Subject: base camp Berkeley; burning bridges.
Date: 19-2-03

The sun now sets on my first night in Berkeley.  For real.  For good. to Stay this time. [For now]

I woke up this morning on a Greyhound bus. There's something fundimentally wrong with a day that starts on a greyhound bus. I think its the entrance of consciousness into a slightly slightly skewed inertial frame from that which consciousness is accustomed. We're used to moving so fast easterly, on a rotational axis that itself revolves around an axis about an axis about an axis, which makes our combined velocity quite fast, so the relative displacement of a Greyhound bus heading south on I-5 at 65 miles an hour is probably insignificant by comparison, and yet there you go tracing a slight spiral with your velocity where your body is accustomed to returning to the body from dreams. Instead, your head, spiralling out of your control, aboard the Greyhound to L.A. is mismatched with its point of departure.

So indeed, yet another eventfulless trip. As soon as  I boarded the bus I tried to ignore the cute girl in front of whom I deliberately sat (reflex) and focus on Derrida. Thankfully, she was either young or vacuous or both, and I was successful in burying my nose all the way to Portland, at which point it was no longer an issue. I read till I felt like my eyes would bleed, woke up in the morning and read some more. I made it to page six or seven in the narrative. I brought "Dissemination" along with me this time, and it includes 30 pages of Translator's introduction, then 50 pages of "this is not a preface, prefaces are stupid, okay its really a preface, but stupid, or is the problem of the preface really the problem of being, at which point all is for naught?" sorta thing. Derrida can kiss my ass. It makes me once again question my path in life. Do I really want to end up like that? Am I already like that? Oh shit.

So everything about my last visit to Seattle was subterfuge. I hid from myself the nature of my trip. In reality I wanted to verify beyond a shadow of a doubt that I really was done with Seattle. And that was accomplished with aplomb. I am so done with seattle it hurts. And let me tell you how it hurts. Two of my best friends would rather watch TV (Joe Millionaire final episode) then hang out with me on my last evening in town.  I guess they've grown accustomed to me leaving town (fourth time in six months), but still, to be trumped by TV is too much.  It already happened several times while I lived there that I was snubbed for "Buffy" (the vampire slayer). And as Rachel so adequately demonstrated for me, I am in fact the Jealous type. Its not that Buffy's a girl, its that she's a TV ...

Anywho. There is also the small matter that I am being PUSHED out of Seattle. All of my friends have coupled off in a serious way (but for Corey, (and Corey's always too broke to party)). WiL arrived in Seattle with Carrie and they have had a running date for "when Carrie gets off work" every night since. Buster and Krista have monopolized eachother's weekends for the last year, leaving me his weekdays which went from "I'm too broke to hang out cause I'm unemployed," to "I 've got to be up early cause I've got to work." Daniel moved in with Rzan, and I haven't seen him since. But then the real heartbreaker, Beth, my dearest and most beloved Beth, went and got herself hooked in a traditional way after all these years. As much as I tried to fight it, tried to wedge myself between them, they "two" have become "one" person. All is lost. My last compatriot in this voluntary solitude has switched teams. Suddenly the balance has shifted.  I feel lonelier and more foreign among my friends than I do among strangers. Thus, the inevitable occurred.

Whatever my work in Seattle was, it is clearly done. I'm now in the process of undoing whatever it is I did to be from Seattle. Got a different hairstyle and am now sitting in my new living room, the Graduate Studies Library at University of California, Berkeley, on federally subsidized homelessness. In my first away expeditions, I experimented with distance: Thailand, history: Charlotte, backpacker culture: Green Tortoise, S.F. , all with various levels of success and failure. In Thailand I've learned that travel is no longer enough. That without a mission or purpose there is nothing "there" for me anymore. My old school of travel no longer satisfies. I need to reinvent travel for myself, but not now... Charlotte taught me the same lessons as always, but this time in its graduate level; namely, that my parents will only lend their emotional support when I am a) working a career oriented job, or b) going to/back to school. The weird part is that Beth's parents reacted the same which, in a one-two punch sealed my resolve. As much as I actualize myself in being the bohemian I inescapably am, I receive little encouragement. I can trace the connections between distant realms of esoteric thought, turn it into jazz and design a building around it until I'm blue in the face, but if its just high minded concepts, its not important, just idle chatter. So Charlotte taught me that, given that "career" is not an option until certain choices are made, the only way to receive the support and encouragement of my family is to bite the bullet and go back to Grad School. So here I am.

Now, my first expedition to San Francisco became nothing other than establishing base camp and meeting Jen, who is the textbook model of whom I will marry (if that's even in the cards), or at least, one for whom I would make personal, essential concessions. I don't really look at those three weeks as being in San Fran so much as being in Jen. We maintained a perfectly platonic relationship much to my dismay, and her boyfriends relief, but in its place we had a three week running conversation that will go down in the record books of conversations if there ever was such a thing. I have never met someone who could/would discuss linguistic philosophy, at length, indefinitely and interminably; days on end we talked. and talked and walked and... you get the picture. We are also both "the one" in every situation that gets bitched at for making the others walk too much. So together we traversed the better part of the bay area. Okay so lesson learned: its not absolutely inconcievable that I may meet someone I could marry, its just extraordinarily unlikely that our circumstances will line up when next I do... But its okay. I have my woods to keep me warm. And now it seems so long ago that I even knew a girl named Jen... Such is my fate, live, dare, forget.

So yada yada. I have no intention of telling anyone about this missive. It is the bridge burner after all. The fait accompli of my move. My move was not "to" it was "away." I don't think anyone fully realizes that. I have no next destination, I was bluffing about Berkeley.  To find myself here now is a really funny joke to me. Taking myself at my word, and just pantomiming through the act of being Hudson, waiting for THE NEXT BIG THING to crop up.

It is 8:09 P.M. I have an appointment tomorrow at the DMV, and I have to be at my sister's wedding first week in May. Other than that, my calender is pretty open. My latest project is trying to accidentally learn french, by reading Deleuze and Derrida excerpts in french. What else do you do when the two copies sit side by side on the shelf? Besides, from so many years reading so many esoteric texts, from reading the likes of Finnegan's Wake and the Prajnaparamita Sutra I have found that reading french is relatively easy. I already understand Derrida in French better than Finnigan's. So I am "accidentally" learning french and "accidentally" learning web development, and "accidentally" learning so many thing that its starting to resemble no accident at all! But, judging from my friends, my lovers, and my family, it is still a filliment that as yet only I see.

Its 8:17 pm. I woke up this morning on a Greyhound Bus. now here I sit in Grad School. I've decided not to tell anyone I'm in grad school. I'm just going to abide in grad school. ("The dude abides"). I have a year and a half until I can officially start anyway, and I wouldn't want to waste any time... After all I'm on State-subsidized homelessness. I always told everyone as they lost thier jobs, "hey, now's the time!" "Live your dream!" But nobody did. Its not quite the same for me though cause I've been living in a dreamland for quite some time. I never really came back from India. Its like malaria or herpes or something. You can only push it into remission. I found the most delightful restaurant at the foot of campus. "Curry in a Hurry: Indian Fast Food." Its nearly authentic Thali,... But still for five dollars I can be transported back to my spiritual homeland, and dream. Remember. relive. Its in an old Burger King, and has retained most of the original fixtures, for that subtle twist that is so necessary whenever anything India is involved.

This morning I arrived on greyhound and now I'm leaving on nostalgia. There is nothing before me, no next step, which means the puppetmaster will take me to get a beer shortly. This has gone on long enough. My heart is wrenching and I am saddened by my lack of cigarette papers. Do not envy me my travels. Freedom and Solitude are identical, and I have had the lion's share of each.

all shall be remedied. The quest is not whether, but whither.

So after spending the evening in search of a decent bar with real grime on the walls and surly derelict types loitering about, I'm about ready to ditch my plans to move to Berkeley. Better I live in S.F. More real. And yet, having said that, I think I'll wait to get a job first... and yet. I am living here.  This is indeed my home. I have established this as my home so that must be the case, for what is home if not a recognition. The more I experiment in travel, the more "home" eludes me. I can't go back to Charlotte, and I dare not go back to Seattle. I'm beginning to wonder if there is a place for me in the world that feels right. That feels like "this is it."

Everything changes so fast when you have no anchor. When you are not answerable to a job or a group of friends or even yourself, much less a significant other... It's all fuct. Its the saturn return working its magic. Am I a this or a that? What am I doing with my life? What am I going to do. Better to get maried and have 2.4 kids fenced in by white pickets then to stand on the brink of this abyss. Yet, something in me presses me forward to a greatness I cannot forsee. A greatness that will not tolerate any compromise.

oh my. And its funny how we create our own suffering. For now I read. That is the mission. I am going to read and read and write. Just you wait.... That's the real journey. For I was given a task, and I will stand up. Now is the time. This is the medium.  And even the most devoted of you couldn't have possibly read this far. I could even mention the secret name in this context and it would never be brought to light.

Harsh transition in Autechre. Aren't they all. I see so much fear. So much uncertainty. How I wish it could be me to lay all to rest...

but not today. Today I go camping. Life, it abides in the smallest moments...

© Hudson Cress, 2003. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: All events and people are part of the elaborate fiction that is my private reality. Any resemblence to actual people or events is purely coincidental.