wonder if that’s how my little league coaches felt. Trying to get these kids to work together, form some sort of team. I mean, my thoughts back then don't even exist now in their present form. I have no idea what the hell I thought except most of the time I felt miserable having to go out into the outfield. But I did like to pick grass and watch the bugs. I just never understood why I was out there playing baseball like that when I wasn't even very good at it. I enjoyed it some of the time, but that was only when I was playing with people that I liked. And then those kids throwing the ball around, sends shivers down my spine. Remembering how after each game the second in command--the assistant coach--would walk and down the dugout. Looking at each and every one of us. As if we were soldiers.

'Alright men!' He would bellow out. Wearing his cap. The head coach was off in his car. Maybe talking to his wife. Maybe he was in the stands talking to another woman.

'Alright men! Today. Today we did good! But who did the best?!' He would search through this, his, ragtag bunch of kids and try and determine, who would be the king of the day. Then wave the ball used for the game. 'This is the game ball.' Everyone would get even quieter. A dead silence, as if a hand was around each of our throats. They would all look at the ball, following it as he shoved it back and forth in erratic gestures. He was making sure, we knew, oh we knew. That ball was the key to all power. 'Okay, today, it goes to...,' and a friend of mine might get it. Or a kid I really hated. I think I got it once. And I felt trapped, terrible, and like the greatest baseball player that had ever lived. In one moment, flashes of grandeur ate away and I thought of myself out on some field at the age of twenty-one hitting home runs. I clutched the ball riding home from the game. I think I threw the ball out years ago when I found it again. In some dusty box, looking at it, crying as I touched the skin and then just being fed up and throwing it in the garbage bin.

After the soccer fields I entered the city. A girl with big sunglasses and jeans walked side by side with me for a long while. Later I would see her hanging outside of a cafe with her friends and we would look at each other for a moment. We traveled, if briefly, together, for a small portion of our lives. That was the look. Along the street everyone stopped. And then motorcycle cops, on what looked like Kawasaki Ninja Street Punk motorcycles drove by. They would wave all the people away. Then clear the street, and with their neon green jackets and visors on their helmets sticking up, they would ride down on just their back wheel, kicking the bike up, doing wheelies, and zooming along. Then came the black SUV's and the glares from all the undercover detectives. Maybe the King was driving along to go out to the forest and countryside. Eventually they passed.

People here on the street were all going somewhere. They were shopping, buying underwear, sipping coffee. Everyone had sunglasses on, so when I looked at their faces I saw less human, more just a member of society. I like seeing people's eyes because it makes me feel like 'you, me, we are both connected.' Maybe that’s the same reason I like wearing sunglasses in the first place.

Eventually I was downtown. I failed in two things I set out to do.

1. Purchase something. A pair of sunglasses, cheap plastic ones that could fall to the floor and not break.
2. Get a refund on a ticket.

The third item was to get a haircut. Which I did. And I sat in a cafe for a while omitting people from all the words and places of my mind.

After my haircut and the cafe I sat in a bar drinking a beer and listening to a Dylan cover, then the Arctic Monkeys, a Johnny Cash cover, then Johnny Cash actually doing one of his songs; from there my mind blurred because I wasn't listening. The beer was okay. Just okay. Sometimes in the afternoon, sitting in a bar, a beer can be really good. Its like the whole world sits in perfect place. But this beer just seemed to be killing time. I finished it quickly. Outside, the patio part of the bar was packed. There was a Kid Rock impersonator wandering about collecting glasses and smiling with a giant grin. I left, grabbed my coat, and decided I'd walk back.

The walk back was mostly long strides. I didn't get lost at any point. I didn't see large churches or run into construction workers eating egg and bacon sandwiches with beers on the side of the unfinished building. There were however, kids drinking beers in the grass at school. And lots of people just kissing against walls and then looking around as if the police were going to catch them. I passed by the same houses that I always pass, and the same dogs that bark at me as I always walk by. When those dogs stop barking I am going to turn right back around because something will be wrong.

I came back home and immediately drank a cup of cold ice water. Then a second and third until my stomach felt full and ready to burst. I took off my clothes, threw on a white t-shirt, and threw the covers on while playing some droning music and closed my eyes. I let the world evaporate. It was dark out by now, I had never bothered to turn the lights on. It felt good not having to go through with that specific motion. Then, the world slowly started to dissolve. From top to bottom. All the images of my long walk, from all the way up here in the mountains at Kringsja, to the far away lit up downtown ticked off in my head. Karl Johan's gate was packed with people. I remember the walk back leaning against the fence with the sunset--feeling the last bit of warmth of the day--watching the children become replaced with men kicking soccer balls around. Then, the lights inside of me went out to. The world was just grains of sand and faded skies.


Right now it’s my favorite part of the day. Its around noonish, maybe 15 minutes past, I have some good tunes playing and the sun has moved just enough past directly aiming at my window so it slices into the room instead of blaring at it like a stereo at full blast. The subtlety of it is great. I have light, and the whole room is calm. My plants are stretching, reaching out and growing. My orchid is still in full bloom, all the coins are stacked neatly on top of my journals and papers. I drank a cup of ice water and ate a salami sandwich with spinach. There are British Pound notes from my travels on the desk, accompanied by sunglasses and a passport. All that represents a nice calm. Something I don't feel often. There are significant moments in every life. I stare at the sea of coke bottles over on my dresser. Maybe twenty glass coke bottles lined up neatly, and I think about going to the fair as a kid and throwing rings on the bottles. Trying to land one on the slender neck to win a prize. I think I won a prize. Aren't I glad? I am. A beautiful way to spend the morning, from nine to noon. Till noon to late afternoon. And my wandering mind. I love this time of the day. Its mine.

always coca-cola

Monday, March 26, 2007

I realized tonight something rather horrible and extraordinary all at once. All about the lake. And I didn't want to open with, 'I realized,' however, I am sitting in blue bicycle shorts from American Apparel, in a white t-shirt, and drinking water out of the same coffee mug that I haven't washed in three months. So I figured there wasn't any point to deciphering out my 'crazy' head, something besides I realized. I just, let it be. And I hope thats cool enough.

The lake just goes round in the same circle. And as beautiful it is, I walk that same circle everyday. I am just putting myself through a giant metaphor for life. And that circle is just me living, over and over. And I know that the subject of monotony and routine is a very old hat indeed. But I just know that this is what I am doing. Here, there, Las Vegas and its shining towers, or Oslo and its foggy fjords. It doesn't matter where the place is. So I'm just living this giant metaphor where eventually I die and can't walk around the circle anymore.

I walk that fucking lake. Then I come back here and write about walking the lake. And its the same thing over and over again.

What the hell happened? With anything. And I don't even really know what that exactly means. 'What the hell happened? With anything.'

It just seems like the thing to say when contemplating where 'you' exactly are in 'your' life.



I cannot center myself. I was going to to write again about the lake and going there to read on a bench. But it seems dull and just more circles. All these circles, walking the lake, writing about it over and over again. Sitting in the chair and winding my eyes around over and over.

Besides, today the page spread out before me seems large and daunting. And I feel split, fractured, with all these people in the room. Especially after seeing so many faces that I know all at once, smiling. But knowing that there is something lurking in the midst. It is a definite feeling, powerful, and it makes me recoil. I didn't do anything to deserve it except be the person that I am. But sometimes the world is jealous and mad, or hurt. Mostly hurt and taking offense that it is something about them. And maybe it is on the surface. But the issue is complex. And requires a metaphor to explain it. Most likely many metaphors. All strung along like a game of pictionary.

And if it were men sitting in chairs looking out at flowing fields of wheat, they too would have worried looks on their faces, pangs of hurt running along their brows. That simple sun wouldn't save them. Not from people, and everything they can do to each other.

Not the metaphor, but instead just a painting on the wall in front of me. I'd rather not get the idea confused, its just me sitting in one of those chairs. Looking out with the blue sky and purple mountains. I just felt like transferring myself for a second away from reality. And it didn't help.

I wish I didn't feel so fractured and split.

land ho'

Sunday, March 25, 2007

dance dance dance

Last night the streetlights were out on the road to Kringsja from Sogn. So I was going to fetch a bottle of wine and I walked back with the trees super scary and dust everywhere. Whenever someone walked by me it felt like a showdown from a Wild Western Movie. Who was going to draw their gun first? And then with the dust blowing around we'd see each other’s faces for a second then keep on walking by. Totally cool. Not one of us even flinching. We let each other know, 'you know, nodding our heads,' and then kept on going.

I managed the trip after blinding headlights and a hurry to gather my things. However, back at the kitchen where we were all sitting, I tried to get my wine bottle open, and failed. The result was me shoving a knife into the cork trying to push it down. The bottle erupted like a geyser when I applied all my force, and the result was wine in my eyes--which burned terribly--wine all over the kitchen, the floor, people's purses, and my shirt.

Now I have to decipher when I go in the supermarket what stain remover is in Norwegian. So I can save my shirt from its purple spotted hell.

The day before I returned to the lake again. As usual, walking around it. At this point I am left with an unsteady mind as to what it is exactly I should be doing. Just with myself, what to do with my time, what to do about people.

‘You know, that sort of thinking where its always about, what the hell am I doing with myself when everything is moving and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere. And where exactly is that place that I am wanting to go to.’

It all sounds cliché and ridiculous, so most of the time I don’t want to put it down. But it relates a lot to walking around that lake in circles everyday.

I thought about a part in Dance Dance Dance, where the main character is basically told to keep moving. Don't stop. Do something always. Because not dancing makes the flow stop. And a river that doesn't flow, doesn't live, it becomes stagnant. I don't want to become stagnant. I know what that feels like, and it’s like dying in my mind over and over again. It is bad. Walking around the lake is me dancing. I'm moving, that’s the only thing I can think to do right now. I figure when I get somewhere I'll stop merry-go-rounding that lake. But at least its very beautiful, shining in the sunlight, all that ice shifting so slowly back and forth.

While I was at the lake I stopped by one of the docks that was frozen in the water, shooting out like an arrow into the lake. It was all twisted and breaking because the ice had contorted it. I listened to the Panda Bear cd again, and after it ended, I listened to the Neutral Milk Hotel cd. Closed my eyes and took off my coat, used it as a pillow and sun-bathed for a long time, while going through the music. Forgetting about time and all the people and everything I knew. Until I felt empty. Draining all the bits and pieces of me into the surrounding scene. I bet it would look so cluttered and chaotic. Or maybe there would be very little. As if I had thrown so much away and left it be. But I think that is impossible. That everything is connected and worked back to something else. Its just not possible for me to see it all because my mind may actually process in this beautiful parallelism, way more complex and astounding then any computer, but I then the restriction comes into play, where we aren't fractured and able to think of lots of things all at once, but instead linearly, in a more step by step fashion. I think its pretty amazing though at flashes of intuition, as if I was thinking of lots of things at once and came to a conclusion that felt completely right. Maybe that’s what intuition is, it’s catching the parallel processes at work. Just brief flashes before being restricted back to this plodding, cave man thinking process.

Sunbathing felt good. I was warm and empty and able to just lie there for a long time. I came back, stopping by the grocery store to grab a coke. I sat drinking my coke reading over some old work and ruminating. Oh yes, 'My hands clasping like an old man smoking in a parlor.'

'Yes. Yes,' rapping my hands on a table and coughing. 'I am ruminating! Do you hear that Esteban?'

This imaginary Esteban looks up at me from his large volume that he is reading, brow wrinkled, a frown, he takes a puff out of his own pipe and sighs and reaches out trying to shake me by the neck. ‘All in our parlor. Yes I hear you. Now shut up. I don't care about your silly thoughts.'

I keep going on an on. Can't stop dancing. Definitely have to keep moving until something happens. Something will happen.

i have the finest taste

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I keep going back to the lake. Walking around it.

Yesterday I sat in my room staring out of the window watching the gulls flap their wings, until they soared away. And after eating something and having a glass of wine I got restless and threw on my coat and stepped out. The lake is still frozen. The day was gray and had rained earlier so everything was wet.

The trees were all sorts of green and their dead leaves matted the forest floor. Whenever I stepped it was quiet. The damp earth masking the sound of my feet. And I wondered whether anyone else was around.

It seems, as I quickly became aware, that the lake is a spot for joggers. They run around it, over and over in repetition. I like looking at their faces. This strong resolution to keep going, and also there are flashes of pain that run along their brows and the underneaths of their eyes are wrinkled from squinting at the sky.

The ground, with all its mud, wasn't much to look at. I walked out onto a dock and saw the pools of water were forming in certain spots on top of the ice, the lake, slowly unfreezing.

What if two men were floating at the bottom. Just glaring at each other, frozen blocks of ice, and as the weather warms up they start to unfreeze. First an arm, then a leg. Parts of their hair swirling back and forth as the underwater waves move them gently about. Just tufts of that hair, free from being frozen. Then slowly one man is free with both arms and begins chipping away at his body. And finally he is free and he drowns the other man. Clasping his gentle hand over the other man’s mouth. After having chipped away just that part of his partner’s face. Both of their metabolisms, faces, hearts, slow and picking up speed. Until one stops completely.

'I'm sorry. But we both knew one of us would get out first. And that would be the end,' the gurgling sounds as he mouthed those expectant singsong phrases out to his once-and-only comrade. And he sighs and closes his eyes, dying. The man tries to escape but realizes that the top shelf hasn't thawed yet. And looking around in terror, struggling with his own life at its end, he snaps his neck back, it goes limp and the water has poured into his lungs and his heart beats one more time until it is covered in water and he floats down gently to meet the other dead man.

So I just kept staring out. And thinking that it was silly but at least exciting. To think about that sort of thing. Inventing that sort of story. Abstract and impossible but I can imagine it so clearly. And I had to blink twice because staring out at the shelf of ice, it crept up on me.

It was moving slowly. Bobbing up and down. The ice was drifting back and forth. The edges must all be free I thought and I kept looking out. And was delighted to see such a thing; I stepped on it at the edge of the dock to feel the sense of the shift. And slightly, it presented itself to me.

I laughed, and if had been in a better mood would have thought about standing here with a crowd of onlookers. We’d make a strange parade. Moving across the ice; like when I was a kid and watched parades on tv. Not a specific one, but just that marching with so many faces. Maybe the joggers would stop and take in deep breaths seeing us move along, bobbing; and then all of a sudden all of us crashing, hearing loud yells, and we fall into the water from cracks and then holes in the ice.

I stepped off a little scared that my foot would break through and I would fall to my death with the two gentlemen of my imagination.

So I walked around. I stopped at a half-dead fire. Some flames still crackling away. I poked it with my toe and looked around. Trying to see if the owner was near. And then picked up the rest of the wood and threw it all on top. Sitting on the picnic bench that was next to it, it was a dark green color. It seemed that moss and fungus had taken over the wood, and it was a soft seat while I watched the whole fire smoke around me. Smelling like pine and rain with the moving ice shelf out beyond. I sat and listened to the Patrick Wolf album and stared at the fire. Soon it lit and my feet got warm. I waited there going through songs and thinking about nothing. Wanting desperately to shut off all my thoughts.

The fire died back down. I felt okay to leave it, not worried that it would catch with the rest of the forest.

There were two other times I stopped to watch the ice shelf move up and down, and back and forth. Shining white surrounded by the tall green pines. The sun was gone so it was dreary and the tips were no longer red. I walked back and returned to my room. Sat in this very chair and read some more and wondered why I kept walking around that lake.



who are you?

i'm the new kid in town.


Friday, March 23, 2007

I wouldn't appreciate if I hypothetically downloaded a music album and it had another band's album snuggled inside of it. So I then have hypothetically downloaded two albums. And honestly, its not that I wouldn't want to listen to your band's music. And then maybe say to my friends, 'Hey man! Have you heard about these guys...MY DIET PILL! Oh man, I would have never found out about 'em unless they had been secretly and falsly placed within another file. Fuck these guys are so amazing. Go download this other album and that's how you will get it.'

Don't fucking sneak shit onto my hard drive.

And that goes to you to Apple. I ditched Iphoto after I realized it was making 3 sets of copies of photos on my computer. Yeah, what the hell is that?! And then I checked off the feature that said for it not to create duplicates. It still has a hidden folder that does. Some sort of backup feature.

what time was it?
who cares.

xoxo from Forever.
Sometimes the only thing to do is read.

'Thats quite a scene,' I mutter to myself walking into my room after putting some food away. Looking at my desk with The Fiery Furnaces Blueberry Boat blaring, awesome guitars wailing away, and a half filled glass of wine in the gray light of the rainy day.

'God I'm bored. Its only 3:20 pm.'

Going grocery shopping while listening to music on an ipod is a wonderful experience.

tuck in the total toes

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Couple of bits:

Interpol is dropping by Vegas. So is Minus the Bear.

The Wisdom of Children

what?! marionettes dance like the mother fuckin' dead!


Yesterday left my room and donned my large navy coat with the sailor buttons because I didn't want to feel cold at all. Just wanted to be as warm as possible. And then with my ipod and Akron Family playing, walked across the buildings towards the fake soccer fields and then forests.

On my way there, near the outskirts I stumbled upon a miniature version of Jamestown. Complete with its own settlers. Small children on a dirty hill with punctures from where they have dug. The snow is all melted and now instead of ice they are covered in mud and dirt. Dry leaves and trash are scattered near the fence of their colony. And small log cabins where only they can stoop low enough to fit are spaced around a square. There, their overseers watch in panic boredom. And the sun is shining down on all of them with warm faces but sometimes savage. One child would consistently beat a stick on a rock and I thought of apes in 2001. Then there were tire swings. With the couples sharing their time there. One kept looking back and forth at each other. The young boy and young girl with mittens, hats, nylon pants, and mismatched hairdo's. It seemed like a collage of clothes all together. Their parents must dress them hurriedly in whatever clean is lying around and then push them out to the door to the free day-care service.

I stood standing there in the crisp air with spring budding and watched the children. Swing, fight, push, chatter, and laugh. I would have pulled up a chair and continued watching their small society but my legs were anxious and together we moved away.

The ground is muddy and I thought that I should have worn my boots this time. And decided that next time I went for a walk in the forest that I would do so. I found a bridge and the river was rushing past quite quickly. So i leaned over for a while watching the cold melted snow water pour by. I sort of wished I had someone to share it with. But I figured either way, it didn't matter so much. In a blasé sun covered state I walked into the forest and under the bridge and sat on some rocks in the sunlight listening to music. Taking the ear buds out and listening to the water. There were no fish and I wished there were fish. And if there were I would have wished to have that old bamboo fishing pole of mine from when I was a kid in Colombia, going off with my angry Uncle Julian. Showing me exotic caterpillars in the morning, swearing, 'Nino. Right here. These are the secret to catching a giant fish.'

I would nod away and look at the jar and at his giant hands and his face and wonder how he had found out such a secret.

After the rocks and the river I moved again and listened to more music. I had climbed a hill earlier and the whole thing was a giant nest of small brown spiders. Every time I made a step in the hill it would explode in flurries of spiders moving in the brush, leaves and rocks.

I thought,
They would bite.
It was okay.
And I made it to the top of the hill.
Thats how i found the bridge,
In the sunlight,
And it made me want to go to it.
And it made me want to stop feeling like I was,
Which it didn't.
But at least it was a river and the water moving made me smile.

I cut through the forest and crunched along some ice until coming across more muddy paths. So far I hadn't seen anyone and expected all to be abandoned. But later I found out that that was far from the case. Though Norwegians tend to stick to the well worn roads. And their exploring nature, as well as their aggression, has been curbed. Maybe they dismissed it a long time ago with that part of the Viking heritage.

There were some mushrooms along the moss strewn ground. I picked one up and it was heavy. I thought maybe it was calcified. But I wasn't actually sure how that would happen or if its possible. But its patchy red exterior was not fluffy like a mushroom in the supermarket and I thought, well if not that, then maybe its becoming petrified. But that takes thousands of years and I was at a loss and didn't feel like tasting it. I dropped it to the ground.

The lake is past some small fires and pits made by the homeless. Most likely immigrants or refugees running away from the Middle East. They camp out and have long burnt sticks that must poke at the flames at night. I wonder if they daydream about the stars in the desert. If i lived in the Sahara I think thats what I would miss the most.

Moving past those small camps and some more ice, I saw the lake. It is massive and their is one of those well-worn paths that snakes and loops around the entire thing.

Norwegians sunning themselves.
There was an old lady who would stand
In the middle of the last patch of snow that hadn't melted
With her dog sniffing and looking up
And she would start stretching up with her arms
As if she were praying to god.
I thought she was silly but seemed so peaceful.
And it was strange to see all the brown and green,
Mixed with this woman in her dirty red coat, reaching toward the sky with her eyes closed.

I walked the path and passed many couples sharing a stroll. And i wondered if they thought I was strange. In my large coat. Because I had no partner, and I did not have any exercise shoes or equipment on me. Rather, it was all joggers or these couples. So definitely out of place in these converse shoes, jeans, and this large coat. Just milling about like I had no home.

Like a modernist character in one of those books. Yeah! Those books from back then, where the character is just fragmented and trying to piece everything together so he belongs. Thats the sort of image. Maybe one of them--maybe the couple that was standing in a beautiful spot overlooking the still frozen lake. The tall man with scruff on his face and the cute but chubby girl, whose face he was clasping in his hands and kissing and then they looked into each other's eyes back and forth. With sunlight pouring onto them.

Maybe when they looked at me they thought about me being fragmented. I sort of hope they did. I saw them after a while, later around the lake, now holding hands and walking in smiles. But probably they were so involved in holding each other's faces and staring at their eyes. Building bridges between isolated islands that they didn't pay attention to shadows and worn paths.

There was a spot in the forest.
With moss on the ground.
Instead of dirt.
And it was all tall pines trees shooting straight up.
It was straight out of the forest from Kafka on the Shore. Where the soldiers are there;
As shadows, I think. I don't quite remember. Maybe ghosts.
But a forest like that.

I remember, 'Tom do you remember when you told me you just wanted to take a certain
Murakami book and go to the forests of Oregon where your Uncle lives and just read
The book there?'

'That's exactly what I was thinking about when I got off the path and went deep into the forest.
So maybe one day you can go to that spot. Okay?'

And then after all that I walked back from the lake. After having walked around the entire thing and exploring the forest. The last image I remember clearly was the beautiful shade of red that would touch the tops of the trees. And the trees were just budding, so it wasn't their leaves. But an effect of the sun and light on the brown of their tips. So that the sky around them was blue and cold but the tops of the trees were a brilliant red, in afterglow of the dying autumn day.

holding my hand steady.


The Panda Bear cd Person Pitch is really awesome. I read the review after Jake sent me an email saying it was coming out soon. So I kept a look out for it. And then finally got a hold of it yesterday.

In the review, the guy (Peter Hepburn) talks about his walk from Georgetown to his neigborhood. And reading it I said to myself, 'I walk to school. Bout the same kind of walk.' So this morning walking to school with the sun out I played the album and thought it was great. Just super beautiful sounds and tones matched with his singing, which is all really happy. I wanted just to keep walking and replay the whole thing. Sadly, class calls.

Its been a while since I listened to a cd I really super enjoyed.

gotta make a decision

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

concepts from my room

The sun has now peaked and is up so high that only a sliver of light is running across my desk. I occupied myself by ripping apart pieces of cardboard from care packages that people have sent and pizza boxes that were piling up in the kitchen.

Potatoes with just butter, cooked for about an hour in the oven get old very fast. And so do pizzas. But thankfully, every ten kroner coke I get--in its glass bottle glory--is still delicious. So I buy two and kick back and write a bit enjoying the warmth and sunlight of the afternoon around noon.

While I was writing earlier, about all my miserableness, I would look up every so often and there in the sky the clouds would be lazily wandering by. And I thought about One Hundred Years of Solitude. Just moments when the characters would be residing in the dusty Colombian town. On porches weaving or playing piano. Gypsies wandering into town. There was a sense of relaxation permeating. I would think of vivid images of yellow colliding with a deep blue of the icy cold river. That sort of contrast of color with light. Mixed together forms a beautiful painting.

My thoughts keep racing around. For one, I have another assignment in front of me. Though, my current moods and thoughts--the stuff that relates to my desire to not occupy my time with society's current take on how to progress at my age--are not related to the assignment. It is only within the past hours have I begun to demonstrate my ability to continue onward. So now I am thinking about what I am going to write about in regards to Victorian Literature. My choices are largely compare and contrast. This story to that, this character to that, this poem to that. And most assuredly does the professor expect citations regarding proof of my thought, as to why the two things are similar. That the bishop's tomb is a manifestation of his selfish desire to be remembered, and how the ladies boat as she leaves her tower, is instead an upward thrust, a scream or yell of freedom. The bishop will die, is already dying, and it will be slow and gradual like dust collecting on a shelf. The lady has been dead for a long time. And spinning her web, she finally leaves Hades and rides the River Styx out only to find herself a corpse with the beautiful eyes of the knights looking down.

I recommend Browning's, 'The Bishop Orders His Tomb...,' and Tennyson's, 'The Lady of Shallot.' Though, if one isn't keen on poetry, and if one isn't keen on a Victorian ideas, then he / she might as well not even bother. And embark on a different sort of affair for what they should be reading.

Memory 1: Excerpt

I don't remember the ride there. Whether we took a boat or plane. Or a jeep. Wait! I remember partly, a green covered jeep and a winding dirt road. A small pitiful thing that snaked along Colombian mountains. Stopping by the side of the road for half an hour bartering for some fruit and goods. Maybe we bought some clay pots? The big kind to be put in a garden, with hanging jasmine flowers, with creepy crawly vines, with orchids and ferns drooping mightily as water tears from the tips and falls on visitor’s heads. I can't quite recall. And after that I only remember the beetles in the light as I looked out of the terrace and onto the square below.

A young child. Before the age of ten. Looking out of a metal terrace. With Spanish curves that wound up in a beautiful wrought iron work. How could I possibly think anything but fairy-tales at such an age? When I was youthful and not in any position to be bothered with the day-to-day affairs of living. As children, as the fruit that is best, I could stare at the glass gas lanterns and hold out my hand. So that dull vomit looking beetles, that disgusting yellow on their backs and black wings that had furrows in-between and would unfold out and towards, fluttering lightly on their backs. My hand simply still and I would peer in. As if I was looking deep into something. Through the eyes of a telescope. And if I was as that child now I would cry at half the things I see. With my mind able to recognize the beauty and sadness in everything. And with my feelings caught up, uncontrollable.

But I am merely a child remember? And as such, I am deeply curious and forever searching. Not questioning, no ability to question. Simply experiencing and therefore I kept holding my hand out for these beetles. As they would make noises and flutter some more and then fly off. I was surrounded by flowers I think. Though the scent eludes me. However brief the scent may have been, I can only give it the standard smell. Yes, flowers. Smell them with me and that is how they were. I looked out over this terrace covered in vine, in flower, in gaslight, and beetles into the dark of the night.

But the people here do not tarry in darkness. No, they string bright lights that make shallow U's from the top of the their buildings to the middle of the square. And this squares was filled with people, all on the outskirts. And deep inside the square was a dark forest. With trees that avoided the light of the men, and my eyes would wander towards them and I would be afraid. Not willing to enter the dark forest that no one sat near. Nor where the fountain of water that trickled clear was silent.

That forest was the evil part of the town. Where the bad men and women crawled from their beds to die. The monsters and terrible life eaters. The people who would pin me down on my bed and say, 'Now there child. You are about to become our dinner!'

I would say in a higher tone than I can say now, 'Why? Why do you come to eat me? And why can't I move and fight back?'

The monster, the leader who has long hands that are shadows and who has claws and looks me from head to toe. And smiles with the brightest white teeth I have ever seen. Oh, he says, 'My child. You are nothing but. And you are not like your sleeping parents over there. For they are strong and sturdy. And have bars and men guarding the insides of their minds.' He says. The great deep evil thing looks deeper into me and then points to the door, then my parent’s bed. And he looks quickly over to my sister. 'You cannot escape. You have no defenses. You are pure and will be delicious.'

And then all of a sudden there is a cat on the terrace and it meows and the monster frowns and then runs away. I cry out and leap into the bed of my father and mother. And the sounds of the night trickle away from my ears until I sleep.


call me an ambulance,
buy me a plane ticket home,
send me books in the mail,
'till i shed my skin, bleed all my blood, feel the desert sun,
and am back to being who i was.

taking a knife to every model portrait hanging in the msu

What do I do when I'm so tired of something. And don't care to pull myself back anymore. Do I just sit where I am and watch it keep on going. Until its gone so far that I'm finally away from it. Without even the option of getting back to it.

Maybe thats what I'll do.

I don't want to go to school anymore. I was dreaming, how I was on this bike with Tio Chris. And he was doing all the peddling. As we went down Tropicana Road in Las Vegas. And at one point I got fed up with him doing everything and said, 'Tio Chris. I want to peddle too. Its dumb for you to be doing all of this.'

He looked at me and then back down the hot street and all the cars passing us by. With smoke and kicked some pedals over to me and I just went at it. But it didn't work out so well. So we stopped again and I jumped off. And I said, 'I don't care if I'm not on this bike anymore. I started running and it was way harder but I beat him. And I threw the fence up around the street so none of them could move. And Jake appeared somewhere on his feet too and we ran all the way back to our Uncle and Aunt's house waiting for them on their bikes.

So I woke up and am sitting here now. Relating all of this back to myself. Because its the only way I can ever get through to myself, tapping my head. My sort of motion for the opposite me in the mirror smiling and saying, 'You aren't doing it enough. You need to write this stuff out more Julian.' Most of the time I shrug.

But thinking it over. I'm tired of not being able to pedal the fucking bike by myself. I don't want to just sit there. I don't even want to be on the bike. I'd rather walk or run there. Forget the bike altogether. Thats what I did in my dream. I want to do it in real life.

I think that all of me. Not just some part of me. Is just completely done. Like I'm done. Look, I'm waving my arms around and I'm looking around. And all these people look at me and don't understand. But I'm done. No more going through any motions. I want to not go through motions or routines that I haven't chosen for myself.

'HOW CAN YOU NOT UNDERSTAND!' I yell over and over and over. And I keep yelling and want them to realize that if they and I all understood together we would finally escape out of all the terribleness. But either they disagree with what is terrible, or they just don't see it.

Most of the time I feel like that. But am so utterly devoid of hope on the matter that people will ever come together. Come together for anything, thats its always going to be horrible. And by horrible I mean having to go through crap that no one should have to go through. Why no one can work together to form something better. Or if they do it gets knocked down, or disappears, or no one sees it. All the sort of mindless motions that everyone goes through. Thats the horrible. Doing it because they see everyone else doing it. And I say to myself, 'Its never going to change.'

And I get jealous at those who still have the hope and drive that I don't. But maybe they will do something. And I can go into that. I hope I can go into that.

The sun is right in my eyes. Moving up past the tower in front of me so that it shines with all its force into this room. I woke up especially early so I could watch it all happen. Sitting here with glazed eyes looking out, talking to Jake. Wishing I was home. Until it arced back and threw light down and now its hot and directly on my computer and my face. I can't write anymore like this.

black sheep boy

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

when was the sky food

Woke up with the sun on my bed all over my face. Went through my normal routine at eight thirty and chucked about like I was a piece of my own dirty clothing on the floor until I decided it was best outside. Went out, walked. It is still cold but the snow is melting and I walk by backyards where the grass is growing. Green, with dogs barking and everyone milling and wandering. Where are they going? Do I want to know where everyone is going? All those people, and all of them with a place to go to and something to do. But then I can start thinking about the people who don’t. Maybe they are just out and then go back in. As if prisoners given some time in the sun. A taste of hope until the guards yell out, ‘Line up! Its time for yer’ cells again,’ and they all, in sluggish movements—some of them praying to god under their breath for escape or salvation—shuffle inside.

Sometimes I feel like that. Tasting life. When do I get a bite to eat? A meal that will fill me up so I won’t be hungry anymore. My stomach is wringing in pain, I lie looking up at the ceiling of my cheap room, and want so desperately to be full. But it doesn’t happen and I can slump down inside this cell of mine. ‘Tapping the inside of my mind.’ And telling myself. All in here, there is so much, but look how none of it changes a thing.


A last town before the frozen tundra and North Sea gasps for air at the tip of the world. Svalsbard is higher up. With frozen ice sheets balancing delicately on the water. Small forms of humans on expedition up North, searching for polar bears and something that only the ice and frozen winds can give them. Where there is nothing. And if a man wants to stare at himself in the face, then he goes there to do.

But Tromso is before all that and occupies cuts into the sea, where tiny red and yellow houses are fences on the landscape. With roads of dirt and snow and ice in between. And the downtown area can be walked up and down in ten minutes. From end to end. Until there is nothing left for the eyes to see. Then we look up!

I saw the Aurora on Friday night after eating sushi and drinking a couple of beers. Pointing off in the distance. Unsure whether its clouds or the sky of fog. But clearly it morphs from a dull line of wisp of grey and green. And we walked out to the darkness of the end of a dock in the harbor of the North Sea. Looking at it. Watching it change from that light color to moving hands—three of them—all green and playful in the sky. A light I have never seen before in my life. Nothing like the clouds and sun colliding together. Or a sunrise across the flat land of the desert. Dipping below and turning purple and orange all it once. No! It was just an alien green of fingers in the sky. Moving from one end to the other. And then the Aurora started dancing. Slowly and pacing itself. So slowly that eventually it seemed to be moving away.

All I could do was look up and wonder if the people that lived here always looked up into the sky to watch what I was watching. And I thought rather sadly that they cared little after knowing it for so long. But I wanted something deep and profound to come to me. Something that only few would be able to write or utter. But instead all I could do was watch and my mind was all blank. I thought maybe this was a moment of such joy that I could cry. But there were no tears. Just the green lights up in the sky dancing away.

We walked away after it seemed to die and fade slowly back into the stars and black. Shivering and cold. And when we thought it was done we were approached by a drunk man claiming to be a sailor.

Short and stubby. He smoked a crushed cigarette and glanced at Alex. Wondering why fairies were out on such a cold night. And why such a creature as myself. Deep and in dark colors stood there with such a light creature. He had a beer shoved in his coat pocket and glanced around, thinking maybe, ‘Maybe she will capture me with a riddle or spell.’ Because Alex would start speaking other languages. And he would try to keep up. While I stood there watching silently and engaged in no dialogue and no talk with the man. He would only glance my way slightly from time to time to see if I was still there. A shadow in the night. And as they continued to banter as if this were a play. A comedy in the night with the Aurora.

Oh! I can imagine it now, Shakespeare diligently writing away in drunken stupor. About yes, oh yes, here she stands, ‘With red hair! And metal beneath her lip! Gifts from rock dwarves deep in the Iron Mountains who catered to her as she grew her wings. And now yes! The great oaf and sailor who has lost his way and stumbles upon the duo. The silent man who slowly treads after the fairy. Searching for something. Nothing to be found. And as an only companion, there is nothing else. But to make sure there are no snares and that there are smiles!’

This was our play. And their dialogue, his lies, and her jabs continued. When I grew bored and looked up into the sky and pointed with delight. The strange hands were back. And now brought partners in tow. All together.

The sky exploded!

There were explosions of lancing lines of purple and green and I thought deeply, I still having nothing grand or profound. Just me, standing there, trying to capture the strangest sight of light I have ever seen in my life. Moving across the sky. It arced back and forth and drew circles. And then far away in a distance a green line curved from the mountains off far away into space. Like an emerald road. And the old sailor pointed and said, ‘Yes, that one there. Is a beauty.’

I nodded in agreement and we all stood there in the comedy of the night. Observing the Aurora. And eventually it faded and the man bid us farewell. Before telling us he was studying the event for weeks. I asked him, leaning in. ‘Do you have something written about it?’ He closed his eyes and then looked at me and then up at the sky and his lips were cracked. He then had a strange epiphany and remarked nothing. I smiled and was almost about to say something but thought better of it and the red haired fairy and the shadow of the night moved away and we drank some more and then slept as the night continued on in practiced revelry to fight the cold. The day ended and we slept until then too.

And my mind always scribbling in my red notebook. Capturing the event. But still, nothing to say. Only to tell about it. From here to there. I wish I desperately had some sort of thought, a moment of clearness. But nothing, and I thought it would be perfect. But that sort of thing eludes all minds and everything that lives and breaths and then dies.


There is one more thing to say of importance regarding Tromso. A spot up in the mountains. A cut, a pass of road from top down a cliff and towards the sea.

Alex, her friend the bartender, and myself drove up to this spot. Where our host graciously waved his arms about and showed us the frozen peaks of the mountains and down below was the sea so far away. With the lights and houses of the town. A road below. We walked around and they went up a hill while I stood by a fire for a while trying to muster something out of myself. But I was spent. And all I wanted was to lay down in the snow forever. Maybe with the winds blowing layers and layers of ice and snow on top of me.

The sky, here, was so thin and it felt like I could slip between it. Then I would not be here on Earth, and I would not be in space. But in a sort of in between state. A sliver in the hand of the world. I thought it was beautiful. And because of the cold the sky was frozen and dull. A pale yellow, a pale orange, with clouds that were struggling to breathe. We left after getting cold and went back and the trip was other things. But it was those things that I brought back with me.

Now back here. I am still spent. I am still worn and I need something. I look at pictures of groups of people. All standing around with hands waving, shaking about dancing, moving and being erratic and caught in the grip of joy of being together. But I can’t have that because it doesn’t fit. Just puzzle pieces, and I don’t want any of it forced into place. But I do want something. Where I am getting at is, I miss my friends. The people I relate with. And all the things that make them who I know.

round round, round run away from those waves

Thursday, March 15, 2007

reflected puddles

I left my room in the late morning and the ground was covered in gravel. I walked from Kringsja to the University. And the ground was covered in tiny bits of gravel and all the snow has melted. So the sidewalks are littered with pools \ puddles of water and the sun has been shining since 7:30. I was up at nine, showered, talked to Devaraj. Which has been good since he seems to be on around when I wake up. Telling me about the day, the haps.

I walked listening to The Killers album and nodded along squinting at the bright day. Everything laid out clean and new. So many people were out. And the trees were forming buds. I had a small jacket but took it off about halfway there just getting warm and the breeze was nice. I like using my two legs instead of taking the train. Not that I'm this guy all into hating on machines and technology and transportation. As if, 'You are fucking up the enviroment.' Na, its cool, I just like walking because it takes longer and I like to pass the time just underneath the sky and breathing in the fresh air.

Oslo is a very beautiful place. More so when the sun is out and the blue is overhead and just walking about with small red and yellow houses. With wood doors and people chatting about their cars, which sit proudly in their driveways. Pretty girls sitting on steps with their cellphones and kids jamming along to music.

The day before I was on the phone. And then simaltenously I was looking out the window and all of a sudden I saw something fall. I muttered to myself that fuck! Oslo must have gotten too much for someone. Because it came from the top of the high roof of the building across from me. I couldn't focus on the conversation and then staring out I realized that birds were leaping off the building. But suicide style. They would just fall off the ledge and at the very last second--they did this as they were level with the cars in the parking lot--they would spread their wings and glide away. Each bird taking its turn while the rest watched. They were bird base jumping. So I just sat there watching them and thinking that those are some crazy fucking birds.

Now, walking here, at school. The computer lab is full and I'm hungry so will be out looking for something to eat. All the kids smoking cigarettes on the stoops and steps and ladders of the university. All positioned in yellow rays and conversing away in Norwegian.

I printed out my assignments and tickets. Tomorrow Alex and I are going to Tromso up in the Artic Circle to try and catch the Northern Lights. But I think our luck might not hold out. And the trip will end up us standing on some cliff all night until the sun comes up without seeing a thing.

Amsterdam on the 18th of April.

i get my glory in the desert rain

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Jake is the greatest ever. He recreated two awesome scenes from The Comedians of Comedy movie. And then posted them on his Xanga for me to see from all the way over here in Oslo.

I laughed hard this morning watching. Thanks man. And thank you to Jamie as well. I hope you two are having a great time in Portland.

dum dun dum dun dum dunn ing ing

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Part of my experience seems to be a lot of sitting in front of this window. Staring out and being alone. Either thinking or not thinking. I don't really know what it means yet. I mean. Most people would assume that all this time, spent sitting here, is a waste of that time. And maybe, I am one to agree. But maybe I don't agree. The problem then, is, what exactly does all this sitting and looking out at this window get me.

Now I understand the idea of decompressing and unwinding after doing a lot of work or just after all kinds of stress. The need to relax and compose oneself before going back out into the storm. But, what storm am I in? Nothing. I travel. I walk around. I read. I write. And over and over again. That's what I do. So then, why all this time just staring. And passing time with nothing. What am I appreciating?

So I start to think whether I am just wasting time. But again, is the time doing something other than this better spent time. Or is it all a pile of nothing. And either way, whichever way I choose to spend it, is it fruitless.

How am I sitting here in the dark with a glass of wine just staring out in the dark. And doing nothing. I have some music playing. And of course, I am writing this. But thats it.

I have considered making a baked potato. But like I told Tori over the phone earlier, 'I haven't gotten past the threshold of my door. But if I do, I think it will be a delicious baked potato.

the sunny beaches of Mexico


Me and My Shadow

Today at 8:30 my room was blinding. I woke up in a film of sweat and no escape. I fell out of my bed and looked up and there the sun was shining in all its glory. The brightest sun I have ever seen in my life and my entire room was covered. I walked around stumbling trying to figure out how to get away and eventually ducked into my hallway / closet where I stood looking back in every few seconds completely confused and amazed.

It seems that Spring has started here in Norway. With twilight out right now while I write; the windows are all open people are milling about on their balconies smoking and rubbing their eyes. There is music playing, cars driving and a sense of freedom. The oppressive weight of gray skies has been lifted and in this transitory moment people are leaping from cliffs and ledges to land on new ground.

After collecting myself in the morning with the great sun all around. I struggled half asleep to push my bed against the bookshelf on the right side of my room. And then opened the whole window and fell back asleep with the sun's rays on the edge of the bed. This spot is the only one in the whole room that is protected. I don't have blinds or covers and it seems now that until I do this is going to become ritual for me in the mornings. Unless I really want to be up so early in the morning. And increasingly so. When May / June hits the sun will be out around 4-5 am.

I am looking forward to walking around the forest in light when it should be dark. And I'm sitting here trying to write a paper. About Jane Eyre. But so far have only written, Jane Eyre...and thats it. I think I'm getting progressively worse at approaching or even thinking about school essays. Getting more and more cemented in writing only what I want to write. And seriously though, how many people have already written on the topic, 'Jane Eyre is about a woman's journey towards maturity and autonomy.' Discuss.

There is a large sigh after that discuss. And then many more as I stare at a blank word document trying to drum up any part of me caring, to write a decent first line. That will let me write out the rest of the essay.

I just don't know how I am going to keep doing it, with school and all. As it gets worse and worse. Until:

1. I shut down completely and just end up staring off into space not able to do it at all. Like I become a comatose patient when it comes to school.

2. I revolt and simply stop going. Not like shutting down. Because I can probably go through the motions of school indefinitely. Showing up isn't hard. Its making it count that is hard.

3. (I had hating my life on point 3. I don't think its that) More like I get to a point where I'm miserable but doing it as if I were in a bad marriage and couldn't get a divorce. That sort of thing.

I don't know if there is more there. Those points seem to accurately represent my frustrations. I just feel like its a big world. (And I've felt this before I was even here in Norway). And that in this big world. There are a multitude of ways of living. And that this social standard that seems like a good fit for many people is not one in which works for me. I don't want to come off as arrogant or spoiled. I don't mind work. And learning. Its just this isn't the approach. Like going from point A to point B. I need to find a different means of traveling. And now I've come off as a new agey, help yourself sort of voice. Which fuck! That was never the point either. More like I'm this close--and I'm pinching my thumb and finger almost together. With just a sliver of gap in between--from saying on the first lines of the paper I'm supposed to write:

"I definitely agree with the question posed. Jane Eyre is about a woman's journey towards maturity and autonomy. I would be pleased to discuss this with 'you', whoever you may be. A teaching assistant or my teacher. But I would rather not spend time in a room wracking my brains trying to come up with an original approach of saying what has already been said hundreds of times before me by hundreds of students. I can also assure "you" that I read the book. If you would like to discuss the novel, we can arrange a time and place over coffee or dinner. And share our thoughts, as two intelligent human beings.

I would also like to state that "you" most likely do not enjoy reading these papers over and over again. And at one point in life did not expect to be doing so each and every year. If I'm coming off as being antagonistic then its because I feel pissed and depressed about the whole process in general. And would wish the both of us to move towards changing. Maybe its my problem to begin with. And should not waste anyone's precious time if I'm not willing to care about the process that is already laid down. If another student can get through it. Then I suppose I am not them. And this essay, which has become my complaint, has now become a very childish letter of resignation to the process of studying at University, and working towards a degree."

And writing that out hasn't helped much. But now I'm going to do something else and maybe drum up enough energy to write the paper. If not. Maybe I will be coming home early because I couldn't bring myself to do the curriculum any more and they send me something in the mail saying, "go home. you don't want to be here. we don't want you here." Which is far from the truth. I am soaking everything up as fast as possible. And morphing and going in all sorts of directions. Figuring stuff out. But not from school. And never usually from school in the first place.

maaybe, with uh, directional speakers

Monday, March 12, 2007

sunset room part 1

Walked today from school to Kringsja. Half of the way talking to Tori and laughing up the hill. I swear I can't just place reality sometimes. Where I am and my relation to it. And I just start to lose myself. Like shedding my skin. I'm a lizard. I want to disappear into the fog. All this talk about disappearing and blowing away. It is because I want to just move so fast and exist all at once. More than not actually being there. Sort of being shot out of a gun and watching all the trees and cars; the dogs, parks, people, smoke, and fires at once and landing on the other side of the world. Saying to myself, "That was one helluva ride." Then just keep walking like nothing happened.

But it was twilight out with clouds all gray. Not very cold I was wearing clothes I'd wear back home in winter time. Just engaging the street with my eyes and anyone on a bike or waxing their cars. People must be eating dinner soon with their kitchen lights on. Maybe they would look out of their windows while setting the table and see me and wonder, "Where is he going? What is he doing?" Not so much as important but more like wondering in general.

The morning was deep fog, blown away later by wind. And now the snow has almost all melted. With the trees crying bits of tears down on people's heads as they sigh and move about to one place or the other. Its just as if everyone were taking one more giant breath and then in an explosion of energy they will all wake up out of hibernation. Rubbing their bleary eyes, kissing loved ones, and emerging from homes and hovels out to a shining world of spring and light.

Edinburgh: excerpts from my notebook, comments

'Edinburgh was dazzling from the airport. Up atop I could see the green hills, pockets of forests, and then land that dipped down, and broke up into mountains and hills. I could see small clusters of sheep on wide pieces of land and a city cut in half by a large body of water. The ocean is off in the distance and I feel tired. My eyes are worn. My legs are sore. I want to fall asleep but I am kinetic and moving forward with a force I didn't know existed in me. Can't write on this bus. I'll write more later.'

I explored the Scottish National Gallery. A free museum of art. Matt recommended it to me after I found his office and dropped off my stuff. He is young. Super hospitable and was an excellent host and new friend to make. I am glad the Pai’s and Amar were able to help me out and introduce me to him.

Seems to enjoy teaching philosophy and had a few things to do before he showed me his place so he told me the best direction to go. And there I went.

I walked by droves of people. My mouth smiling. I paid a bagpiper 1 pound so I could make the short videotape of him. Then I stood agape staring at the Sir Walter Scott Memorial. All black. Which I thought was black stone. But just covered in soot and grime from the industrial age of Edinburgh. And now it’s too fragile to be cleaned.

I wandered the museum looking at the paintings. I partly have a dislike to them though (not the paintings themselves, the action of looking), with all the paintings hanging there and only spending a few minutes at each one until I feel compelled to move on to the next one. Barely registering the last piece I looked at. So then it becomes this race to see all the paintings, consume everything. It makes me really sad. I wish I had more patience. So every time I'm in a museum I will stand there for as long as I can and just look and look at the work until I can't look anymore. Not that that makes enjoying the piece any better. It just instead becomes this huge battle I'm fighting in myself, and the painting is merely a tool for that battle of patience.

A Roman Sunset. Where the comment stated, 'So and so artist initially painted the sky as too orange. Ruskin stated it was so and so terrible and then the artist, after clearly presenting it to the populace and having it received with much applause, spent months repainting the sky to better accurately show a "proper" sunset as Ruskin claimed it should. Then I stood there wondering what the sky would look like with more orange. And imagined this far deeper painting. With a great swath of fire.

Other paintings. But looking back. It just doesn't seem that important. I did though find the impressionist room and sat on a couch staring at one of Monet's haystacks in the winter for about fifteen minutes until I felt bad for hogging that spot and left. Wandering more.

'Roaming the large green park of Edinburgh. My favorite great piercing black spire from my mind now touches the lower parts of the sky off in the distance from this hill that I stand on. Rolling green hills. A steep climb up to the castle. I am hungry. But food seems silly right now. The trains are moving down below. Clouds doing the same. The weather is chilly but nice. Much better compared to Oslo. I am excited to see the castle. I explored the castle. Before I go on. I'm sitting in a nice bar. OZ Bar? Filled with pool players and college kids listening to music. I ordered a pint of Stella Artois. Happily drinking it and resting my tired legs. Staring out the window writing this. Castles are castles. This one gave a breathtaking view. Scottish crown jewels. But it’s all on the surface. Tourist stuff. Stain glass windows in the chapel at the very top were nice. And so was the prison. But otherwise an impressive construction of stone with cannons and too many walls and cold places. There are some monuments, churches, steeples that are black all along the winding road before the bar.'

After the bar I crossed a field and back to Matt’s office where we walked to his flat. It is real laid back and he set me up in my own room with a bed. I was really excited about that part. Just sprawled out on a giant mattress. Nothing like that until I get back home I’m sure. Went to grab a bite to eat at a good Indian restaurant. Had another Stella Artois. Then we went to this great art house movie theater. Where you can drink in the theater and there is this bar out in the common area. Just people milling around, talking in their Scottish accents. Girls and guys roving about and tables filled. We went and watched Letters From Iwo Jima and I was a little out of it after the beers but the movie was really interesting. With the characters describing their feelings and emotions through these letters that they are writing while the war is going on in the background.

Left after the movie. We walked around. He showed me a line of pubs and then showed me in my state where the direction of his home was and then headed off. I jumped into the first pub. It was filled with local kids all jumping around being rowdy. I had a beer and watched the bartender hit on a girl the whole time drinking it. After the pint I stumbled away from there after talking to the girl and bartender about another good place to go.

Ended up walking a line of clubs and milling about with all the people smoking outside. Listening to their accents. I found a square with a pub called Tron and sat on the stoop of the steps in the square. With black night, calm skies in my big coat and just mused away. Wishing for something to smoke and I watched the people. Kids throwing bottles against walls and yelling out loudly. Eventually I wanted another beer. Walked up to the bouncer at Tron but he said they were closing. So I ducked into a venue in some basement and sat on a large wood stool watching a guitar player and drummer setup. The place was shifting all the time with drunks and women lining up and milling about on more stools. People sat on couches kissing and lost in oblivion. Eventually the band came on. I can’t remember their name. Just the two of them covering American rock n’ roll songs. Aerosmith’s Love in an Elevator. Foo Fighters tunes. I was enthralled at them actually performing the stuff but after a while got bored and crazy in my head and had to leave the place. More like I felt like I was slipping away. And would soon myself face to face with actually having to interact with someone. Which, I somewhat wanted to do. Being terribly bored and slightly alone through the night of wandering. But then part of me also wishing not at all. Not to enter into a complication in the first place. Not with a night of dark skies and cobblestones to march across in a giant blue navy coat.

Then I walked alleyways for an hour. Just going through one and coming out on an empty street and then back into another. I felt like I was going in circles a little bit. But the old part of the town isn’t very big and can be walked from anywhere to anywhere else. I managed to find Matt’s. Couldn’t figure out which building it was on the street so I tried them all with my set of keys. When that didn’t work I called his cell phone but he didn’t answer. I realized that his voicemail said his last name so I checked it with all the plaques. Found the building. Then buzzed it for a while; police drove by and I hid in some bushes. Then they left I worked on the lock some more with the keys until finally one of them worked. Stumbled up in the hallway and spent time trying to open the door at the top.

Matt came out half-asleep and sort of laughing—hearing me trying to open all the locks maybe thinking a thief was afoot. Let me in. I wandered to the room. Halfway through the night woke up and got some water. Looked down. My toe was half bleeding / half dried up blood. I must have cut it open in the night at one point. It hurt like hell. I slept and woke up to the sunlight on my face in the early morning before he had even gone to work. The toe was throbbing and I shut the curtains and slept again wishing I had never woken up and instead slept straight until noon.

makin' love in an elevator

Sunday, March 11, 2007

precious time. it won't last forever

I walked out of Alex's and it was typical Norwegian fog dark and scary out as I walked running back to my own building and room. My week long trip to London and Edinburgh was really beautiful. And I am always amazed at how I come out of traveling with a more cemented view of the world. Where I stand. But sometimes it makes me feel really desolate and crazy. Like a grain of sand. And i want to blow away in the wind. But there is the picture above of me standing on Parliament Hill overlooking all of the city of London. Reim was an amazing host and photographer.

I will write more on Edinburgh and my travels. Posting small excerpts from my handwritten journal when I'm not in the state I am in now. But i wanted to express my love and adoration for the people in my life. And slowly realizing the great importance that everyone, as they stand on places in my life, hold to me. And how people are all that is with us, and how they are the world, the places, and everything. And they are the important things with everything else below. And expressing that, it just makes me smile and think about blue skies, rocking chairs, and cups of dark coffee.

I am glad people read this, and explore this Sunrise Room and see what it has to offer. I am excited about a bed and solitude for a bit before I depart to Tromso and my northern lights expedition with Alex. The night is covered in the breath of the woman of the night. And the breath spreads evenly on the ground while I lie hungry in bed. But my eyes close and the music drapes as the sound falls on my eyelids and I am fed and sleep.

* I am glad that there are people who feed me. Because I don't do such a good job of that myself.

sometimes its all a bad dream.
and sometimes its all beyond that.

Friday, March 09, 2007

pay the piper

Some bagpipes in Edinburgh.

only cause i gave him a pound

dead steps on stone streets

Early morning in Edinburgh, its twilight and the streets are empty. I left Matt’s flat around 6 in the morning and trekked through the cobblestone streets. It felt eerie and cold. The wind howled and I felt like a madman. Thick drops of rain fell rarely and the cars and shops were all quiet and dead. I was tired and bleary eyed. Near Waverly I finally found a cab running who took me the rest of the way to the bus. And from the bus I managed to the airport.

The atmosphere now changed from quiet people to bustles and hustles and all the luggage and clean faces and dirty faces and tired faces. The airport is open. I am flying back to London.

still quiet

jewels on dirt floors

These posts are mismatched and out of order. I haven't been writing chronologically as to where I am write now. Maybe. But things leap around a lot.

Waking up to Reim bubbling with excitement about the market adventure. We initially were going to take the train, then bus. Then realized sitting on a stoop near the Julian House Hotel that we could walk to Camden and did so. Passing old brick buildings covered in ivy and wild brush. We passed under an enormous construction of cement like a Vegas casino to finally walk up a street that reminded Reim of Brooklyn to end up facing the Camden Markets.

Markets are anthills. And going inside is a maze. We entered different stalls. I remember vividly the section where they were cooking food. Chinese and Indian’s yelling out the menus and days food. I had eaten at a small café run by a woman from Croatia; she advised me on some sort of thick mozzarella and avocado sandwich. I ate a croissant after, drinking a coke and watching people move about while Reim took pictures. Eating such delicious things is always satisfying.

The bubbling pots of curry stick with me the most. Simmering and thrashing about in their steel prison cells. Dished out to ravenous packs of animals. As they tear into the meat and dip bread in leftover sauce. Their faces animated in delight and mine in horror as they continue to eat and eat.

We walked through ceilings of crystal and glass, with light shining through and creating small jewels on our faces. Passed bags, clothes, vintage clothes, racks of coats and pants, and military fashion. Punk rockers roving about with bullet belts and Mohawks. I felt lost and enamored and struggled to keep my eyes open.

At one point I was trying on a Navy officer’s hat to go with my jacket. But a rather angry man with a Mohawk and tank top rushed over to me, ‘No, NO NO!’ And he grabbed it off my head and left shaking his head. Probably muttering that I’m a damn Yank. I vividly recall Tori calling me a Yank. I don’t think it’s an endearing term coming from the mouth of a U.K. citizen.

After walking back and forth. Passing the shining river and drug dealers on street corners selling their own wares, Reim suggested we take a bus to Parliament Hill.

A large park, with a high hill called Kite Hill. From here one can survey the entirety of London. The great Ferris Wheel and pockets of modern skyscraper skyline. Reim took photos while I sat with my face in the breeze half asleep. Gripping my coat. Looking down at the river and the willow trees gently dipping their hair into the water. People brought their dogs without leashes to run and bound about.

I watched a young man talk to a traveling woman, very attractive, blonde, and with a smile that he was obviously enjoying. He was creating a relationship. Inquiring further and further into what she was doing, where she was going. Receiving her phone number and telling her about all the great clubs he would show her. She seemed mildly enthralled, excited more to be interacting than interacting with him. I think maybe that’s a big thing with traveling. The pick and choose attitude of interaction at home dissolves and an openness ensues where all people—people—are better in every light and ready to be talked to, to be listened to, to go home to.

She left with her phone number in his phone. He called his dog Sasha—a pit-bull—to him and they walked about the hill. Him mostly likely musing about future interactions with the pretty girl. He tucked his head into his red hoodie and smoked a cigarette walking down the hill opposite of where we had walked up and into a great forest of criss-cross trees.

Reim joined me after her jaunt of photos. Snapping them up as the sun broke through the clouds.

We walked and ate dinner at a pub in Kentish Town. A place seemingly filled with blue-collar working class. The pub was a pub. Filled with men and women, all average. Drinking pints of beer and then 6 rolled around and the kitchen opened. We ordered food and enjoyed a meal in the loud noise, raucous excitement of people gathering. Leaving, falling asleep early to leave the next day to Scotland.