Friday, October 30, 2009


I wrote this a little while back. Well about a month ago. I keep telling myself I'll put more stuff up in here so here is something.

I've been to 38 states now. Every one of them has a story, many stories really. Here are some of my favorites though. I'll do the rest of these later.

New Hampshire -

Sometimes it would be one of those hot evenings in the dead of August. Humid and hot. After becoming a professional driver to nowhere it was easy to throw together a small group for a brief trip over the border to play some video games and kick the sand around on the gravel. We did these all summer just to kill the time.

Maine -

One time we drove up to Maine. One of these small little towns on the ocean, fireworks out by the pier at night and fireworks leaning against a car. I was lying to my whole hometown about where I was spending the weekend. Thinking secrets like that actually mattered. Feelings for people had to be kept between two people and two people only. What a load of shit though. In the end the only thing that mattered was how you felt, not what anyone thought. The sun that weekend was hot and turned us red as angry spies back home. In the end though, nothing mattered. The last chapter of a brief novel that didn’t really end as it never really started.

Tennessee -

I got so fucked up here one night the sky turned to strawberries and lemonade. Arriving there at dusk in the middle of the summer so hot and thick the air. I spent more days than I needed to spend there. One too many Grateful Dead songs in my head making think there was something romantic about sitting in a Motel 6 between a Hooters and a Waffle House. What a sad lonely existence that often was. Without laptops and iPhones and cell phones and internets to keep you up at night what did I do? More television? How was I able to get into my head though? Writing with a pen in a book about girls hundreds of miles away I would never meet. Getting myself into places I didn’t need to be that late in the game, what a fool hundreds of days later as well.

Maryland -

Maryland in the snow. Maryland I hardly knew you. This brief stop on a long journey to where I am this week. Even before that era Maryland was always on the way to somewhere. Not necessarily in the physical sense.

Colorado -

At the far end of Colorado after a long day on the road that never seemed to end. Did I drive for 22 hours in a row? Not sure but when I checked into my wheelchair friendly room that night I went outside and smoked a joint, spoke to you on the phone and made you laugh, you made me laugh. I felt like just over a couple more mountains I would see you on fire in the sun. Maybe go to the ocean together for the first time. Bluer water than I was months before.

New Jersey -

Scared to leave the hotel room. Every fucking person out there is going to look at me and judge me. Every person is going to see right through to who I am. Can’t make phone calls and literally can’t get off the bed to open the door and see if it’s dark out yet. I spent money, money I probably stole from someone who deserved it more than I did. I spent money to be a scared little pussy, scared of people. Years later I realize they are all scared of me for whatever reason. Fuck.

Virginia -

I did really consider driving my car off of a mountain I swear to God. I mean I wouldn’t because I am a baby, but I thought about it. How would you feel hundreds of miles away from a good bed surrounded by thick air, rain and sunshine?

Illinois -

We spoke on the phone that day! Holy fuck was I in a bad way, I can’t recall any of that phone call or anything about that trip at this point. Meeting people for five minutes, sleeping about six hours over a four day period. I drank more coffee and smoked imaginary cigarettes in my head. I felt so strong though. Never worried about anything making me go back to killing myself for no reason. I dialed your number and then probably hung up. Up on this ledge in this old building in Chicago, a ledge overlooking rush hour men and women upset if you look at them. Staring down at them from this old marble staircase in the dark. Wondering who saw me and if they wondered who I was talking to. Oh man if they only knew!

Indiana -

fuck you. it gets so hot inside my head sometimes that I remember sprawling strip malls and corn fields, really bad white accents. people who believe in shit living in the sky or in the woods. people wearing straw hats and invisible swastikas and underwater cross burnings every Tuesday night at 11:00 behind the old green house on Old Red Barn Road, yeah out past the fence, just go back there and we’ll meet you. the password this week is “salmon”.

California -

High above the clouds where it’s dangerous to not pay attention to every moment of time. Where it’s dangerous to breathe I didn’t feel the least bit suffocated. Winding roads looking for a place to stop to watch below, across the two different worlds. Questionable castles and moody blue lighting hovering above that weird mist it was just like I expected it. I’d go back there every night if I could.

Utah -


Connecticut -

I created an intense web of lies while floating down the Long Island Sound out of Bridgeport, CT on my way to New York. A girlfriend who didn’t exist and her parents who didn’t exist in an a building in Manhattan that didn’t exist on the way to a day trip at Fire Island that never existed. My favorite moment of that weekend, driving over that bridge while listening to Steely Dan knowing I had to keep this lie going for another day or two. Misty night with the volume on the stereo perfect for me myself and I, perfect orange dots peppering the sky outside, perfect temperature even though it was a cold November night, perfect lie told to keep my life perfect for a few days, no harm done to anyone anywhere, but sometimes people don’t need to know how you really feel about them.

Kansas -

I saw you. You are a tall piece of shit with a goatee. The man of the house telling those bitches how it is going to be for the rest of the road trip. You have a goatee in the year 2009. You are yelling at teenage girls with this fire in your eyes. She fears you like the devil I see it your wife sees it everyone here sees it. You and your buddy Jesus and the sport of football can all suck my dick.

Massachusetts -


Ohio -

Like that person you don’t know. I don’t think I knew you well at all, I always thought I liked you better than I did. It was false though. I thought about you and realized the only reason I was thinking about you was because when I came to see you that one summer I stopped in Cleveland, failed miserably and kept moving as fast as I could. This must be why I tried so hard this last time to make you happy. Thank you for the upgrade high in the sky and the baseball game and museums and all that fun stuff I did by myself.

Arkansas -

I hate that feeling when you look back at something and realize you had no idea where you were. Even looking back a week, two weeks you discover something different that wasn’t there. You think way back though and all of a sudden it becomes clear that you had no idea what was to come. Like watching a video of someone walking backwards into a pool.

Pennsylvania -

Like children we all got together and played games. Watching grown men continue to play games though, wow. Never growing up. Here is another place I must have never looked back at because I can’t imagine what version of me was here putting up with dudes like you. Thank god only women leave an impression on me otherwise I’d never get anywhere.

New York -

Every summer I would drive up to Saratoga Springs, NY and see a concert by some hippie band whether it was someone related to the Grateful Dead or the Allman Brothers it didn’t matter. It was the only place and time I could ever escape this version of me back in Massachusetts. I wouldn’t escape this person again until August 3rd, 2009. I have not seen him around since. Good riddance.

Oklahoma -

Maybe the saddest day of my entire life took place at a train station way too early in the morning to think straight. Felt like I was hit in the stomach or someone removed my soul from my body and replaced it with a new one and I needed to just finish a few more tasks until the new one started working.

Nevada -

Drunk dialing, wasting money I had to waste. What a disgusting state. Not a good thing about it, when I think about Nevada I think of a dark yellow and heat nobody in their right mind would want to live in. Like a giant yellow and brown state with a colorful area of neon in the heart of it pumping out loser after loser back to their shitty existences.

Georgia -

Like being at a crossroads. Every time I think of this place, I’ve only ever been to the airport there. Every single person there is black. Every person who works there, every cop, every security person, every person in a store, every traveller, they are all as black as night. I always seem to arrive there in the middle of the night, early in the morning. Those quiet floor cleaning machines humming along with a guy up for six hours already dragging it around making perfect lines. Guy has already earned his wife’s entree for Saturday night’s inevitable night out on the town. Me, I’m looking for that smoking area hoping someone in there has a match. Those fucking terrorists. The only think I am bummed out about from September 11th is it made it harder to bring cigarette lighters on airplanes. Every time I was in that Atlanta airport and couldn’t get a light, like clockwork I would say to myself “never forget”.

North Carolina -

Crickets and whatever else those creatures are that make all that racket at night. They are my enemies and my good friends. They keep you awake in their ninja hiding spaces deep under bushes and rocks. In North Carolina, August of 1998. My first real experience with the kind of heat that lets you know why people down south are so different. Why they are so slot, and why they sound like they are missing some brain cells. I saw the Liberty Bell made out of tobacco leaves.

Rhode Island -

Where you go when Massachusetts doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for. Why not try a smaller uglier version of Massachusetts? I saw so many amazing concerts in Rhode Island though. The night we went to see Fugazi and my friend Jon and I left our younger friend at the show and went down the road for the Bob Mould acoustic show which was more up to our “old guy” speed. Standing in front of the Providence Civic Center freezing your ass off to go in and have your ass handed to you while surrounded by hippies. Sepultura, Clutch, Fear Factory and Fudge Tunnel all on one bill, what? Iceburn and Engine Kid in a half full club. Playing a show to a full huge Living Room on Martin Luther King Day with my first band along with Youth of Today and 24-7 Spyz. Having Mike Dean from Corrosion of Comformity vomit two feet away from you and not miss a note. Parliament-Funkadelic playing marathon four hour shows. The list goes on. There was never any other reason to go to Rhode Island than to see music. There is a good chance I will never go to Rhode Island again and I am completely okay with this.

Vermont -

I woke up in the back of a large Italian guy car on a ski mountain in the middle of July. Cock blocked the night before x 1,000 but I wouldn’t have gotten anything anyway. I respected you and everything about you. About the only bad thing about you was you lived far away from me socially. It’s funny that I hear from you now and you are exactly where I thought you would have been and I’m still some dude hanging out in cars all hours of the night.

West Virginia -

Almost there. With signs along the highways advertising your empty headed ideals and churches full of believers it was not even a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. It was a get me the fuck out of this place everyone here is an idiot. Crosses on top of hills, stores run by women who looked at you like you were some sort of outsider that had no business being around (true!). A disgusting place to be. There is no mountain high enough, no tree green enough to make up for the amount of shit that breathes here.

Iowa -

I never think about the time spent with her as a waste of time. We took this long train ride across the country and when we arrived in Iowa you finally told me you loved me. Months of me telling you “I love you” and you just nodding your head. This was a hard reality to deal with and I believe you did indeed love me all that time you just didn’t know how to say it; you had never said it to anyone at that point. We had great times even though we were exclusive for a little over a year and you never let mw go all the way to the end with you. This was my first big test of strength. Most men in their 20’s need that stuff at all times. With you I needed someone to laugh at my jokes and someone to look pretty for the camera when someone saw us together and wanted to snap a picture. My next test of strength would also be on a train seventeen years later. Wait, seventeen years later sounds awful. Wow.

Kentucky -

People here think they will die and go to Heaven. Aside from green there is nothing interesting happening here.

Nebraska -

Train conductor was this tall imposing man with a classic 1930’s black and white horror movie face, he stood with us smoking cigarettes on our brief stop in the middle of Who Knows Where, Nebraska. It was late at night, probably well past 2:00 AM, that time when most normal people are sleeping. I love this time of night, even this long ago I felt most relaxed at this hour. Even when I was working a 9-5 job I couldn’t be a sucker for the watch the news at 11:00 and maybe a little Letterman and fade into sleep. I could and still can run on three or four hours of sleep. After a few days on the train sleeping an hour here, and an hour there these late nights would become more surreal as you went along. Standing out on the platform with this conductor who was friendly enough, but also short and to the point when talking to you, was surreal. He had that creepy appearance, it was a misty quiet late night. I inhaled the fresh air of Nebraska followed by breaths of whatever type of cigarettes I was smoking at the time. The light from the lamps around the station was fuzzy like dandelions. Juxtaposed with this old man’s face that was hard to look at was a surreal moment that will be etched in my head forever. For some reason I thought moments like this would exist on all future train rides. My last ride, a test of patience, heartbreak and more sleep deprivation than I have ever put myself through did not have any surreal moments like this one. The surreal moments came in the form of staring out at the never ending sky scared shitless about what would happen next. Lights leaving blue and green spots in my eyes with trails as long as the day. Seeing things outside that weren’t there. Hearing things that weren’t there. Feeling things that weren’t there. I wouldn’t wish my life in early July 2009 on anyone.

Texas -

Like being on the run from some hideously scary animal running after my car at top speed I made my way across the pan handle section as fast as I legally could. I had just had a run in with the law in Oklahoma City, a nice enough policeman, a scared out of his head stoned man hoping the trunk is never opened, only to have my worst fears realized. After being scared more than I ever have, I got back in the car “he didn’t find it”, and drove west, more west and more west and more west until I reached this flat grey area of hotels and restaurants and strip malls. A depressingly gross amalgam of everything shitty you think about when you think about Texas mixed with a frustrated, mentally exhausted me I found an easy and cheap hotel room. Upon entering, greeted by a trio of bugs the size of my fist, u-turn back to the Middle Eastern manager at the counter. An hour later I am at a more expensive hotel overlooking a swimming pool, no fist sized bugs to be found. Next morning, like a bat out of hell I left Texas and everything around it behind.

Delaware -

So long ago I can’t even remember who I was with but arriving here late at night in a less than desirable neighborhood to sleep in an even less desirable motel room. I’ve spent a few hours at a time in this state and it may be be my least favorite state.

Arizona -

I hate taking photographs. I will drive and drive and drive by places until my eyes and brain are filled with awesome things I will remember forever and not share them with anyone because nobody ever understands some of the things I see with my eyes when i am nowhere. Pictures don’t do a thing.

Florida -

As a kid I spent a lot of time just sitting around thinking about things. Much like I have been doing in my adult life. Lately I’ve been getting back to this, since early this year I have spent hours at a time sitting on the couch staring at the floor, the ceiling or a TV set that hasn’t been turned on. Where I am right now, I may spend too much time thinking about things. I spend too much time dwelling on shit. I spend too much time looking backwards for no good reason. I think back to drugs when i was very young. Drugs around me, not drugs I was doing. I think about relationships and how little they meant yet how much time I spent trying to make them seem important. Nowadays, after years of failed relationship after failed relationship I still have ideas for what a good relationship consists of. I feel it when I am in it. There is obviously no such thing as a perfect one, but you can have a series of good ones, an important one. Important ones can end bad or end amicable, it doesn’t matter. When you look back on it if the good outweighed the bad than it was a good thing. People spend too much time concentrating on the negative and holding grudges forever. I don’t have this in me, not even a little bit. I do know I can feel like shit every other day in a relationship because of old personalities of mine coming back to haunt me. I try to learn from my this stuff and move on though. Was it worth it to have a specific shitty feeling overcome my whole life for three hours while rolling around in bed trying to not go to sleep. I have had insomnia for well over a year now, half of it was being in bed ready for sleep and wheezing and coughing myself into this paranoid “I think I’m going to have a heart attack any second now” moment of panic. Other pieces of it was lulling myself to sleep thinking about this perfect moment with this perfect girl just out of my grasp. I went to Florida once in my life, we went to Disney World when I was real young. I don’t remember any of it other than some of the pictures I have seen. I wish there were events of the last fifteen years of so I could remember, most of it got washed away in a haze of lack of oxygen to the brain and spending too much time dwelling on current events. I never got to savor any of the fond moments from these years, everything wasn’t bad like I thought it was, I just couldn’t remember it.

New Mexico -

A good amount of the time I can’t breathe on my own. Well, that was then this is now.