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March 19 1998, Thursday


  had several vivid dreams last night. In one, my Dodge Dart was stolen as I had it warming up in front of the house (not this house, it looked more like the place I lived until I was seven years old in the DC suburbs of Maryland). I wasn't nearly as upset by the loss of the car as I was by the loss of a shiny little chicken-sized space probe I'd left in the back seat. It looked like one of those lunar lander modules, and I wasn't even sure if it "worked." I called the cops and they quickly recovered my space probe, and I was so overjoyed I didn't even bother to ask about the Dart.

In another dream, I was back at my childhood home near Staunton when a couple of detectives (a man and a woman) came knocking at the door asking for me. I gave myself up immediately without protest or evasion, thinking myself guilty of some sort of relatively minor traffic offense. But then the male detective said that I'd been "tried and convicted" of being a habitual knife slasher. Knowing I'd been guilty of no such crimes, I immediately became infuriated, as did my Dad, and we both drove the detectives off in a flurry of red-faced bluster. This dream was rather like a real incident where a Forest Service detective once came to our house and accused my Dad of forging a memo by the Supervisor of the George Washington National Forest. We'd made a parody of one of his memos and disseminated it widely, and I guess he'd felt the need to use a little intimidation, but I guess he didn't figure on who he was dealing with. We drove off that guy with a similar flurry of bluster and then regretted not having also let air out of his tires.

There was another dream that involved a cast of known characters including Matthew Hart and Jessika. We were throwing some sort of big party at a castle-like dwelling in the midst of rolling cow or sheep pastures (this is a frequent setting for my dreams), and Matthew and I went out on an alcohol run. Later on I found Matthew and Jessika kissing and was dismayed.


n the morning, the Virginia Employment Commission sent me a job lead to work as a computer operator at a local manufacturer. I edited my resumé a little and mailed it off to said manufacturer. That counts as one of the two jobs I must actively seek each work to qualify for my weekly $100 unemployment benefit. It's not great money, but it sure does help.

Jessika had to fill out a Virginia State job application and deliver it to UVA's Department of Personnel as one of the formalities involved in getting her Central Services Technician job. I helped her along with some of the questions. I hate filling out those kinds of forms because they seemed to have been specifically designed to avoid asking me my strengths while focusing on my weaknesses. For example, they have a tiny little place where you're supposed to list all the crimes for which you have been convicted, and to do it justice, I'd have to attach a piece of paper and humiliate myself researching dates of apprehension and conviction for four separate offenses: two trespassings, one speeding ticket, and a public intoxication. As it is, I only mention the latter two. Jessika doesn't have much in the way of good references, education, or experience, but at least she doesn't have any crimes to list.

Peggy and the Baboose came by and we all went for a drive up to Barracks Road to drop off and pick up UVA personnel forms and go grocery shopping at the relatively new Harris Teeter (we call it "Harris Tweeter" of course). Shopping with Jessika is always a protracted experience, and in the end I'm always afflicted with a disorder I call "museum knees."


or the first time in weeks, the day was incredibly warm and even sunny, but still I was suffering from my malaise. I lay down in my bed at one point and stared blankly at the wall. I wanted to avoid drinking alcohol to get out of this feeling, because drinking would just give me an excuse to do nothing the rest of the day. I decided to take advantage of the weather by putting more fibreglass patches over the rust holes on the Dodge Dart. A tiny little dog named "Pookie" (he belongs to some of our preppy college kid neighbors) was on the loose. He stood barking at me from about a dozen feet away as I worked with noxious resins, just another aggravation that had to be endured. Jessika was walking around being both inquisitive and bored.

Monster Boy showed up with a movie called Brain Damage. It's a later film by the same guy who brought us Basket Case.

Meanwhile Jessika was waiting for the arrival of her mother and father, who happened to be in town on some sort of business trip. She wanted to take them to one of Charlottesville's many distinctive one-of-a-kind restaurants, but when she next heard from them she was appalled to discover they were eating at Red Lobster, a generic seafood franchise that can be "experienced" in just about any town in America. Oh well, bank robbers may not like the banks they rob, but that's where the money is. In a similar way, Jessika ended up hanging out where her parents were, at Red Lobster. Their entourage, by the way, included Charlottesville's red-headed coffee diva, Jenny Simon, the childhood friend-of-Jessika who long ago relocated with her parents from Malvern to Charlottesville. Now Jenny is some sort of honcho at Higher Grounds and is destined to go to Boston to head a Higher Grounds franchise there. Jenny's parents and Jessika's parents are old friends, by the way.


ith Jessika gearing up to spend the evening with her folks, Monster Boy and I got a pizza and some beer. Deya arrived in the midst of our pizza orgy and I offered her a slice. I made this offer in order to atone for a sin I allegedly committed in one of Deya's dreams. Many times, you see, Deya has seen me inhale whole pizzas while she calmly (if loudly, but that's another issue) munches on but a single slice. This repeated experience disturbs her on some sort of fundamental level, and now it's even affecting her subconscious. In the dream for which I was now atoning, Deya left a slice of pizza outside her room and it disappeared. When she asked me about it, I claimed not to remember whether I'd eaten it or not. Deya found my callousness (a not infrequent "issue" between us) infuriating. The dream affected Deya so much that after she woke up she told Jessika all about it. Today when Jessika told me about Deya's dream, it still had enough pathos to it to actually make me feel kind of guilty. I'm finding it impossible, by the way, to inject any of that pathos into this written account.

Not while we were actually eating, but at other times before and after, Monster Boy and I watched the first part of Brain Damage. The movie is about the adventures of a disgusting sluglike parasite named Aylmer and his host Brian, who he supplies with psychedelic experiences in exchange for transportation to his various victims whose brains he devours. As you might expect, there's plenty of blood, gore and disgusting special effects. I found what I saw of it highly entertaining.

Then, while I was on the horn with a lady reverend who wants to pay me to register her site with all the search engines, Monster Boy got the idea that I should accompany him on an excursion to the Corner to hang out with his friend Tasha. That sounded like fun; it would be a chance to get out of the house and hang out with a hot chick who wasn't Jessika.

I suggested we catch one of the UVA buses, and before long we'd flagged one down one on JPA and were riding in creature comfort for free. Both Monster Boy and I were a little drunk, so we talked loudly to each other in complete disregard for the calm that normally pervades such buses. An older black guy in the back was giggling maniacally at everything we said, though I think he was just reading our lips since he was using headphones in addition to whatever mind-altering drugs he was on.

One of the advertisements inside the bus carried the slogan "pregnancy is temporary, abortion is forever." I got the idea that I should make a sticker to add to the advertisement with the line "stretch marks are forever." At the time I thought that an extremely funny idea, and I laughed like a fool.


asha lives up above the old (and now empty) Follette's Bookstore on the third floor of that big white building in the middle of the strip of stores that comprises the backbone of the Corner. The building looks as if it was made of intricately carved marble though in truth it's actually just sheet metal pressed into Corinthian columns, gargoyles, interlaced foliage and such. On the third floor with Tasha there also lives one of the Corner's more familiar weirdos, Dempsey, who is about my age, frequently rides around on a fancy mountain bicycle, and has a fondness for donning women's underpants. Dempsey was home too, and though he's friends with both Monster Boy and myself, he was avoiding Tasha because she was drinking alcohol, and he doesn't like for her to do that.

When Monster Boy and I entered Tasha's room, we found her hanging out with a forty-swigging Morgan Anarchy, who immediately apologized for his aggressive behaviour on St. Patrick's Day.

Tasha is a beautiful twenty year old girl with long wavy hair, crooked teeth and somewhat gothic proclivities. She usually wears a choker equipped with a big circular metal loop to which a leash might be attached, and her black leather belt is adorned with perhaps a dozen more such loops. Both she and Dempsey work at the Lucky Seven, the Corner's only all-night convenience store. Back when I used to work at the ISP known as Comet, I'd occasionally encounter her pulling the night shift. Tonight she was in a festive mood, drinking a red grape Mad Dog and playing the Doors, though of course Morgan Anarchy and Monster Boy kept asking to play music they'd brought. Finally a consensus was reached on an early Bad Religion CD.

I'd never really talked with Tasha before, but she seems to fit in with most of the other people I know, killing time between adolescence and adulthood by entertaining notions of utopia while simultaneously indulging her more immediate cravings. She and I discussed literature for awhile, which was kind of odd since I'm not especially well-read.

Some observations: Tasha always had a deck of tarot cards at the ready for consultations. On top of a dresser was a little shrine to the sign of Aquarius.

Monster Boy went on a run for more red grape Mad Dog. I chipped in for some of Morgan's, since he was running a little low on panhandled funds. I was a little surprised by the manner of Morgan's drinking tonight. He was, as usual, drinking continually, but he seemed to be exercising a certain amount of restraint which I'd never seen before. He never became noticeably drunk, and he did something I've never seen before. He kept some money on reserve for "tomorrow." Why? He told me he knew he was going to a need a forty tomorrow morning when he woke up, so he was reserving a dollar. This may not count for more than a speck of dust in the universe encapsulated by the notion of "planning ahead," but for Morgan it seemed like something of a milestone, a rudiment that could perhaps evolve into a real sense of working towards goals in a tangible future.

We went on a walk through the central grounds of UVA and sat down in one of "the gardens," one of many little yards fenced in by wavy brick walls, part of Thomas Jefferson's original architectural design. Tasha still had her tarot deck, and she gave me another reading while Morgan and Monster Boy had a little conversation. There was something non-judgmental and affirmative about Tasha that I found refreshing. I didn't feel constantly on guard, stilted or artificial, at least, not in any of the more familiar ways. Believe it or not, this sense of freedom actually seemed to lift away a good fraction of my recent malaise. Of course, I don't feel even slightly free to say what I really mean by all this in this forum. It's times like right now that I feel these musings are themselves part of my problem.

Morgan Anarchy went off on his own while Monster Boy, Tasha and I went towards fratville to find a party. The night was warm and the sap of spring seemed to be flowing through the town and we wanted to participate. Near the Rotunda, Tasha climbed a tree and tried to pee from on high, but she faced some kind of mental block, and sat on a limb immobilized with her pants around her knees. We offered words of encouragement and shooed away perverted passersby, but she finally gave up.


e ended up sneaking into the back of a familiar fraternity on Rugby, but we were soon halted by a couple of the brothers. Just then, though, Tasha came across one of the brothers who actually knew her from her job at the Lucky Seven. With her good word, we had no further trouble. We ended up in his room, where I guess pot was eventually smoked. I had to pee, though, so I wandered down to the party and was permanently separated from the others.

It was hundreds of people all crammed wall to wall in a quarter inch of spilled beer. The band played nothing but covers of pop tunes from the 80s. None of the people were my type at all; they were uniform in their strict adherence to conventional collegiate fashion. A couple guys did recognize me from somewhere, however, and at one point they even lifted me up and set me ontop of the crowd to be passed around briefly on the hands of strangers.

Sweaty and drunk, I grew bored and walked all the way back home. Somewhere in the central grounds, I walked passed a boy-girl couple and made a little joyous whoop as I jumped down a set of stairs. The guy (he introduced himself as Mike) became concerned I guess, and insisted on helping me down a few more sets of stairs. For some reason, perhaps simply to be unexpected, I made him memorize my web address.


ack at Kappa Mutha Fucka, I was soaked with sweat and my jacket was ripped. I found Jessika sitting alone on the couch. She took one look at me and assumed I'd been involved in a fight, but of course, that hadn't happened. She told me about her night on the town, of taking her parents to see Jamie Dyer and the other Hogwaller Ramblers at the Buddhist Biker Bar, and of Jenny Simon and the big mezcal-augmented margaritas at the Red Lobster. She also said her Dad had been casually floating the idea of maybe relocating to Charlottesville.

one year ago
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