I hate flying, and I hate airports, but it seemed such a superficial shame to waste those little blue pellets wrapped in aluminum foil on such a silly post-modern neurosis, so I opted instead to deprive myself of much-needed sleep, choosing instead to coast through the takeoffs and turbulence and landings and transfers with a narrative narcotic delirium that caused my mind to float with the same holy fluidity that I saw in the clouds out the window. It made sense, at least back then, to play on the laptop and smoke cigarettes on the porch until the sun came drowsily up, and then to pack at t-minus thirty to us climbing in the car with a steaming mug of whiskey and green tea, casually brushing aside the rotten 7 am humidity with the fuck-off Knowing that the wheels would be burning down the tarmac on an alien planet two hours in the past. Did I sleep on the plane? I can't remember; I was passed out.
And now just two nights later, I'm exhausted and still coasting on that delirium, poised with pen in hand on the tenth floor of a hotel at the gate to Chinatown, anxiously and thoughtlessly scribbling and ignoring the pleas of body and mind for that short death of slumber, hoping that writing and writing with San Francisco on my mind and in my stomach and skin will render some fat worthy of candles at 3 am Pacific on the East Bay where the fog finds every crack in your soul and settles there to fester like fungus spun from gold. No luck, I suppose, on this my last night in the most wonderful city in America, a city that expects so much. I'm shriveling under the pressure of a fine performance, walking where my father and my uncles and my heroes have all trod, and not a single song erupts from the black ink, no patterns are recognized on the wide-ruled lines, no paintings congeal between the margins. I'll succumb to that sleep that I lost in Tennessee, and I'll leave the worrisome foundation of nostalgia for a distant day, when I think back to the Bay and how this city forever and ever gently and sweetly damaged my life.