Wednesday, September 24, 2014

sept 24

I'm so excited to be finally writing my book!! I think Omaha is the perfect place to be for it because it's way easier to tap into the memories of what transpired here when I am in the same area of town that I was when it all happened. It feels good to know that I'm ready to write my story, because the only way I can stand to admit all that stuff is knowing that I am no longer that person. And it also means that I care more what I think about myself than what others think. Before, I would have been too afraid that people will hate me when they hear about my past, now I love myself enough to know they won't, and even if people did, I'd still be alright. There's a girl coming over tonight to paint and play music with me, who used to hate me, for good reason. She's awesome, so that will be cool.

It's been interesting being back here, I love all of my friends.

The other night in the room I'm currently occupying I had a strange experience. I sleep on the floor in there. I fell asleep on my side, facing the wall, and at some unknown point in the night I opened my eyes and felt a presence behind my back, and I felt a sensation like someone putting their hand on my upper back. I started to look over and saw a glowing figure kneeling beside my body. It was yellow and gold and orange and swirling, with a human looking form and a bald head. I got extremely scared and turned back to the wall, heart pounding, and tried to calm myself down and tell myself it was not necessarily a negative thing. I could still feel a presence when I fell back asleep. I don't know if I was awake or dreaming when that happened.

Monday, September 22, 2014

a beginning.

Right now my life consists of nothing but free time. I have internet access again which means I'll hopefully be writing more. My life completely changed in one day, on my 25th birthday 3 days ago. I now live somewhere different and have a lot less belongings. My future is completely open. I am savoring the freedom and even the loneliness. I am back where I used to live with friends I love, re-evaluating life and where I want it to take me. This is a pause; a hiatus.

I am certain of a few things. Spending time with loved ones is absolutely necessary, I am still in route(however slow) to Northern California, and I want to travel before I settle down, sign a lease, or figure out any type of permanent life path. These are my ultimate truths of the moment.
It feels good to be able to know that I can do whatever I want and don't have to consult someone else or worry about their reaction to my decisions or feelings. Clinging out of fear is no way to live, and being alone is not a bad thing. Although I see traces of my tendencies to bury any uncomfortable emotions in drugs or distraction, I'm not afraid that I will succumb to those urges. All they are is residue of old habits, and they are not even a large percent of me anymore. I am not living a lie every day which makes me feel less addicted to everything. I'm not trying to fill a void or ignore feelings. I can just breathe and live and know that where I am(in this body, this apartment, this phase) is temporary, and everything is possible.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

the week before Phoenix

I can usually sense a calm before a storm, like I'm riding the pre-cusp of change but know no specifics yet. I can feel huge shifts approaching. My stomach is in knots and I'm trying not to think too much about it. Reading and writing are my life lately, along with finally really dedicating myself to learning a foreign language. I stay motivated by watching french films and appreciating the beauty of the language.

The key to staying sane and focused is not to get caught up in looking too far ahead, even though I feel radical things coming soon and it's easy to wonder and attempt to analyze and get completely caught up in deciphering impossible symbols.
This is almost an art; it is striking a delicate balance. I'm finally learning patience after 10 years of embracing immediate gratification in every possible form. I am finally writing the autobiography that has been forming in my subconscious and it feels cathartic and inevitable.

For once I don't need to do anything about some feelings I have for a friend. Before, I would have recklessly pursued it in whatever way my impulses at the moment wanted me to... likely immaturely and thoughtlessly. I have felt this way for a while, but I am just now deciding not to pretend I don't or try to manipulate myself out of it. That never worked anyway, it would always come out in dreams. Instead I am letting it be there and accepting it and whatever may or may not come from it. Almost a year late but at least I'm finally dealing with it.

I am staying conscious instead of drunk or hungover or craving alcohol and this is bringing about many other realizations that were previously covered up by that cycle. I think I put off sobriety for so long because I knew it would bring an end to many illusions and I wasn't sure if I could handle that yet.

Once you shine the light of consciousness onto one area of life, it bleeds over into other realms. This honesty can be uncomfortable if you're not ready for it, almost like looking directly into the sun, but I think I'm ready.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Short story

"Alright, I think it's been 8 hours". I said from the front seat of my old Volvo wagon."I'm getting pretty tired myself", replied Garrett, my lifelong friend and yearlong band mate. "Let's stop at one of these inns up the road, do you guys have cash to split the bill?"

Our bassist Jerry grunted in affirmation, aroused from his backseat doze. A short wait under the motel awning later, we were carrying our bags in, string instruments included to avoid damage from the elements. I mentally saluted my uncle for instilling that piece of wisdom in my mind. He also instilled some basic working knowledge of guitar in me, but I still had so much to learn and moved at a slower pace than other musicians. Had I not been the one who actually bothered scheduling practices and seeking out gigs, I doubt my two friends would have been in a band with me. I threw my guitar on one of the beds, trying to shake off this insecure bit of hopefully bullshit.

"God Damnit!" exclaimed Jerry, shaking me out of my reverie. Apparently the two of them had flipped a coin for the cot and he'd come out the loser. "In your face!" cried Garrett gleefully, falling into a backward sprawl on the bed next to mine. Jerry sat on the cot, the center of it sagging unpleasantly and emmitting a faint screech. "How do you guys think the show went tonight?" he asked. Out loud, we all agreed that it went well, inside I had my doubts.

"You sounded really good tonight Jack, your solos are really starting to pick up", said Jerry, who could play circles around me. I knew they only played with me because we were all best friends.
"Yeah..." I said, "what is that door to? Is this one of those adjoining rooms?" I asked them, seizing the first opportunity to change the subject.

"It's gotta be, they wouldn't put a latch on a closet" Garrett said, standing up and walking over to the door, "but they'd have this locked since we only rented a single room." He reached out to open the door and suddenly, for no logical reason whatsoever, I really didn't want him to touch that doorknob. He turned it and to all of our shared surprise, the door opened. It was dark in there but he stepped in and turned the light on, walking inside and exploring. A couple moments later he walked out, looking bewildered. "Guys? I don't think we should stay in this room."

"Why?" Jerry and I simultaneously inquired.
Garrett shut the adjoining door behind him, "Um... It smells like mothballs, and they don't serve hot breakfast, let's stay at that motel across the street instead."
Having known Garrett for roughly 12 years, I could immediately sense his reaching fabrication. Jerry hadn't known him as long and hadn't seen his face when he'd emerged from that door, and dropped the subject easily, with a simple. "I'm not moving." For all his initial frustration at being stuck with it at first, he seemed to have gotten used to the rusty little cot in the corner, stretching across it contentedly.

Garrett sighed and went to sit on his bed. I said nothing but had been struck with curiosity.
All of us appeared to slip into his own world of contemplation(and likely exhaustion as well given the length of this godforsaken drive) and said nothing for a stretch of time. I did, however, catch Garrett sneaking glances at the closed door next to me. He clicked the TV on and they both started snoring not so long after. Garrett must have left the light on in the adjoining room on since there was a bar of yellow luminescence underneath the door.

I had been dying to get a good look around that room since my friend's strange reaction to it, and decided now was the time.
I stood up and opened the door, trying to be as quiet as possible. There was nothing astounding about this room at first glance, but I did notice pretty quickly that the furniture looked different than what was in our room or even in most hotels or motels. It looked old, for one, retro in a sense, more like something you'd see in someone's private study than a motel. There was a lamp in the corner, lit by an actual flame and wick dipped in oil. I had time to register some confusion at the fact that Garrett had stood in the doorway and seemed to flick a light switch on when he had peeked in earlier, when I noticed that something else was off.

This room was what my mom would likely describe as "quaint", and charming it was, but something was just fucking weird. My body noticed this as well; every hair was standing at attention while my stomach was turning slow somersaults.
I walked over to a plush and welcoming recliner across the room as if hypnotized. The strangest part of this all is that my memory of the room ends here, and I was closing the door behind me as I came to. I still had that strange sense of foreboding and mystery as I made my way over to my bed.

I saw my guitar leaning up against the bed and reached for it, unzipping it in a mesmerized state of numbness. I began to play and noticed a sense of ease and flow, the likes of which I had never encountered previously. I did not even bother to notice that my two friends were sleeping but they soon woke up and reminded me. Instead of being angry(like Jerry probably would usually have been) they seemed entranced, sittring on the floor in front of me with mouths hanging open.

I am a mediocre guitarist. I have written no original songs since I started, and what takes others less than an hour to learn, takes me multiple days. But I had just played something I had never heard played before that had to be uniquely mine. I knew that this sudden breakthrough of genius creativity had to be something related to that crazy little alternate universe of a room, but my band mates did not, and had no reason to suspect it. I decided to pretend that nothing unusual had just happened, and convinced myself of the same, though part of me was feeling a bit scared. Something was very wrong with the vibe of that room, but at this moment of musical accomplishment, the details really didn't bother me. I suddenly had very optimistic hopes for my future as a musician.

My band mates and I left the hotel the next morning, those two still in awe at my sudden musical prowess. They were too polite to say anything outright but I think they both assumed that I had finally hit my stride.

We went on to play much bigger shows, and soon I stopped being as interested in playing with them. They simply could not keep up, and I got bored. I craved fame and fortune. I joined another band that sold out large venues, always receiving high praise for my playing, and soon got bored of that too.
I figured it might be time to move up a little more, desiring to kill my chronic boredom and disenchantment, and made the decision to seek out that motel my old band mates and I had found a while back.

"If I can become an even greater musician, I won't get bored anymore. How could I?" I reasoned.

I pulled under the slightly familiar awning of the motel and got out. I requested room 212 to the desk clerk. She seemed slightly startled but not interested enough to ask questions, and gave me a key. I mentally thanked fate for allowing that room to be open, and assumed this to be my destiny.

I walked in and felt my stomach drop slightly. Not wasting any time, I turned to the door. As the doorknob rotated easily in my hand, I wondered why this door was never locked. I stepped in and flicked the light switch, this time not caring how a switch could light an oil lamp. I had a one track mind at that moment, set on musical perfection and glory, and as the result of that, satisfaction.

The same creepy unreal sensation stole over my body as I looked at the room. This was some secret gold mine of genius that I had unearthed, and I was damn proud of that. Why had Garrett seemed so turned off after stepping in here?
I felt giddy and disoriented, so excited that I was nearly breathless.
Moments flashed before my eyes. Practices with Jerry and Garrett, watching one of them play their instrument with fluent ease while I burned inside with jealousy, my uncle repeating for the 5th or 6th time a chord progression he had been trying to show me and me raging at my own incompetence. Hitting a wrong note when attempting a cover song at the high school talent show. In essence, sucking, and never being good enough.

Whatever this chair in the corner had given me before, I needed it. All of my experiences of humiliation and inferiority, I deserved it. I ignored the slight pangs of guilt and nostalgia stirred up by my thoughts of Jerry and Garrett and went for the chair. Greatness, I thought, doesn't need guilt and excuses. I deserve this, I told myself again.

I made my way to the chair and sat down. I waited, and waited... the bad and wrong feeling I felt slightly increasing moment to moment. When I eventually became so nervous that i could no longer sit in this room, I made to stand up out of the chair, and it seemed to be stuck to my body.

Struck with panic, I grasped the arms of the recliner and pushed up with all my might. I managed to get out of it, but not without a sensation of the chair attempting to suck me back down.

Once blessedly standing again, I started to make a run for it, only to notice the floor beneath my feet starting to produce a suction effect that made it harder to move. Somehow I made it to the door and the knob melted off in my hand, as the carpet pulled me ever downward like some demonic household quicksand.

My last conscious thoughts before being completely enveloped in this mad defiance of sanity forever were about the pure and simple joys of creating with friends, not worrying about who was more skilled than who, but only enjoying the experience.

Friday, September 5, 2014


I don't think all dreams are worth recording or bothering to interpret, but I just woke up from one that is significant and revealing. I was playing a game with 3 friends but paying particular attention to one, at least inwardly, who I feel more kinship with than most others.
At some point during or after the game he started discussing a personal goal in a project concerning environmental science or biology, and suddenly we were at the site of the project, outside near a forested area with trails and a good amount of people. I followed him around as he spoke with fellow project members about it, ignoring me all the while. I listened as he was told that he did something wrong and was kicked off the team. He was hurt and disappointed, and I wanted him to turn to me for help or comfort but he didn't.
Frustrated that I could not be a source of support, I started wandering down a path with patches of thick dark forested areas that became more and more frequent. There were people walking up ahead of, as well as behind me, but I knew none of them and was afraid of the approaching darkness. I turned back and couldn't find my friend; he had left me there. While walking off the site I passed some bleachers filled with old high school classmates(acquaintances rather than friends) posing for a photo of some kind. I kept walking.