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2003-09-26

Hi again! If you hadn't noticed, I am traveling around the US and writing about it. I am looking for nice, fun people who can put me up for a few nights and feed me and pay my way (since I am broke) and show me a good time (since I like good times). If you think it might be fun to host me for a day or two or three, email me at justingrace AT mac DOT com with your info and address and phone number. I am especially looking for places to stay in the southern USA. Right now I really need a place to stay in or around the following places:

•Central Texas
•Mississippi
•Alabama
•Tennessee

Thanks in advance for your help! And now...


US Tour Day 10, Part 2: Some Times, Clairvoyance

I did some fun things on Day 10. But, it turns out I only really wrote that day due to insomnia and such, rather than writing about what I actually did during the day before I tried to fall asleep yet couldn't. So. Anyway. Here are two things I wrote late in the evening on Day 10.


Some Times

It's not always. Yet, it's also not really never. There are these in between times, these some times. And, some times I wish I had someone to talk with, someone to point out this dusty window for, my finger sending an invisible beam to a light on some building in the distance. It's strange, because it is only during those some times.

Late at night, before bed, when I am feeling my most vulnerable and want to just fall and fall and fall into the deepest bed of down like I'm dead, not bothering to stay afloat, two stones falling together, never alive to begin with, and soon asleep.


My bed is to my left, if you can call it a bed. I have slept in much worse. I slept on a bed of straw under a goat skin tent if you could even have called it a tent in some oasis in the Sahara. I never care much about beds. As I grew up I used my bed to store things, I slept in a nest of blankets on the floor. I guess I have a bed back home in San Francisco, although I use the word home very loosely as I have no home except for the one between my ears, that same one that I call my heart even though it has nothing to do with moving blood this way and that. I don't remember what it felt like to sleep in it. I know I loved it, or I think I know. But, I can't remember the actual feeling of how it was to have my naked flesh united with those blankets and mattresses and pillows. Sometimes I think remembering how good something was just distracts us from the moment, so I don't get too choked up on it.

Stay in the moment. Here it is. It's now. Lately during my sleeping moments I notice the itch in my ears. The earplugs itch. I twist them around. Then I twist around. And each time it happens I notice how strange and funny it is that I can have an itch actually inside my ears, and I wonder if I will also forget this feeling like I forget the comfort of the bed in my house by the ocean.

I wonder if I'll ever sleep again in that house by the ocean. It's so easy to assume things will happen. Such as, I'll wake up and it will be fine or I'll come home afterwards or I'll be there. But, you never really know how anything will be.

I hope I sleep in my bed again, someday. It would be nice to refresh my memory—to remind myself of that unique sensation. I guess that's the best I can do, hope.

I wear the earplugs to block out the sound of the cars, the interstate is about a hundred feet from my window, you know—the window I can use my finger to point out of to some building in the distance and so on. But, nobody's here to see what I am pointing at.

These are the some times, the times when I miss—when I long for something which is not with me. I a'm not discontent. I'm not unhappy. But, during these some times I long so much for a closed eyelid or fingertip to kiss, a whisper to let sneak into my ear, a plump, voluptuous lip to gaze at across the bed from under heavy eyelids.

And the shapes and sounds and scents are so frozen in form for me, they are all so round and lovely and red and delicate. Heady and warm, skin like pearls, lips so rich and soft like the thick, butter–yellow light that drizzles the landscape at sunset. What can take their place in my mind, what can challenge such archetypes?

The thing is that I don't know. Maybe nothing can. And, I have no home but my heart to go to to ponder, calculate, theorize, or blindly guess. But, I'm glad I at least have that home to go to. One heart is better than none, during those times, the some times.


Clairvoyance

I didn't know why. But, I knew I had to put my phone next to my head. I was expecting a call or something. Or, at least I had the feeling that I was expecting a call, even though nobody had told me or given me any hint that they would dial my number. So, I picked up my phone from its regular place—plugged into the power strip across the room—and put it on the pillow.

And, I lay in my nest of blankets and pillows and mismatched couch cushions, my mind speeding through thoughts—unable to sleep.

I thought about the rust spots on my car and fingernails and swimming. I thought about what things I needed to do in the morning.

I thought sad thoughts about how much I missed Andie. A huge part of my life was now gone. My mind window shopped for similes and metaphors until I decided on one I liked: It felt like I was missing an arm. Sure, I could make the best of it. But, no matter how I looked at it, something was gone and I couldn't imagine anything taking its place.

Then I thought happy thoughts about my album, and how the background vocals in Fly Away remind me of angels, which is the way I always hoped songs would sound—a lullaby of sorts, a song bringing us closer to Home.

I thought about rain and what it smells like. I thought about the cushions beneath me and what they felt like. I thought about lips I had kissed and the way sand feels to my feet.

And I observed a sadness in me that I could not describe, and I let it be—reassuring myself that it was fine to feel this way. I told myself that I would never feel this way again, which is basically emotional legalese for you won't feel this way again because the moment will flee from you and you can never recapture it no matter how hard you try.

And, in the middle of some thought about something my phone rang. I didn't have to reach far to answer it.

It was Glenn. He sounded very awake to me. I'm sure I sounded very awake to him. Hi Glenn, I said. He asked if he could ask me a question, which seemed like a very strange way to begin a phone conversation at four in the morning. I said, of course, and he asked me if I was going to Burning Man and I replied a yes. "Good.", he said.

I could tell by his tone that that really was all he wanted to know. I guess I was surprised because I couldn't imagine calling someone at 4 AM to ask them only one question Maybe two or three, sure. But, probably not just one. But, as is always the case with Glenn, his blinding sincerity made it very clear that this was no–kidding important at this moment, and I was reverent.

Are you going to sleep now, I asked? "I assure you I am definitely going to sleep now", he replied. "Justin", he said, "I am speaking seriously and I want you to please understand that you helped me unlock my brain."

What? Me? I fumbled with my words. I tried so hard to keep from toppling over—even though I was laying down—all dizzy from the heaping sack of honor that was somehow transferred from his mouth to the phone to my ear into my brain and into the thing I can't describe so I simplify and call it my soul. Thanks from a mortal hero is a heavy, heavy thing.

He asked if I was asleep, and I admitted I was not. He asked why not. I told him that it was funny, I never put the phone next to my head when I sleep, but tonight I did. He asked why? Involuntarily, I told him that I was expecting a call. And something electric happened at that moment. It was if suddenly we both were again reminded that we were part of a plan which was so much bigger than both of us. And there was some energy between him and me in that moment of psychic silence—some propagation of mind–locked connection and love ripped apart covalent bonds, arcing the ether untamed—and neither of us considered with even one single synapse of our minds that this was the slightest bit strange or unlikely. It was, to us, the absolute most likely occurrence the universe could offer at that moment.

He asked if I was going to sleep now, and I said that I was. The phone call came, and so now I could sleep.

And we said good night, but the two words seemed to mean so much more than that—like some cosmic I love you exploding like a silent supernova between two members of a mutual admiration society, both trying to figure out life living in a world sworn to silence.

My mind reeled at the blessing of landing such a role in this film called life, and sleep seemed far away. I drank some absinthe and crawled naked back into the blankets and pillows and mismatched cushions and hoped that I would soon forget the things of the waking world and fall back, blindly into that other place we call sleep.


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