It's been hot these days.


Really hot.

You get used to sweat. You just get used to it. You don't mind it anymore. You're sweating. You're covered in it. You're sticking. Maybe you've even gotten past the sticky stage. Maybe you're so sweaty you're slick. But you're used to it.

You don't even feel it anymore.

That's how it was here.


And dry.

Nights are nice, though. Nights are cool. The wind's cool. It's sweet. You live for the nights. You go through the days ducking from air conditioned building to air conditioned building and you lay in the grass when you can't get into an air conditioned building and you just...pant.

But night. Night's your savior. Night, and the Pacific takes over. Sucks the heat out of the air. And the stars come out. And the wind's cold. And inside it's still hot, fucking hot, sweaty hot, but outside...

Outside, it's night.


I don't think there's ever a doubt as to what season it is in San Diego. It's summer.


But here. Here where I am right now. San Jose. It's strange. North California has seasons. South has summer. In the Bay, you get strange mixed seasons, esp. at the junctions of summer and fall, winter and spring.

Take yesterday. It was cold yesterday. Really cold. So cold I had to wear a jacket. And overcast. Gray above, everywhere, stained here and there with that ugly purpled black that just oozes storm. Windy. I thought it was going to rain, and rain, and rain, until next March.

But then take today. 24 hours later, not even. This morning, the day broke so clear the sky was crystalline overhead. Literally. Not in that way English majors mean when they sit in the grass and rhapsodize about the summer sky; not just clear, or beautiful. I mean LITERALLY crystalline, in an edged, hard way that hurts the eyes when you go outside in the morning and get in the car and drive off. Crystalline. Like there were crystals in your eyes, brilliant blue ones, nothing but blue, grating, scraping, and it hurts to look up but then damn, you just have to look because that blue--who knows if it'll ever be that blue again for you?

The ability to perceive color decreases as we age. I find that sad, that every day the sky's a little less blue.

And it's hot today, so hot I can't imagine anything but that it's gotta be late summer still even though it's September. It's gotta be that fabled last gasp of the hot days. Except you can't really call it a last gasp because that really suggests some degree of weakness. I think of drowning men grasping at straws, starving people wasting away in gutters, and if you were here right now, you would not think of that at all when you went outside.

Summer's still here, at least today. Summer's an amorphous, hot drug that hangs in the air and collects in your joints and under your skin, until you feel kinda heavy, kinda daydreamy, and mostly lazy. Summer isn't just heat, and it's not just that crystalline blue sky I told you about. It's not ballpark hot dogs, either. You can't really describe summer, and even if you could, it won't be the same as someone else's description of summer. But that's okay. When it's summer, you KNOW it's summer.

Sometimes it can be mid-July, and feel like fall.

And then sometimes it can be mid-September, and be summer.

Goddamn, I do love the summer in California. There's nothing like it, ya know, and the best thing is that the memories get sweeter and hazier every passing year. It's walking outside and getting blinded not by the sun but just by the sky; it's sitting inside and wishing you were outside because it's so bright out there and the sky is so blue. It's a heat wave that you hate right now because you can't go 20 minutes after a shower before needing to shower again, but also a heat wave you're going to look back on and remember fondly because godDAMN, night felt good that night when the temperatures dropped and the crickets chirped and you looked up into the sky and the Evening Star was still there and so was Orion and the Milky Way and Jupiter and Mars. It's daydreaming about sitting outside on your nonexistent balcony tonight, sipping a margarita you can't possibly mix, at least not well, eating chilled melon and talking but not really talking to, just being with, your girlfriend and listening to sugary tinny little beats coming out of your 8-year-old boombox with the broken tape deck while the moon slides down the sky and falls into the sea that you can't actually see from your imaginary balcony. But you can pretend.

I think, when I'm old and shaky and sitting in a wheelchair in a nursing home, I'd like to die on a day like this. Warm, drowsy, full of buzzing bees and the whizzing dragonflies, crystal-hard blue skies and blazing sunshine, green grass, young people walking around and falling in love even though they've got a world of problems waiting for them, streams and mountains and the shimmering sea. That'd be a good way to die. Close my eyes on a scene that convinces me the world is still a damn good place to be.

Summer's a beautiful time. Late summer takes that beauty and tempers it with age, gives it a laziness that stretches the days out like taffy even though you're working and busy and sometimes frustrated. Late summer laces summer's beauty in a certain sadness, that maybe the sky won't ever be this blue again for you, that maybe you'll be too busy next year to enjoy the warmth and the sunshine. Late summer's one of my favorite times of the year.

The sky's still that dazzling crystalline blue...


been up since 6am and i'm tired already

i wanna go home, but hell look it's only 2:17pm and i still have 17 hours to go and i'm really starting to wonder why the hell i decided to do THIS with my life, of all things

the air conditioned air here suddenly smells the way airplane air smells at the end of a very long flight...you know what i mean, that stale funky rubber-tinged-with-smoke-and-plastic-with-a-few-floating-molecules-of-shit smell that makes you mildly nauseous, and makes you wanna throw up...that smell

that's how it suddenly smells here where i'm sitting and no, i don't like it

i don't like periods anymore, either, nor capitalizing certain letters, but commas are all right

instead of periods, i'll use paragraph breaks


they ask me what time it is in this little script box above this big one i'm typing (ranting) in right now...date and time...date's easy, but time, what do you write? the time you started, or the time your ended?

question marks are nice

they're curvy and pretty

but anyway, back to time--it's 2:22pm now--am i supposed to use that time in that box? some random intermediate time?

what the hell is time, anyway, this unknown substance that always goes forward, forward, endlessly forward, sometimes so fast when you're having a good time and sometimes so damn slow when you, say, WANNA GO HOME

then sometimes you look back on a slow day and it seems fast after all and sometimes you can't even remember the passage of time and when all is said and done no one (except maybe the dead, who've run to the end of their time) really knows what the hell this "time" thing is

is time a state of mind?

so anyway we invent this thing, this clock, this measurement of time that splits it into little pieces, to help us understand a concept we know as well as our own minds, but will never understand

then again, how many people DO know their own minds?

what's it about the human mind, that needs to split things into small pieces to understand it? dissections, measurements, calculus, everything


i'm a little hungry, but not really...there was something i wanted to rant on about a minute and a half ago but i've forgotten it...isn't it weird how that happens? you think of something, you make a note to yourself--ah, rant on ___ later--and then you forget it


still don't remember what i wanted to say

just got paged

end rant


I know this girl.

I wanna tell you about her.

I've never seen her with my eyes, or heard her voice, or touched even a hair on her head.

But I know her.

She lives up in my head. I thought her up, I suppose, but that doesn't mean I own her or even understand her. She grew out of a random lustful fantasy. She grew out of a stereotype. Dominatrix, almost. But not quite. Not the kind you see on TV and hear on 1-900 numbers. Cooler. Reserved. Vicious and perfect.

She's got burgundy hair, you see. This dark, dark burgundy, darker than blood, dark as wine. Streaked with crimson highlights. Worn straight, parted in the middle, cut short in the back, falling loose to an inch, two inches, below the chin at the front.

Maybe it falls forward into her eyes sometimes. Like a curtain of beads. I don't know what color her eyes are.

I know her, though.

She's got the body of a cat, a weasel. Sleek. Lithe. She can shoot a fly off a cow's ass from thirty yards away; she can snap the flame off a candle with a whip. She can use her own body like a whip.

She wears leather. Black leather. And when we make love--but we never really do--she's the one in control.

That's how she started out. That was all. A framework, a snapshot, a coin with just one side.

That's not how she stayed.

Lemme tell you about this girl I know...

Here's the weird part. She doesn't fit in with anyone I've really known and loved, you know. She's not someone I'd have a real relationship with. She's too different. She wouldn't fit in my life. In fact, the only thing she's congruent with...

...is everything else I dream about.

So this is what I figured. She's not a stereotype. Maybe she's an archetype. I'm not too sure what that means. But what I do know--she's an embodiment of the random things my brain cooks up when I'm up too late. Worlds with three moons and a dying red sun. Rivers that flow upstream. But it's not as if these things were somehow in her. It's like, she's in them. She's the core, the spirit. She's somehow all the things I'm not, and yet created by something in my own head. A summation, a distillation, of all I imagine. Or the root of all that I imagine.

So which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I wanna show you this girl...

This is something that came to me a little earlier, while I was talking online. And I don't know if I can top the first telling, so I'll just tell it the way it was told, the first time around.

And this is how it goes:

picture some little town in the southwest

arizona, new mexico. somewhere like that.

hot as hell.

dustdevils and tumbleweeds.

i'm driving out of the east. i'm driving straight into the sun.

air conditioning's broken in my car.

and i'm getting sick of my cds, getting sick of the road. i'm sweaty, windblown, there's dust everywhere in my car. i need a shower. i need a bed, actually, because it's late afternoon and i've been driving all day and i'm tired--of the road, of driving, just plain old tired.

i run out of gas

long straight road

mirage makes it seems to split and waver and float above itself, far down the road

the sun's setting the horizon on fire

there's a single little gas station

dirty as the rest of this world


gas pumps are 1970s or so, big huge numbers, unattractive.

the windows are cloudy with dirt.

the storekeeper's unshaven, in a wifebeater and worn jeans, has a cigarette and a nasty attitude

takes my money and gives me a suspicious glare

me, i could care less. i just want some gas and a stinkin' motel-6

there's an overhead fan inside, and some food and drinks. i take a turn, decide i'm better off not eating anything that's got dust on it

flies are buzzing

i go back out

i open the gas door and start pumping gas, but i do it slowly, kinda lethargic, because the sooner i finish the sooner i hafta keep driving. but then it's not like i wanna stay here, either.

gas starts going, really, really slow.

i try to sit on the hood but it's too friggin' hot

so i sit on the back, which is also hot, but not as bad.

and so i'm there. weary and dusty and hot and squinting down the road the way i came, trying to tell myself dammit, i came a long way already, not much further to go, gotta be a motel around here somewhere

and then i notice this flickering on the road. like a sun off a mirror.

and there's been nothing, absolutely nothing, on the road thus far, so this catches my attention

i watch it.

it gets closer. a little bigger. it's the sun gleaming off a windshield.

i have nothing better to do, and anyway i'm getting a little interested. so i keep watching. and it gets closer.

it's one of those big american sportsters from the 60s. mustang, firebird, something before the world decided to make sleek-looking cars. this one's just classic. and it's not one of those museum pieces, not one of those gleaming perfect ones that some middle-aged upper-middle class man has in his driveway to remind him of the youth he never had. this one's real; it's seen use. it's dusty and roadbeaten, dented.

convertible? i don't know. no, actually...or if it is, the top is up.

so i can't see anything except the sunlight flashing off the windshield until it's very close

and then it passes, not tearing down the road, but not going slow either. just cruising.

and there's my burgundy-haired girl inside...

one wrist on the wheel

the other elbow resting out the window, the fingers splayed on the cusp of the door

and i'm squinting to get a better look, and she doesn't see me at first. i don't know if she has music going; maybe she does, but she's too cool to move to it.

she kinda glances over, then

this lazy, unaffected sideglance, like she couldn't care less if she was looking at a tumbleweed.

and her lashes are long, low, swept low because her eyes are narrowed against the searing light--not quite squinting, but almost

it's a glance that inadvertently smoulders. sets fires. and then she's passing, and i don't know if this is my imagination, or if it really happened, but i could swear, just swear, that right before she looked back at the road--still unaffected--her lips (and we all know whose lips they look like...) twitched a little, like they were considering smiling, but didn't deem the cause worthy of it.

and then she's past the gas station and still cruising down that road in her car, and i'm just watching, just staring, until she's a dot on the road, and then gone, flinging up a trail of slow-settling dust behind her.

...I know this girl.

She's not someone you ever forget.

before sunset.

I keep coming to this page because I seem to want to write something.

Sometimes a sunset is only spectacular after the sun is gone. Sometimes the paleness of the western sky only flushes the flaming red of a sunset after the sunset itself. I wonder if there's a lesson in that?

I keep going away because I can't seem to remember what.

et spiritus sancti.

Geez, figures. I spend all this time getting an online diary, and then realize I don't know what the hell to write in it. What DOES one write in an online diary? Kinda an intimidating task, if you think about it. Here it is: online diary. Infinite blank pages, just waiting to be written on. And everything you write could theoretically be seen by EVERYONE in the world. Scary.

So what do I write in this?

Hi, my name is Damon. I was born in December and I like pizza.

Hi, my name is Damon, and I just saw the most beautiful sunset in my life.

Ah, there's a way to start. I can rant from that. Someone once told me I rant (babble, go off) wonderfully. Very...what was the word? Uh. C'mon, think--it's at the tip of my tongue, and I can't remember it. The same person that said I ranted very whimsically (THAT's what it was! Whimsical!) said that's what all of life is. Something that's at the tip of your tongue, corner of your eye, deep in your head, and you can feel it, but you can't describe it, grasp it, take hold of it. Life's an ever-fleeing thought.

I'm not sure I always understand everything she says, but I love what she says anyway because she has the most ...*fascinating* ideas.

But anyway. Back to the sunset. I always say that, ya know? That thing about the most beautiful sunset in the world. I see a sunset, and I think it's the most beautiful in the world. Then I see the next...same thing happens. And on and on. What does this mean, anyway? Is this, what, some sort of indication of my basal instability, indecisiveness, capriciousness?

Ya know, modern psychology sucks sometimes. Fuck you, Freud! Freud? Frued? Great, I can't even spell anymore. Freud. yeah. I just had to look away for a minute. Sometimes that happens. You look at something, and it looks wrong, even though you know it's right...you look again, two minutes later, and it looks right.

But, okay. I've decided something. I hate psychology. The whole therapy shit, at least. Labeling people. You're anal-retentive, he's manic depressive. I like the idea of psychology, of course. It was one of my favorite courses in college. I like probing human minds, figuring out what makes people tick, I guess. But--making it into a science?

The human mind, a science?


--not to mention, a science that seems bent on finding all the problems in your head? Shit. We have enough problems. We don't need someone to point them all out, and we do NOT need to blab them to said person, and hope by doing so, said person can fix it all. Therapy, my ass. Therapy teaches us to rely on others, doubt ourselves, that sorta stuff.

I don't believe in therapy. It's a great idea--figuring out the human mind--but it just seems too damn negative for me. Maybe that's just cuz I don't see it in its fullness, or something. But like I said, I don't like how it limits us. Psychology tells us we're all flawed, flawed from birth and childhood, and the only chance we have at fixing ourselves is to empty our pockets and open our darkest secrets to some bored stranger. Fuck that, I say! I'm one of those folks who think people can do anything they put their minds to.

Ever see Gattaca? There is no gene for the human spirit, stuff like that? Well, I think whoever thought up that slogan was mentally impaired. There, that's my official anti-therapy doctor's opinion. I have a better slogan for it. "There is nothing the human spirit cannot overcome." THAT's what the movie's about, and I love it for that.

Not to mention Uma Thurman has never looked better...

BTW, folks, I rant on this all the time. This human spirit stuff. You'll hear it often if you keep up with me. This is a belief I hold dearer than any other, I think, and really, it's the basis of all my other beliefs. Yeah, yeah, I'm an optimist, I couldn't be bitingly sarcastic the way some of my favorite people could if my life depended on it, but hey--ya can't change that.

I believe in human creativity.

I believe in human capacity.

I believe in the human mind.

I believe in the human spirit.

I believe in the ultimate beauty of the human soul.

I believe in humanity.

Man, that sounds pretty good. Maybe I'll put it up on my homepage, huh?

So, yeah. The sunset. See, I have a point to all this...

I say I think the sunset is beautiful because it is. Cuz hey, look, I survived another day, I've lived another day, lived to see another thousand new things, lived to feel the sunlight fade from the sky. I've lived. Hey, I believe in life, too. I believe in all sortsa shit. Maybe I shoulda been a hippie poet or something. Right now, that doesn't sound too bad. It's the weekend, but I'm exhausted, I have the flu, and I have another, oh, three years of residency ahead of me. I bet it'd be better to be a hippie poet. A drifter. See the sunset in California today, hitchhike east and be in Arizona tomorrow just in time for the sunrise. Stuff like that.

Okay, server's dead. Rebooting time.

End rant.