DREAM: Driving my station wagon. Veer off the side of the road and into the river. Splash. It’s okay because in my mind I believe this car to have boating capabilities. Accelerating fast. The front of the car submerged. The shadow of a water creature down below following me. An alligator? Maybe it thinks my green car is also an alligator because even though I sense danger that it might jump up and lock its jaws, it never does. It has a playful attitude. I arrive at an inlet and hop off onto land. At this point the dream takes a vivid turn. I want to say I’m half lucid dreaming. I’m reminded of a previous dream where I talked with white owls in a ravine. That was also very vivid. I take a look around: a beautiful landscape...the oranges and pinks of the sunset...the luscious trees. The space I’m standing in is kind of a room but with no walls and intertwined with the surrounding nature. A shoe appears in the center of this inlet. I run over to inspect it. Picking it up—analyzing the brand name and information plates snapped on the bottom. It’s a black high heel. Why was this put here? Is it a clue to help me in waking life? In the end I understand it to belong to Stephanie even though at first I had other guesses. But this isn’t something she would wear. Down the river other foreign cars pull up. They’re understood to be security and law enforcers of some kind. They question what I’m doing here.
Waking up at 1 p.m. Her warm arms envelope me. This is familiar but also strange.
Margot gets me to join her at Bangkok Garden for lunch.
Inside the restaurant—the dark red maple wood furniture—the baby-like bell songs on the overhead speakers makes you feel like you’re in a dollhouse.
Me: “I want to live in beauty.”
Her: “I’m sure you’ll find it.”
Me: “I’m finding it.”
Sharing Chicken Pad Thai with Spring Rolls and Thai Coffee.
Me: “I like the calmness between you and I right now.”
Her: “Come tanning with me!”
Me: “No. I don’t want to.”
Her: “Why not? You’re a ghost.”
Me: “I like being a ghost.”
Vaginasaurs rehearsal at Stephanie’s house.
Leftover Pad Thai. Strawberry Yogurt. Honey Green Tea.
Immediately after, I drive to Hampton to meet with Tim—rehearsing Musicplayer songs for a good 3 hours.
Potato Chip Trio.
A bowl of Cheerios with Brown Sugar.
Over at Stephanie’s place. Discussions at the glass table while we paint Vaginasaur emblems and designs onto patches. Cheery shoegaze tunes in the background...
Her: “When do you say when?”
Me: “Yeah when do you say this is it?”
Her: “I guess when you get really old and you figure you gotta start reproducing.”
Me: “Yeah I think that’s it. I’m 27. I’m gonna turn 30...I’m gonna realize, you know when I’m old. I should just settle. I’m gonna be that 50 year old man, single, creeping on young girls.”
Her: “Do all guys grow up wanting to be that?”
Her: “I feel like I just end up meeting people and then I just jump into it.”
Her: “Is that what you did with Tokyo and Mae?”
Me: “We talked in the tour van...”
Her: “What’d you talk about?”
Me: “Dude, we figured everything there was to figure out about life!”
Her: “Do you pick up girls at bars? Should I go to Shakas and get a boyfriend?”
Me: “Oo. If you want an STD? Yeah.”
Her: “Aw that was such a cute grandpa thing to say.”
She breaks out these plastic cups with flashing colored lights built into the bottom, obviously taken from a cruise ship. Drinking champagne...
We continue painting...
Her: “I was in the car today...I was thinking about hope. Hope is like the coolest thing...”
Me: “Hope is important. I think optimism is important.”
Her: “What would your mom tell you whenever you got really sad or heartbroken?”
Me: “She’s so understanding and makes you feel so good about yourself. And she validates your feelings.”
Her: “Aw. I want to be a mom like that with empathy.”
Me: “Oh yeah. Extremely empathetic. That’s where I get my empathy from for sure. And the sentimentality and the sensitivity.”
Her: “You’re a new man with new teeth, new hair, and new visions.”
Me: “That’s right.”
We raise our sparkly champagne cups...
Me: “Here’s to new visions!”
Her: “This is awesome. You’re life is so fun.”
Me: “You definitely try to portray an exciting personality, well you have one, but you try to portray, hey my life is fun and so should yours! Cause really, Stef, only boring people are bored. And you’re not bored. And so you’re not boring.”
Me: “It’s weird though to think about my transitions in high school as a person.”
Her: “Me too.”
Smoke break on the back porch. It’s cold. The solid white of the clouds contrasting the black sky and twinkling stars.
Her: “It’s really hard. You have to deal with a lot of no’s and I feel like after living in New York and trying to do art seriously and working in a production office. Doing creative work there’s just so many no’s...”
Me: “I get really frustrated every time I put energy into people musically and then they just end up quitting...like all that time and work.”
Her: “Everything’s like that. Relationships. Friends.”
Me: “Yeah you’re right. I feel like in the musical form or in the creative world I would just like to have committed people. I feel like I’m constantly taking steps back.”
Her: “That’s not good.”
Me: “I’m taking steps forward for myself you know.”
Her: “Well, I’m committed. Any project you want me in I’m committed.”
Me: “That’s why I like you. That’s why I like these kinds of people.”
Her: “It’s hard to get people on board with your vision…I’m serious about whatever. I want to do stuff. I’m super gung ho. I feel like that’s the bad part of me cause I’m an Aries, like the ram. I just charge at everything.”
Me: “That’s a good quality. I think as long as you be selective sometimes, like where you put your energy.”
Her: “I’m enjoying the chaos right now. My favorite part is being fucking busy with people doing fun shit.”
Her: “I want to tell you I’m really thankful for you as my friend. I really am cause you’re really awesome. And all the people that you’ve let me meet are really cool. I feel like I’m in a good place people-wise.”
Feeling a new sense of companionship, or rather a new level of it at least—a better appreciation and respect for her.
Me: “It’s funny how you assume that people have these lives that you think they’re so happy and okay with and you don’t even know behind the curtains they’re actually unsatisfied. It’s not exactly how you envisioned their life to be. People see you and they’re like, oh yeah she’s got loads of friends and she’s like always happy. But you know that’s not real. That’s just a Facebook page.”
Her: “Can we be friends when we’re really old?”
Me: “I think we will. You got to work at that though. There has to be something that’s permanent and doesn’t dissipate. It’s a rare thing to find in friends.”
Her: “All I know is I’m gonna die one day and I wanna have fun.”
Me: “I’m gonna die one day and I’m gonna have a record of it...of all this fun.”
Her: “Am I gonna play Bridge when I’m old?”
Her: “I really value people that walk their own walk.”
Me: “Do you feel like being with someone that has their own walk, that wouldn’t be conflicting?”
Her: “No I think that would be amazingly interesting.”
Her: “Calm deep water. There’s something kind of eerie about calm deep water...I need someone that’s their own person that also just wants to ride my ride with me…”
Sharing clove cigarettes outside...
Her: “I’m so wise all of a sudden.”
Me: “It’s the clove, dude.”
Her: “Yeah Robert we gotta be friends when we’re old.”
Me: “Okay. I’m down. I’ll sign the papers.”
Her: “Dude, I feel hearts. I feel so many people’s hearts. It’s so crazy.”
Time to leave...
Earlier Margot offered to help me drop my car off at the shop overnight. So we take care of that and she spends the night so that when the car is done she can give me a ride back to it. Maybe it’s another excuse. But I don’t mind. Last night was nice. I don’t find myself becoming attached to it...to her. To cuddle up next to someone and feel their awesome warmth is such a comfort. It’s something we as humans need.
Sleep shortly after 4 a.m.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 3:12 PM
DREAM: Observing a concert in a small storefront venue. Robb Esperat is on stage performing. Doug Nicholson and I notice how horrible the mix down of the sound is because of the terrible vintage PA system they’re using.
Darren comes into my room, “Can I ask you a serious question? Do you really think George Clooney killed that guy to be in Oceans 11?”
Him, Josiah, and Anthony hop into the wagon for our trek to Richmond...
Breakfast stop at Bojangles: Egg and Cheese Biscuit, Bo’Berry Biscuit. Orange Juice. Zinc.
A quick and easy drive void of traffic.
In Richmond. They drop me off at the dentistry for my appointment. While waiting in the lobby to be called in I sit and read a Norwegian Folk Tale about a white bear with a magical wreath and a king’s daughter—an intriguing story.
I felt inclined to note an appreciation for Stephanie through text before they call me up, “hey grandma i just want you to know i think ur pretty rad.”
After two and a half hours of lying still in a chair while loud metal instruments drill and aggravate my mouth, my front chipped tooth is finally bonded and fixed.
“im a new man with new hair, new teeth, and new visions.”
The boys pick me up off the street after the appointment. Darren’s at the wheel after having a few whiskey drinks, shouting obnoxious remarks out the window at the pedestrians and being reckless, pressing hard on the brakes and accelerating with haste. We stop by the Ellwood Thompson Marketplace.
Eating Lentil Soup and Vegan Cornbread with an Aloe Vera Drink.
Meeting up with Paige at her place—playing with her rat and trying to call around for a house show to attend or something to do. We end up walking down to Pie214Cafe where Anthony’s friend Bo works. Upstairs is a little dive bar setup—sharing drinks, popcorn, and pizza.
On the drive back—I’m at the wheel while Anthony deejays with my iPod—Darren and Josiah in the back using an apple to smoke weed—song after song...anything from the 90’s produces a nostalgic vibe (Counting Crows, Pavement, Eve 6). Another quick and easy drive void of traffic.
Eating a Peanut Butter Bagel with Honey Green Tea.
Stephanie shows up and we engage in analytical discussions on relationship philosophy—the future—facilitating culture and creative communities.
Darren joins us in my room...
Darren: “The plight of each sex is difficult...Guys fuck because a girl is hot. Girls fuck for status.”
I receive repetitive calls from a restricted number. After answering I realize it’s the same person that’s been pranking me for the past three years. I still can’t figure out who this is...I stay connected and leave the phone on speaker while the Indian-accented voice continues the act...
Darren thinks my life is so creepy: “His life is so creepy! I might need to start wearing a tinfoil cap.”
Margot informs me they’ll be working on the roof of her house early in the morning and asks to sleep over so she won’t be disturbed. Over the phone, I’m reluctant...but it’s not really a big deal. I do sense her attempting to be more present in my life within the past few days. Her boy distraction failed for the most part, so of course she would reach out to me for attention/love fulfillment. Our sentimental talks I’m sure had something to do with it too, reminding each other how important we are to one another. But this has happened before when the power or A/C stopped working or storms come we would offer accommodations. Everything’s fine. She comes over and falls asleep before me...
Her: “Sleepover! Sleepovers are fun.”
I work on Vaginasaur recordings.
Eating a bowl of Cheerios with Brown Sugar.
I join her in bed around 4 a.m.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 7:06 PM
Alarm goes off at 11:11 a.m.
All day shift at China Wok.
A beautiful day.
Margot: “I’m really sad about everything :(”
Me: “yeah me too. theres a lot of things to be sad about.”
Margot: “I want you to hold me”
Me: “aw i want to hold you”
Margot: “No like I’m serious. Like I want that now.”
Me: “you’re cute. okay. well you know im at work.”
And she drops by all pretty and bright eyed but still upset about everything deep inside that head of hers, and it shows in the conversations we have while I’m delivering. Some of her statements are sharp and hard-hitting, making me feel sick to my stomach. But it also makes me feel good to be needed by her—to be sought after for comfort. I will admit that. We’ll always love each other in some way shape or form.
She talks casually about wanting to do all these things with me if I had the day off...
“We can go to Bangkokky [Bangkok Garden], then Targgy [Target], then take a nap and watch a movie.”
I’m aware how sneaky she is. And I like it. But I have my wall up. Cause I know she retreats to me for attention, the attention she couldn’t currently get from another.
Me: “You’re more like a Sweet Tart. You last longer than Sour Patch Kids.”
Chic-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Waffle Fries. Sweet Tea.
It’s a slow work shift tonight.
Thinking about the lusty recklessness and sexual irreverence that goes on in everyone’s mind and how pressing it can be to fight back with purity and honor.
Ice Cream Cone.
“judge a man by his face not his shadow.”
Making Pizza with Syrup-Glazed Onions and Garlic. Baking Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. All the dwellers of the house are home along with Becca, Stephanie, and Sarah.
Becca cuts my hair...while people dance closely around me.
Vaginasaurs recording at the storage unit. Stephanie is constantly burping while we track her vocals—so much laughing.
“Give me more cute and sassy. You’re Gwen Stephanie!”
“One! Two! Three! Roar!”
A bowl of Cheerios with Brown Sugar.
Sleep 5 a.m.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 2:47 PM
[i] Takato Tamamoto.
My dreams were calm and light until I woke up about an hour before my alarm was supposed to go off. I check my phone. Margot responded to my texts from last night and agreed we could meet up. My cloudy mind is wandering now and I can’t get back to sleep. This whole concept of her having been sexually involved with another guy is all just too startling. It’s a deep blow. Cause I know it had nothing to do with love (she’s not dating him nor does she love him). It’s just cheap sex. And that makes me feel cheapened. I’m aware it’s only the possessive nature taking a stand...
My short dreams switch to scenarios saturated with anxiety...
Orange Juice. Zinc.
All day shift at China Wok.
It’s gonna be alright, Robert. Things like this have happened before and you’ve moved on. Just give it a couple of days and you’ll find peace in your mind.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
A steady afternoon for deliveries. The blues of Lightnin’ Hopkins on the stereo entertaining the puddle in my head...
Peanut Butter Bagel. Potato Chip Trio. Honey Green Tea.
Busy dinner rush.
Oh the curse of what we’ve done to each other...how it strips away our sanity and knocks our dignity to the floor. This tug-o-war match never ends. Pulling and pushing—pulling and pushing—hurting and hurting. No one will ever win.
Elliott drives by the restaurant, as I’m about to head off with orders, and yells out, “CHINA WOK SUCKS!”
He hops in and gets a glimpse at what I do...
Elliott: “Chinese people never get divorced.”
Me: “Oh the Chinese are terribly faithful.”
Elliott: “Life works out...”
Me: “It always does.”
Delivering over in the military housing off Birdneck. We notice random boxes and miscellaneous household items scattered throughout the neighborhood, which seemed kind of strange. Elliott cranks up Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” on the stereo. It’s a fitting soundtrack.
He makes mention how I swerve in and out of lanes and barely halt at the stop signs.
Me: “No regard for the law. China Wok!”
Finally settling down...enjoying Tofu and Mixed Vegetables with Garlic Sauce and Rice.
I drive over to Margot’s place—meeting in the den where we used to spend our time. I just wanted to clear the air and hear her words and have her hear mine. I commence my feelings and perspective on the situation...summing up everything I said to her yesterday but now I’m able to perform it. I found out the other day from her that the guy she’s been seeing and hooking up with is James Duke, the same guy she hooked up with just before Halloween, the guy that comes to poker nights, the guy that’s buddies with Darren, the guy that apologized for shaking things up and then continued to pursue after the fact. I know I have no obligation to her and have no jurisdiction over her personal life but I still feel like I do just because. And I don’t approve of this guy because of his reputation. Everything that I know about him thus far and his aggressive nature on her has not proved he has any intentions that could benefit her whatsoever. I’m just so disappointed that she would be attracted to something like that. She allowed him to push sex on her even when he didn’t earn it. Cheap. Cheap sex. Things get heated really fast—she’s already pissed because this guy has been acting weird and standoffish. And my minor involvement in it hasn’t helped...
She yells and digs up past mistakes that I’ve made, as if mine give her the right to make those same ones.
Me: “So what’s your point? Your excuse is: Oh I’m 22. I’m allowed to be naive?”
I sent a simple message to Mr. Duke saying not to show up at my house again. It was one sentence that I felt was straight to the point because I don’t think I could control myself and would do something I might regret, like get angry and violent. She thinks that’s the reason he’s not speaking to her.
Me: “He infuriates me. He’s a douche bag. He’s a misogynist. He doesn’t’ respect you. He just sees you as some fun girl to hang out with. And now he slept with you and now he can have his trophy on his wall. Like, wow. Big deal. You’re such a man!”
Me: “I’m not trying to ruin things for you. I know we’ve been broken up for awhile. I’m hurt because I still love you. You know I care about you and I hate to see you make these decisions...”
She has the power to be cruel and brutal with her words and her attitude. I hate being the person with a reason to hurt cause that’s not a good place to be when her anger comes out.
Me: “Why do you have to get so angry??!!! Stop pushing me. I’m trying to talk! You just want to bring up every little thing of the past...everything I’ve done wrong!”
With a sinister tone she replies with, “I have lots of ammo baby. Don’t push me.”
She’s aware and conscious of her repeat actions but she feels stuck. And she also recognizes the signs in him that should’ve deterred her...
Her: “And I can’t get upset about it because this shit I should’ve seen happening. I kind of did. And you know what? Whatever. Another one bites the dust. Time to move on to bigger and better things.”
Me: “This is where I’m coming from. For you to experience sex with someone else who hasn’t earned it, something that we held so sacred and special between you and I. There was actually some meaning behind it. We weren’t just fucking. We were lovemaking. And we did it innumerable amount of times. We have plenty to show for. I guess I feel like you really didn’t value sex the way it should’ve been. I feel like when you do have sex with someone else that’s like a big step. For me to know that you’ve done that is like I know that you’ve made a big step forward away from me and maybe that’s why I’m so terrified of it.”
Her: “And maybe I was looking for a big step forward away from you.”
Me: “I guess I understand that.”
Eventually it turns into a sentimental conversation about the future and what she wants. I start to see the fuel that drives her to seek out constant attention from guys or how she dives into people so quickly.
Her: “I don’t want to be alone.”
Me: “You’re 22. You shouldn’t worry about that right now.”
Her: “I have an agenda. I have a life plan. I don’t want to be almost 30 alone. I can’t even imagine anyone wanting to marry me.”
She tears up.
Me: “I feel like in my mind that’s always going to be an option for me. Margot, you’re one of the major serious relationships in my life—even more major than the other ones. You’ve been around longer than anybody.”
Her: “That’s because I’m the most dramatic I’m sure.”
Me: “I’m too sentimental and I have a reason to be sentimental about you. I’m just saying, just because we’re not talking about it seriously doesn’t mean it’s not an option.”
I start laying out the positive qualities I see in her that would make her a good wife...
She’s still getting so depressed about the future and her current state of affairs...
Me: “Life is fun. Life should be fun. You shouldn’t be so depressed about your future. You have a bright future. You can have whatever you want.”
Her: “But I wanted you and you fucking left me.”
Me: “My reasons aren’t just about you. You know that right? I know I need to do this and have more time to do things. I hated having to give this up. I miss it. You come up every day in my head. And it’s all these little things like songs...every time I deliver to this neighborhood I think about you. Or every time I see a fox for some reason.”
Her: “I really like foxes.”
Her: “I don’t want to die alone. I don’t like being alone. I have a lot of love. I want to love someone.”
Me: “I know this.”
I know I have to go. The first time I attempt to leave she acts cold, not offering a hug. We warm up eventually, and then she jumps on my lap and persistently acts cute...
Me: “How come all of a sudden you’re being nice to me?”
Her: “Sour and sweet...I’m a sour patch kid.”
Her: “I miss you...I miss the monogamy.”
Me: “Me too.”
I get up to leave but offer one last embrace while she’s curled up on the couch. I look at her endearingly...
Me: “So angry. So bitter but so sweet. Sour patch kid...”
She looks up back at me endearingly, “I miss your pee pee.”
Her: “You’re so sensitive.”
Me: “I am. Too much though.”
Her: “No it’s cute when you’re sensitive and loving and...it shows.”
I reach in and peck her on the lips...walk to the door. Pause. I look over...
Me: “I’ll always love you.”
Vaginasaurs recording at the storage unit...
Stef: “I’m surprised you didn’t bone Margot!”
A bowl of Cheerios with Sugar.
Sleep 5 a.m.
[i] Takato Tamamoto.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 2:31 PM
Waking up after a restless morning. 11:21 a.m.
All day shift at China Wok.
Egg and Cheese Biscuit. Bo’Berry Biscuit. Orange Juice.
It’s a hot slow November day.
God, I’m angry. I’m heavy with disappointment and disgust. There was a question lingering in my mind ever since my last conversation with Margot. And I had to relieve myself with the truth rather than imagining the worst, even if the worst was true. I feel the need to know...for my own sanity...but only because she brought it up. Why? Why did you have to tell me even the slightest hint that you were seeing someone else?
I send her a text...
Me: “did you have sex with him?”
Her: “That’s a really inappropriate question. Why do you ask?”
She didn’t have to say it. I knew the answer.
Me: “you disgust me and you’re a hypocrite. don’t call me and don’t reach out to me.”
Her: “Ok. Sorry. I still love you.”
Me: “fuck you”
Her: “Wow. Ok. We can talk once you’ve calmed down. You know you’re really important to me.”
Me: “you’re a self absorbed attention whore and you’ve obviously found a fuck buddy. did i mention you’re a hypocrite?”
Her: “Um no I haven’t. Look I’m sorry. I know you don’t believe me right now but I do love you.”
Me: “i can’t believe you did that. well actually its in your character i guess to move fast without thinking. you’re just full of shit margot...you hold double standards to everyone around you especially to me. you have no right to judge when you yourself are the things you criticize.”
What is wrong with me? I really wish you hadn’t called me. I would’ve been fine without seeing you at all. You disrupted my healing and my separation. Fuck you. I’m usually a kind and understanding person. I still believe myself to be. But you never cease to unimpress me. The words that come out of people’s mouths are useless. They rarely represent anything truthful. Even if the person tries to amount up to the standards they’ve set for themselves, they won’t. They will fail. However, at the end of the day I am no different than her. We have hurt each other on this long and winding road of a relationship.
In the midst of jotting this down, a familiar person walks in. Zana, my British speaking Hilltop urchin. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her walking on the street. She popped in to see if China Wok was hiring...
It takes her a minute to recognize who I am...and then it clicks. The accident she got in years ago causes her to forget things...
Her: “Hi, love! What are you doing right now?”
Me: “I’m writing.”
Her: “Are you writing a book?”
Me: “Yeah sort of.”
Her: “You look wise.”
Leave it up to the sunshine woman to make me feel better about life...
Her: “It was nothing but a gift to run into you.”
More texting with Margot...
Her: “You’re right Robert. Hate me all you want. But remember-you broke up with me so I’m free to do what I want, make mistakes without regarding anyone else’s feelings. I am sorry I hurt you but you broke my heart first.”
Me: “and that’s the reason why i broke up with you. you have the potential to be a better person than you are but you choose to be reckless.”
Her: “Ok well then you should feel awesome in your decision. I told you we weren’t meant to be together. You released me of any obligation to you and now I’ve released you of yours. Have a good life Robert cause I’m sure I won’t be hearing from you anymore.”
Me: “and i feel much better about my decision now that ive confirmed the kind of person you are. i really wish you hadn’t called me like you did...you made it difficult for me and yourself. there could have been resolve. and now theres bitterness.”
Her: “Why would that have changed anything? Look I knew we were never going to be together again. And now you do too. So why does it matter if there’s bitterness?”
Me: “i explained this before. i was doing fine before you informed me you were seeing someone else. and of course that kick started my inquiries.”
Her: “Look don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to. My personal life isn’t your concern. Someday I hope you can forgive me and maybe we can be friends cause you are still important to me.”
Me: “‘I only want to have sex with people im dating.’ you said that once. obviously not...proven countless times...im repulsed by your actions and yes im hurt without the right to be.”
Me: “right now. I need you to stay away from me and not contact me.”
Her: “Done. I’ll be dead to you.”
Me: “don’t get pissy with me. you’re the one being reckless with your vagina. i don’t want any part of it.”
Her: “Whatever Robert. I’m done talking to you.”
Peanut Butter Bagel. Potato Chip Trio. Honey Green Tea.
While I’m delivering around I get angry as usual at the incompetence of other drivers...but this time I have built up aggression and my fist-pumps against the passenger seat are ten times more brutal.
My friend Jes, better known as Jes Streeteam on Facebook, is in town for the weekend and stops by The Wok. Catching her up on Virginia Beach life while she catches me up on Durham life. Her presence has the same effect as Zana and these are the kind of people I’d like to surround myself with in order to have a brighter stream of consciousness.
A slow unprofitable day at work...
Fun with Elliott, Josiah, Stef, and Sarah on 16th street—throwing the frisbee around on the baseball field. Later in Elliott’s room on the third floor, I find my way onto the porch. Lost in heavy thought—still feeling enraged and hurt. Mesmerized by the Oceanfront city lights. Stef discovers my temporary solitude and somehow sees my thoughts. She has her own sad thoughts to deal with as her and Calum just broke up officially. She’s always the one to encourage the POSI diet, especially through that big rainbow smile on her face.
Vaginasaurs recording at the storage unit. Tracking Sarah’s bass lines.
Cheerios with Brown Sugar.
Me: “I got a little edgy and angry today...i still am. this is a hard blow for me. id like to meet in person as i have information to share and i would like to have peace and resolve with you...i hate you and i love you at the same time...i just can’t believe in my heart that you would experience with another person something we held so sacred and special and with whom you don’t even know deserves it.”
Instead of my usual relaxation method of sexual release I decide to read the bible, which I haven’t sat down to read in quite a long time.
Speak to me...I want to be a warrior, not just a lover...Give me peace.
Sleep 5 a.m.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 6:45 PM
DREAM: Jumping over a river stream then dancing with a giant rock monster that gives off the vibe of being kind and gentle.
Waking up just after noon.
Meeting my mom at the Pancake House again on 14th street for breakfast and thanksgiving leftovers. Her eyes look so sad when we exchange one last hug, at least for a while. Her intensity and tenderness shows. It always has and I’ve always admired it and have taken from her in this way. I will miss her.
I stop by Elliott’s place on 16th street for a little friend time. He’s in the middle of playing Tony Hawk on Playstation. The weather is far from even resembling winter—a beautiful and sunny day. We throw the Frisbee on the beach—darting the seagulls hovering over us. People-watching on the boardwalk bench. A homeless man wearing a Cowboys hat asks for the time...
Discussing the state of our romantic lives on the walk back. I talk about Margot. Sometimes I imagine myself still in Virginia Beach later down the road with her.
“I’d have a sexy wife that loves me, living in Virginia Beach with a house on the beach, middle class, maybe upper middle class. I’d be okay with that. I could see myself taking that path if I really wanted to...but do I really want to?”
It’s easy to romanticize raising a family and settling down in your hometown and it’s kind of a beautiful vision in my head. We’ll see what the coming years bring me.
Later we head to The Heritage for Kombucha Tea and incense—then stopping into the Vinyl Daze record shop nearby.
Editing stuff on Ableton Live.
Grilled Cheese with Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Green Tea.
Setting up a circus downstairs for Show N Tell: proper cozy lighting—hanging sheets—projection—and other such nonsensical decoration. The crowd slowly trickles in and turns to a capacity of at least 50 some odd people. It’s really packed in here. Musical acts and rap improv and spoken word and intense voicemail remixes and Nerdlucks! Sharing beers.
Rusty says to me with a huge smile on his face: “If you’re not tasting it you’re wasting it.”
She’s here. The one from last time. The cuddly encounter. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ she’s here and displaying not so subtle behavior that she wants to have another “cuddly encounter”. This minor news spreads to the 1435 underground _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Stef: “Do you feel any butterflies?”
Me: “No. I don’t feel butterflies at all. She’s just a means to an end...a body. I just need a body to hold.”
She senses my reservation after I invite her into my room. I explain myself in some generalized way about making the right decision. She’s bummed from other guy-related frustrations of emotional rejection. I take on the role of counselor/listener and see a human being tired...tired of superficiality and weakness. I know hardly anything about this girl. Both exhausted from the night, we interlock with her head in my arm. The vague not so distant sounds of the party stragglers out back reverberating through the window. We sleep...
Early in the morning after her alarm goes off at 7 we find ourselves nuzzling but not kissing. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ In these moments I could’ve crossed the border and opened myself up...but I’d rather not have sex. I’ll stand my ground. This isn’t the time for me. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Afterwards, she’s off to work.
Her: “Robert...you’re cute.”
Maybe that’s what she needed: some cute boy to make her feel like a woman. Feeling like a man is another story though.
I’m restless. I can’t go back to sleep but I manage to for at least another hour.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 6:38 PM
DREAM: Fear. Heavy eyes. Heavy times. In a bar. She’s messing with my psyche—playing games to make me feel jealous—I don’t want to hurt—I want to be unaffected.
Waking up sometime after 1 p.m.
I head over to the Volivas thanksgiving get-together off Wolfsnare—my mom is there. Eating a small plate of edible goodness. Small talk.
Back home. Editing drum tracks.
Despite the episode I received from Margot last night we already made plans to hang out on Thanksgiving. I take her to the Pancake House on 14th street where my mom and her friends have a huge buffet arranged. Eating a huge plate of T-Day related food—the Sweet Potato Dumplings are a hit—and the Merlot is perfect. There’s chatter and story telling on good and bad restaurant experiences between my mom and a few of her friends. Margot’s next to me sipping on coffee. I’m strangely despondent and feel a sense of loneness. I can’t control it for some reason. She takes notice after attempting to involve me on a midnight trip to Target for Black Friday.
“C’mon! It’ll be fun!”
I’m just not interested in taking part or even observing America’s biggest day of consumerism. She seems to be enjoying this time with me. I can tell when she gets excited about stuff like this.
We head back to my house. I put on Limitless (2011) and we coup ourselves up in the bed, holding each other, snuggling, sharing warmth. I rub her back and think to myself, how can such a cute and beautiful thing such as her produce such darkness and bitterness? The movie’s over now. And finally I’m able to examine and explain my sullen state of mind to her………………………….
The involvement. The emotions. It’s quite a hardcore realization to announce to her. Some of it hits her character hard. My intention was not to offend though and I’m a sentimental guy. It’s not like we’ve been seeing each other or hanging out until tonight. And I’m just not ready for her to be present in my life. I’m too affected. I’m certain soon enough within a month or so things could be somewhat normal. She’s standing by the door. I’m at the other end of the room. I see tears in her eyes. I respond with the same and run over to her with tissue in hand gripping her body. She says something about how the idea of marrying each other exists in another universe...
I whisper back, “We still live in the same universe. Anything’s possible.”
The deal we made about marrying by the time I turn 30 if none of us are seriously involved at the time comes up. I had forgotten about that. But I’m not so opposed to it. 3 years is a long way away. We’ll see...
“i need to counteract this slight gloom with work.”
Recording at the storage unit with Stephanie: guitars and vocals. Being productive makes me feel more useful.
Sleep 5:30 a.m.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 6:17 PM
DREAM: I’m heavy and explosive—eating pizza at China Wok—the tomato sauce—that delicious pizza sauce—dipping my crust into it.
Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Blackberry Jam. Orange Juice.
Vaginasaurs practice at Stephanie’s house—working out new punk surf doo-wop songs.
Fish Taco with Rice. Leftover Pasta.
Watching Limitless (2011).
With Darren, Devon, James Graves, and my mom. We trek to Norfolk where Emily and Doug are having a hang out at their house in Ghent. Sharing wine and some of Emily’s fresh baked vegan goodness. I brought over Hellcab (1997) to watch but Emily’s adamantly opposed to it claiming the scenes and acting are contrived, which I agree with. It sure has been a while since I’ve spent time with her. It’s been years ago when she escaped from her Maryland life to move into 1623 with me. She’s still the same brisk young blood I’ve known her to be. And Ambrotious, my kitty. He also has not changed, still biting your hand without reason, and looking as cute as ever. Other people I used to see are here. It’s a good old fashion time. Eventually Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) makes it into the DVD player. Now we’re all happy.
On the drive back, Darren enlightens us with his absurd knowledge and extravagant made-up stories.
I lean over to my mom, “Now you see the kind of people I live with...”
“you know im actually okay with not having like a crush right now or a distraction...
seriously what makes me more happy is creating music and recording and being a project man...even though at the end of the day im alone...i still have friends to lean on and other delicious things in life i have access to taste”
I receive a drunk call from Margot. I haven’t seen her since she visited me at work last week. At first she sounds cute...“*I’m drunkie*” but immediately she takes on the ex-girlfriend role spouting nothing but hateful remarks. My psyche is in a little bit of shock—my singularity and course to wholeness has been disrupted. Circular conversations of negativity. I want out! Get me out!
Me: “You live in a hellish world and you don’t know your way out of it.”
The calls continue—send/receive. I listen to her talk—sometimes responding. Eventually she just ends up here on the Chanticleer streets. I realize at this point she has no intention of leaving until she releases every ounce of energy she has. Go ahead. Shovel everything you got. On a whim I dart outside. I hop into the passenger seat of her car then smother her with kisses. I fight back with positive energy—passionate energy. It feels in vain but it has the proper effect. No more hate. She’s laughing...and blindsided. Information is shared on her end that is only counterproductive.
Me: “I don’t want to hear about you seeing other people. I don’t want to know about it!”
Now it’s another hour of verbal reconstruction. She said she was lonely the past two days and that I’m her default. I don’t mind that so much.
Her: “I’m always going to love you...that’s sad.”
What am I doing out here? I was fine before she called. But really I’m still fine. I’ll go to sleep. And tomorrow will be another day. I want to stay unaffected and strong. I’m better than this nonsense. She’s not calm and I want to be calm. I love her and it’s understood. She loves me and it’s understood. But this is a new era for Robert. I need to keep moving forward >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
In my bed...alone. 6 a.m.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 4:23 PM
Waking up just after 1 p.m.
Strawberry Yogurt. Orange Juice.
Downstairs with Darren and Josiah prepping up the living room for the mushroom trip tonight. Decorating—hanging sheets—pictures—adding plenty of visual stimuli.
Today is a palindrome: 11-22-11
Nourishing talks and eats at Plaza Azteca with my mom.
Chips and Guacamole Dip. Fish Tacos. Lemon Water.
I’m grateful for this time with my mother—being able to talk about the past—revelations and discoveries that help shape and heal.
Back at the house...our living room has been transformed into a funhouse/lounge space—blankets and sheets pinned to the ceiling and wall—colored lamp lighting—the girls are chopping up the mushroom and making tea bags. Now it’s brewed. We intake...and wait...Ravi Shankar music on the computer speakers. Being a virgin to this experience I was nervous earlier but now I’m comfortable—drawing figures on a brown paper bag. Sipping on orange juice and swallowing vitamin c pills to intensify the effect. We venture to the place we all know too well and feel the freest: The Friends School. It’s in the midst of our walk through the woods behind the Lutheran church that I begin to feel the kicker...the next level...then on the rope swing the heaviness hits the bloodstream. Walk back...the leaves, the yellows, the autumn glow, the street lights—the Chanticleer porch lights—illuminate—I’m talking...live narration on the events my body is experiencing.
Back home in the living room...
▐ ▐ ▐
Words bubbling about in the air = united on a social plane that’s seamless and without ceasing = pressure between my ears streaming mountainous pressure pulsating pounding positive white blurry trails glowing moving surrounding = time travel = it’s internal the awareness of yourself as if my conscious sits separately watching observing the actions of my body the words my lips mutter = knowing expecting the next move the next action the next word finishing each other’s sentences and thoughts = confessions openness = colors, oh...my...God, the colors—splattered glow stick juice all over the room (our space, our outer space) turning into twinkling stars resembling a vibrant Pollock painting, or a laser tag arena = shuffling feet bouncing bumbling rocking bodies = it’s a nightmare and a fantasy all at once = moments of timidness in the corner on the couch holding the brown water jug = I’m a part of a live neon picture you might find in Spencer’s = I could easily imagine unicorns but none would appear = objects are morphing size and shape = I’ve entered a time void = strangers enter, strangers of The Trip—they’re friends though, friends of the realm = a togetherness, we all take notice to the need for nourishment:::::sandwiches, raw green bean sandwiches, pasta = the flow = the flow = the flow = sound is a shift = the music echoing and breaking this audio distortion doesn’t make sense = let me put this into words carefully = I’m without inhibitions = expanding boundaries = touch...I’m touching my feet I’m touching your shoulder I’m touching everyone an epidermis circus the sensation of touch is not normal vibrations in my teeth when I bite = outside the trees the dreamy cloudy sky everything’s foggy hazy dazy I’m dizzy = I’m dreaming! it feels like a dream! = is the ground wet? is it dry? I don’t know I can’t tell = sometimes paranoia: the front door creaking open and shutting who is that who could that be my vision darting every which-a-way = nobody is supposed to leave! everyone should be HERE close I want to be close!!!!
▐ ▐ ▐
At some point after 3 a.m. I finally come down from the trip. Anthony arrives home after his New York trip.
“Anthony! You’re back!”
Later, it’s just me and Josiah lying on the couches. I’m drawing and writing in my notebook attempting to capture something...
Eating a bowl of Cheerios with Brown Sugar. My reality is back to normal. I’m thinking coherently and with focus. That was magikal.
Sleep after 5 a.m.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 8:45 PM
Waking up at 11:23 a.m. I’m a little late for work.
All day shift at China Wok.
Blueberry Muffin. Orange Juice. Zinc.
Slow afternoon for deliveries. It’s quite a contrast from the past few days of work.
Grilled Cheese with Tomato. Potato Chip Trio. Honey Green Tea.
The night deliveries are chill. Art’s here for his 2 or so hour shift.
The airplane fanatic guy near Shore Drive that usually has me get him alcohol orders again today. It’s become the ordinary. This time though he wants me to get him groceries...
Guy: “I need to lay off that stuff for a while.”
A customer walks into the restaurant, a sporty lady in her early 50’s. She asks Cecily how business is going...
Lady: “We don’t want to lose you here in this community. We like you!”
Nicole pops in for a chat on the changing of personalities around her and our hatred for attachments—attachments to things and people.
Me: “Yeah attachment sucks...You should take from Buddhism.”
Nicole: “I think I need to live my life completely in passing.”
Me: “I don’t think its possible.”
Tofu and Mixed Vegetables with Rice in Garlic Sauce.
Finishing Starman (1984).
Stephanie’s here. We’re about to go record at the unit
In reference to her ability to hype everything up I define her: “You ARE hype machine!”
Stef: “Can you describe the mushroom experience in one sentence?”
Darren: “An entire year’s awesomeness crammed into two years.”
Tracking drums for Vaginasaur songs at the storage unit with Stephanie—she acts as an apprentice.
Stef: “This is so fun!”
A bowl of Cheerios with Brown Sugar.
Sleep 5 a.m.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 3:40 PM