miércoles, 8 de marzo de 2017

Guide to writing your fifth novel

Guide to writing your fifth novel (yeah, it only works for the fifth one...and your mileage may vary):
1. Stand in the middle of the road in a strange part of town and scream "Everything's a construct!" at the top of your lungs.
2. Read amazing novels and get angry because you'll never be that good and maybe no one loves you.
3. Get inside your blood. Find the ghosts that ride your veins and fight them.
4. Pull your deepest fears outta the bottom drawer of your soul and staple them to your face with the sharpened bones of tiny birds.
5. Listen to your favorite music. Then listen to something impossibly darker. Listen to something new. Listen to something awful and scary. Listen to the ominous silence.
6. Eat tacos and ponder life without soy sauce.
7. Remind yourself of every fight, every accident, every dance with absolute fear, every instance in which a fucking gun made an unexpected appearance, every night spent pressing your tongue against the blood clots on the inside of your lips, every broken promise, every drop of anger, every death that crushed you, every spirit you've ever felt.
8. Punch a wall until your knuckles bleed. Lick the blood off your knuckles. Punch the wall some more. Remember no one owes you a thing. Smile. Pick up a gutter flower and put it in your hair.
9. Type as if the keyboard owed you money. When you hit a passage that means something, hold your breath.
10. Reply to the voices. Recognize aliens are real. They live in the closet and come out to watch you sleep sometimes. Scream at the moon. Understand that, if there is a hell, its fire is nothing compared to what you hide underneath your skin. Obsess about everything. Cry without shedding any tears. Finish the damn thing. Move on to the next one with a new set of neon scars.

miércoles, 30 de noviembre de 2016

In the Shower


There are three voices in my head that take turns narrating my life: Tom Waits, Sam Elliott, and Werner Herzog. Of those three, Herzog is usually the default voice. In any case, he inspired me to write some Werner Herzog erotica. The story won the 2016 Ultimate Bizarro Showdown, but I didnt get to read the whole thing because I'm an idiot and started cracking jokes as soon as I was in front of the microphone. So, here is the whole thing. Hope you love it. It's sexy and shit.

In the Shower: the first Werner Herzog erotica ever


In the shower, Johnny stood with his hands at the back of his head, like someone just arrested. His mind was full of images of prison shankings, crying men, and big bulliesturning the asses of fresh inmates into entertainment centers. Then his girlfriend, Marie, pulled the curtain aside and stepped into the shower. 
“How you doing, sweetie?” she asked. 
“Thinking.”
"About what?” she asked, taking a step forward and pressing her perky breasts against his chest, her nipples digging ever so gently into his skin. 
Life on our planet has been a constant series of cataclysmic events, and we are more suitable for extinction than a trilobite or a reptile. So we will vanish. There's no doubt in my heart.”
“Don’t be silly,” Marie said, running her hand down his abdomen and twirling her fingers around his wild, unkempt bush of jet-black pubic hair, which always reminded him of a lost lumberjack found in an abandoned mine after six years in the wilderness, his psyche fractured, his ability to speak impaired by insanity, his teeth rotten into black stumps, his breath a fetid miasma combining the smells of fresh fecal matter from the bowels of an alcoholic truck driver and the decomposing flesh of a mangy possum. 
Wanna have some fun in the shower and then get something to eat?” 
I despise formal restaurants. I find all of that formality to be very base and vile. I would much rather eat potato chips on the sidewalk.”
Marie grabbed a bar of soap and started lathering Johnny up. She worked her way down to his hardening member and took it in her soft, wet hands. After a while he shut his eyes, and Marie, wielding her fingernails now and staring at his face, helped him out with two practiced hands, one squeezing the family jewels and the other stroking him up and down. 
“You like that, baby?”
“Sure, but what are you trying to accomplish?”
“What do you mean?” she asked, her hands suddenly less sure of themselves
If you do not have an absolutely clear vision of something, where you can follow the light to the end of the tunnel, then it doesn't matter whether you're bold or cowardly, or whether you're stupid or intelligent. Doesn't get you anywhere.”
Marie kept up what she was doing, gently squeezing Johnny’s balls, but a sliver of doubt had been wedged between her intent and herself. She felt a bit lost. 
“Why do you always say things like that, baby?”
“I know you don’t like to hear these things, but facts sometimes have a strange and bizarre power that makes their inherent truth seem unbelievable.”
Marie knew where this was going. The conversation that loomed in front of her was beast murdering the blossoming wetness between her legs. 
“You need to enjoy this moment, Johnny,” she said, punctuating her words with another gentle squeeze to his genitals. “Life is too short to be so sad and serious all the time!” 
“I need to have these conversations with you, Marie. The nothingness that surrounds us it too loud and only these thoughts make me feel a bit safer. You know civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness. You jerking me off won’t change that.” 
“I think you need help,” she whispered, her breath as hot as the steam from the shower. 
He reached down and roughly grabbed Marie between the legs. She felt his long, bony finger slip inside her womanhood. His thumb slid into the crack of her bottom and lifted her like a bowling ball or a six-pack. Nah, make that a feather. Yeah, that works better. Oh, wait, the fourth wall. Shit. Oh, man, this is so metaAnyway, she blushed, her mind suddenly racing with phallic imagery. She felt his mancock stiffen further in her handsit was long and impressive. Yeah, I said mancock. Single words. I’ll take all the awards right now, motherfuckers. 
“I believe the magic is happening, sweetie,” she said, breathing a little bit like Britney Spears on…basically every fucking song. 
“I believe the common denominator of the universe is not harmony; but chaos, hostility and murder, he replied. 
“I need to feel your steely manhood like a thunderbolt of pleasures in the pink center of my being!” moaned Marie. 
Johnny penetrated her with his engorged member, leaned into side of her face, and asked her: “What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.”
“Oh, tiny baby Jesus, please pleasure me with that wonderful cock of yours, my love!” Marie screamed. 
Johnny keep thrusting into her core and said: “Look into the eyes of a chicken and you will see real stupidity. It is a kind of bottomless stupidity, a fiendish stupidity. They are the most horrifying, cannibalistic and nightmarish creatures in the world.” 
Then, just as they were both about to climax, the fucking void swallowed them both and no one cried about it or thought about them ever again in this cruel, overturned piss pot of a world full of dying people, hungry children, and horrific crimes. But hey, at least they went out fucking, right? 



viernes, 11 de noviembre de 2016

Friday Night

It's relatively early on a Friday night and I'm cruisin' around Austin taking swigs from a bottle of cheap wine after yet another job interview fiasco. All of us are a few bad decisions away from being winos, so keep your judging to a minimum, jack. Anyway, I'm out here looking for ghosts and answers, fishing for options and trying to find the corpse of opportunity in some fucking gutter. I'm out here because I'm too restless to stay home and too damn broke to go anywhere. As far as interstitial spaces go, this one is on the awful side of the spectrum.

I'm listening to Nighthawks at the Diner and thinking that folks like Tom Waits, Nick Cave, and Leonard Cohen, who fucking died yesterday because Death sometimes makes horrible mistakes, made me want to write more than many famous authors ever did. "Yeah, I know, things are tough all over," says Tom. You got that fucking right, man.

I want to scream into void and punch a wall, but years of doing that have taught me that the result is a sore throat and busted knuckles. I can't afford pills or weed or a bottle of something better, so I have to inhale all this truth and deal with it without a single balm, without a bit of a filter, without a damn layer of merciful cushioning. Then I turn the radio a little louder and realize that politics and anger are noise that interrupt my usual mellow. They're like huge bees fucking up my picnic. I have a stack of novels at home and a whispering creek right outside my door. In my head I have a woman, a narrative, and a thirst for revolution. If I let them sing to me, something akin to a miracle could happen.

I look out the window and take in the city. There's a man dressed like Zorro at a bus stop. A few blocks later, a dude in a yellow wig is holding a flag and a "Vote for Bernie!" sign. At a red light on Burnet, I see an obese woman screaming at someone I can't see on the sidewalk. Just because I can't see whatever ot whoever she's screaming at doesn't mean that he/she/it is not there. I find myself hoping she wins the argument. The light changes and once again, like a thousand times before, I fall in love with this city. Yeah, she has tried to kill me a few times, but true love is all about forgiveness.

Suddenly I accept it all. Tomorrow I will still be poor and the next book will still be waiting for me to write it and Trump will still be our next president despite our protests and there will still be a need for love and revolution and comprehension and empathy and people will still be upset about everything and arguing online and kids will go hungry in every country and someone will check out via a bullet to the brain and someone will kiss another human for the first time and a baby will be born and change a few lives the instant he or she appears and someone will listen to some of the songs that I keep in my head and the buzzing of a tattoo machine will turn blank skin into art and someone will devour delicious chicken tacos and someone will bleed and someone will say fuck as they twist open a bottle of aspirin and someone will get mad at a movie and someone will buy a book someone else wrote and someone will be in a car accident and and someone will have a great birthday and someone else will eat a piece of their cake and someone will look at a stranger in a public space and imagine an entire perfect future with them before swallowing it all and not saying and word and someone will be happy that it's Saturday and someone will drink alone in a dirty sofa and remember that thing that destroyed their life and someone will decide to go on a diet and someone will hug a loved one and someone will make an important phone call as butterflies fill their stomach with uncomfortable fluttering and someone will do their best to fight injustice and the world will be a little better because they gave a shit about it and someone will dream about taking a trip to Africa and someone will listen to Fela Kuti and someone will wake up next to a stranger an think fuuuuuuuuuuck before looking around for their shit and bailing and someone will project their insecurities on someone else and someone will hop on a plane with a rucksack full of dreams and someone will learn to forgive and someone will stab someone else for reasons that may or may not make the stabbing a righteous thing and someone will make their mom happy and someone will walk their dog and someone will peel an orange and smell its wonderful aroma and someone will put a gun in their mouth and then remove it without pulling the damn trigger and someone will see a child smile at a dog and someone will realize how fucking awesome it is to watch birds flying into the horizon and someone will dip their toes in the ocean and someone will remember an ex with nothing but love or hatred or respect or lust and someone will have a great conversation with a stranger and the world will keep spinning and I will keep living because that's the only thing we can do.

Then Tom sings and I listen and it all makes sense. You have to learn to love the world even when it's ugly and you don't understand it. You have to love the world as you stand up for what's right and stomp on the skulls of fucking Nazis. You have to love the anger you feel and the things that are wrong and you have to love your ability to fight for change.

I turn around in the parking lot of a grocery store and head back home as I sing along these words for you: 

"Nobody, nobody
Will love you the way that I could
Cause nobody, nobody's that strong
Cause nobody is that strong"



miércoles, 21 de septiembre de 2016

Saturday Morning Blood

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The phone rings. It's around 2:00am. I’d like to say the phone wakes me up, but it doesn’t. I’m up, watching some band whose name I ignore doing their thing on Austin City Limits. I’m back home for a few weeks because sometimes you move out and run out of money and nothing works out and then you’re broke and sad and drunk and empty and you have to come back home for a while with your tail between your legs and the best things about that is no rent and mom does your laundry and there’s food in the fridge and you have cable for a while.
Anyway, my brain jumps to terrible conclusions.
Someone died in a car crash.
The dude calling kidnapped a family member and wants ten million dollars.
Aliens are liquefying people in the streets with strange guns.
I have to get dressed and go identify my best friend’s mutilated corpse. 
Someone decided to take me up on an offer of being the muscle for some project...
I get up, walk to the wall mount thingy, and pick up the phone.
“Hello?”
“Yeah, put Maria on.”
Maria is my sister. Dudes like her. I say that to convey the fact that dudes calling and asking for her is not unheard of. Luckily, most of them call at regular hours.
It’s too late. Or too early. Pick one. I don’t care. The point is my brain is not working properly and depression is sort of hanging over me like those personal clouds that rain on a single character on cartoons. I'm trying to ignore all of it and, right before the call, was focusing on inventing names for the band I’d been listening to.
The Open Books
Boogie Wipes
Too Many Strings
Decorating Couplers
This Isn’t Your Band
Who Needs a Name?
The Toxic Organics
The Somewhatoriginals
Nothing Works
I go back to the call with only a third of my brain.
“Who’s calling?”
“That’s none of your business. Is Maria there or not?”
Haha.
The guy at the other end of the line has an attitude. My attitude is bigger. My attitude snaps my brain away from naming the band and gets to work. I realize I’m angry. 
“Listen, motherfucker, I asked you your name.”
“Who the fuck are you?”
“I’m Maria’s brother and…”
“Well, Maria’s brother, put her on or I’m gonna pay you a visit tomorrow.”
I've seen too many fucking movies. I'm good at tough guy lines. Yeah, even when some have lead to me spitting out chunks of teeth. I drop a good line. 
“Nothing in this life that would make me happier.”
The guy says something else that doesn’t register because anger tends to fill my ears with marching ants. He hangs up before I can reply to whatever it is he said.
The funny thing is my voice is nasal (a smart line got my nose busted and one side doesn't work properly since then) and somewhat high-pitched. I sound small. I’m not small. Well, I'm short, but not small. Anyway, I tell folks I suffer from Mike Tyson syndrome.  
A few hours later, I’m still awake. The sun is out. I'm still watching shit on TV that isn't registering. Then someone rings the doorbell. My sister’s in the shower. My mom’s in the kitchen. I can smell her cigarettes in my room. That means I have to get the door. I walk to the door wearing a ratty Bob Marley t-shirt and orange boxers with tiny blue whales on them and open the door.
The guy standing outside the door is about 6’3. He’s wearing blue shorts, a yellow shirt, and a shit-eating grin.
I’ve seen him around. He lives two blocks down. Biggest house in the neighborhood. Nicest cars parked outside, too. He’s three years younger than me, a year older than my sister.
I take a step toward him and obliterate that thing folks call personal space.
The grin disappears quickly.
I’m about 5’9, but I’ve been into bodybuilding/powerlifting for a while.
The guy is probably a buck sixty. I’m about 215.
“Are you…Maria’s brother?”
The voice tells me it’s definitely the guy from the phone.
“Yeah.”
“I’m…We…”
I pop him in the nose. It's a good punch, but didn't have everything I can throw behind it. 
The guy takes a step back, holds his nose. I see blood.
I grab his neck and push him back, away from the door. The guy’s defense tactic is to collapse on top of my arm.
I remove my appendage and hit him on the side of the head. He goes down.
I grab a leg and drag him out to the sidewalk.
He’s saying things, but I don’t pay attention.
I grab his yellow shirt, which now has a bit of blood on it, and yank him into somewhat of a sitting position using my left hand.
He lets go of his nose and grabs my wrist. I punch him again. This time around, I put a good dose of anger and weight behind it. Something cracks. More blood comes from his nose. I smile.
Then, surprisingly, I punch him again.
My fist smashes against the hand he was bringing up to his face. He screams.
Pop, pop. Two more. It feels really good.
The anger about the phone call is gone. I have no idea why I’m messing his face up this bad. Except I know why. I’m punching every rich asshole I’ve ever met. POP. I’m making my own frustrations bleed. I’m punching everyone who’s taller than me. POP. I’m punching the fact that I had to come back home broke and with my tail between my legs. I’m punching all my fucking class resentment.I'm punching my depression.
Then my sister and my mom are trying to pull me back, screaming things about not killing him.
I stop.
I look down at the guy. He’s gurgling blood, his eyes more white than anything else.I let him go and wipe my bloodied fist on my boxer shorts. As I do it, I look down at the tiny blue whales on my underwear. That's when I start laughing at the beauty of it all. You see, depression sucks and violence solves nothing, but sometimes life gives you small treats and you end up with a rich kid’s blood all over your knuckles and cackling like a madman on the sidewalk outside your parents’ house on a beautiful Saturday morning.

viernes, 19 de agosto de 2016

There’s Something About Tuesdays


After five months of unemployment and dancing at the edge of homelessness, I had started to think that no job could be too bad. Then I landed a gig in the insurance business. In order to survive, I’ve learned to rely on humor, and I was gonna need a lot of it to pull the gig off. You see, humor is the only thing between me and the dark void; the last thing keeping me from grabbing a pen and stabbing the idiots around me in the neck on a daily basis. Sadly, most people at that office didn’t share my sense of humor, and three particular Tuesdays before my time in the insurance business came to an end showed me just how different our humors were and how much my job sucked.
The first incident came at a time where cops killing unarmed folks and idiots saying All Lives Matter were sitting at the top of the list of things that made me angry. I was sitting there, blood boiling, when an obese lady flew into the office with glee plastered on her face and screamed “There’s free donuts in the break room!” In her heard, free donuts apparently deserve the same celebration as the cure for cancer, and as a donut lover, the news made my day. Ten minutes later, I heard the man who worked behind me say that he was happy because Tuesday isn’t Monday and that was good enough for him. I bit my tongue. Hard. That’s when I decided to go to the break room, grab a donut, and try to choke on it.
The donuts looked sadder than those toys with missing limbs you spot on dirty puddles on your way to the grocery store on days when you miss the bus. I grabbed one and prepared a cup of horrible coffee to go with it because, when it comes to suffering, I want it all. With my donut and shitty coffee in hand, I turned to return to my desk and saw there were two elderly white ladies looking at the donuts the way dogs in cartoons look at steaks. They peeled their bovine peepers from the donut box and looked up at me. Then they smiled that creepy fake smile most office people give each other regularly and sent me back to my angry place. I looked at them and said in a venomous voice “I have a coffee and a donut; all I need now is to shoot a few unarmed black folks and I’ll be a real cop.” Okay, it was not a joke, but someone else, someone like me, would have appreciated the humor in that comment. Not them. Their faces melted. Their smiles withered. Shock left its previous apartment and moved into their eyes. I left the break room, their traumatized eyes burning holes in my back.  
The following weeks I tried my best to keep my mouth shut, but silence feeds the existential dread that bubbles at my core, so a few mornings later, again on a Tuesday, I was cracking a few jokes in order to stay sane. Most of them were so wrapped in sarcasm that no one even looked at me. My sarcasm in that office was like a wounded bird, flying erratically over every head in that office and generally being ignored or making folks look uncomfortable. I decided to shut up, so I grabbed my phone and started scrolling through Facebook to kill the tedium and get angry at the amount of assholes who have internet access. That’s when I saw a GIF of Elmo sitting on a potty and dancing. The words “Boss makes a dollar, I make a dime” were above him. The words “That’s why I poop on company time!” were below. I thought it was hilarious. I stood up, and did a little dance while singing the song. The look on the faces around me would make anyone think I’d just killed a baby by smashing its tiny, fragile head against my desk. I sat down and felt the suckage become a dense, cold tumor in the center of my soul. I don’t trust people who don’t enjoy a good poop joke.   
Then another week rolled around. I was pretending to read an email while thinking about the last time I went to Portland to hang out with friends. A joke someone told came to mind and I chuckled. The guy who sits in front of me asked me what I was thinking about. Then this happened:
Me: “Nothing, man, just remembered a joke.”
Him: “Must be a good one. Tell it.”
Me: “No, I’m not telling this joke at the officee. It’s really dirty.”
Him: “Come on, man, tell us the joke.”
The quiet woman from New Orleans who sits to my right was looking at me. She was smiling and nodding.
Me: “No, trust me, this is the most inappropriate, filthy, absolutely disgusting joke you’ve ever heard. I’m not telling it.”
Lady from New Orleans: “I like my jokes a little red, Gabino!”
Him: “See? We can handle it. Tell us the joke, man.”
Me: “I really shouldn’t. You can’t imagine…”
Him: “Tell us the damn joke, man!”
Me: “Okay.”
I took a deep breath and told the joke.
Me: “Last night I was going down on my grandma…”
No one chuckled. Two other people were looking at me. The lady from New Orleans looked like she had two shoes full of maggots.
Me: “…when I tasted horse semen…”
I heard a grunt. I think New Orleans lady gaged. The douche who had insisted I tell the joke looked three seconds away from crying.
Me: “…and I thought to myself ‘I wonder if that’s how she died.’”
No one laughed. They refused to look at me. For days. Bunch of fucking soulless bastards. That’s a funny joke right there. Anyway, my job sucked and I’m done telling jokes on Tuesdays.

lunes, 18 de julio de 2016

Playing with Prisma (and a sort of gallery)

Here's something a lot of people don't know: I'm a photographer. Yeah, I've worked as a photojournalist for three different publications in two different countries, I've had my work in galleries and coffee shops (the hipster way, baby!), I had an agent for my photos for about two years (even sold a piece!), and once received a prize from the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña for my work. I learned everything about darkroom techniques from friends who could afford classes and finally embraced the digital age right before moving to Austin. The along came phones with cameras. 

Sure, I was skeptical at first and kinda hated the idea of everyone calling themselves a photographer (or phonetographer, depending on their level of tech nerdiness and command of new lingo). Then I realized that none of that matter and that new technology would bring about more cool images for everyone to enjoy because folks take their phones everywhere, phone cameras are now better than early digital SLRs, and filters and apps are readily available, which ultimately leads to image manipulation being something everyone can do at any time even if they've never touched a camera or heard about Photoshop. The first app/thingy I loved to play with that wasn't just straight filters was Dream Deeply. Sadly, it soon turned into a bunch of dog faces and the collective passion for it lasted a few days longer than the love for Ello (remember when y'all mufuckas said you were quitting Facebook and moving to Ello? Haha). Now we have Prisma, and what I'm seeing online is awesome: folks turning what they see into strange works of art. I've been playing with the app a lot lately and have learned a few things that could help you make your photos even better. Here are a few of those things I learned: 

1. Prisma tends to produce blocky images and their cropping isn't great, so keep that in mind and keep away from extreme close ups, especially is you want to later crop the image to fit elsewhere or to removed the Prisma logo. 

2. The whacky names tell you nothing about the filters, but after using it enough, you learn to guess more or less what a filter will to an image and can change it accordingly. For those filters that love color (Dreams, Ice Cream, Tokyo, etc.), consider saturating the color in another app or on your computer first. This will make everything more powerful on the final image. Also, remember that what the app gives you is not necessarily a final product. After I get something cool, I save it to my phone and either work on it further from there or send it to my computer to play around with it some more. 

3. Some filters kinda suck. Take the two images below. The are the same photo (glasses hanging from a rack at a bar). The one on top is still recognizable (Marcus D - Lone Wolf, which loves to fill in backgrounds), but the one at the bottom is just lines (Mondrian). I'm not saying it's not an interesting image, but most people who are playing with the app kinda want the end result to be something people will recognize. 

4. Some filters are really simple and predictable. Others give your surprising results. Here's what I've learned to far: Electric will soften lines and make everything blue. Roy will make this look like bad Warhol imitations. Mark has a somewhat impressionistic slant that can work really well with mellow colors (Raoul will do more or less the same except that it seems to toughen up lines and backgrounds a bit more). Urban makes everything black and white and makes images look like cubist interpretations of the Sin City aesthetic. Heisenberg, Curly Hair, and Light Summer Reading are slightly different variations of ink sketches or charcoal work, depending on what you feed them. 

5. The best way to confuse the app and get the results you want is by going with black and white. Except the three filters that make things monochromatic, most filters will try to "guess" what they're looking at and react accordingly. The image at the beginning of this post is originally black and white. I darkened the light a bit and the app started filling in spaces with purple. The image below is also black and white, and it was darker still, so the app decided to go with a different color. I'm still trying to figure it out, but black and white tones are reinterpreted depending on a few elements. Nice, isn't it?
6. Dreams seems to be one of the most popular filters, and I understand that. It reinforces lines, makes everything sharp, and boosts colors into strange (usually orange/yellowish/deep blues) combinations. It also works great with black and white because it "reads" it as either blur or orange/red. Dig this image of a tree, which I'm calling "Capillaries":

Okay, I'm done for now. Have fun with this thing and remember that your phone probably allows you to crop, saturate color, etc., and you can do all of it before and after in order to alter images. Oh, and I see everybody going with 100% on the filter every single time. Some images benefit from a little softening, so explore that by decreasing the filter percentage now and then. If you take some nudes, send them my way. You know, for the art and shit. 




martes, 12 de julio de 2016

I want to be there today

We were young and drunk and happy and the water in Amelia Island was cold but our hearts were full of fire. I want to be there today.

She wore a black leather jacket and an old gypsy woman told her she was going to have a daughter and her feet were bleeding from walking too much and Madrid was pure magic and museums and cockroaches at night. I want to be there today.

There was snow on the rooftops and poems written on the walls and folks who were packed with love milling around and the wind told me nothing really mattered that much. I want to be there today.

We gave the canoe a name and the ocean healed our wounds and the booze fueled our dreams and friendship was something tangible and the future was uncertain but far away and the immediacy of skin and sand made it less scary. I want to be there today.

Her minuscule apartment overlooked a gas station and there were cacti planted in an old, rusty grill and the beach was a few hundred feet away and tiny brown lizards were dancing on the walls and only music and new love mattered. I want to be there today.

The fridge was empty and the raindrops pummeling the window were a thousand tiny demons trying to get in and devour me and the live-in manager was screaming while high on pain meds and ignorance and lukewarm Jamaican beer and the heater was busted and it was 38 degrees inside but I had a few novels and a new obsession with Everett Ruess and my guitar and an old laptop and time in front of me. I want to be there today.

That park in West Palm Beach where we slept two nights while Willie struggled with dry contact lenses. That muddy river in Guánica where dark shapes crisscrossed underneath the kayak. That beach in Costa Rica where the rocks were covered with promises. That ledge in El Yunque that we used as an umbrella when the rain was the end of the world and we saw black snails the size of plates. That juke joint in East Austin where the ghosts turned into funk. I want to be there and there and there. I want to be there today.