Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Diary: September 1999.

Diary: September 1999.

This was also one for the books, but I'm going to self-censor some of the gorier parts.

After the Black Box Underground performance of The Skriker wrapped up, all that was left were tatters of the summer, misgivings about my attempted relationship with AS, and a general ghosty feeling about being stuck in A, not B. My sublet ended, so I moved my stuff over to the Crawford's where I lived for the next two weeks. I volunteered at the Flint Central Library, where I spent an hour a day carrying boxes of books and another six or seven hours reading Camus and drafting my novella Vertebrates. I explored the city, and once, Saginaw, and I felt that I'd settled the question of creating trasncendent mind-blowing psychosis-inducing art: I was able to do it. But there were key elements of my life that I wanted to Control, and I couldn't.

Then this happened. It was the most frightening sensation that I've ever experienced. We drove to see our friend Marcy on MLK, but no one was home. We eventually drove back to the Crawfords, and went almost immediately to sleep, and I slept with my keys in my hand, because I had an irrational fear that something might attack me. The next day, we took different approaches to cheering ourselves up; shaking off the chill. We watched Raising Arizona together at Sam's, and that was fun, but when it started to get dark again we all fell frightened. The others decided to go see a friend in Davison. I didn't want to go to Davison; I wanted quiet and peace. I went to the Atlas and spent a couple hours reading On the Road which was accidentally appropriate. When I got back to the house, several of my friends were sitting in the dark there. Some of those friendships were strained for awhile afterwards.
One of those friendships would eventually unravel, dramatically.

Back in Chicago, things seemed equally ghostly, if a little bit less viscerally dangerous. I clearly remember that when my parents pulled up to BJ, Liz was there, and Jen, and Elizabeth, and Liz was excited that I had dyed my hair red because she had just dyed hers as well. I signed up for a Playwriting class with Claudia Allen, which got off to a hungry start, and a Poetry course which started out feeling easy and silly, but worked at a slow burn through the quarter, building in intensity. I became very close to Liz that year, and I also remember sitting in Armand's room with him and Cynthia and telling them about the summer's harrowings. We all shuddered, a little. I listed to the Lords of Acid very loudly in my room, and at the end of second week some friends from out-of-town visited for low-grade debauchery and drunkenness. We followed up with breakfast at Maravillas and paranoia. Pop from glass bottles.

Good times.

Probably wise to only live through them once, thuogh.

Where were you in September 1999?


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