“when will then be now? SOON.”
it’s afternoon on march 18th. i sit indian-style on a purple mattress on the lower half of a bunk bed in a guest room in Kingsford, Sydney, Australia. i’ve just taken a shower and, for the first time since leaving l.a., i feel somewhat refreshed. i receive e-mails from my friends, who are still in the past, recounting their experiences from the night. my mind spins, like wheel of fortune, landing on various moments in space and time.
tick, tick, tick, tick. late evening, march 17th, 2009. for six hours, i get to celebrate st. patty’s day. i do it by sleeping in a giant metal bird flying thousands of feet above the moonlit pacific ocean. i dream about something, but do not remember later.
tick, tick, tick. early morning, march 9th, 2009. i watch the sun rise over the grand canyon. it’s twenty degrees outside. jeanne, mel and i huddle together for warmth, but it’s not enough to keep the cold from worming its way through our clothes.
tick. late evening, march 17th, 2007. after performing a comedy show, my friend kevin and i chat up two girls in a bar in the lower east side of manhattan, new york. later, i ask to kiss one of them, and she nods, our breaths visible in the cold air. she jumps in my arms and i hold her on the sidewalk as cabs pass. in a little over a year, i’ll break her heart.
tick, tick. late evening, march 10th, 2009. i’m in a casino underneath the new york, new york hotel in las vegas, nevada. i’m up $130.00 in blackjack chips and i’m drunk. i flirt with jenny, our chinese/japanese/some kind of “ese” dealer, and she looks at me the way my mother did when she’d had enough of my jokes. i see jeanne’s face; she’s laughing. she thinks i’m retarded. mel is beside me, her head resting on her hand, asking me what the hell i’m thinking standing on a seven. at this time i feel great affection for them both. i know at some point i’ll leave them but it’s so far from now and i can just laugh and enjoy their funny looks across the table.
tick, tick, tick. early morning, march 12th, 2009. i’m standing on a low branch on a tree on top of the marin headlands in san fransisco, overlooking the east side of that pacific ocean which i will very soon sleep above. my face is red, my eyes are red, my cheeks are wet with tears. my mother is still gone. my mother is still gone.
tick. afternoon, march 13th, 2009. i’m in a bar in sonoma, california. dozens of wines in our bellies, jeanne and mel and i tussle in front of the jukebox as i try to bust through them to make a song selection. “settle down over there!” yells the bartender and we cease, laughing like giddy 6th graders.
tick, tick. afternoon, march 7th, 2009. i sit on a bench overlooking a lake in orlando, florida. my head hurts like hell but the rest of me feels fantastic. the wind blows and i am happy.
tick. march 16th, 2009. i’m walking along the water’s edge of manhattan beach in los angeles. all my jeans are in the laundry, so i’m wearing my pajama pants. mj and i have stumbled up on the head of a jellyfish, which oddly resembles a silicone implant. i realize then that it could be either.
tick, tick. october, 2007. i’m outside of a bar near another beach in los angeles. my father tells me that my mother again plans to take him to court and that he might go to jail. he tells me bitterly that it won’t be over until one of them dies. tears in my eyes, i hope in my heart that it ends before then. in a year, that hope will prove to be false.
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. march 17th, 2003. i’m in the bathroom of my friend holden’s house in tallahassee, florida. it’s st. patty’s day, and i’ve attempted to drink crystal off my mind. my head on the toilet seat, i wonder where she is.
tick, tick. may 23rd, 2009. i’m on a plane, heading back to the states. i sit alone. i’ve left two beautiful souls in australia to return to several more in orlando. thinking of the two of them, i frown. thinking of you, i smile.
tick. march 9th, 2009. gary drives away and i head into the airport, holding my bags, my mind racing, wondering where the next few months are going to take me.