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Date:  May 18th, 2003
Time: 04:48 (4:48am)
Subject: It's in your head... don't loose your head

Given the honest decision to make out with a pretty girl and preach the Dhamma, guess which I chose...

So today has been beyond all belief.  Around the time Sheila and Matt and his girlfriend Amy arrived at the Moustache on tenth between 1st Ave and A ave to meet Erin Adair and her posse, I hit total sensory shutdown.  I completely lost all ability to communicate effectively.  We had spent the day in Central park where I completely regressed to a six year old mentality, climbing every rock and rambling through The Ramble, after storming the Castle on Turtle Lake, after practising backflips in preparation, after picking up a script with Sheila for an upcoming workshop, after a madcap, adventure filled several weeks and having previously reached the surge-blowout upon leaving Charlotte, after all of this, THIS unconscious decision arises...

I meet Matt's dance partner...

She's 23 and clad in Leather.  We are sitting in a bar, I am pressed up against Erin Adair, whom I've had a horrible crush on from time immemorial, who is in turn pressed up against her boyfriend Pete, a Punk Rock musician who may be touring Japan in the coming months, who has full arm tatoo sleeves (who is every bit as Corey would be were he a native New Yorker) who is still to this day, even one of the best girls in the whole wide world, one of the winners in every right, a fashion designer in training wearing a shamrock poodle skirt and saddle shoes, a blond dreadlocked goddess of a girl whom any man would recognize as one of the prime examples of what is right about the world; and who should be across the table, but the leather clad mystery dance partner of Matt, whom I recall from his travels as an Itenerant Carpenter in a Van passing through Chicago, he had danced, for money; hence becoming professional swing dance partners.  Claire sits there.   

But before all this, Beth calls, while at dinner, while I am in the process of mental/emotional shutting down;   She asks about my sister's wedding.  It has been so long ago, so many lifetimes ago, a whole WEEK ago and almost a thousand miles; rather five hundred miles that feel like a million... My sister was married and I have not even begun to process that, emotions eclipsed by the overflow of my time spent with Julie.   My appologies to the innocent, but I am not what this seems.  Here I stand on the overflow of emotion yet again, at this moment, sun rising over Brooklyn, and I can not even imagine sleep.  Sheila is in the other room and I cannot even begin to grasp Penn Station at Three O'clock on a Sunday, when I board a train back to Chicago, ride to the top of the Sears Tower, visit Jessica at work, board another train and arrive two days later in Emeryville, outside of Berkeley, where I left "home", loosely speaking.   There awaits a tree, a tarp, a down sleeping bag, candles and a groundcloth.  Maybe.  But maybe for it all.  At this moment, I cannot say what is real and what is the matrix, reloaded.

[aside: while running to hide in the bathroom at dinner, I got into a conversation with a woman before me in line; she said she too was escaping the conversation at the table; they had just been to see the matrix and without irony said, "oy vey, they want to philosophize about it."]

Two nights ago Erik and I rekindled our friendship; last night at this hour we, Sheila, He, and I, were eating wedding cake from my sister's wedding in this very spot where now I type this missive.  And so I want to know where to begin?  With the present from... and names, all names escape me, but lets say one life in the present, one life in yesterday, one life in tomorrow.  I cannot see the river for the flow. 

Not a single one in our group tonight was not wearing glasses.  And when Erin and Matt and Pete and Amy and I and Claire were crowded into a bar I spoke of the chameleon nature of fashion and one's ability to descretize [def: to make discrete, modularize], to unitize, to synthesize a fashion out of constructs and wear it externally, yet like the skin of a chameleon; fashion can be concieved of internally or externally; as an expression of the inner being (i.e. Erin's highly individualistic poodle skirt) or externally (i.e. following the magazines as I do).   Somehow, it all made sense at the time.

Sun rises over Brooklyn and I need another cigarette.  I made calls sitting atop the statue of Alice in Central Park.  Central Park.  I always assumed I had been there, when all I had done was visit the perimeter.   I had never bodily penetrated the park.  Yet.  I led the others, Matt, Amy, and Sheila, on a tour of the park nonetheless.  I have studied that fucker on maps for years.  I have seen pictures of it from when Manhattan was a forested island to a gridded development, to a landscaped cityscape.  I have studied the city from arial photos, satelite photo, urban density studies, in cross-section, in plan, in perspective, social, allegorical and graphic.  I have seen it in movies, I have dreamed it in dreams.  Turned loose in the park I became a six year old.  My parents spent, what, 17 years in the city?  Central park is genetic memory for me; with the silent hallowed feeling of a library.  We stormed the castle, quested for and crossed the fabled Bow Bridge while a Gondoleer sang arias to his passengers; Sheila and I freestyled in Iambic Pentameter... it was a beautiful day.  Like being six, but with longer legs and more style.  Speaking of style, lets not forget the transvestite jester in the grotto singing duets with himself in the most beautiful falsetto I have ever heard, wearing gold lamee and a formidable codspiece...

And somehow, after sensory overload, careening around the cliffs of emotional collapse, overwhelmed, nothing more than a cup of coffee resuscitated me;  by nine I was ready for bed and here I am still, watching the sun rise again.  But that was before I met Claire.  After dinner, we went for said coffee and deserts;  I had NY Cheesecake (obligatory tourist jesture); Sheila bowed out of that dance; went home, perchance to sleep before the AIDS walk today.  We went from bar to bar to bar until we found one without cover, with lights, and a narrow booth.  One by one the entourage of fifteen dwindled to just us two, Clair and I.  The night wore on.  And, I could think of nothing but what is real.  As soon as we were alone, she and I, the chameleon skin was pealed back.  And the Buddha Dhamma flowed.  Mental note:  never try to pick up a beautiful leather clad beauty with an exegetical synthesis of Saussurian Linguistics, Buddhist epistemology and Hegelian dialectics.  We talked until four, to her "local bar," to the front door, but I was not invited inside :-(   Left to my own devices the species clearly would not survive...

And Beth is in Seattle.  And WiL is in Seattle.  And Jayme is in Seattle.  And Matt is (soon) in Conneticut.  And Tommy is in Asheville.  And Lindy is in Berkeley.  And Julie is in Charleston.  And Jessica is in Chicago.  And Claire is on the Lower East Side, between Chicago and Conneticut.  And what the fuck was that all about. 

Internal Soundtrack: "Don't loose your head!!!

Its in your head!!!"

Date:  May 19th, 2003
Time: 02:21
Subject: recap on

Back to Chicago from New York.  Full circle again.  Spontaneous change of plans around five.  Decided to not do three straight days on the train;  I'll push back my itenerary by a day.  Overall, I'll have to say the month and a half obsessing about this itenerary was a success.  I was wrong about when I was leaving Charlotte, and I was wrong about thinking it would be a good idea to travel three days straight on a train when there was an attractive alternative.  So tomorrow I'll deal with Chicago; red line to somewhere and on to the Urban Oasis.  Via the top of the Sears tower or a museum or something...  I have a really hard time accepting that any place is any different than any other.  If memory serves, "the 'L'" in Chicagan parlance refers to the "elevated train" whereas in context of NYC, the "L" is the train that runs out to Brooklyn, to Williamsburg, to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical gardens, and most importantly to Sheila Joon Ostadazeem (sp??? sorry sheila!).  Really the differences are in the similarities. 

what the hell just happened;  My sister is now married to a really nice guy, career tracked, bound to a home, a new life in Charlotte.  Children are the next priority.  Think they're giving it two years to settle into married life? that's the plan?  Whereas with me 'planning for children' takes on a much more apocalyptic timbre: "and when they opened the seventh seal..."

The wedding.  I don't think I've properly addressed the wedding.  I don't really have a steady flow of thoughts about it yet...

,,,to be continued!


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