Tag Archives: smoking

selections from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

‘I think,’ said Anna, toying with the glove she had taken off, ‘I think . . . if there are as many minds as there are men, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.’ Continue reading

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Jamaica

~ 0 ~
SFO in the early morning
MtVC
sleep
triple couple brunch date
SFO in the afternoon
work
packing
eating
yellow fever film
SFO late at night
Japanese, Mexican, American, or Chinese?

~ 1 ~
Hank Williams on the
turbulent red-eye
flashlights in the early morning
United Club at IAD
hella babies on the
flight to Jamaica
the first Jamaican woman to speak to/about me:
“it’s not fair. he’s not even using it,”
referencing my hair
all customs agents are the same stern
accosted by taxi drivers
one is hella chill so we go w him ($15)
he walks slow as hell
“we grow up w weed”
tried to sell me some but his guy is out
Caribic House
gentleman clerk
third floor balcony view of the sea
buy weed from souvenir shop ($20 for crap)
Pork Pit
buy weed from random vagrant (J$200 for crap)

~ 2 ~
breakfast at the Mocha Cafe
Knutsford Express to Negril
buy Blue Cheese from taxi driver ($5 for quality)
Yoga Centre
stroll and smoke along the beach
the German dude
yoga in the evening
shower and drinks
Alfred’s Ocean Palace
couple drinks and cricket at the Sunrise

~ 3 ~
smoothies and breakfast at the YC
chillin on the beach
spring rolls and papaya salad
Natalie naps / Americanah
drinks at One Love bar
curried conch w rice & peas at sweet spot

~ 4 ~
goodbye YC & Negril
KE to Kingston
wild winding ride east
the big city
the Spanish Court,
free rum punch on arrival
walking in the rain to
Devon House
coffee for her, coffee i-scream for me
walking in the lightening rain
Natalie goes chic in the city
divine Indian at Nirvanna

~ 5 ~
free breakfast: eggs, platanos, festival, bacon, fruit, coffee, water
taxi drive with a former yam farmer to
the National Gallery of Jamaica
walk through saturday downtown market
taxi to the grocery
Tashanna the angel
Natalie runs on the treadmill, i walk to KE
sunset swimming in the freezing infinity pool
hot bath w love
shower the hair
dress and small dinner
last home drink
up up up the hill to
dub club
smoky dub music in the clouds
danced
saw fireworks
and popcorn
and dancing
circles, circling back to a
champagne glass next to the drivers seat
flask of herb wine next to mine
slowly, slithering back to New Kingston
in the nighttime of a new day

~ 6 ~
free breakfast: kitchen sink omelet, fruit, coffee, water, festival, platanos, and a complimentary mimosa
walking to the banks, several failed withdrawals
packing up
waiting for Robert
red shirt, tan truck, big smile
cash out
ride up
the treehouse
the tour
the pool and trail
dinner at 6?
acki and shellfish, peas and rice, greens not calaloo
reading and drinking
scrabble in bed under the net
never ending music for a wake, then an end

~ 7 ~
wake up puffy eyed a little before 9
shirtless on the balcony
big rainbow across the sky
Chef says breakfast is on the way
coffee, scrambled eggs w veggies, fried plantains, breadfruit (looked like dry pineapple slices), slices of mango, a peeled orange, everything fresh, juicy, lovely
more coffee, Bobby and Chef smoking
prep
driving to Holywell
the waterfall hike
smoke at the falls
kiss on the hills
walk to David’s coffee plantation
the Chinese crew, little kids giggling and playing games, the two big dogs loafing and eyeing everyone, the coffee man deeply darkened by the sun yet profoundly lightened by endless cups of coffee
walking back home
Natalie’s forgotten R1: the run
gap cafe too fancy
walk thru the military yard
flask of clear rum, water, cheese puffs, and chocolates at the bubbles stop
walk home
cold shower (Ginger on drums)
wifi, soup, and dinner (more Fela)
seafish, fried carrots and greens, potato, yams, plantains
greasy spliff
drinks and reading

~ 8 ~
up a little earlier, round 830
coffee and breakfast on the taller balcony
acki and fish, breadfruit, fried plantains, papaya, orange
reading reading reading
the ride to Craighton
the $25 tour w Jerome
280,000 coffee plants—arabica not robusta—the latter 52% of the world coffee, the former 48%—though like the #1 most traded good (oil), the #2 (coffee) is often adulterated as there’s no standard nor authority—and Blue Mountain arabica is something special, with 70% of its sales going to wealthy Japanese—Jamaicans themselves drink instant coffee—unless they’re like Robert—usually Arabica ripens in 5-7 months, in Blue Mountains it takes 9-11—juicier, sweeter—Twyman and other north side farmers get less sun so their harvest is shorter
three cups of coffee after the lesson
walk to red light
bananas and coconut snack from the roadside rasta
walk from red light
Natalie loses her shades
hitching a ride w the 33 year old who spent 20 years living in Kingston before moving to London, comes back to visit family every xmas, warned us of the dangers of hitch hiking
eits cafe
walking up and a ride w David, bobby’s coz
walking to prince valley
glasses for a drink and phone
meeting, laughing, smoking w omero from Oakland and Tazia from near Kingston
drinks and dinner: beans, greens, and pumpkin rice, perfection
sunset
beer and adieu
reading, reading, hearts, reading

~ 9 ~
up a little earlier, around 815
Ovid on the balcony
coffee and breakfast in the usual spot
acki and fish, plantains, coco bread
packing up and paying
peace
dj dale down the mountain
bob Marley museum
best dinner (fried chicken, beef stew, pork stew, or curried goat?) plus rum
two wedding episodes of friends

~ 10 ~
coffee, toast, and fruit on the balcony
Mahogany Beach
food and drink on James (same menu)
crazy dance boat party TV
Turtle Beach
souvenir shopping i
drinks on James
moms restaurant (fish stew)

~ 11 ~
coffee, toast, and fruit on the balcony
souvenir shopping ii
passage to passage to India (naan, South Indian chicken, chicken tikka masala)
chilling at KE
KE to Mo Bay
El Greco, cocktail on arrival
cocktails and joint on the balcony (Half Pint)
bellboy escort to room, J$400
atm, the old walk
1/2 lb ribs at pork pit
the walk back
another round

~ 12 ~
up around 8
finished Herzog
breakfast: one American, one Jamaican (mine is fried fish, greens, small banana, yucca, dumpling, and Nat’s French toast)
old white retired everywhere
blacks go J, whites go A
down to the street, rum up
packing, Brilliant Corners, checking out
smoke on the cliff side
delayed flight
walk down to the park shade
bk fries
taxi to airport
lines, lines, food court, hearts
exit row flight
chaos at CLT Continue reading

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sex with me… sex with me… sex with me…

the drive
six-dollar garbage
L. A.
Micah’s little lab
dropping by Federal
sunset cruise to Santa Monica
sir, this is valet only
the motel, Steve, Thai curry, the cockroach

Vator Splash
walk for oil
chillin w Tram
goodbye Santa Monica
bang

sunrise to LAX
the literati
trader joes shopping
shower?
gal palace
aerienne’s curry
rise of the jack o lanterns
staples center
the pantry
sex with me, sex with me
film shoot
martinis at Clifton

sweating, parking
Meryl the blonde tart
Clara the effortlessly beautiful
Travis the sexy handyman
back at the chicken shack
raw silk
maximum laughter, minimal consequence
scene queen
80s club (wreck 86?) speakeasy
overpass popup
gig rig piss
spurned the hip hop breeze
hot dog, malt liquor, blow

shit
ramen
dishes
video chat w love
shower
high as fuck w Fitzcarraldo

~rain~

piece of shit
part one of Anna Karenina
the Ivy
over the garden wall
finished Fitzcarraldo

fragment of shit
cacao coffee
shower
barneys beanery
smokin
little dieter needs to fly

bagels n coffee
work, work
laundry out
car wash
seat belt ticket
laundry home
yoga nap
chicken kebab election
1642
bye aerienne

moving the car asleep
cafe 50s
el matador
shower and jojoba
long lyft
a novel Thai feast
funkmosphere
double double rye, straight
bye Meryl
bye Virgil
hello j
from sleep

early morning car move again
waiting for the call
toilet call
pack fast and peace
selected ambient drive
mcds
peter gabriel
fresh fruit
bridge
SF
surprise! Continue reading

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going downtown

an enormous cloud hangs over the city
as i walk up 2nd Ave smoking
the remnant of a good night, breathing
the rain-washed air of a good day.

i snap a picture of the cloud
with my phone, with my phone
pay the bus fare, sit in the last
square of four seats occupied by three
silent, independent women, each wearing
a distinct set of dark shades. mine barely
cover my eyes as i look south to see
the cloud retreating and the bright sun
emerging, blanketing everything.

suddenly, the three stages of consciousness
blind me:

first, squinting, measuring the luminosity,
cursing myself for forgetting a hat,
wondering about skin cancer, meditating on the family.
second, reasoning, realizing that by
slightly lifting my limb i can slow the effect
of aging. finally, believing,
breathing in, being,
eyelids down aware that death is
and will always be, so may as well
repose on the sunny side. Continue reading

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honey, he’s a friend of mine

four Mexican beers down the hatch and not a single BART train left to catch.

on the long bus and walk home, stoned inspiration strikes my skull. it’s already 0300, but nothing can stop me. up and down the stairs, skulking through the hallways, dragging black monolith speakers, assembling the altar, feeding cables electricity, executing my addled genius silent as a mouse.

i jerk off and pass out.

in the morning, i check my phone in a bleary panic. 0900. i fall back asleep for a couple minutes and then check my phone again. 1100.

blended black tea dressed with a teaspoon of orange blossom honey and the slightest splash of half and half. that’s real fancy talk for a little drug called caffeine. my roommate partakes, and the music starts. breakfast consists of defrosted hash browns, fried eggs, and pork so good it must’ve come from the devil’s factory. Xanthe and i clink our mimosa flutes and chow down while watching Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise take turns playing Thalia and Melpomene.

Cameron arrives looking hungover or depressed or both. i think nothing of it. the music goes on, the champagne flows. Ted is dead.

i never met Ted. i hug Cameron. i hold him. i don’t know what to say. i never met Ted even though Cameron insisted a hundred times that it needed to happen. i don’t know what to say. i wait for Cameron to say something, but he is stunned. he is a cauldron of emotion. i turn the music down or let it stop or something. i don’t know what to do or say. there is nothing to do or say. we drink.

the music returns. Cameron requests a dirge, so i let Entrance sing them Grim Reaper Blues. but i’m left by myself, so i scream and jump and play air guitar oblivious to the fact and consequence of death. i am dust.

Shannon. Lizz. Nico. Neko? Niko? Nico. Chris. Mark. Natalie. old friends, newer friends, lovers, sometime-lovers, one-time-lovers, all-time-lovers, all family, all drunk fucks.

my cousin hops on the decks and starts slinging cocaine funk delivered straight from the Rick James estate. it is 1980something, the snares reverberate, and disillusion is making itself incredibly comfortable. you can hear it in their voices. you can hear JoJo and Cheri and Candi and Maxi and Prince Rogers and Trent and Dave and Martin and Joshua and Charles, they all sound so coked up and dead. death. there’s that grim reaper again. where the fuck is Cameron? sobbing on the edge of my bed, locked up in my bedroom. on and off the phone. who is he talking to? margarita. big beer. drinking, so much drinking.

let the Golden Age begin. bleego hops on the decks and sonically programs artificial intelligence. it’s weird. on tv, Ziggy Stardust says good night mere moments before a bunch of space cadet apes wake up in the middle of bone-dry Africa. ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space.

how many pop culture references can i make before my writing becomes as worthless as the tobacco in a swisher sweet?

as the sun sets, i continue force-feeding everyone pop muzik, and then suddenly turn the music down low on a couple of whacked out loops to ask nobody in particular how long i could leave the loops loopingly looping looping looping looping looping looping looping looping until we all went crazy. somebody said something. something drinking something. and so i blast Kylie Minogue for a swan song.

power everything off! with tons of friends still partying, i say a thousand goodbyes and then fly away. best way to end a house party.

K to the Castro, two double illy espressos, and my love and i are back in the game. first up: dinner and drinks for her sister’s 21st birthday. Abigail rolls in wearing a sash like she’s in a beauty pageant and a face guaranteed to win it. radiant beauty of a birthday girl, she flutters around her long table of friends chatting about nothing and deflecting as many fireballs as she can.

sushi sake sushi sake sushi sake sushi sake sushi. that’s five sushi for every letter in the word “sushi” and four sake for every letter in the word “sake.” words words words words words.

the several hundred dollar bill settled, the crew bubbles around Kim “Abi” Kardashian as we make our way up Market toward extensive tracts of heavily eroded, uncultivable land with little vegetation. just kidding, we went to badlands. i withdrew $60 only to spend $50 instantly at the club on three entries (Abi, Natalie, me), three drinks (adios motherfucker for Abi and whiskey for Natalie and me), and then three more drinks (long island ice teas for the three of us). obviously we had not been drinking enough yet.

goodbye Castro, hello Cameron. he wanted love. Ted is dead. to Oakland then. goodbye Natalie. she storms off in a drunk, silent fit. i shrug.

down down Market.

stumbling drunk ass fuck into It’s Tops Coffee Shop, completely deserted except for the token pretty white girl waitress in her stupid 50s pink waitress dress. i drunkenly foam at the mouth some incoherence that amounts to “may i please just have a cup of coffee?” to which she responds by swinging ’round the counter and pouring out dregs of mud from both pitchers—the caffeinated and non caffeinated. in between drunken swallows, i murmur some philosophical question at her, but she’s tired and wants to go home, and that’s exactly how she answers. i understand, down the rest of the mud, and fly out the door.

down down Market.

i convince a cabbie to drive me to Civic Center so i can catch the last train east. so aware, so alive, i bolt out the doors onto 12th St. in Oakland, drunkenly rushing up the escalator and eating shit, scraping my stomach and foot (i discover later). i look around to see how embarrassed i should feel, but the lady behind me wears a face that says, “i’m just tired and want to go home,” so i shrug, pick myself up, and bolt anew. i race the two and whatever miles to Cameron’s house with cool Miles jazz billowing from the phone in my front pocket; i’m like a man on the run in a black & white French New Wave film from the 60s.

at the house, hugs and laughter and death and comfort and… guess what? more drinking! because, i must repeat myself, again, obviously: we had not been drinking enough. fernet and coke and tequila and non-vegetarian Chinese food and Courtney on guitar and sleep.

in the drunken haze of morning, i squeeze Courtney’s boob and immediately pull my hand back while apologizing. she laugh. i don’t feel too good about it. but then i wash a household of dishes and sweep the floor while Cameron details the stove. and when i fail to find a dustpan, i simply crouch down, scoop the pile of dust and kitchen debris with my hands, and throw it away. Cameron laughs, calling it the most humble thing he’s seen in years. i feel good about it.

a few moments later, we’re suspended like the helicopter string quartet between peace, humility, suffering, and passion.

“this is the worst one,” he says, “the worst death. i like nothing about this one.”

he wants to cry so badly but has already sobbed so much and the sobbing had solved nothing. i fight back laughter because the minute leading before we’d been saying some really silly, funny things and just roaring laughing. the giggles honor not even death. Continue reading

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winter solstice party

in the evening, we stood amidst the bright kitchen and living room lights, sipping on brandy-spiked punch and catching up on all the mediocre unchanged past and infinite, unpredictable future. experiencing slight hunger pangs, many of us slathered fancy spreads on crackers, wrapped up cheeses in smoked salmon, and scarfed down open-face salami sandwiches smeared w dijon mustard. ’twas a veritable banquet!

the middle-aged and beyond were out in full force, making polite conversation and liking each others’ pages on facebook and roping me in to make sure they’d done so correctly. yeah yeah looks fine, i said, not very politely.

as midnight approached, the old people got sleepy and began to slip out.

midnight past, Adam, Cameron, and i stripped down to nothing and hopped in the hot tub. suddenly everything felt more real. Cameron let flee a shriek, and then immediately apologized to Adam for disrupting the suburban peace. it was okay.

over the next hour or two, the three of us bobbed like choice cutlets in the soup, sipping on our brandy punch, puffing on Cameron’s gift of a spliff, and waxing poetic about life, the evolution of humanity, and the universe. past and future worlds swirled through our minds, whirled and twirled through our half-articulate gesticulations. Cameron’s clouds of Venus encapsulated my interstellar agriculture to the point where Adam’s hands grew thick with the soil of the probability of intelligent life forming out of the nothingness that Cameron considered himself when he thought about how he’d lost his job even though i was going to do the exact same thing except intentionally and maybe we should shut up and learn or thing or two about intention from Adam who had unknowingly convinced Morgan to return to school to learn graphic design at the ripe old age of, what are we, 26? golden.

with the night getting late, Cameron and i cruised down the freeway without a care in the world. the only thing he cared about was making his 0600 flight and, quite frankly, it didn’t look like sleep was part of that plan. so at the last minute i veered toward 280 instead of 101, opting for the slower, scenic route. little did i know about the fog’s return. the fog, my old and familiar friend, slunk its heavy wet body across the entire width and length of 280, putting a quiet damper on my desire to be a speed demon. but that was fine; as i said, we were in no rush.

thinking along those same lines, i turned and asked Cameron if he’d like to go to the beach. affirmative.

so once again, at the last moment, i veered toward Skyline Blvd. the speed limit dropped 15 MPH, but the fog grew thicker. thick, thick, thicker still. every mile we advanced, the blank white sheet pulled closer to the windshield… until i couldn’t see more than a few feet of line dividers in front of the car. rain had threatened and teased and attempted, until finally it teamed up with the fog to make the worst possible driving conditions. it was definitely one of those moments where you’re too scared to keep driving but too scared to stop so you just slow down a bit because that feels like a happy medium.

eventually, we arrived at Fort Funston. i quickly confessed to Cameron that it had been my makeout spot since high school. just needed to get that out of the way. also, i needed an excuse to make homoerotic jokes. obviously.

the rain had stopped for the time being, so we only strolled through heavy fog as we mounted the Fort. at the top, unfortunately, we discovered Battery Davis completely flooded. damn shame, because right behind the flood was the entry to my favorite spot in the universe, a precarious little shelf of sand right on the precipitous of the cliff, overlooking the vast and beautiful Pacific Ocean. no matter. we ventured south, briefly encountering some “mizzle,” or what Cameron was calling mist and drizzle and orgasming all over about. the crashes of the sea grew louder and louder until, at last, we gazed at its infinite body. in the mizzle, it truly looked infinite: its waves whitening into sandy banks while its southern, western, and northern extremities faded into black fog, grey night. and yet, we perceived through our peripheral vision tiny dots of light poking through the hazy sheet. as the fog gradually lightened, we became increasingly aware that the bright light to the south was a lighthouse, while the line of lights to the west and north were a highway of shipping vessels separated by inconceivable distances on the vast sea’s surface. it was truly sublime.

we breathed in deep many, many times in silence, staring.

when it was time to go, we went. back the way we came, back to the car, the short ride back to my place, up the stairs, kettle on. i cooked up some buttery popcorn and served us a couple honey-dipped black teas. cozy. before the sun could threaten to rise, i drove Cameron to the airport, tried (and failed) to wake up Natalie for early morning snuggles, and returned to my own bed to pass… the fuck… out.

bless the solstice. Continue reading

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Live!

what happens when you are the input and the output

what happens when you only have two states: drunk and hungover

what happens when you refuse to sip on anything but top-shelf lit

the obvious cognitive dissonance in selling your words but not your music while knowing full well that rhythm is rhythm

what happens when you decide to quit

what happens when the people you love think that’s a great idea

what happens when you think the people you love are a great idea

what happens when a work of fiction is not real fiction

what happens when the fruits of your entire consciousness are simply the back page scribbles of someone else’s story

a single glass of four-day-old $4 wine

what happens when you only dance and cuddle, no no fuck

what happens when wave

what happens when you want to be the pacifist shark in the tank

a dark, long-haired man kissing Israel, hugging Palestine

what happens when you crack an egg over bibimbop pizza

“this is happening,” concluded the stubbly subway sound engineer

what happens in the city does not stay in the city. Continue reading

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selections from The Confidence-Man by Herman Melville

‘True; but look, now, what my doubt is. I am one who thinks well of man. I love man. I have confidence in man. But what was told me not a half-hour since? I was told that I would find it written — “Believe not his many words — an enemy speaketh sweetly with his lips” — and also I was told that I would find a good deal more to the same effect, and all in this book. I could not think it; and, coming here to look for myself, what do I read? Not only just what was quoted, but also, as was engaged, more to the same purpose, such as this: “With much communication he will tempt thee; he will smile upon thee, and speak thee fair, and say What wantest thou? If thou be for his profit he will use thee; he will make thee bear, and will not be sorry for it. Observe and take good heed. When thou hearest these things, awake in thy sleep.”‘

‘Who’s that describing the confidence-man?’ here came from the berth again. (286) Continue reading

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Bookends

1

spent the night fueling. drinking water. cooked a salmon w Xanthe’s guidance, raw segments of flesh lining the thicker bits. soft orzo mixed in w onion, garlic, and mushrooms on the side. very filling. tons of water. whiskey. laughter, a shower, and confidence.

walked to BART. into the Mission. above to the streets.

the drugged and the homeless on their wayward trips. a few blocks to Public Works, and there i was, for the first time in a year, encircled by youth, liquor, and deeply throbbing bass. church.

i ordered a whiskey ginger, which i sipped while swaying to the sultry beats alongside Mark and Marie. Mark disappeared but Marie and i continued dancing; the music like a phoenix burned into grey ashes and rose again within moments to thumping New York City leftfield disco, fat w bass, happy w horns, alive w love. perfect. dance. music. so we danced.

then we stepped outside for a brief smoke, awaiting the arrival of our much beloved Norwegian prince, Todd Terje. when we went back in, “Delorean Dynamite.”

Mark and Marie edged into an unfortunate section so i ditched them for something more suitable, sonically speaking. as i pushed in from the back left corner of the crowd, a pretty girl nudged me and, when i turned, said, “you have the most incredible aura.”

and so i danced.

2

worked all day, dressed so sharp. same blue levi’s but the deer print tee has been replaced by a blue pinstripe button down. hair ain’t down, it’s all the way up. dreadbun.

Cab Calloway’s big band’s banging away in my headphones as i step onto the BART car, as the pretty girl sitting there eyes me and smiles. i smile back, standing near her. she glances up at me (or tries not to) one too many times, so i pull an earphone off and ask, “should i remember your name?”

“no.. i just like your energy.”

“ah.. i see. well, thanks, but shouldn’t you be up in the desert with all those other energy-reading folk?”

she laughs, then asks, “what are you listening to?”

i laugh too, and hand her the headphones. 1930s jazz strikes her eardrums, and from the very first moment she’s surprised, but i’m not.

“wasn’t expecting that,” she says.

“i know,” i laugh.

some silence.

“you know,” i say, “this is really funny because it’s the second time it’s happened to me in the past few days.”

i tell her something about the girl at Public Works. i proceed to pontificate about how i’m more freaked out about someone commenting on aura because it implies that they’re literally seeing colors in the air around my body like i’m the bloody virgin mary, but then i think about Meryl and realize that it might not be so farfetched. i say all of this, minus mentioning Meryl, plus all the added doubting and philosophy. i also, during this time, notice her hairy armpits.

and she never stops smiling. i got on at Montgomery, she bounces at Civic Center, and that’s that. Continue reading

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ramblin’ ron

tonight? tonight i’m going to a cave party. Continue reading

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