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[faded] - January 1999-
August 2005
August 2002, Austin TX. The apartment is huge, we're trying to decide where to put things. We haven't got any furniture but we sit on the still-packed boxes, arranged to resemble couches and chairs. We have a television and watch movies and we haven't got any furniture but there's a giant poster of Bob Dylan on the wall, playing a bass guitar. I make spaghetti almost every night, and eventually we get furniture at Goodwill for a hundred and fifty dollars. Jim and Carl get the biggest room and Fernie takes the smallest, mine in the middle. I put my bed in the corner.

My first job is at the University Co-op, where they sell books to students at the University of Texas. I last a day and a half, quitting when I can't find parking. Three months later my car dies and I learn to ride the bus. I'll walk to and from the bus stop every day for almost a year, half a mile each way, and I won't start driving again for another two years.

October 2002. I date a few girls but no one seriously. I hit it off well with one but it's wrong for a number of reasons, never goes beyond the first week and like everything it hits hard when it ends but I don't even feel it a week later. I spend half an hour staring at the phone, waiting to call another girl. I lose my place in a sentence talking to another one when I see the way her eyes look through me, eyes like fire.

December 2004. I see the girl with eyes like fire and there's nothing left, if it was ever there, and we pretend not to recognize each other even as we sit at the same table. I'll never speak to her again, never speak to any of them, not regret it.

September 2004, San Francisco CA. I spend several nights in City Lights, sitting in a wooden chair in the basement. Years ago this would have been an obligation, a fulfillment of a role I simultaneously loathed and reveled in, knowing that both reveling in and loathing the role is yet another action that one must take to fulfill the stereotype. all writers playing at homeless spend their lost hours in city lights, especially in the basement, whenever they are stuck in san francisco. At this point the stereotype holds little appeal because I've realized I'm not all that good at it, not good at women or drinking, that I don't value money enough to enjoy even poverty as a badge of honor. there will always be someone better at playing the role, I tell myself long before that September and that basement, and those who spend so much time fulfilling their role have less time for writing.

I spend my nights in City Lights reading books about Muhammed Ali. In a few months I've have read a dozen books about him, all in the hope of understanding the courage it took to say to a world full of expectations the words, i know where i'm going and i know the truth and i don't have to be what you want me to be. i'm free to be what i want. I'll quit when I realize that the courage comes in the blink of an eye, that it's not something one premeditates. Words like those have been spoken for centuries, and the courage was to say them at a time when the world would have been his if he had only played along. When he said i ain't got no quarrel with no viet cong it wasn't a statement on the futility of war but the words of a man who was scared at the thought of having his life interrupted, and I'll quit reading about him when I understand that this makes it more courageous, not less.

But that September I'll keep reading in that basement, and if anyone looks over at me and judges me for playing a role of my own, I'll never even know it, and there'll come a point some time later when I'll understand that it's almost the same as it not happening at all.

[austin is hot but i like where i'm living]
August 2003, Austin TX. Friends help me load my things into a rented truck and drive it two and a half miles uptown. My rent nearly doubles in a new apartment, my first to myself, a tiny studio with wood floors and room enough for my things and a space to write. I'll move out of the apartment in a year, subletting it to the sister of the same friend who helped me load my things while I see San Francisco and the rest of America for a few months. A year and a half earlier I had paid a hundred and fifty dollars in rent to live in a townhouse in San Antonio. I'll consider these changes like money is something I value in my poorest moments, consider them easily worth it in better times, throughout the course of the next year and a half. A year and a half later I'll move out again, giving the apartment over to that same girl for good. these are all just places, I know when I move in and I'll know when I move out, and there is nothing out there but more places. That August I know that the apartment that I do not share with anyone, that the apartment that I left behind two and a half miles south, these spaces we try to make ours, that they're only valuable because we need spaces and that they're all meant to be temporary. That an apartment is no more home than a chair in the basement of an old bookstore in San Francisco.

July 2005. Austin and I are finished and I say my goodbyes one night at a party that all of my friends have come to. everyone i know in the world is here, I think, knowing it's not true but believing it anyway because there are so many people there. Places are not significant of themselves, just a set of weather conditions and some natural resources that I rarely know how to use to my advantage. I contradict the thought from two years earlier that places are meant to be temporary- I realize that the only true significance of a place is the people with whom you share it, and despite having planned to leave for nine months, this party is the first time it hurts to realize that the place and the people are being left behind.

[summer's kiss is over, baby]
August 2005, Chicago IL. The nights get cool here, even in August. The days are hot, hot like Texas, but the nights are amazing. Places are just weather and people. The people here are good. The i has become a we and we make them dinner. I walk around again, the car remains parked a few blocks away, ignored.The girl I spend my time with doesn't keep me lying awake waiting to make a phone call, and I have realized that such things are not symptoms of love. Hot dogs are good here, the kind you can't get in Texas. There are trains here. Trains make so much sense. I understand these things, places and trains and that different kind of courage and how all of the things you think are significant aren't, not really, not in the end. Beginnings and endings, tracks running out.

I want beginnings, and those don't come without endings. A year ago I recognized an ending and worried that I wouldn't have the courage to take it, too content to keep going along the same track, sacrificing the potential of a new beginning for the comfort that comes with not having to deal with an ending.

The beginning starts now. All that has to happen to find one is an ending.
30 defect from the Old ; create the New
starfishncoffee From: starfishncoffee Date: August 8th, 2005 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I want beginnings, and those don't come without endings. A year ago I recognized an ending and worried that I wouldn't have the courage to take it, too content to keep going along the same track, sacrificing the potential of a new beginning for the comfort that comes with not having to deal with an ending.

Thanks for writing that Dan.
I needed to read that. I really needed to.
I'm going to post it in my own journal if that's okay.
mysterywhteboy From: mysterywhteboy Date: August 8th, 2005 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, of course. I'm glad it meant something to you, Rana.

aeryn42 From: aeryn42 Date: August 8th, 2005 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
You'll always be home to me, Dan.
From: grapefruitmoon Date: August 8th, 2005 06:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Best of luck to you.
From: goodnoosejim Date: August 8th, 2005 07:24 am (UTC) (Link)

hey dan

you're from chicago aren't you?
mysterywhteboy From: mysterywhteboy Date: August 8th, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: hey dan

Thereabouts. How's life treating you, Jim?

From: morpha2small Date: August 8th, 2005 08:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Dan...thanks for writing this!

I can see you and Chicago making for a great fit.

My favorite bar is there...take a visit when you have time. It's called Trader Vic's. It is in the bottom of one of the tall hotels downtown. Please make a pilgrimage there for me. Trader Vic's...it's what bars used to be, circa 1950...back when cars were big and pop music was good.

You'll have to see a show at Fireside Bowl for me too. I miss that place. I've played there a zillion times. The bar inside Fireside Bowl is fantastic too!

There is a bowling alley in chicago, it's kind of near the Whole Foods there, and it has rock 'n' roll. The lanes are lit up all cool-like. It might be called something like Rock 'n' Bowl...or something to that effect. Please visit that for me too.

I miss Chicago. The next time I am there, I'll look up you and Kat. It was a great coincidence to learn that we had French together...that makes total sense as Austin is such a small town. She always struck me as a nice girl...in that class. It makes me happy to know that y'all are together.

Anywho...take care. And thanks for writing this entry. Maybe you can start a new LJ, with a brand new name, that features your new adventures...seeing as how you are turning a page.

From: letmecomehome Date: August 8th, 2005 09:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Fireplace Bowl no longer has punk shows unfortunately, or any shows for that matter. Trader Vic's is really cool though.
mysterywhteboy From: mysterywhteboy Date: August 8th, 2005 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Definitely look us up when you're in town, Marc. Thanks for the recommendations- I'll definitely check out Fireside Bowl and Trader Vic's, and try my best to find the bowling alley.

No plans for any new public journals in the immediate future, but I'm going to keep using nofunatparties.

jettison From: jettison Date: August 8th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fireside DID stop having shows a while back (incidentally, the day I finally moved back!), but a good indie rock show will pop up there about once every couple months. Good to reminisce over, but if you missed it the first time it's probably pointless.

I have a million recommendations of awesome things to do but I bet it's more fun to find out on your own. (Quick places to remember though - bars: Sheffield's, Liar's Club, Whirlaway, Beechwood, Hideout, L&L, Delilahs, Village Tap, Estelle's; food: Hot Doug's, Penny's Noodle Shop, Chicago Diner; free fun: movies in the park (check out the city website for wheres and whens), street fests, farmer's markets (also a list on the city site), the zoo, navy pier fireworks (wednesdays and saturdays until labor day).
jewelboxer From: jewelboxer Date: August 8th, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
bye, dan.
nofunatparties From: nofunatparties Date: August 10th, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
a bientot, Amanda. I'll be around.

litos From: litos Date: August 8th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

I love that town with a passion.

I'm assuming you're still concentrating on your writing and don't have a day job.

My dad has a couple boats that he timeshares. He often needs help cleaning, etc. Now that I'm no longer there, it could well be more of an issue.

Some of the boats are in the harbors downtown. One, which is where he'd probally need the most help at the moment, is in a boatyard on Addison and 22nd. Near Pilsen.

If you're halfway decent with tools, painting and such, and would be interested let me know.

I have no idea what he needs done at the moment, but he is perennially in need of help. He normally pays around $12 bucks an hour.

Let me know if you're interested in par
nofunatparties From: nofunatparties Date: August 10th, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes. Definitely.

Very interested, thanks, Karl. I know my way around a toolkit and a paintbrush, tho I wouldn't put my skills at more than basic/intermediate. If you can put me in touch with him, I'd really appreciate it.

litos From: litos Date: August 11th, 2005 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)

His address is charlie at olsonsclassicyachts dot com

He's going to down to see what needs to be done on Incredible, the boat near Pilsen, this weekend. It's likely going to be a pretty big project.

Send him your contact information and he'll give you a call if needs anything done.

tupelo_lights From: tupelo_lights Date: August 8th, 2005 05:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I totally dig your Leonard Cohen reference. And a picture of Dylan is worth a thousand armchairs.
withknivesout From: withknivesout Date: August 8th, 2005 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
funny you mentioned hotdogs. in edinburg, they just opened a chicago hotdog stand. its family owned by an african-american family from chicago. great great food.
From: cardigansmile Date: August 8th, 2005 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

some of my chicago favorites:

Quimby's [for all of your independent press literature]
1854 W. North Ave.

Earwax Cafe & Film [great soup! and they deliver films along with food]
1561 N. Milwaukee

The Neo-futurists presenting Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind [very entertaining sketch comedy, 60 shorts in 60 minutes or the auidence gets pizza]
5153 N. Ashland Ave.

BuddY Gallery [a very wonderful gallery space devoted to digital artists located in the slowly being taken over wicker park area]
1542 N. Milwaukee

From: letmecomehome Date: August 10th, 2005 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: some of my chicago favorites:

Speaking of the Neo-Futurists (whom I know and adore), have you seen The Barrel of Monkeys? A friend of mine and I spent two years making a documentary about them and hopefully it'll play in Chicago somewhere in the future. I've been to all those places, and love them all. Good suggestions!
nofunatparties From: nofunatparties Date: August 10th, 2005 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: some of my chicago favorites:

I'll definitely check out the Buddy Gallery- I love Quimby's and I've been meaning to find a good video store in walking distance so Earwax may get the gig. Thanks!

vanetti From: vanetti Date: August 8th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good to hear from you, Dan.
nofunatparties From: nofunatparties Date: August 10th, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Likewise, Lesleeeee.

antebellumcafe From: antebellumcafe Date: August 9th, 2005 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)

You're still going to be on my space and AIM, right?

How about the new address for postcards and porno?
nofunatparties From: nofunatparties Date: August 10th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm still gonna be on LiveJournal, just not that journal anymore, just not actual writing anymore. Link posts galore over here, tho, and maybe pictures of our new apartment cuz, hey, who doesn't like those?

1362 N. Bosworth, #1E
Chicago IL 60622


roobytoosday From: roobytoosday Date: August 9th, 2005 04:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Send me a copy of your snail mail address, so I can write you guys.

I'm so glad you're apart of a we these days, Dan.
But I think I miss Kat more than I miss you and I know you better! Are you jealous?
I'm just kidding.

I feel like I'm in a beginning and a ending right now, too, and that last paragraph and sentences were perfect.
nofunatparties From: nofunatparties Date: August 10th, 2005 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
1362 N. Bosworth, Apt. #1E
Chicago IL 60622

Please write, Jennifer, it'll be fun.

From: letmecomehome Date: August 10th, 2005 01:00 am (UTC) (Link)
The first line of a play I've been trying to write is in fact "I relate more to trains than people." When it's done, I want you to bitchslap it until it becomes a bear.

It's good to have you back. Chicago missed you. I didn't really but the city sure did.
kattullus From: kattullus Date: August 11th, 2005 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
damn you for ending it perfectly

now I can't resent you, now I can't ask for my money back ;)

do you ever wonder if your greatest artistic achievement is this blog?
nofunatparties From: nofunatparties Date: August 11th, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Often. Sometimes I don't see how it couldn't be, because it's the pursuit I kept the longest and put the most into. Which is a strange think to think about, and maybe part of the reason I ended it.

And thanks, Kari. It means a lot from you.

aurelio1979 From: aurelio1979 Date: August 16th, 2005 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
welcome home, dan.

the best of luck to both of you.
30 defect from the Old ; create the New