what is music good for anyway

so frank ocean’s blonde is tainted by JKm and our breakup

and apparently sufjan steven’s carrie and lowell is shot through with WB and I’s short tent stint

morning light

teal tent

grey clouds

white sheets

green eyes


a few profiles for the trip

k– 1: exceedingly like SS in his external, no nonsense, hyper self-assurance and rugged, blunt approach and focus on people. I really can’t describe it.

k– 2: generous, gregarious, open, playful, relaxed, content; his lifestyle and self-assuredness in that lifestyle struck me; he was very much a man living outside the expectations of being unhappy and single at his age, and it was refreshing and eye-opening — perhaps his fate was not one to ran away from.

AA: small and nerdy, gregarious and easy-going, open and eager but not desperate in any way; living somewhat year to year, nomadically, developing far more interests that I could ever; he had this internal drive and no need for an external structure to live his life.

MK: gregarious, open, unself-aware, lovably awkward, an amazing background and many quirks; he grew up as an Asian-American kid in the slums of California, joining a gang for survival; somehow still made it to UCLA where he wandered from department to department

B—: slightly loopy homeless man we met at a campsite; strikingly generous, giving us his stove, gas, sugar, and offering us coffee in the morning; talkative and fibbing; I enjoyed trying to pull out his backstory as he spun tale after tale of Hollywood and fame

journal #14, 1/4/17

1/4/17, 2:42pm, sitting in the chair by the screen door in m—-‘s house in s— b—-; WB and JH are in the other room

I am honestly so done with JH, I’m not even reflective right now. I am angry. I am not understanding, and I have no desire to continue this friendship. he is *mean* — meaner than necessary, meaner than anyone’s really been to me since with were all sociopaths in middle school. I don’t see where it’s coming from. it’s immature. it’s petty. it’s ruining my trip. it’s honestly so, so much easier to make this enjoyable for everyone. and WB is of course the silent diplomat, staying uninvolved. but I can’t keep taking these hits anymore in silence, and I’m beginning to lash out, and I hate what this is doing to me.

and so, JH: unless you change, really change — I’m letting go of this friendship. this is that moment I’m making that decision.

there are no more moments alone

and when the time comes I hug first JH and then WB, and he walks behind me and wraps his arms and we prove we are still fluid; he lifts me up and backwards with a huge closed-mouth smile and I squeal, laugh, crinkling my eyes as JH looks on; it’s a pact: somehow both an acknowledgement and a denial of the physical closeness and the end of its meaning; and then he is gone, they are both gone, rendered equal in the growing distance that we know we will always carry, that distance that nullifies, must nullify, any lingering spirit; it is both a curse and a blessing: there is something here, and yet we cannot work, would not have worked; these we both know

journal #9, 1/1/16

1/1/16, 4:58pm, sitting on a large rock at l– c—- looking out at a picturesque sunset

today, we rode in silence. the thing about silence while riding is that it’s difficult to tell what type of silence it is. my silence was a form of rebellion — an anger, an overacceptance of the fact that he is now apparently easily annoyed.

“how much do you think those houses are worth?” he asks. it’s a peace offering that I reject.

“I don’t know.” it’s terse. he is silent.

 it mellowed into a thinking silence somewhere along the ride. I wondered how we are still friends, why we are still friends if we no longer seem to vibe. our interactions remind me of JKm: me trying, him shutting down with annoyed mumbles and passive aggression. somewhere along I decide to offer an olive branch — I don’t quite know why now.

“how much do you think *that* house is worth?” I ask.

“couple million.”

it’s an easy acceptance, although I don’t know how long it can last when things are so precarious. we’re at a crossroads for sure. hopefully WB will release some tension.

journal #16, 1/6/17

1/6/17, 4:58pm, watching the sunset on a bench on the s—- m—- pier

good day, easy day. perhaps days like these aren’t watershed moments in my life, or at least they don’t seem like it. but these days are deeply good; they’re what we endure the other days to get to experience.

I’m alone and surrounded by happy couples, bantering friends, happy families and dancing kids. buskers are doing their jobs well. the sun set fast and in both mandarin and english I heard two groups of people exclaim “there it goes!”, laugh, smile, touch each other. it feels like a good omen — the two sides of me will be all right.

easy smiles, elbows on the bar of the balcony, shoulder to shoulder with WB on my right and JH on my left. this is how I want to remember this trip.