Friday August 31 2012


☼ ○ ▬

Living in a room with my father, two friends, and a nurse. None of us really know the nurse; she’s sort of a stranger. But she shares beds with each of us on occasion. We rarely see her because of her long work hours. I instigate a hunt to go find her and get to know her. We run across town until we reach the lobby of an apartment complex or maybe it’s a hospital. Security guards make sure no one unauthorized goes up the elevators. We know what rooms she might be in: A16 or A9. It should be easy because it’s on the first floor. We all wait at a big table. Behind me a girl sits down. I think it’s her but I’m not sure.

Me: “Denise?”

The girl shakes her head and looks concerned. It turns out to not be her. I play it off and pretend I didn’t just mix them up. But this girl takes an interest in our situation. She’s a little bit pudgy physically but I find myself attracted to her. There’s mild sexual tension.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up around 1:30 p.m.

Instant Blueberry Oatmeal. Orange Juice.


Grilled Cheese with Tomato on Peppercorn Bread. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Oolong Tea.

Downloading music – organizing files.

Working three hours at China Wok. Making some extra cash.

Snacking on Trail Mix.

Vegetable Lo Mein and a Shock Top Raspberry Wheat Lager for dinner.

Stephanie just got back from San Francisco and is throwing an end of summer cookout/pool party at her house on the bay. I head over there. All our friends are present on the back patio. Some take a chance in the murky pool. The trampoline provides hours of jumping entertainment. Acrobatic shenanigans that turns into dancing. Pogo stick tricks. I’ve had a few beers in me so I’m feeling carefree...more than usual. Shimmying up the second story porch and climbing up on the roof. Jamming on the drums and guitar in the den with Josiah.

Back home.

Enjoying a bowl of Cinnamon Toast before I go to sleep at 4 a.m.

[i] Watusi. Cavalier Nov1965.

Thursday August 30 2012


Getting up at 12:22 p.m.

Instant Blueberry Oatmeal. Plums. Orange Juice. Zinc (50 mg).

Catching up on writing and business.

Jessa Potter and Jordan are baking a cake downstairs; the delicious sweet odors of coconut cake fill the air.

Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Hummus. Potato Chip Trio. Honey Oolong Tea.

Watching The Snowtown Murders (2011).

Enjoying a slice of Jessa’s Coconut Cream Cake with Coconut Water.


Organizing things at the storage unit.

Leftover Shrimp Sinigang with Mixed Vegetables and Rice.

Ken and I plan an impromptu screening of In Passing (2012) at the house. This is the film he directed, all set in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, and with a cast of almost everybody we know in our community of friends. I play a small role in the attic of my old house, 1623.

We’ve gathered an audience that includes myself, Ken, William Clark, Kevin, and Sierra. Enjoying some more of Jessa’s Coconut Cream Cake with Milk while we watch the movie. It’s been at least a whole year since the film was being shot. The style is supposed to be mumblecore, a low-energy drama. It’s really cool to see all our friends make appearances. After the showing somebody brings up the amateur movie Kevin made when he was young: The Lone Survivor. I find the only VHS copy hidden in the bookshelf and put it on. It’s basically just five minutes of a prepubescent Kevin Moore cast as himself, the only survivor after a plane crash. It’s a laugh riot. 

Darren left for a few days and asked me to feed Jupiter while he was gone. I pop into his bedroom. Jupiter reveals his wide-eyed face. I sit down on the black futon couch and he immediately jumps up to nuzzle and kiss me. I purr back at him while he rubs his face into my beard. 

Me: “I don’t care what Darren says. You’re the sweetest cat.”

He migrates to the floor brushing up against my legs. I love the feeling of his fur. It’s so calming and hypnotizing. I just sit there for a few minutes. He needed some human interaction.

Learning some Russian.

Plums and a Peach.

Sleep 4-ish a.m.

[i] Graphic by Ken Nishimoto.

Wednesday August 29 2012


☼ ○ ▬

In my bed. In and out of sleep. Feeling anxiety. My mother is sleeping next to me. We both have a generous amount of face paint on...resembling clowns. There’s a somber mood taking over. She turns to look at me as if about to say something sincere, then smiles and says, “I just can’t take you seriously with all that paint on.”

Together we laugh at how ridiculous the situation is.

▬ ○ ☼ ○ ▬

I’ve time traveled back to elementary school. Here I am roaming the familiar courtyards. I see Misty, an old friend of mine whom currently in waking life is married and has a baby. I consider walking up to her and informing her of the bright future ahead of her but I change my mind because I’m afraid of the butterfly effect. I might wake up and find everything is completely different. I locate the basketball courts and attempt to join in on a game but I’m out of luck and can’t seem to grab hold of a ball to play.

▬ ○ ☼

It’s about 10 a.m.; it’s been a restless morning. Aysena keeps repositioning herself, which in return causes me to reposition myself. On top of that I don’t feel resolved from last night. She arises from the bed and quietly writes in her journal. I listen to the soft scribble of her pen in hopes I can grab a clue as to what she’s thinking. Her quiet presence is loud to me; I can’t get back to sleep. I watch her grab her pack and shoes and walk out the door. Is she really just going to walk home? That’s six miles. I wait a little bit and decide it’s useless lying around feeling empty. I spring up out of bed, grab the scooter, and catch up to her on Laskin. She looks surprised.

Me: “Hey.”

I stand there leaning up against my scooter while the cars zoom by causing a distraction to the scene.

Me: “I don’t want to sleep anymore.”

With a confused look on my face I add, “I don’t understand. Does this have to do with your period?”

She kind of laughs, “Maybe.”

I convince her to let me drive her home.


On the drive to her house I put on Beggar In The Morning by The Barr Brothers, hoping for some kind of buttered up sonic consolation.

The ride there is silent, just the music ringing in our ears. I park in her driveway on the corner of Hatton Street and Shore Drive. She’s about to pull the lever to the door...

Me: “Ays, I’m sad.”

In her thick Russian accent all she can say is, “I’m sorry,” except it sounds more like sawy.

She prepares to go.

Me: “Wait. Don’t go. I don’t understand what’s happening. I like you. I want to know you.”

Again she says, “I’m sorry,” and steps out of the car. And I’m left there alone...sitting in the driver’s seat holding a crumpled up tissue from where I’ve released a few tears and snots. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. At least five minutes pass, and then all of a sudden she’s standing there next to my window. She came back for me. She’s concerned!

Sullenly I say, “Hey.”

She looks at me with haunting eyes...twiddling with her hair strands, like she always does when she’s nervous or uncomfortable. Like an ostrich’s head in the sand she hides her face behind her hands. She puts her thumb inside her mouth halfway. I take notice.

I smile and comment, “You look like a baby.”


Me: “I’m just a human being. I’m just a person...that’s interested in you...that likes you.”


Me: “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Her: “Yes. You didn’t.”


She explains further and it’s possible we may be getting past the surface of the problem...

Her: “I can’t be in social situations...”

Me: “Social situations? With me?”

Her: “No. With anyone.”

It turns out she’s not ready to be with my friends. She says it’s too fast...too soon...or that she’s not hang out with my friends that is, not the pace of us. Social anxiety is the culprit here. The mood lightens up with a little bit of humor and curling of the lips.

Me: “Do you still like me?”

Embarrassed by the question she hides behind her hands again. We both giggle.

Me: “Do you?”

Her: “Yes.”


“Just forget about last night,” she encourages. Forget about it like it never happened. She seems willing to move on from it. It was just an error...a mere glitch in our love machine. All of that confusion for nothing...nothing except a learning learn more about each other’s human behavior. Everything is fine.


Me: “It feels like a long time ago since we first hung out.”

Her: “No. It’s a month ago.”

Me: “It’s crazy. Things are different. I’m glad you came back to the car. I feel better.”


This has to be the most interesting and mysterious romantic relationship I’ve ever had. We’re forced to hide behind communication barriers. But I really think a lot of this conflict can be associated with her period. I mean let’s face it. Periods are a global epidemic. Every woman experiences them and has caused countless misunderstandings and emotional misguidance through them. I feel relieved. We make beach plans later in the after noon. So I go back to my house and recuperate.

Peanut Butter Bagel. Peach. Orange Juice.


Cleaning up around the house. Preparing a packed lunch for Ays and I. Then, napping for 20 minutes.

I drive back to Shore Drive and meet up with her. Walking across on Hatton Street. And so begins our wonderful day at the beach. It’s unlike me to be up for this kind of thing as I’m usually one to avoid long exposure to the sun. But put on a little sun block and I’m good to go. And my skin is so pale I’m compared to a ghost sometimes so I think this will be beneficial.

We spread out the blanket and jump right into the ocean. This side of the water isn’t very rough, just mild wave action. It’s shallow and we’re able to venture into the distance. We’re both very happy. It shines on both of our faces.

Me: “Here we are, Ays. Just you and me...and the ocean. This is nice.”

Ays: “Yes.”

We clamor around each other. Laughter. Play.

She clings onto my body like a koala would a tree and says, “I am koala and you are the only tree in the ocean.”

Me: “Ha-ha.”

Having Egg Salad Sandwiches with Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Peaches and Mangoes. Honey Oolong Tea.

Back out in the water. More laughter. More play. More innocence.

Ays: “You are strange white man.”

Me: “You are strange brown woman.”

With my glasses off and wet hair she keeps telling me I look like Gulliver from Gulliver’s Travels, a character who gets captured by tiny people on an island.

The moments are so crisp and clear, almost surreal. Things start to get frisky when I suggest we get naked out here. Nobody would be able to tell what we’re doing unless the nearby neighbors happened to be using binoculars. Sex in the ocean – humping underwater. The lack of gravity makes our movement easy. Kissing – salty lips. Not in the least bit worried about the passerbys or people lounging on the sand. It’s all a part of the thrill. The climax – releasing everything into the ocean. Jokingly, I mention my fear of the semen attracting fish or sharks. At one point I realize I forgot about the shorts I was holding and in the process let them go.

Me: “Ays, I don’t have my shorts!”

Ays: “Heh-heh!”

Me: “I can’t believe this. That’s too funny.”

We head for the shore and she brings me a towel to cover up with. A couple sitting in chairs along the shoreline noticed the incident. As I walk by holding the wet towel around my waist the man comments, “You got a big smile on your face.”

I smile embarrassed, “Yeah I lost my swimming trunks.”

Man: “I think your girl’s over there looking for them.”

I think they knew what was really happening out there in the water.

We retreat back to her house. Hanging out in her bedroom recollecting ourselves. Looking through photo albums on her iPad – portraits of her family and her younger years.


She reads out loud her latest journal Russian first, then translating some of the excerpts and main points. It’s interesting to get a glimpse into her perspective on the events of last night and today. I also appreciate the fact she values reflection time like I do.

Her: “I said here I am hysteric. Don’t do that anymore.”


While the sun is still setting we make love on the bottom bunk – the outside light is slowly dimming into a moody noir grey. The bedroom door is unlocked and we know her roommate is home. At any moment...well, you know how we are...we like to be on the verge of being discovered. It turns us on. This is the second time for sex today.


We take a break. She turns around lying on her stomach fiddling with her device. I plant myself on top of her...still feeling horny and excited. She doesn’t mind and wants more. As a joke she hits the red button on her iPad to record a video of the steamy scene that’s about to happen. We finish.


Me: “We’re professional exhibitionists.”

As an ongoing game we constantly recap the places we’ve had sex.

Me: “We’ve got the forest, the backseat of my car, the ocean, and now the bunk bed. We can cross off that on the list.”


Ays: “Is it true when a boy touches his hair he’s shy?”

Me: “Yeah I guess I do that.”


She touches the bulge in my shorts.

Referring to my penis I exclaim, “He’s tired.”

But he starts to grow...

Ays: “He made a lot of things today. He was working in the water and on the bed. But he’s still good. He’s ready for work.”

Me: “Ha-ha.”


Enjoying Chanello’s Pizza with Soda and watching Heaven (2002) on my smartphone. We make it through more than half the film before she gets tired.

Me: “Bye-bye. Sleep well.”

I wasted the whole day away with her and I don’t feel guilty about it at all. It was truly a magical and dreamy day. “Unforgettable moments.” The business of the self is usually high priority but not this time...not when around her...she envelops my attention. I think it’s a spell she’s placed on me using her sweet Russian-Yakutian-Siberian charm. I am no fair opponent to such beauty. 

Back home. It’s about 11 p.m. Anthony’s playing guitar in the dining room. I summarize to him the recent romantic happenings and try to examine my newfound fascination with the idea of Ays and I. He pumps me up with encouragement and a powwow ensues. 

Settling down and watching The Snowtown Murders (2011) with a Shock Top Raspberry Wheat Beer.

Sleep 2:30 a.m.

[i] All photos by Aysena and me.

Tuesday August 28 2012


☼ ○ ▬

With Darren and Rachel in the backseat of a car – a few guys in the front that we sort of know. Driving down a long country road along the beach – escaping from something. It’s understood Rachel and Darren have been romantically and sexually involved. Rachel, out of the blue, confesses to having relations with somebody else that we know. Darren reacts angrily but maybe sarcastically too. I can’t tell.

Rachel: “I’m sorry, Darren.”

They lean in and exchange a lather of tongues as if everything is all right.

I chime in, “Darren gets really mad but he’s a rational guy. Don’t hurt him.”

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up around 1 p.m.

Instant Cinnamon Oatmeal. Peach. Orange Juice.

Cleaning up and organizing.

Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Hummus. Potato Chip Trio. Honey Oolong Tea.

Errands. Grocery store hopping.

While catching up on some writing my bedroom door opens suddenly. It’s Anthony...along with Rachel, Skippy, and Lauren Lowery (our old nanny).

Me: “Since when did my room become the living room?”

Anthony: “Since you left your door unlocked.”

For a while people hang out in here. Some leave. Skippy sparks an interest in my book collection. I let him borrow Life of Pi. I hear the sound of a familiar 90’s tune coming from downstairs.

Me: “Does Anthony ever not play The Wallflowers in a sitting?”

Skippy: “Oh that’s The Counting Crows.”

Me: “Oh shit. You’re right. Well, the same question can be used there.”


I pick up Aysena from her house and bring her back here. We had plans to watch a movie and spend the night together but first, a dinner party. She helps me prep vegetables for the Shrimp Sinigang dish I’m cooking. Sharing Raspberry Shock Top beers. There’s a crowd of people roaming around – marker and crayon art being drawn on the table. Rachel cooks a vegan stir-fry dish to go along with what I’m making.


I chose to wear this white sushi chef cloak. Jess Potter comments, “Robert, you look like that Seinfeld episode.”

Rachel bursts out in laughter, “Bahaha!”


Darren: “You know what I like? I like when I eat something and then the next day I really regret it.”

Me: “You like that huh?”

Darren: “Yeah like when I’m sitting on the toilet and really regret all those decisions that I made the night before.” 


Everyone at the table sharing the food and obnoxious conversation about whatever’s clever. Anthony thought it clever to put on a Paul Simon record. The food is exceptionally spicy for my taste but I seem alone in my experiences.


I migrate upstairs to my room. Aysena meets me inside and surprises me with, “I wanna go home.”

I’m confused, “What? What’s wrong?”

She repeats, “I wanna go home.”

Me: “I don’t understand. What’s going on?”

She just keeps repeating this sound, “m-m,” meaning she doesn’t want to say. I feel an uncomfortable pang shoot down my spine. Something has shifted in the air between us. She just stands there hiding behind her ominous head of black hair twirling the strands between her frail fingers. This isn’t some casual discrepancy. It’s a realization that she’s come to which has altered her perspective on anything between us surviving.

Then she mutters something that sounds like right much.

Me: “Huh? What? What did you just say?”

She repeats but it still sounds the same.

Me: “I don’t understand. Right much?” Then it becomes clear, “Ooooh. Right MATCH. You think we’re not right match?”

Her: “Mhm.”

I feel defeated. After some patient prying on my end I’m able to sit us down on the bed and get a better glimpse into what she’s feeling. She explains that it’s difficult to hang out with me. This is disquieting news and seems to have come out of nowhere. It’s completely opposite of the positive experiences we’ve had together. I know the language barrier has something to do with it but she adds another reason, “You are so different.”

Me: “We’re different? Yes of course.”

Her: “I can’t understand you sometimes.”


My first worry is that maybe her being here in this house with all the social chaos is a bit overwhelming...but that’s not it exactly.


Her: “I feel like it’s not my—how to say? Area. You’re so different...from my world. And it’s not easy to enter into your world.”

Me: “It’s not easy to enter into my world?”

Her: “Yes. And you do it so fast. I’m not sure that you are...mine. I want to know you first then your friends.”

Me: “Yes. You want to know me.”

Her: “Yes.”

Me: “You see friends differently?”

Her: “Mhm. If my friend were here I would introduce you when I’m sure that you’re good person. That’s it.”

I think maybe she places an importance on getting to know somebody one-on-one before getting to know their friends. It’s hard to understand but I definitely sense a cultural contrast when revealing significant others to friends. She feels that me introducing her to my friends is too soon? I don’t know.

Her: “It’s too soon and I’m not ready to be their friend.”

I try to explain that this is a unique household situation that I live in.

Her: “I don’t know how to behave myself.”

This whole moment is unsettling because I think I understand what she’s feeling but I don’t know what I can do to alleviate it. I can tell she’s exhausted.

“I’m tired,” she exclaims and just falls backwards at the foot of the bed. Silence. I run my hand through her black ocean of hair and caress her back while she drifts off to dreamland. Wow. I didn’t see all of that coming. I reflect at the computer.

I join some of the commotion downstairs and attempt to relieve my anxieties with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It’s calmed down at this point, just Jessa, Jordan, Calum, and Rachel at the card table. Rachel discovers one of the mini potatoes in the marker container she helped paint a few months ago. She turns to me and asks, “Robert, let’s plant a mini potato tree.”

Me: “I’m not feeling mystical, Rachel! I’m feeling angsty.”

Rachel: “Robert’s crotchety!”

To elaborate I draw a picture (see above photo). Rachel does too...


Aysena is all curled up under the sheets. Despite her anxiety about things she ended up sleeping here. I join her at 3:39 a.m.

[i] Marker art by me.
[ii] Marker art by me.

Monday August 27 2012


Waking up at 11:12 a.m.

Peach. Figs. Plum. Orange Juice.

Just another schizophrenic day in Virginia Beach – rain crashing down on the streets for an hour – then the blazing sunlight takes over – then more rain.

I gave Jessa Potter permission to “crass-ify” the coffee table. She took the opportunity full heartedly and this is what came of her fixation...

Scrambled Eggs with Hummus. Five Guys French Fries with Ketchup. Pomegranate Cherry Ade.

Rain. Rain. Rain.

It seems that we’ve been getting a lot of rainbows lately, I guess to coincide with the rain. I probably see at least two per week. Virginia Beach is a rainforest.

7 out of 10 orders today have been such an ordeal to deliver. I don’t understand the confusion that occurs. How hard can it be to take the food from this car and transfer it behind that door? Apparently, extremely difficult.

In casual text conversation with Aysena...

Me: “I love running at night.”

Her: “You r unusual as i said.”

Me: “I know. I just have a good relationship with the night. it’s a good time to think and reflect.”

Her: “But my friend ‘the morning’ doesnt like me spending time with the night, oh your gosh, teach me this awkward language!”

Me: “your ‘morning’ is jealous of my night’s pleasures and happiness.”

Her: “Your night is dangerous”

Me: “yes but its worth the risk.”

Her: “you cant believe the night and everything what happen in th night”

Me: “maybe. but the daytime is the same.”

The hot humid day turns into a cool night. The deliveries die down.

Off work.

Hot and Sour Soup with Broccoli and Rice.

Fortune cookie says, “You will always be surrounded by true friends.”

I head over to Aysena on Shore Drive. The anticipation is high to see each other considering it’s been about three days since. I walk into the room to find her soundly asleep. I repeatedly kiss her on the cheek and head until she awakens. Her eyes flutter open; she smiles. Embarrassed.

I smile adoringly, “Hiii.”

I brought over the last of our Strawberry Mochi Ice Cream. We indulge. Then, lying around on the bottom bunk and learning more about her origins, which isn’t so much Russian as it is Alaskan/Mongolian. Photos of her grandfather, mother, and cousin. 


Reminding her of the word she made up last time as I pretend to snore...

She demands emphatically, “Don’t snoozering!”

I laugh at how silly this word sounds.


Outside in the driveway. It’s after one in the morning and it’s very quiet. A car rushes by every now and then...but no people anywhere. We spot the old lady, Adele, who hosts all the foreign students, peaking out her bedroom window at us.

Me: “She sees us!”

Despite, we continue to hold and kiss one another.

Me: “Mm. I want to make love...right now.”

She’s receptive to the mating call. We feel revved up. Leaned up against the bumper of my purple wagon, she’s willing to do it right here, but I transfer us to the back seat. Steamy windows. She straddles my lap. At any moment someone could just walk by and catch us in the act but we don’t care. It’s all a part of our bucket list to have sex in unconventional locations. I admire her open mind for adventure. She happens to be on her period and assures me that it’s okay to go inside her. Opening the doors in desperate need for oxygen.

Me: “I can’t believe we just did that. We’re exhibitionists.”

Her: “Its just sex. You can have with anyone.”

Me: “No. It’s not just sex. I mean it can be just sex. But this is different. Between you and’s special.”

I depart from this scene of ecstasy satisfied on the inside and out.

Back home.

Peanut Butter Sandwich. Cleaning up the kitchen.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] All images by me.

Sunday August 26 2012


Waking up at 11:32 a.m.

Figs. Plums. Peach. Orange Juice.

All day shift at China Wok.

Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Hummus. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Green Tea.

At the restaurant on the down time I pick out some markers by the register and draw a picture for Aysena. She said she wasn’t feeling well today so I thought it would be an appropriate and creative gesture. I send her a photo of it. Directly translated the sail states, “Aysena, everything is going to be alright.”

She responds and returns the favor...



Coconut Water. Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

The day continues.

The China Wok family...


The tips have either been shitty or extremely generous.

Finally off work.

Vegetable Lo Mein. Bohemian Style Lager.

Watching The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2009).

Fortune cookie says, “You will be spending time outdoors, in the mountains, near water.”

Learning Russian.

I decide to go on a 4-mile run at 1 a.m. and this is my soundtrack...

To Farm Fresh and back – with a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in my little green backpack – running along Laskin Road – the marshy terrain and picturesque moonscape in the background. Sifting through minor thought bumps in my head that turn into triumphant realizations. I think about the past and the girl that once held the rights to my heart. She’s long gone from my communication and affection, but I still think about her, at least one moment within the day. I’m not affected by her like I used to be...not anymore. I’m a free man. And maybe I’ve enslaved myself again, but to another, one who possibly deserves my patient temperament and my embellished romance. I hope so. I mean Aysena is a forced temporary situation...a summer of love kind of thing. But down the road...oh man...I want it...she’s the brightest star in my sky. It’s cheesy I know. And I’m infatuated for now. Ride it out. 

Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Marker art by me.
[ii] Marker art by Aysena.
[iii] Image by me.

Saturday August 25 2012


Wake up at 11:10 a.m.

Plums. Coconut Water.

All day shift at China Wok.

We’ve got a new China-woman on the scene, Sandy, one of Cecily’s cousins. She’s training here for a few weeks. They both look alike and, according to Darren, are equally attractive. Sandy is definitely Cecily’s less temperamental counterpart.

A typical me lunch: Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes and Hummus. Five Guys French Fries with Ketchup. Honey Green Tea.

Snapping the peas.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

The day continues into the night. It’s generally busy.

Darren helps out for the dinner rush. We discuss the Asian work hierarchy apparent in the way we see some of the heated moments when our bosses explode on each other, more specifically when they ridicule the other chef whose name we don’t know.

Me: “It doesn’t make any sense. He’s not loudmouthed and seems to have a good attitude. I can’t imagine what he does to get yelled at like that.”

Aysena texts me a photo rather then typing...


I respond with a similar message, except in Russian and using a slang word to identify her name...


Finally off work and back home after eleven hours.

Shrimp with Broccoli, Snow Peas, and Rice in Brown Sauce.

Fortune cookie says, “Believe in yourself and others will too.”

Some commotion downstairs – people hanging out. Jessa Potter brought over a Carrot Cake she baked from scratch. Having a healthy slice with Milk.

Watching a The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2009).

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Photo of Jessco White.
[ii] Image by Aysena.
[iii] Image by me.

Friday August 24 2012


☼ ○ ▬

Sleeping next to Aysena inside an old 70’s van on the property of a boarding house it’s understood she’s been living at. The scene switches to her and I falling high in the sky...just falling farther and farther down. It seems like an endless plummet. I can see cities built in the air – buildings perched on clouds – sky citizens soaring around in a busy hustle – a whole other life up in the sky – kind of like the legend on the city of Atlantis underwater but this world is in the atmosphere. We continue falling, not feeling the force until...BAM! We hit a certain point on a low altitude and our drop speed increases dramatically. Down to the ground.  

▬ ○ ☼

Breathing heavily as I wake up sometime after 9 a.m. I hear myself snoring. Aysena nudges me in the chest to stop my noises, maybe by accident. I can’t tell. I sleep sporadically while Ays reads from the pile of magazines on my desk.


I wake up completely, eventually. She mistakes the word snoring for a made up word, snoozering.

Me: “Haha. Snoozering. I like this word better. You should use this word instead.”


Making love multiple times – two or three or maybe three and a half times. How can this be? I don’t know. We’re both tapped in this passionate fire. I don’t know how to tame it. Succulent is the proper word to describe her lips on mine. Our tongues. Face nibbling into neck. We are animals – cute creatures of the woodlands cuddling and tumbling in a meadow. This is as intense as it can get. I can honestly say I am in deeply in it. It’s unique and there is still so much to learn. And we both know this will come to a halt very soon when she leaves for another year at school in Moscow.


Lying around...naked. She laughs at the resemblance my penis has to a mushroom, “It’s like mushroom!”

“Yeah. It’s a wild mushroom,” I point to the picture of a forest stuck on the wall right above us, “from this forest.”

Sharing some Scrambled Eggs and Honey Green Tea. Then, enjoying French Fries at Five Guys.

Her: “Scrambled eggs smells like wild mushroom semen.”

Me: “Ha. Ha.”

Driving her home to Shore Drive. 99.3 FM tuned in. Pretending with enthusiasm to be in love like we’re in the 1930’s when love was the only thing you had.

My accent shifts around from French to southern to whatever sounds theatric, “Oh darling! This is our song! C’mere and kiss me!”

This is a good moment.

She’s gone now. I’m alone in my room. I’m exhausted and therefore retire to a forty-minute nap at six o’clock.


Wake up. Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Honey Green Tea. It’s been a passionate last two days and I need to recuperate.

A few days ago Richie accidentally sat on Kevin’s violin, the violin he’s been playing for thirteen years. It was a detrimentally sad moment for all. But Calum comes over bearing a gift: a new violin. Anthony and I set up a Blue’s Clues style scavenger hunt for Kevin when he gets home that will lead him to the new violin.


Anthony drives Calum and I to pick up Kelley at the thrift store and stop by Kmart. Anthony swerves around the corner and Calum cries out comically, “Don’t kill me. I’m in the prime of my life. I have so many things left to do. I’m so beautiful!”


At Kmart.

Me: “She does have an attractive quality that draws guys in. She’s like a spider.”

Anthony: “You guys talking about Jessa Potter? A siren you idiot, not a spider. What are you talking about?”

Calum: “You spelt it wrong.”

Me: “Haha. You spelt spider wrong.”


Kmart has a reputation for causing unnecessary wait times and complications. But this time I went through the line with my products without complications. Now I’m waiting with Calum, Anthony, and Kelley in front of the in-store Litter Caesar’s while a lady in a motor cart takes forever to order. Anthony notices my impatience and gives me a reality check, “Did you think you could really get out of here without waiting in a line. You’re just like Jonah when he tried to escape the Lord’s will for him. Wouldn’t go to Nineveh, dude.”

Me: “Haha. He wouldn’t go back and...”

Anthony: “Yeah and do what you’re supposed to do. This is what’s happening right now. This is the belly of the fish.”

Back home.

Spaghetti with Onions, Mushrooms, and Green Peppers in Tomato Basil Sauce. Garlic Bread.  Bohemian Lager.

Jamming in the dining room – Calum on bass and I on electric guitar. A slam at the front door breaks our musical concentration. It’s Darren and he’s infuriated after working a full day shift at China Wok. He throws his keys into the living and yells and yells and yells – venting about these black people that stiffed him and allegedly stole all his cash out of the car.

Kevin and Richie walk in. Kevin is pleased to find a new violin waiting for him in his bed.

Peach. Coconut Water.

Watching The Entitled (2011).

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] City in the Sky. Derrick (DFaria).

Thursday August 23 2012


☼ ○ ▬

Hanging out with a few friends in a public setting. A cute girl approaches us with a proposition. She’s looking for a sexual partner to test out a new brand of condom. I’m eyed at. In the back of my mind I’m thinking this is a joke or a prank. I ponder for a few seconds then reply, “Hm. I’ll do it.”

The girl seems pleased. We go on a hunt for a location. Apparently we’re required to do this thing while a dance class is in session in a room nearby. Down the hallway we go. We decide on a restroom but the door won’t lock properly and it’s imperative that we’re not disturbed. We try another restroom but something else is wrong with the lock and a little boy is using it. We keep going down the line...around the corner. Last bathroom.

Me: “Here we go! This one will be fine.”

We step in and close the door. We discover the lock is broken. What will we do? We never get to complete our sexual mission.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 1:24 p.m.


Vacuuming the house. Anthony is present, deejaying on the computer.

Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Hummus. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Green Tea.


Picking up Aysena from the Baltic house. We hang out in my room just like yesterday – making love – exchanging sweet affections.


Noticing we both have a tiny freckle on our fingers, one on her right middle finger and one on my left index finger.

Me: “We’re freckle mates. Like soul mates but freckle mates.”

She attempts to describe something she notices about me...

Her: “ All the stuff in this room you love all of them. But I have the same room too with all the stuff but I can love just few things cause I have no so much feeling inside me. I can’t give all of them my love.”

Me: “Okay. But what about me?”

Her: “You have a lot of feelings...sincerity.”


She does this thing whenever I say Oh my gosh, she responds with, “Oh your gosh!” I find this comical.


She lies on the bed reading through an issue of Adbusters memorizing an excerpt to help train in her English speaking while I run through a session of Russian on Rosetta Stone. This is a good moment.

I’ve got a paying Musicplayer gig with Mike Gombas at Wing King on the corner of Rosemont and VB Blvd. I invited everyone I know. The cavalry: Aysena, Tristan, Anthony, Kevin, Skippy, Jessa Potter, and a few others I haven’t seen in a good while.  I go on first with a 45-minute set of a few originals mixed in with Weezer tunes and other crowd pleasing covers of the like. Anthony accompanies me with harmonica on “All I Want Is You”. Before playing “Hound Dog” I request a tambourine player from the audience. A lady in her 40’s enthusiastically obliges. Even though she gets off beat for a little bit she’s thrilled to be a part. This makes for a warm and beautiful moment on stage.

Having a few Blue Moons on draft and experiencing a fun loose drunkenness that only enhances this late evening with music and friends. Mike Gomas and Chris Kendrick go on next and perform a plethora of covers and originals. We gather a bunch to sing along on stage to The Beatles, “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” – another warm and beautiful moment. Then attempting to do lead vocals for “Creep” by Radiohead, which turns out decent.


Sharing Buffalo Shrimp with Tristan, Anthony, and Aysena.

Time to go home. Still a little tipsy from the beer but I think I’ll be fine driving. I crank up Semisonic’s, “Closing Time” and a nostalgic scent fills the air.

Back home. There’s a crowd of people casually hanging around. Aysena is tired and so am I but I feel inclined to make cookies and socialize downstairs for a bit. I tuck Ays into bed.

Me: “You are exotic.”

Aysena: “My mother told me men who say you are exotic, don’t believe them.”

Me: “Don’t believe them? Ha. You can believe me.”

Devon left for Radford tonight and I heard Darren got somewhat emotionally distraught about it so I brought him the leftover scrapings from the cookie dough bowl to cheer him up which I know he loves.

Sharing Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk in the kitchen. Josiah, Richie, Jamal, and Jennuh are present.

While in discussion Josiah briefly interrupts, “Can I just be super Asian real quick and fix a problem for you guys in like three minutes?” then takes the scour pad and scrubs off the dirty stovetop.

Darren: “No that only gets clean like once a month.”

Josiah: “Three minutes!”

Clean stovetop complete.


Getting into a side conversation with Jennuh about attention and personality observations.

Jennuh: “I don’t feel the need to impress people. But people feel like I crave attention.”

Me: “I don’t think you crave it I think you get it.”

Jennuh: “It’s not that I don’t like attention whatsoever...”

Me: “Everyone likes attention.”

Jennuh: “But I don’t like being the center of attention like in a big room.”


In the living room. Jessa, Calum, and Dan present. I’ve been carrying around a bag of select chocolate chip cookies to save for later. I’m given a hard time about why I’ve been carrying this around for the past hour.

Calum notices something in my voice, “You have a Russian intonation going on here.”

Me: “Intonation.”

Calum: “Yeah the inflection is very Russian.”

Me: “Well I did spend at least thirty minutes on Rosetta Stone.”


Calum suggest we play music with Jessa.

Me: “What does Jessa play?”

Calum: “She doesn’t play anything. That’s the point. It’s fucked up.”

Jessa: “There you go.”

Me: “Man, these concept projects get to me sometimes.”

Jessa: “Robert’s so full of concepts. His agenda is literally concept after concept.”

Me: “I’m actually really classic. I have more of a classic mindset when it comes to music but I’m totally down to dabble in concepts.”

I return to the bedroom where Aysena is fast asleep. I join her at 4:30 a.m.

[i] All images by Aysena or me.

Wednesday August 22 2012


Waking up early at 10:20 a.m.

Instant Oatmeal. Orange Juice.

I have to make a court appearance for a “following too closely” citation from my accident a few months ago. I sit down in the reverently quiet General District Court, Traffic Room B. They’re just wrapping up a hearing with a real time offender in an orange jump suit. I await my name to be called. I’ve got all my insurance papers that prove the other guy I hit was taken care of. To my understanding the judge will waive the violation if shown.

Judge: “Mr. James Smith?”

My officer meets me at the bench and, before I even have the chance to plead my case, says some kind of law term I don’t understand.

The judge turns to me, “Alright. What that means Mr. Smith is your case is dismissed and you can go about your day.”

Me: “Thank you.”

And that’s that. No points on my record. I didn’t even have to show the documents I brought. The cop showed me favor. As I’m leaving the courtroom the police officer gets my attention, “Hey. Did your insurance cover the other guy’s damages?”

Me: “Oh yeah. That’s what I brought here.”

Officer: “I just didn’t see any reason for a case. That guy was a jerk.”

Me: “Yeah I know. I appreciate it. Thanks.”

Back home.

Dropping my car off at the shop for an oil change. It’s gonna be a few hours so I bike back.

Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Hummus. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Watching Margin Call (2011).

In touch with Aysena. I scoop her up from Shore Drive and drive out to Best Buy. She wants a compact digital camera to replace her DSLR for now until she can get it repaired back in Russia. There. Browsing...then buying.


We finally settle down in my bedroom. Tinkering with the new camera. It turns out to be a letdown overall. I slither in next to her on the bed. We meddle in a romantic bliss – kissing and holding – her long black hair enveloping my vision. Ahhh. I love this. Things progress and it’s just another sexual memory on our hearts. Using this green minty-flavored-scented condom I snagged from Kevin last night. It provides a fresh cooling sensation through out the session. Afterwards, taking snapshots of the scene. I imagine her lying on a puffy cloud – a beautiful representation of any man’s fantasy. I’m infatuated.

Me: “You’re bad. You’re bad for me.”

Aysena: “Oh no. I’m good...for everybody.”

Cooking dinner for each other: Barbecue Garlic Salmon with Broccoli, Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots, and Quinoa, along with a Bohemian Ale.

We get into a discussion on the strangeness of the things that have brewed between us since the day we met. It’s been in my mind but I also mention the unfortunate fact that she will be returning to Russia soon to finish school and then what will happen?

Me: “It’s kind of crazy...this relationship.”

Aysena: “I don’t think so.”

There’s a multitude of little moments where she invades my space with affection, just a sweetly meeting of our faces – an assault on my attention that I wouldn’t dare deny. I can only surrender and I love to live in these feelings.


Treating ourselves to dessert at Trader Joe’s: Strawberry Mochi Ice Cream and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.


Dropping her off at the house on Baltic. She used to live here and some of her friends are throwing a party because they’re leaving the country.

Rehearsing at the storage unit – running through a set for tomorrow’s gig and working out a new melody.

Popcorn. More Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

Finishing Margin Call (2011).

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] All images by me.

Tuesday August 21 2012


Waking up later than usual in the afternoon at 2. It feels like somebody poisoned me with a sleep drug and I can’t shake it off.


Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Hummus. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Watching Seeking Justice (2011).

Rehearsing through some songs at the storage unit.

Back at the house. Talking with James Graves and Skippy while I scrounge up a makeshift meal in the kitchen – Richie tinkering away on the ivories providing a loopy soundtrack to our discussion...

James with scooter in hand runs the front wheel on the bottom of the fridge. Sarcastically I encourage him, “Yeah put some skid marks on that will you?”

Skippy: “See that’s what this house needs, more skid marks.”

Me: “More skid our underwear, in our beds...”

Skippy: “In our souls.”

James: “How does one’s soul obtain skid marks?”


Skippy: “Remember back in the day when you did your newspaper route?”

Me: “Yeah I do remember that.”

Skippy: “That was such a hideous time in our lives.”

I snicker as I ask back, “In all our lives?”

Skippy: “That’s the skid mark in our soul I was talking about.”

James: “Oh my god it was. You’re right. It was a result of Robert being the paperman.”


Sitting down at the table enjoying my meal. Kelly Jackson arrives on the scene. Skippy skims through the 1956 issue of Life magazine and reads aloud the loaded advertisements while James does the same in a recent issue of Popular Mechanics.

Kelly: “You guys are comedians.”

Me: “Oh they are...naturally.”

White Bean Soup with Mixed Vegetables. Garlic Bread dipped in Olive Oil. Coconut Water.

Kevin complains about losing his pants and then finds them in the washer.

Skippy: “Why do you yell and ask questions later? You know who that reminds me?”

Kevin: “Who?”

Skippy: “Your role model.”

Kevin: “Who?”

Skippy: “Darren Warrington.”


We’ve made plans to hang out as one big family so everyone meets here. Piling into my purple station wagon. With Anthony and Kelley, Skippy, Richie, Kevin, James, and Kelly Jackson. Checking into Flipper McCoy’s, the only fully functioning arcade in Virginia Beach. Elliott and his friend Taylor, Ben and Rachel along with her cousin, and Jamil conjoin with us. The rockabilly band, Two Tone Cadillac, wailing out tunes just outside for Beach Street. Trotting around on a Razor scooter making my rounds. We’re all just big kids in a big kid gang. Air hockey is an Olympic sport for Elliott and I. We have at it – three games – the puck spinning and flying off the table occasionally – a tight grip on our mallets – using unnecessary acrobatics.

Moving our circus troupe to the hills of the country club on 38th Street. Anything with wheels applies: scooters, longboards, bikes, bodgiboards. Cases of PBR’s are consumed. Entertainment and fun abound. A personal side conversation with Kelly Jackson about the relieving of attachments in our lives – being free.

Back home. Instruments are played – jamming out to whatever melodies seem clever.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Concord Grapes.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] All images by Jamil or me.