a vacuum of images, words, energy. each night I look for a beginning, but it began in the middle as I drove through the stripped leaves, the broken and twisted trees, the homes that weren’t anymore. I was already full, saturated to the point of silence. I saw the pictures, of course – I saw hundreds of them, thousands. These particular pictures say no words. Nothing says anything until you see it with your own eyes.

I was taken on a tour the day after I arrived with Cole driving – a tour of wreckage, a tour of lost dreams, a tour that told evidence of death. I think I figured out the markings spray painted on the houses. Some were scattered, some dripping in desperation, but most were regulated, plain as day. I waw all the X’s with various things written in them in the cold folds – I believe that the bottom part of the X was bodies found inside. 0; 0; 0; 2; 0; 0; 1… It kept going. Occasionally, I saw “2 dogs”, 1 cat… The weight as we went through one of the bad parts – the energy that pressed down on me, brought tears to my eyes. i wasn’t going to cry – I already had. I’ve cried too much, for everything.

(Will I ever cry enough for my Bean?)

I took a few pictures at first, but then, I stopped. These pictures mean nothing. It needs to me seen, to be walked through. This city has a strength unlike any other I’ve been to, but then, I have never seen a city that has been through this. Still, it has an incomprable soul – I have never heard anyone who has lived her for any amount of time call it anything but “home”. I call it mine now, and it is.

Some things you can just simply feel.

Fuck – so much to say. Too much. A vaccuum that I desperately try to empty, but it seems as if I never will. I never want to be empty. I have been so full these days that it seemed like I was. Let it go let it out make room because I feel and I feel hard and heavy even in the occasional lightness and I don’t hide and I choose to give all and don’t stay, don’t pretend, if you aren’t willing to accept that. A directed “fuck you” to an illusion. It’s deeper than you can ever believe, it goes far further than you could ever understand in your denial eyes. It was not right, but what is right about being as close to someone as i can get? You knew…

I don’t forget enough, and I don’t believe I will ever forget anything. I remember, I need to. This is all we have. Stories. Stories to stay in the middle. I was Jekyll so recently and destroyed. I need to keep the middle, the in-between. I don’t tell stories, I just fucking write, and sometimes it just doesn’t make any sense.

So what?

It keeps me in the middle, and I begin again.

I can start my dreams wherever I want, but, without question though prohibitied by time, I will live them all. There is no line anymore.

“ ‘It wasn’t any old bird; it was a bird that knew my name.’

The doctor leaned back in his chair. ‘Do you keep a diary?’
‘I have a collection of silver notebooks.’
‘Are they consistent?’
‘Yes. I buy them from the same department store.’
‘I mean, do you keep one record of your life, or several? Do you feel like you have more than one life perhaps?’
‘Of course I do. It would be impossible to tell one single story.’
‘Perhaps you should try.’
‘A beginning, a middle, and an end?’
‘Something like that – yes.’
I thought of Babel Dark and his neat brown notebooks, and his wild torn folder. I thought of Pew tearing stories out of light.
‘Do you know the story of Jekyll and Hyde?’
‘Of course.’
‘Well then – to avoid either extreme, it is necessary to tell all the lives in between.’

– Jeanette Winterson –
– Lighthouse Keeping

One last stop to Swerve for a HUGE coffee, swaying from the usual ritual of mate’. After last night, and Sach with his rum, no room for games.

I’m going to have some incredibly fond memories of this place – and especially, many of these people…

Zoom zoom zoom. The roads call.

The adventure continues…

Wake up, a cup of coffee, then hit the road in silence while everyone is still asleep. It’s been quite an experience, Austin. Thank you for the lessons.

Beans ashes sit on the back seat, where she loved to sleep or watch the world go by as we drove. I’ll probably still talk to her the way I did before she passed… Hell, who am I kidding. I still do, but can everywhere now…

New Orleans becons to me, screams my name, pulls impatiently. If I didn’t want to watch the road go by, if I didn’t want to be able to see it for the first time in the sunlight, it would be difficult not to leave right now – but that’s something I learned driving through Utah at night. There are some things you really just want to see. Strange little firsts that sink down into the memory…

So long, Austin, and thanks for all the fish.

Good bye.

Words that mean nothing anymore, yet still I write. Just another disease. Just another virus that infects. That is what I offer.

She asked me to stay the night, I declined. Too much to do, far too much, as always, to think about – but tonight it is different. I question everything about me, yet again. Everything begins with Why…? and is followed by emptiness.

Don’t be someone that I care for. Don’t be someone I might love. I will hurt you, I will make you go away, asking the same questions. You’re safe if I don’t care enough, if it’s only that last bit of forbidden intimacy that separates the flesh from the flesh – but by then it is so much more than that, isn’t it? So much more than flesh.

Looking up at me she said I was her ideal, looking into her eyes I kept all of my silence, everything inside screaming in agreement. I thought there would be time to tell her someday. Time has never been my friend.

Words that mean nothing anymore, yet still, I write. Words that talk of one and no one. They cry when I leave and I don’t understand it. One of us will always leave, don’t be fooled into believing in happily ever after, friend or lover. We take what we have been given, what we were given should make us smile in parting. Memories, laughter, tears, shared or not – bones of the past that rattle in our hearts. We listen to their music when it is quiet and dance to it as we collect more. As we give more. Here, take my bones, the ones I have created for you. They’re all different, and sometimes the music may not be so sweet – but still, as much as you may try, you can’t refuse them. When it is quiet you can hear them. When it rains, they sing. Dance in the memories. Smile warmly or hate me.

One of us will always leave, and I may let you think it’s your idea. It’s easier that way, for both of us.

That way I won’t have to see you cry.

Two days.

Odd, the knowledge that I’ll very likely never see these people again.

The plan – six months (give or take) in NOLA, then to Europe, U.K. – everywhere. No itenerary except for the festivals, traveling backroads, with no current intention of returning.

I’ve never been good with time, but I do know that mine will someday end.

Time to do it my way.

Of course, I’ve seldom met a plan that hasn’t changed…