i had a golden opportunity to catch up on sleep that I threw away happily to see my friend S, who is visiting for a conference. i waded through morning traffic to get to powells to finally sell all those books that i maniacleaned (I got 50 bucks for them, not too shabby. it was pretty depressing to see so many books I liked that they didn’t need to buy/there was no market for though). it was my first time seeing her for probably over a year, so things were a lot different but one of the reasons I love her so much is that we always pick right back up where we left off and she is one of the world’s least demanding human beings and ch/illest because she’s a super introvert, so leave her alone for a few minutes and she’s already found something awesome to do, and yet she’s always game when I have the hankering to do something I’d like.
she helped me acquire my copy of As You Like It, which I had been needing to prepare for a social gathering I’m hosting next month (more on that another day), a copy of Mrs. Dalloway to mark up (more coming below), and a new journal, which I’m starting before finishing the old one but it feels like time. after putzing around for a little while—it’s a mistake to be a bookish person and go to a bookstore with another bookish person, because we both just want to wander around like zombies and get lost in our own particularities—we hit up a little breakfast deli to catch up.
the crucible that forged our friendship was that we both happened to be complete shitty pile of goop messes at the same time, and so way before I had the vocabulary to describe what the friendship was, there was a safety that I found in her to express some of my insecurities and vulnerabilities. every once in awhile, i’ll be caught off guard by something she reads in me and realize that it’s something she remembers from a conversation where i’ve said something more private and more exposed than I meant to.
we talked a little bit about personality types, and how much we love them, our own version of pseudo/quasi-scientific horoscopes and how much we want them to be true but how they can’t possibly be. talking through our meyer-briggs brought to the forefront one of those ways in which growing and becoming more ourselves reveals that we are more different people from each other than ever before in our friendship. i’ve tried to embrace my social and extroverted self pretty hard this last year, and she’s a superintrovert. listening to her talk about herself makes me realize that her potential for world domination and cold, grinding dominance through superiority is much higher than I ever gave her credit for.
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when i got back home to take a breather before work, I took a second to label the spines of my collection of journals, diaries, workbooks, and planners going back to 2002, when I was a 12 year old. none of them are particularly comprehensive; the ones from about 2010 or so are more complete chronicles of time, but it’s incredible how many important things never got covered. I’ve been working on being someone that’s more comfortable showing my mess & edges & roughness & harshness & humanity to the world, and that’s part of the reason that I wanted to experiment with journaling out in the open, online in 2015. moving my daily journal online and off paper opened up some room for me to start something that I’ve been wanting for so long, a real artist’s journal. the second one from the bottom in the stack above is where my earliest poems, songs, sketches, stories are, and one thing I missed so much from it was the lack of lines. for whatever reason, i’ve always been good about journaling with lined paper, but its impossible for me to muse or brainstorm or collect the soup with lines on the page. we’ll see how long this lasts; one reason that there’s a weird chronological overlap in the top three books is because they each started as something else before drifting back to being a daily diary.
I love having the books around. they can puncture the clever rearranging the past that we all do to create and preserve our worldtrack, but at the same time, the most heinous and stupid and sad things i’ve ever thought are all there. conspicuous sadness is often there. conspicuous happiness never is.
i fucked off at work and cracked into Mrs. Dalloway. last year, i read fewer books than the year before that, but had a couple of very intense reading experiences, the most memorable of which was an excruciatingly slow read of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. i love technology and new technology. i love the ease and convenience of ebooks. i love the way that they are always with me, and i especially love the way that they facilitate real engagement with some supertomes, like Dumas’ Le Comte or Infinite Jest, that read a lot better when you can easily access notes. but.
even so.
i read a lot better with pen or pencil and copious notes. i’ve been trying to resist this truth ever since my first high school english class. i hate rereading copies with annotations, i kind of hate “hurting” my books, i almost always hate at least 20% of my thoughts a day after writing them in the margins (a hard-won reduction from the 100% in my high-school copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which I burned in shame). but reading with a pencil focuses my insight, in makes me slow down, it rewards me for discovering beautiful turns of phrase, sentences that don’t open themselves up with just a quick skim. i’ve been thinking all day of Woolf’s description of clock bells as “leaden circles dissolved in the air,” and I never would have focused on that particular description if I hadn’t first been looking for anything first. i had made my way about 30 pages in, but decided to just start over now that I had my own copy.
the rest of the workday passed.

I listened several times to the Byrd’s “Eight Miles High,” and was pointed by music history both to the orientalism of indian-inspired psychedelic rock and Coltrane. it’s just about time for a deep dive, I think.
i took 12 kids at the end of the day to a University of Portland Pilots basketball game. we all had a lot of fun, but there was something irritating that happened at the end that got me steamed, and forced me to stay an extra hour late on top of the late schedule, so I didn’t leave work until about 9:45pm and very grumpy.
I finished up the day with a visit to Dot’s and catching up with HaRT, who I hadn’t seen for almost a month. we talked and bullshitted and discussed online dating strategy, which seems to be an evergreen topic of conversation that I have with anybody that’s not paired up right now.
I started watching Friends as a mindgame to see if me watching a few episodes around the house while L was around would be enough for her to feel like she didn’t need to watch the whole thing again. Unfortunately, it’s kind of caught, so I’m not sure that what i did was any better, especially since my whole motivation was to not hear that fucking theme song a thousand times over. I’m guessing I have a few more episodes in my future.

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