-- Phoenix, AZ / 9:54pm. --
A thousand years seems to pass by in a constant deconstructive blur a lot of the time, and then you find it's just been a faded, elongated couple of days. Or it's been a whole damned week so far. But then you realize that this vast feeling of passage is not just simply the past few days or the past few weeks but the past six months, and everything before that. And then you skip rocks across the pond that's drowned out your sense of chronology, and you tend to stop at the year mark. And you review the year, and figure out where you've gone, and a lot of people find that the past year's been a whirlwind of nothing and everything all in one. Some people get out of this one opretty good. I see it all the time. It's a little uncomfortable to keep wearing all the weight on your shoulders when faced with this, but it's okay, I guess. In the end.
It's funny when you come across a friend you haven't seen in a year. A year's not that long, but the number at the end of the date's different and automatically it just feels like an eternity. Remember how slowly a year went by when you were in the fourth grade?
Or how it trudged by the month you drank too much to still pay rent and so had to find a second job and make this kind of shit happen in the end? Always it has to finally work out in the end, because while it's happening it's most assuredly not.
A few moments ago at the corner market there was one of those chilled beer caves set gloriously apart from the regular convenient fare. Which meant the weather was nicer and I was surrounded by my best friends: Sparks, Sparks Lite (really good and rather the trouble-maker inside your body when sipped fast in mid-afternoon when you haven't consumed any food since the afternoon before) and beer. It always reminds me Jason Hamacher, out in the middle of nowhere in the Midwest, at come intersection convenience store or truck stop a million miles away from the nearest street lamp . . . pulling his shirt off inside of the beer cave right behind the glass door and screaming, "Beer cave! Spring break!" He scared the shit out of the old lady behind the counter. I love old lady fright.
More and more I view six-packs of beer as a luxury. My finances tend toward bills and camera supplies and my single meal per day and the couple cans or so of Sparks that I try to have before bed when I have the cash. In recent months, back home at my lovely house in Portland with my lovely housemates (not the German guy, though), I've been trying to manage always to have a twelve-pack of canned beer in the refrigerator for myself and my housemates, but even that seems to falter every here and there as it becomes gone in only one day and you're up for another $8.99 when you crawl out of bed at noon the next day. I love beer waiting in refrigerator in the morning. It's a new concept that i used to be used to until I used up my ability to afford it, and now that I'm not so used to it anymore I want to look at it like what it feels like looking into a lovely lady's eyes in the morning: sparkling, magical, integral, unforgettable, irreplaceable, mysterious and oddly accountable.
Today in early Arizona I met for the first time:
1. Border patrol.
2. Sand dunes.
3. A deep sun burn cooked into my face and arms in a record ten minutes.
Guns and soft clefts of sand and hot arms. Potential trouble and potential remarkable feats of nature and curious heat when you don't know you've just been sunburned because of being outside for only ten minutes. The night before we all packed into a room at the Sheraton somewhere in southern California and killed of all the whiskey and wine so we couldn't be tagged unfavorably should the border patrol frown upon such actions. But we weren't frisked or even bothered.
I stuffed a handful of frogs and some holy water into a plastic bag and hid them in the small tool compartment where the spare wheel is kept and I curled up into a ball by the edge of the door frame and seeped in and out of dreams that were filled with the heavens of skin and the damaging contents of worry and disaster and some kind of plague-like sense of dread that I always tell myself I'll outgrow even though I'm much too damned old for that to actually happen.
The air-conditioning was nice. Lord how I've missed some kind of little niche. It doesn't help when I don't have a camera. I really feel fucking lost. But these are things you can get over. These are things that Sparks frowns upon and says to a young boy, "Look at the bright side..."
...then trails off and doesn't finish the sentence at all. Welcome to the future.
Yours very truly,