24 Sept 20

Dad has bought me a cat, but it’s blu­ish white, long­haired, irrit­able, and very vocal. I ask Mom if she’s fed it yet, and she tells me she hasn’t got­ten round to it. I point out that food is very import­ant for cats. She tells me to feed it myself if it’s that import­ant. I go to get the cat’s bowl, but it’s filthy — there’s a film grown over it. I begin to wash it out. While I do so, the cat is loudly com­plain­ing — and I real­ize it’s actu­ally talk­ing to me. “Don’t feed me, I’m not hungry! I don’t want that now!” it tells me. I sug­gest it might be thirsty instead and that I could get it some water. “Yeah, water sounds good. I’ll have that. Make me that!” I fin­ish clean­ing out the bowl and fill it with water, leav­ing it on the floor for the cat. I talk to Dad about this cat, and he tells me it’s very spe­cial, that it has Down syn­drome. I didn’t real­ize cats could have Down syn­drome, but I men­tion that, although I love cats, I’m really not so sure about this one. It seems like a rough situ­ation; I don’t know why Dad thought it’d be great for me, but I’m not feel­ing too good about this at all.

23 Sept 20

Veron­ica calls an in-per­son meet­ing for as many book­store volun­teers as pos­sible. We all show up at the store and listen as she tells us, dis­traught, that des­pite the social dis­tan­cing meas­ures we’ve all insti­tuted, she’s caught coronavir­us. I ask, “If you know you have coronavir­us, why’d you have us all come here in per­son?” She isn’t even wear­ing a mask. The ques­tion passes unanswered. After­ward, talk­ing to oth­ers there, I say, “This is a good example of what Freud calls ‘the sad­ist­ic quo­tient.’” Someone says to me, “You’re so smart, you seem to know everything.” I dis­pute that — recog­niz­ing sad­ism doesn’t really require that much brain power.

16 Sept 20 [frag­ment]

Jenn and I rush to catch a bus in NYC, to go pretty far down­town. We get on just before the driver’s about to pull away. On the bus, Jenn won­ders if “Hillary’s back in town,” and I say, “If she is, we might as well get off and just walk back,” and then I sing “Take me to the river, drop me in the water.”

15 Sept 20 [frag­ment]

Aaron Cop­land tells me that, with the passing of Roman­ti­cism, cer­tain kinds of silence have become inaud­ible. I think I know what he means.

28 Aug 20 [frag­ment]

“Enver Hoxha is the cap­it­al of Lou­ganis.” Jenn and I are in a high school after clos­ing time. We pass a jan­it­or in one hall­way and walk along unlit cor­ridors. I say to her play­fully, “Hey, you want to have sex here?” She says “No,” and we keep walk­ing to wherever we’re going.

19 Aug 20 [frag­ment]

Regis Phil­bin repeats are play­ing on TV. He’s swim­ming laps really vig­or­ously in a sum­mer camp lake. It’s inter­est­ing that his death is not con­sidered reas­on enough to stop run­ning repeats of his talk show.

1 Aug 20 [frag­ment]

Someone tells me about the dif­fer­ence between pre­ser­va­tion and con­ser­va­tion. I tell them I can’t tell the dif­fer­ence, even after they’ve explained it to me. I say, “If you’re talk­ing about cat poop, either term just indic­ates you’re keep­ing the cat poop around, doesn’t it?” Got em there.

4 July 20 [frag­ment]

I travel bey­ond the places I’ve known and dis­cov­er I live in Louisi­ana, toward the toes of the boot. I’d always thought I was in New York. It’s hot, though, and I need to learn to use maps. At home (New Jer­sey house), Jo comes upstairs into Mom’s room where I’m look­ing at myself shirt­less in a mir­ror, flex­ing my chest muscles. He gives me an envel­ope with cash. I tell him “That’s not fair — you’re the one with the birth­day!” He insists. I think we just give each oth­er the same money back and forth. I won­der if he’s doing the same with Mom.

3 July 20

I bought 20 kit­tens to eat for $900 based on a recipe I found in a cook­book. I have them in my back­pack and I’m going to a fam­ous deli to see if they’ll pre­pare them. There’s a line out the door, and I’m wor­ried about get­ting told off by the people behind me (why am I tak­ing so much time?) and the per­son at the counter (why am I ask­ing for some­thing so off-the-wall instead of order­ing some­thing simple from there?). I’m not sure that the kit­tens are dead, and the more I walk around with my back­pack full of them, the more pro­foundly I regret buy­ing them for this pur­pose. I don’t know any­thing about cook­ing; I love cats and love tak­ing care of them; I can’t eat any­thing exot­ic; I don’t have this kind of money to lose. I feel anxious even walk­ing around that there’s some­thing illeg­al about hav­ing this many kit­tens in my back­pack, or com­mis­sion­ing someone to help pre­pare them. How did I get into such a mess? What have I done? Why am I here?

15 May 20

An early-sea­son Tony Sop­rano speak­ing to his exten­ded fam­ily: “These are the good years.”

8 Apr 20

In a large loft in the early 1980s, among gay artists and act­iv­ists. We’re all going kinda crazy because every­one we know is dying. A woman says “Have you heard the news?” We brace ourselves. She men­tions a theat­er artist we all know, then says “He sur­vived.” In a strange way, that’s even harder to hear than if he had died. Because it revives hope, when everything is hope­less. How do you live with hope again after all this? Difficult.

31 Mar 20 [frag­ment]

Hil­lary Clin­ton gets a bunch of press for being in favor of a new war. I tell Louie I think it’s bull­shit, that she’s only float­ing the idea to help Joe Biden get elec­ted when he comes out against it. Louie laughs over the like­li­hood of this cyn­ic­al analysis.

29 Mar 20

Some kids and I are being hunted down by Nazis. We go inside a large house we’ve nev­er been in before, look­ing for a good hid­ing place or a secret way out. After a fairly thor­ough search, down through a Mon­dri­an design tile floor to a base­ment boil­er room, I think I hear Nazis fol­low­ing us. I find Nazi cloth­ing in a closet — appar­ently one of them lives here, or has taken over this room — and I decide to dress in it and pre­tend that I’ve ‘caught’ these kids. It may give us enough room to get away from the Nazis fol­low­ing us, assum­ing my Ger­man is good enough and that my blue eyes are enough to dis­tract them from my Jew­ish nose.

23 Mar 20

George has short hair and is wear­ing a white polo shirt. He tells me about a large Itali­an man who’s assist­ing two young men at a super­mar­ket deli. The two young men appre­ci­ate the help, then affec­tion­ately call him ‘Spa­ghetti.’ The Itali­an man is deeply offen­ded by this name. I say to George, “Just think how many ron­ies had to die before our people were giv­en the respect they deserve.” We laugh.

24 Mar 20

Telling George about last nite’s dream. We laugh.

early Jan 20

Rocka­billy song: “Meet Me in the Middle of the Side­board”.

4 Dec 19 [frag­ment]

Going thru bad hor­ror movies, at a video store and at someone’s home. I think we’ll end up watch­ing Pup­pet Mas­ter II. I talk to a young woman sit­ting next to me about ‘psy­cho­ana­lys­is porn,’ where a guy is in treat­ment and ends up act­ing out his fantasy life to ‘cure’ him. “They made about 500 of those movies in the ’70s,” I tell her. Some­how I don’t think this fact­oid impressed her much, or endeared me to her. Oh well. Time to dig through a dump­ster full of stu­pid videos.

12 Sept 19 [frag­ment]

I intro­duce J.H. Prynne to the poetry of J.H. Prynne. He’s a shrewd crit­ic of poetry and finds it at least tent­at­ively intriguing.

30 Dec 18 [frag­ment]
Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill con­duct a com­edy class. It’s bor­ing, stu­pid, and unfunny. They’re going to have a guest speak­er: Amy Sedar­is. When she gets there, she pre­tends she’s crazy and full of her­self — “You get to meet a com­edy legend in per­son!” And she car­ries out the routine to its fullest crazi­ness: she decides she’ll allow each attendee to suckle from her breast, and to take acid as they do. A woman starts this off. I go into a nearby room to have sex with a self-pleas­ur­ing woman in front of an audi­ence. After the whole class’s crazi­ness is dying down, I see Lenny and Danny Bloom­field among some bleach­ers, and I tell them I’m glad I decided to go into the oth­er room. Per­son­al­ized sex makes all the dif­fer­ence. Everything else retains at least an air of fear.

I intro­duce J.H. Prynne to the poetry of J.H. Prynne. He’s a shrewd crit­ic of poetry and finds it at least tent­at­ively intriguing.

9 Dec 18 [frag­ment]

Inside a super­mar­ket as the food is going bad in 90-degree heat and no elec­tri­city. Who knows which things would still be edible? What are the tell­tale signs of bad capers, bad olives, etc.? This is a scen­ario dis­cussed in a record­ing by Chris­toph­er Lloyd from the 1940s, about the dangers of rely­ing too heav­ily on tech­no­logy and the con­sumer­ist life­style. He went around the world with this warn­ing mes­sage. I found this among some unfin­ished papers at a fact­ory ware­house — there’s a bal­loon that’s los­ing its air, and when I try to expand it, it just loses air faster out its many holes.

22 Nov 18 [frag­ment]

Night­mare that our apart­ment door was wide open in the middle of the night. Couldn’t move to do any­thing about it. Couldn’t yell to Jenn to alert her or to cor­rect the prob­lem. [Woke up closed mouth scream­ing à la Har­vey Keitel].

Kids next door dis­covered a hole in the closet they can get through. Two little girls crawl through to our apart­ment, pleased with them­selves. Pri­or to this, an orphan­age involved in a giant drug/prostitution ring has had its files dis­covered by law enforce­ment. They begin a vast and com­plex sab­ot­age oper­a­tion to kill off, injure, and des­troy all people involved. I worry about infec­ted blankets, etc. I even worry that the kids that snuck through the closet from next door might be sui­cide bombers. But they very likely aren’t.

Ver­ity posts pho­tos on Face­book of a linger­ie shoot. Good for her.

25 July 18 [frag­ment]

There’s a mil­lion­aire fund­ing a trip I’m tak­ing that I don’t get along with. I think to myself, it’s dumb to get on the wrong side of the money man. Jenn and I are then rid­ing on an open-topped cart. Three Latino men are in anoth­er open-topped cart nearby, with film equip­ment, record­ing. Jenn says some­thing to me I can’t hear, then adds “You can’t deny that.” “I can deny any­thing,” I tell her. The guys record­ing smile as we both chuckle — they’ve evid­ently caught that. I think one of the men record­ing is the psy­chi­at­rist I vis­ited the oth­er day. I hope this turns out well — it’s hard to trust people who don’t express any­thing in return.

23 June 18

I decide I’ll need to be very care­ful not to stab my mouth while I’m try­ing to swal­low a thumb­tack. I suc­ceed, then I real­ize it can hurt me much more once it’s past my mouth. I imme­di­ately regret doing this.

23 May 18 [frag­ment]

Meet­ing somebody’s par­ents for the first time at their ranch. Starts out as an email I’m try­ing to unsub­scribe from, scrolling down through unne­ces­sary pho­tos of their car, their dog, their home. The email says some­thing like “You can click unsub­scribe, or you can sue us. If you sue, you are num­ber ____ in line.’

11 Mar 18 [frag­ment]

Under fas­cism, people with pianos are required to either know how to play well or risk los­ing their instru­ment. There’s a lot of jazz pian­ist junkies just barely hanging on.

4 Mar 18 [frag­ment]

A teach­er who looks like John Zorn has a clear plastic bag full of water with a large-eyed gold­fish in it. He takes it moment­ar­ily out­side the classroom door, in the rain. Then he brings it inside, to a large square fish tank at the front of the classroom. He mimes the prob­lem of the day: if the fish is inside the fish tank, where can it hope to go? What is its incent­ive to leave?

25 Feb 18

I find a brand new coffin on the side­walk. Smells good — should I take it? I want to — it’s sure to come in handy eventually.

The Bicycle Thieves screenshot