Sunday, August 21, 2011

I came home early this morning from a jog around the neighborhood. My next door neighbor was just coming out with a load of laundry to drag downstairs. I wished him a good morning. He paused and with a smile asked, "How's your white male privilege treating you?" A great question to which I replied, "God, I guess it's going really well." I'm still working part-part-time, underachieving, over-partaking, spending every minute with my girl counterpart. Nothing much to report. My slow beat goes on and I find little to write these days...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Andrew out there, up there, perhaps above the void circa 2011 with an old typewriter and a rifle. Probably wondering, how the hell did I get here... again? This one and every one was always for you. Yonder, mountain!

Friday, June 03, 2011


Melody is coming home again after a month trip out to New York, Los Angeles, Vegas, and now finally back to the Bay Area. I'm having a pre-drink before going out to meet the parents, trying to heed the words of today's spot on horoscope gadget on iGoogle (why the hell do I read this stuff?). Though it cracks me up, I find myself a little too interested at times, perhaps a little superstitious as well.

It's challenging to settle your nerves today because your current anxiety is coming from several different sources.....if you can be flexible enough about what is happening, you'll realize that you don't have to waste energy worrying about things you cannot control.

Hard not to be a little nervous, but I like that "things I cannot control" bit. Nice without the contraction too, more powerful. So I have a cocktail in my hand beading cold droplets and pushing repeat on the new Bon Iver record, which is absolutely phenomenal indulgent music perfect for saps like me. I'm midway through a five-day weekend...does that still count as a weekend? I work four tens Monday through Thursday, but Thursday was called off for rain and we're now moving this coming Monday's rainy forecast to next Friday, which leaves me with freedom, utter freedom. So far I've failed at sleeping in and succeeded at enormous breakfasts at home, a rarity since I work so early and prefer eating later on anyway.

I've been walking around town with my headphones on these past days, miles and miles, stopping in at coffee shops and creating errands to carry me across town with a little more purpose than not. I've been falling in love with life again. It's strange to think of it that way but I'm feeling patient these days and more suited to my surroundings than perhaps I deserve. Might be a mirage; god knows I'm a fucking fragile thing poorly paired with my compulsive behavior and headstrong action. Sometimes I can't even hang with myself. Still I raise this glass to the feeling and say I'd do it anyway and I'd do it again...

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Andrew's making the big journey this week. If you drive straight and don't screw around it's a 2,260 mile venture to western Idaho where the summer skies are blue and the mercury rises like a cold can of beer from a lawnchair's built-in cupholder overlooking a river swollen with snowmelt. That's Idaho. As far as Pittsburgh goes, nothing could be more different, and Andrew being a desperate measures kind of guy, is good with that. Ah, the great escape. The big dream. The great magnet. I wish you well.

The woman I've spent the majority of my time with down here in the lulling American Mediterranean is leaving this week as well. Her journey is 2,800 miles, eventually ending up somewhere around the country's capitol. A trip that we would all deem of epic proportions indeed, a necessary trip, and hopefully a healing one too, where she can find herself and start a new network of lovers, friends, and family. I wish her the best from the very heart of me. We did business this week, that final bargaining for the acquired things still mutually owned in one another's possession. I now outright own the car and the television, but she eventually wants the lamp back, the one with three light settings but only works on one. I acquiesced.

My dearest Grandma, the only one I ever had since my father's mother passed before my time, left on her last journey this past week. She signed off on Judgement Day. She was ninety-two and a half years old and only days away from her sixty-ninth wedding anniversary with my grandfather Douglas, who sadly left the world far too young and her alone for far too many years. We said goodbye to her this week. I hope she's finally found peace from a life of devotion and the deepest love and loss. My Grandma loved me like crazy and I would never ever be the person I am now had she not been there.

This year rebirth is in the air, the non-religious kind, the real kind. I can feel it and I welcome it. I've traveled a long winding road these past few years and though I've managed to not run away as I've done so many times in the past, I still have the strong sense of arriving somewhere. I needed to refind the Jesse that I liked more and begin investing myself in the people and places that will bring me real happiness. It's harder than it sounds. I wanted to put myself back in the arms of whatever it is that's always called me and feel that unfeigned embrace.

I got my job back and found a new appreciation for the small things. That was a big start. And the people I work with have become a new family for me. There were also a couple people I'd mixed with in my past relationship’s small radius that I went back for and found. I was tiring of the watered-down supporting cast, drinking friends, that long line of acquaintances that we all acquire... I needed some real friends, lead roles, and I was so lucky to find true friendship when I needed it most.

Then I met Melody and my heart just about overflowed. She's an angel. She makes me want to write stupid things like, She's an angel. What the hell does that mean anyway? I think it's just a feeling, those silly words, and I feel them. She’s good to me. She’s more than good to me, she’s good for me. She was immediately an old friend and lover, reminding me of a song, it's hard to put your finger on the thing that scares you most... and it is scary to feel so deeply, but I'm in love and feel grateful for this time to be happy again and moving in a direction that feels of home.

Friday, May 27, 2011

This quickening...

An entry from the first months after moving to the Bay Area...

A dear friend of mine has termed this blog San Franciscan Ruminations and i feel that i've never truly delivered the product promised by those words. I wish to finally do so...

Narrowing the limitless options of self-definition: my person must represent either some aspect that we all carry in regard, or a certain personality confined to a body, absolute. And needing to choose so deliberately for this endeavor, i select the pollyannaist whose over-optimism is both easily dissuaded and shied by hindrance, as encouraged by ease and fluidity. This personality is seemingly vulnerable to subtle fluctuation, but spared many distresses self-inflicted. And this in tow with my particular upbringing creates a metropolitan anomaly, maybe.

I'm gaining and losing here in this city; it's mostly velvet as the gamblers say: i think i'm winning. This ability to be both anonymous and gregarious at whim, near simultaneously, is the heart of my heart in San Francisco. To satisfy both of these wants, and likely needs, is a momentary gift that i hold onto. I feel in some part, that i have a secret that distends my appreciation for this city life. All that i've ever lived, until now, has in some way been diametric to this paved grid littered with life. This tight mixture of sound and smell, the sweet and the fetor together, combine into something almost richer than the pure beauty i've often been surrounded by. There's something more believable about this unification, as it encompasses the human being too~ both gentle and fierce.

But, what i'm losing is my sensitivity and mild candor for all. As the world grows bigger, i grow smaller and for whatever reason, i feel less. It's survival in an overly-stimulating environment that begs for attention. We harbor more unconsciously and find safe doses for semblance and sentimentalism alike. I don't know if i really buy what i'm writing, but part of me knows that my skin is thickening. That what remains untouched is my deliberateness and calculation, but what narrows is my aptness for affection. Not absence, because it is my core, but quicker reluctance to showing it. And not just showing it; feeling it.

I remind myself not to hurry. All these things around me i've wanted at some time, and now they're here with me. Perhaps it's just an apprehensive time and all of us feel our steps are hurried, whether they are or not. Perhaps it's some American way of living. Either way, i trust it... that which threatens me and holds me strong, reassuring.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sad sappy sucker.

I'm having one of those days where I want something to happen, for some absolute decision to be made, one way or another, and to whatever end. To just be done with it and to know where the hell I'm going at this time. Dramatic I know. I think that's the feeling of the day, a feeling I fed with dramatic music, all day in my ears playing old indie electronica. Styrofoam and Ms. John Soda and Lali Puna mixed in with all the old Bon Iver to drive my feelings madder.

And what's funny is there is no real decision to make and no real place to go. It's just a feeling. I think it has something to do with this wind that's been pushing at me all day; all these tall blades of grass and tules that've been beating at my sides as I walk through the marshes in Benicia. I'm looking out on the San Joaquin delta and watching the white caps curl toward the shore. I look down just in time... a small nest of blue-green eggs with little scratches of brown. Four of them sitting in this empty nest and my stupid foot hovering awkwardly above, moments away from impact. Red-wing blackbird, dime a dozen, though still special. I'm a sucker for that electric red wing patch. Bird's got style.

I was thinking about something, but I can't remember. The music is making its way through the inner recesses of my overly indulgent, sappy, introspective self. I could hide from it; I could turn the music off. Instead I go in and drown out the bird sound and wind and maybe even my co-workers, who knows, or any other that might want my ear. I'm thinking about you and you and you and me and me and me, all the additions and subtractions and possible conclusions of our meeting and matches. I can't stop smiling. This good fortune is killing me, but where's the off switch?

I think I'm gonna water it down. Lower this bar. Be philistine for my buddy Andrew over there in the Steel City. I'll board that plane next week and we'll see. For now, I'm thinking burgers and beer over in Oakland and maybe I'll talk a friend into watching a few innings of the Giants game. That's more like it...

Friday, May 06, 2011

In the parking lot

The security guard tells us to make our drinks disappear, hide them in our hoodie pockets, and drink them elsewhere. He points around the corner and as we walk away he says to our backs, "And I don't wanna see you two again with those." He's a nice guy and doesn't mean it. Sometimes we all do our jobs, as ridiculous as they are. We're at the Oakland Art Murmur, a first Friday of the month art walk with street performers, open galleries, and sidewalk food. I'm brown-bagging a tall boy High Life and my friend Leyla has a bottle of something better. She doesn't see the point of drinking cheap beer and honestly, I don't know why I do myself. Cheap beer is kind of noncommittal in its watery nature; maybe that's it.

We walk to the corner of a parking lot and sit down, her back against my shoulder, and look up to a windowless brick wall across Grand Avenue where they're projecting film shorts. This is a perfect moment. The last of the blue is fading quickly in the west and a sliver of moon hangs to the side of an apartment building, its shadowed side still lighter than the night sky. The day's warmth is radiating from the concrete. I don't really know this person I'm with though it feels like I do. She's a new friend. For whatever reason, we're talking about the white lies we've told one another so far. There's another conversation on our faces and in our eyes.

As we talk it strikes me that I often don't use my own words anymore, or at least when it matters. I think in songs and books and I think with the old repetitive voice in my head and its distant echoes of my youth and the people I parroted and the revisions I made upon their ideas. I tell her about it and wonder if she understands what I mean, and then I wonder if I even understand what it is I'm trying to say. I feel happy and can't stop smiling. This is a perfect moment and I don't know why.