Friday, September 30, 2011

Cowboys drink, smoke weed, and get sandwiches took.

I'm still searching for ways to stay active and happy. I made plans today. I'll see Kristin on Monday, and I'll go to the farm on Wednesday. Tuesday is the coveted comedy night in Newark.

Tonight, the plan was Trexlertown. There is a huge bicycle swap meet in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania tomorrow, and I will be there with $700 cash in my pocket. I will buy parts which can be sold for much more on eBay. My focus will be on small and easy to ship parts - cranksets, derailers, brake calipers, shifters... and whatever suits my fancy fancy fancy. I will be howling for lower prices and dropping cash on every table. I am the man. Dig it.

It's a party. Many people show up the night before. Tents are set up, and fires are started. There is plenty of beer, and growing anticipation before the attack.

Shelly and I had dinner at her girlfriend's place and hung out until it was time to go. I appreciated that Shelly took the keys to the van, and I was free to pound many beers while iPod DJ-ing our ride toward success. We were babysitting a wonderful dog, and the three of us were in general cohoots.

Arrival. A large grassy field which will fill with cars tomorrow has only a dozen or so tonight. Many arrive by bicycle. I had a beer in one hand and a phone in the other as I texted some people who I expected to see. I sat around a fire and smoked mad weed before meeting some other late arrivals and smoking more indeed. It was time to sleep.

Time for bed. This is not my right to say, but I put my arm around Shelly and I pulled her close. I love her more than myself. I pulled my pillow closer to the crook of my neck and was comfortably asleep until the sun came up. That's when I realized that the dog ate most of my sandwich.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is this life for real?

Online dating is a line cast in the water. I messaged back and forth about a cat door. She showed some interest in my profile, and I read hers. She was thinking about installing a cat door. I explained about sawzalls and a wide margin of error.

Broadcasts. You can say what you want while online dating, and the message will go out to whoever is online and close. "I'm at 48th and Springfield. I swear I'm smart and nice enough. Please feed me."

Christ-bucket. Is this life for real? I barely made it anywhere today. I knitted for a few hours today while sitting in the life-is-easy chair. My van's doors were open to grass and a sidewalk. I slept for a few hours in my van, and I barely woke up.

I heard Bob Dylan's voice as I finally boiled water for pasta. It was late - but it would be many hours before the arrival of early. The kitchen where I'm staying has a lot of records, and I pressed play on the last-played vinyl. I sat in a chair. I suspended my head by the heels of my hands. I pressed my hands to the crooks of my eye sockets and waited until pasta was tender enough to eat. The heels of two tired hands stretched skin beneath my eyebrows as music crackled and made me stop twitching.

Christ love and give me a hug. I wake up to realize that I passed out listening to music which makes me cry. I can't make myself eat, and to me it's surprising how much happiness is a tenuous ideal rather than a colorful blanket which I can pull over myself at will.

But it really doesn't matter at all - another song reminds me that "Life's a Gas." I'm sincerely thankful for the reminder.

And who had their finger deeper in the other person's butt? As I wake up again, I'm only half assembled. I answer my phone at this late hour, and I smile genuinely. I sigh into the speaker as my vision remains blurred and my muscles are inconsolable.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Batshit, small, and back to reality.

I got my glasses fixed. I guess some of that rolling around in the grass knocked out a lens. Lens Crafters had me fixed up in about an hour. Two fresh lenses, and boy is my life a piece of cake.

Anxiety. Sometimes I have it. Music helps. Music is a calm hand placed reassuringly on my chest. It looks me in the eyes and doesn't need to explain why or what it understands about me. Music knows me better than I know myself.

For a man so stubbornly batshit, I can really begin to feel small. Back to the dirt. Back to being humble and sleeping under a blanket of dirt. Back to the Earth. Cradle my brain in two hands and place it down gently. Be a friend. Stand here with me as my heart beats. Distract me as the clock keeps laughing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Comedy Night and Mushrooms on a Hill.

The free comedy tradition continues. Tuesdays. Newark, Delaware.

I arrived at Homegrown toward the beginning of happy hour, which provided ample time to get an appropriate number of margaritas. Shawn and Melissa sat with me at the bar, and while that's happening everything seems to be alright. We retired to the beer store to get a few tall cans and drink in my van. More music! More limo lighting! More life-is-easy chair! We were audible at the comedy show. As I recall, Melissa was finishing a tall crumpled can of Bud Ice as we sat in the back corner of the room. Scandalous. "That's my girl!" Shawn pointed out to me.

Mushrooms. Sometimes they just show up. Apparently, some funny mushrooms were afoot. After some quick planning, supplies were obtained and we split up with a plan - meet at the farm in about an hour.

The farm is magical. A sanctuary. It is the tallest point in the county, and against all odds it remains undeveloped and unmolested. Some of my friends live there, and it has been passed down through their family for generations. It's a quiet retreat next to the Brandywine River. It is full of history. Solders marched across the land in two separate wars. The Lenapi Indians rested here at the tallest point and looked out over the land. That's where my van was parked.

My van came to a rest at the top of the grassy hill near the biggest and oldest tree I know of around here. The mushrooms did what they do, and the bizarre silliness of our existence took focus over the part of life where anything makes discernible sense.

When things got a little too funny, I had to run to another corner of the hill and laugh it off. I laid on my back in the grass as tears filled my eyes.

It rained, and then it stopped - then it rained some more. With dilated pupils we looked out over a bright and overcast panorama. I sat deeply nestled in my life-is-easy chair. A sort of reminder of real life began to arrive as the sun came up. But I don't think I'll ever be back. I agree with the shrooms. None of this existence is how it appears. You have to make the most of yourself in a strange and sorely wounded world. You need to make your own beauty, and find your own sense of self. I'm relieved that I have the time and privilege to reflect upon this. I have the time and resources to exist outside of a survival-instinct day-to-day reality. Maybe it's all that extra time that blurs the lines of reality. Maybe it would be healthier to exist more as an animal. Maybe it's just the shrooms. I won't be back to reality. I doubt I've ever fully been there. And I also doubt every narcissist who aims to explain it. It isn't our nature to understand all of it. It is our nature to get wrapped up in the details.

Monday, September 26, 2011

How to survive and thrive in a van.

Beer and crusty weed. We sat in my van and listened to music. I was going to share the Four Loko, but she had most of it instead. Music in the van is perfect. The sound is decent. I have ambient limo lighting, a bed, and a life-is-easy chair. There isn't much in the world I'd rather be doing, and there isn't a place I would rather sit. The life-is-easy chair with the side doors wide open. I could survive with that. I could thrive.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spending time with a cool girl.

I'm in the shower. At 7:21pm I was showering.

I didn't have plans, and I don't feel like being alone. I'd like to do something every night. Drinking, knitting and playing with my phone is not enough. I want to go out or stay in with people. I need people. Bring them to me.

I texted Kristin and found out that tonight would be a good night. She's the cool girl I've been hanging out with. She has a cartoon blog, and apparently a bunch of other stuff going on. She played me some piano and sang to me. I wasn't stunned, but I'll use the word stunned anyway. She has an awesome voice, and she writes songs. I was impressed, and maybe a little bit stunned. Those lyrics. She's good.

I drove to her parents' house about ten miles from where my parents live. She lives there, and her parents were out of town. She poured drinks and fed me food. She showed me the flamingos with sunglasses she's been painting. Dozens of them. She painted my nails better and more radically than I've ever had them done. I asked her "hey! how did you get here?" She did not answer with a literal explanation. We slept in her bed.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wet socks, and necessary communication.

It rained all day. "Heylll yeahhh, maaan!"

He says it with a big smile and a lot of extra y's. It's not easy to type, but it's both musical and infectious in person. I say it all the time now. I exclaimed it this morning as I rode fast through pounding rain. I caught up with my work buddy on our commute to the shop. I exclaimed it, and he looked at me with a big grin as I pulled up two feet to his left on the Hoopty going fast. We're professional commuters, he told me. He had grocery bags tied around his feet. My approach was to bring an extra pair of socks which I never bothered to put on. We rode to work and neither one of us could see shit, because we both sported spotty spectacles.

Rain gear doesn't work 100%. I arrived at work fully soaked, and stayed that way for the next twelve hours. After work me and my buddy rode in some more rain. It happened to be his birthday, and he was having a party. I bought a case of beer for the table. Anyone could have some. At multiple points during the day I leapt into a big puddle that covered my shoes entirely. At a certain point it doesn't matter anymore.

I talked to Shelly today. I finally got paid for all of my tools. All of my personal tools became the property of the shop, and finally a fair price was agreed upon. More importantly, there's been a tension between us. Not a tension, but an unfortunate breakdown of communication. More accurately, I let slip one blurb of how I feel and feelings are hurt. She cries, and I don't sleep that night. Finally we talked. I was able to use full sentences, and I think we understand each other. All I want is for her to succeed. And I also need to take care of my own interests. That's all. We had coffee and we explained ourselves as I sat at a table in wet socks. We want the best for each other. None of that other stuff matters.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Feliz Cumpleaños, Fidel.

At 7:21pm I was still at the bicycle shop after closing. Our best customer is named Fidel. He drinks at least a case of Budweiser daily. He cracks open the cans right in the shop, and conceals them poorly - usually enlisting a menu or a crumpled napkin. His English skills are poor. Fortunately, we have a mechanic who spent a little time in Mexico.

Fidel was cracking beers in the bicycle shop and getting some fair prices on brake repair. We were super busy, and he waited patiently until 7pm. I was happy that my new bicycle touring friend, Brett, could witness our shop at it's best.

"Strong bicycle!" exclaims Fidel. This is his catchphrase. This is usually the only phrase I can understand. It is repeated several times per visit. We close the doors, and Fidel offers us beer after beer. We refuse most of them. We politely refuse many times.

He delivers food. Fidel delivers for a restaurant down on Spring Garden, and he has a large plastic box affixed to a rack on his bicycle. Originally, I designed this setup for him. Soon after the store's grand opening, I took it upon myself to attach this setup to a bicycle that didn't want it. I clocked out and stayed late for about an hour working on it. I put Fidel's cheap full suspension Mongoose in the work stand and got to work. I drilled holes in the thick over-sized aluminum dropouts, and then I ran a 6mm tap through the holes to thread them. I used stainless steel nuts and bolts to affix the case which I think he took from behind an Eckerd Drug or a CVS. When I was done, you could lift the cheap heavy bicycle by the delivery box. Strong bicycle. It was a good setup done with the same care I would use on my own touring bicycle. We charged a fair price and gained a customer for life.

"Strong bike!" Today is Fidel's birthday. "Iss'okay!" he told us. He motioned for us to lock the doors so we could stand around and drink cans of Budweiser together. It appears that he didn't have work today. We looked in his delivery box, and there was at least a case of Bud. This time he put it on ice. Beers on ice filled his delivery box. A river of melted ice was working its way out the holes on the bottom and across the floor. We mopped it up several times. It was much more a source of amusement than a problem.

"Iss'okay!" he said. This is what he says when he wants you to drink beer with him. And he's always offering. If he comes in at noon, you will be offered a beer and be half expected to pop it open and drink on the sidewalk while you work on his bicycle. He tells you this is okay.

I felt bad. Fidel told us we were his friends. He patted his hand softly but adamantly on the counter as he looked at each of us. With sincerity, he said it to each of us: my friend. My friend. My friend. He reached in his pocket and brought out our business card. He loves our bicycle shop.

The other mechanic is firm and friendly with Fidel. We all need to be going somewhere right now. Each of us wishes Fidel a feliz cumpleaños, and each of us drinks one more beer with out best customer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bicycle travelers, and girls who visit.

All sorts of people came to visit me in Kennett. My parents were hosts to my new friends.

A guy named Brett left California on his bicycle a few months ago. Today he made it within 16 miles of my parents' house. We've been in phone-txt contact for a few days, and when I learned of his location, I offered him a ride. I put a bicycle rack on my dad's SUV and drove out to retrieve him. I doubt I'll ever have any difficulty striking up a great conversation with a long distance bicycle traveler. It takes a certain mindset that I understand, and I covered a lot of the same terrain just barely a month ago. What a fucking cool guy.

I took Brett to my house where the Harne family could properly feed him and make him feel welcome. Among other amenities, this house has showers and beds. I know the feeling of really enjoying such things after a lot of bicycle riding.

This cool girl who I know dropped by right while all that was happening. She's pretty quickly becoming a regular visitor, and I hope this continues. Right now, I'd say it's working out well. We had some wine, and she actually said 'yes' to the idea of drinking tall warm beers in her car. Perfect! At this stage in life, I really want some more new friends. Ones who I can make out with. She spent the night, but didn't feel comfortable sticking around for breakfast. It would have been nice, but we snuck her right out the front door anyway.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Free standup comedy. A new tradition.

Comedy night in Newark! A new tradition.

I was buying bicycles earlier, and running late for happy hour. I had two minutes to get drunk at the good price, so I texted ahead to Shawn for the sake of safety. I stomped into Homegrown on Main Street in Newark Delaware. Long confident strides took me to the bartender. Two margaritas, please. I held up two fingers to underline my request.

I wasn't sure if Shawn got my message, but when I sat down next to him it appeared that he had. Still another margarita was waiting patiently. Too many margaritas. A distinctly first-world sort of problem to have.

This week we got to the comedy show in time for some of the free coffee. This week the comedian was actually funny.

Monday, September 19, 2011

How to recognize a date before you're on it.

I have a crush on her blog. It's cute and wholesome. And she's a good google-chat talker. But eventually it becomes time to meet in person. That's what friends do.

Meeting up for drinks at Newton's in uptown Kennett turned into something resembling a date. I could have at least showered or put on a fresh shirt. Signals were different than expected, and I tried my best to get with the program.

She's funny. She's easy to talk to and she says whatever she wants. She has straight clean blonde hair and strong sexy spectacles. We racked up a good pint-sized bar tab, but were only charged the price of a sip. It's good to know your bartenders personally - especially if the restaurant is bankrupt and will be closing in a few days. Another shot of expensive bourbon? Certainly.

Sometimes I'm reminded how good it is to be the owner of a van with limo lighting. It's a good deal to be an adult with a human body. Affection and a sigh of relief hung in the air.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

House shows and general antics.

I went to a house show. Tracy couldn't make it. I don't know her at all, but I wished she could have gone. At 7:21pm I was riding across the river alone. Later, I got drunk and crashed my bicycle. I'm good for at least a few of those per year. After that I smoked some crusty weed with a couple friends at my place. I finally ran into Scott at home. I've been there for awhile, and this is the first I've seen him. We talked for a little bit. It's been a few years, but it's good to see him.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bicycles and Parties and whatnot.

I don't know what poetry is, but I'm sketching some pretty bad stuff. I'm not classically trained. I'm just drawing isopods and filling them with meaningless poetry. Words.

At 7:21pm I was staying late at work. I was putting a new stem on my bicycle and putting the handlebars that I like back on. I was also using the internet to continue fucking around with OkCupid. I think I come across like a scary drug-nut on there. Hm.

I wasted plenty of time and then I headed to a backyard party over in my old neighborhood. I hoped I wouldn't see anyone who I don't feel like seeing. I succeeded. I saw my ex-roommate Lee, and was happy to talk to him for awhile. I talked to my friend Derrick who is friendly funny and insightful. The party was behind his house. I showed up early with a case of Nice Bud Ice to share.

I did a shitty job of DJ-ing from my iPod and started to get fairly ripped up. This cool girl Tracy said I could stay at her place if I didn't want to ride all the way back to West Philly. I liked her. She seemed fun and quirky. She had sexy glasses that were unpretentious and had that string that lets you hang them around your neck. It was a good look. I slept on a sofa in a huge warehouse that was separated into many rooms by cloth hanging from the ceiling. There are a million artists living there, and they are separated by curtains. Fucking interesting. I woke up with a smile and tried to invite Tracy to a house show I'm going to be at later. I'd like to get a chance to actually talk to her and see what's going on with this whole warehouse setup. I'm interested.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wake up!

I'm basically just sketching isopods for life.  I'm literally drawing isopods and coloring them in with nail polish. And I'm making the slowest pair of baby socks ever. It will take forever, but I have time in abundance.

West Philadelphia has a new crunk deli for me to shop at. Complete with bulletproof glass and a severely run-down atmosphere. Beer, please. I had some.

This online dating thing is pretty addictive. You can look at it and read profiles for a long time. Don't worry. It's not like I'm contacting anyone. I'm just loafing around on the phone app and drinking beer. I'm pretty sure that's what girls are looking for. All these grad students and executives are going to be head over heels for a guy like me. Mickey's in a 40oz bottle? **swoon!**

Wake up.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dinner was a can of stuffed grape leaves.

I like it when someone goes ahead and refers to the police as pigs. Fuck it.

I drank a Four and a Forty and worked on the sock loom some more. My first project is to try to make a baby sock. It's slow going because I keep pulling the yarn too tight. Like everything, it'll take some practice.

Dinner was a can of stuffed grape leaves.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Warm shitty booze and a sock loom.

It felt like a wasted day. I certainly did look at profiles on OkCupid for about a year. Then I drove to Philly. My room is nice, but it doesn't feel like it's mine. I'd like this place to be mine officially. There's roof access, which is nice.

Where is my phone charger? Shit. I need to get my shit sorted out. I've been having some of that anxiety. Shit. I want the internet. Shit.

I fucked around with the sock loom and drank a warm can of "Joose." Yeah. I'm living pretty high on the hog these days.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sock Looms, Comedy and Online Dating.

I went out with Shawn and Melissa to a free comedy show in Newark at the University of Delaware. First we stopped off at Homegrown for happy hour drinks. This could be a new tradition. I like it.

There's this girl Kristin who I talk to on gchat pretty frequently. She mentioned that she was using to set up dates. I was curious. What started as me being curious ended up with me having a full profile and answering a million question. I don't know. I guess I would like to date people. I'm lonely and I like to meet people. Kissing people and having sex might be nice. We'll see.

I bought a sock loom earlier. It came with a DVD that shows you how to make socks.

Monday, September 12, 2011

In Kennett.

I went to the shop today. We're closed on Mondays, but we schedule tuneups to be completed without interruption. I went in to list parts on eBay. Then I went to Kennett.

The tie dye shirt that I made looks good. At 7:21pm I was watching a Jeopardy re-run with my folks.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Meeting new friends is great.

I'm hanging out with Evan after work.

"So. You want to do that drinking thing?" he asked.

We fly out to the west at a quick pace. As I cut through cars and speed up onto the sidewalk, my watch begins to beep. We stop to get beers at Pasqualley's before heading to the park.

We get to the park where there are some guys who Evan knows who are setting up a slackline. We horse around for awhile, and we eventually make it to my van to sit with the doors open as the sky decides to pour rain. I show him my room and we smoke ancient pot and listen to music. I like this guy. Meeting new friends is great. I walk him downstairs and give him a hug. He's one of the good people I know.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Heard and seen at Clark Park

Somethin's wrong with y'all...
I ain't no bitch
I ain't joking
I don't joke.
Wear a flak jacket?

I'll fuck ya...
I'm telling ya.
get my shit?

I want something..
I'm alright
That ain't shit!

17-23-7, STRAIGHT!
we was 20 years old.
Who the fuck?
Get the fuck out

I'm sitting in Clark Park drinking a forty of Mickey's. There's a drum circle going on, and I'm sitting on the sidelines with my bicycle and some beer. The park antics are in full force. Guy tries to start a fight, guy tries to score drugs, guy walks around with a huge open container - a box of wine, no less.

Open container here is run of the mill. There's open smoke from a few joints as well. Order is maintained by a self-assigned few who seem to have an interest in not getting this silliness shut down. I see a man who looks official, and I start to tuck my forty into it's bag. Immediately a gesture gives me reassurance that everything is fine. The body language is clear, and I am supposed to stay and drink my beer. Good. Because it's a beautiful night, and I'm enjoying a drink on this low brick wall.

I have a notebook, and I write. The open-container antics continue and when one guy gets out of control, he's dealt with somewhere that I can't see it. In the name of keeping order. A tall man mumbled to himself and staggered aimlessly. What he said is what's printed above. The sun set, and it was time for me to head home.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Getting keys to my dope pad.

"I'm gonna take a wizz-banga." That's one of a million ways to say 'pee,' and as I pull it out and get started my watch starts to beep. It's 7:21pm, and I'm taking a tinkle.

I'm at work slightly late as I get a refresher-course on how to make sure the total sales on the credit card machine match what was rung through on the register. Boom. Got it.

I headed west above the river alone. I rode to Mike's house to see about getting the keys to the place where I hope and expect to be staying for awhile.

When I hear "attic," this is not what I picture. Finished with drywall, fully carpeted, attractive exposed brick along one side. That's a list of some features. Large modern window overlooking trees and backyards. That's a sentence fragment explaining more. Really? This place is fucking amazing. It apparently gets too hot in the summer. Small superficial details keep the rent down. I am taken aback; enamored with the space. I have the keys, and I'm crashing here now.

The roommates are mostly absentee. The members of Dr. Dog are planning to move to other places. I don't know what the future holds. At this point, I expect that I will be going to Key West again for awhile. I don't know how permanently I need housing - but this place? Jeeeeeesus. Maybe my standards have been lowered, but I'm not a complete clown - I'm sane and lucid enough to see that this place is dope.

I took a garbage bag full of my bullshit into "my" sort-of new room. I laid down my freshly-laundered covers and sat.

I'm happy. I feel like I'm on track. And I'm lonely. It's an interesting mixture. I hope Tara is well. I'm doing the right thing for me. By extension and contemplated logic, I believe it's the right thing for her too. I suppose I shouldn't think about it much. I know my recent actions are more right than easy. I'm remembering to focus on just being human.

I'm not drinking much. I didn't quit, but it seems to have scaled itself back with no concerted effort. I expect that I haven't seen the last of booze-worry, but for now it's no problem. And to double-underline, my worry with booze is more about reaching hypothetical potential and less about health or dependence of any sort. I'm always fine. And sober or not, I won't be running for office, going to grad school, or looking for high-paying employment. You can keep your typical ideals in a concrete box and sink them in the ocean. I aspire to be more colorful daily.

I sat in my new surroundings; beautiful and welcome - them and me. Mike sent me a text to make sure everything was alright. Exceptional, buddy. Quite good.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Floating West and making hummus.

7:21pm. After a day of work at the bicycle shop, I'm riding west with Kyler and Brian. We maintain a quick confident pace. Three bicycles, three sets of bar-end shifters. Three steel bicycles. Mine by far is the most cheap goofy and humble. A non-sentient extension of myself. We all have smart setups with character, logic, reliability and utility. We floated to the west, and I was happy to be in the short parade. Friends to commute with? What a novel idea.

Shelly and Arden took me out to the movies. It was an easy way to stay occupied as the fresh insanity of my mental state settles into something more secure and predictable. Shelly also showed me how she makes hummus. It's cheaper and easier than I remembered, and I'll never need a recipe.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

West Philadelphia is home.

Today was the day to think about vans. Today was the day to figure out the shape of what is coming next. Van or no van? It sits dirty and abandoned. The inside has gotten damp, and there is mold. When I closed the rear sliding side window, it shattered. It looks like a dirty piece of shit.

I'm not used to being a vehicle owner. I'm out of practice. It seems like an expensive anxiety-inducing situation, and I'm trying to simplify my life and gain some momentum. I considered selling the van just to be rid of it. Fortunately, a supportive mother and another good friend with her feet planted firmly on the earth convinced me to do what I actually wanted: keep it. My dad would have had me sell it today for a dollar and not look back. So I knew I should definitely consider keeping it.

To work, then! I hooked up the newly-charged battery to the terminals and cranked it on. I rolled to the car wash where I spent many quarters. I started to recognize a vehicle which was more familiar. I took everything out. It was either trash, or it was getting washed. Two piles. I took care of the moldy areas, and spent time with carpet cleaner and a shop vac. It's my van again.

I renewed my registration, signed up for a knitting class, and even made a couple tie dye shirts with a kit I've been meaning to finally use.

I'm sorting out my life. I don't know the future, but I know it will be good. I see a ton of potential. I think it might be great.

Wawa coffee paid for with a twenty; put the balance on pump 19.

I drove to Philly wearing a cowboy hat an re-programming the presets on my radio. I drove right to the old house on Howard to get my shit.

Basic civility can't hide the fact that Nat hates me. He was there as I took a few boxes and a bicycle - the sum of what I allowed to build up in this house. If hate is over stepping it, I at least know that he doesn't want to see me. I shut the door hard for the second time out of two that we've last seen each other. I put my foot on the accelerator and I knew I wouldn't be back for a long time. That particular dust needs a long time to settle.

West Philadelphia is the capital of awesome. I love it here, and it's been too long since I've felt like it was home. I crossed the river and found easy parking. I will be staying at Shelly's for a couple days until arrangements can be made to get me into the next place to float.

I laid under some covers reading a Kindle when Shelly's roommate came in for a visit. I knew she was awesome, but it was nice to finally talk for a bit. I've been socially removed. I love West Philly, and I'm eager to make a strong effort to meet people and be outside. That's who I am.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The future begins to come into focus.

I talked to Mike. We used to be in an awesome band, and he thinks he might want to try playing music together again. I couldn't agree more. I still listen to the CDs we recorded years ago, and I'm still a big fan. I'd like nothing more than to get better at playing drums again and record some new music. I think that playing in front of crowds is the happiest I've ever been. It's way up there.

I asked Mike if he knew of any rooms available in West Philly. He did, in fact. He was paying $250 per month to rent an attic room and he hadn't set foot in there for months. He seemed sure that I could sublet with a possibility of taking over the room officially. Some guys from Dr. Dog live there, and I already know those guys. I wasn't expecting that finding a place to sleep would be so easy. Amazing. I was expecting and imagining that I would move back into the van - but for $250 this was just too good! Utilities included, no less.

Everything is working out. In a surreal and exciting way, pieces are fitting together faster and easier than I ever thought possible. I'm happy. I'm very happy.

I drove to West Chester to hang out with Danielle and Gary. I gave them the updates, and I couldn't hide my hopeful excitement from spilling over the edges. I couldn't, and I wouldn't want to.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The post in which a breakup occurs.

It's 7:21pm. I'm sitting passenger-side in Tara's car. We're in the turn lane to get out of Hockessin Delaware where the reliable booze store exists. We're headed back to the Pennsylvania side of the line where obtaining beer requires more forethought. That shitty song that goes "your sex is on fire" is playing on the radio. I hate that song. In my brain, a certain Jason Aldean track is playing. In my brain I'm 40 feet below the surface of a lake.

I have a beer in my hand and a bottle of whiskey at my feet. We're headed to Tara's folks house because they're out of town. I can't do it anymore.

I can't do it. It just doesn't feel right. I plow through half the whiskey, and now it's late. I tell her I'm leaving. (Where did that come from?) I'm leaving for good. Right now. On foot. I tell her I need to go right away. She pleads with me to stay. Just come to bed and sleep.

No. I can't do that. I'm leaving right now.

She persists.

I firmly refuse. I can't do it. It's not fitting, and it's not meant to be. I'm walking out right now. I have to go.

I walk out into a rainy night. I'm drunk and it's pitch black outside. I have what I estimate to be a few hours of walking ahead of me. I immediately get lost in darkness, and when I find my way, I realize that I've made a wrong turn - right out of the driveway.

I find the road and I walk. I'm insane, but I feel relief. My firm decision will not be reversed. This needs to be done, and somehow momentum has found me. The timing was a unique brand of unpredictable, but the outcome is the same. It had to happen some time. It had to. I proceed along the side of the road, walking through a misty rain. I know I did the right thing.

I see headlights and I put out my thumb. No rides for scary night people. I put out my thumb again, and a car pulls over. I actually have a foot in the car and I'm swinging myself in before I realize that this is Tara's car. The conversation was light as we headed to my house.

It was about two years ago when we first hit it off. I still think she's good. I want her to be better off than she'd be with me. I want to be better off myself. It took a long time and a couple botched breakups, but now it's happening.

It was hard to process. I got out of the car. A stone cold expression obscured question marks and exclamation points spilling from my ears. I made it to the kitchen in my parents house. Alone. I made a strange growling sound as my chest tried to explode out of my eyes. I squinted and growled and flapped my hands. And that was it. Next chapter starts now.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Small-World moments.

I rode out to West Philly to buy a $10 bicycle stem from a guy on Craigslist. He's on the 49th and Cedar block. I rented a basement on that block when I started my original used bicycle business. I couldn't remember the exact address, but I went to the house which I thought was correct.

A girl who I recognized walked out, and I asked "does Adam live here?"

I tried to scan my memory for why this girl looked familiar. I was in bicycle mode, and I was thinking bicycle people.

"You... uh... gave me a ride out to Iowa a few years ago," she reminded me.

"Holy shit! Savannah! Dude, how are you doing?"

So I rode all the way across Philly with the wrong address in my head - but the address happened to be hers. What a trip. We talked for a few minutes before I went and got the stem.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Napping and drinking mad Lion's Heads

7:21pm? I'm falling asleep during some lame movie that I'm watching with Tara. I'm about to wake up and drink eleven beers and fade from reality as I hang out with my friend Dave.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sold a Schwinn, baby!

I'm working a little bit late at the shop. I sold a used bicycle to a customer with a lot of questions. I'm in friendly mechanic mode. We're talking about how to ride and how awesome riding is. Bicycles are the best things ever, and I think it's obvious how enthusiastic I am about bicycles when I have conversations like this with a customer. I want everyone to get a decent bicycle and see how easy life can be.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lentils and rice.

I'm getting shitty drunk while making lentils and rice. Tara's work-friend came over for a visit and I'm shirtless, sweaty, and shittier by the minute.