Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Le Fl  §

I feel metaphysically odd this morning, and dumbfounded at the thought that it will take me forty minutes on the trains to reach the school, which is where I intend to go. It seems an insurmountable task, or at the very least, a tremendously frustrating one. Normally I love the subway (the crowded platforms, the sensual experience of the tunnels, lights, wind, and sound, the romance of anonymous arrival and departure, and so on) but today the notion that I have to navigate such things just to get to the place where I intend to work seems absurd. Today it is certain that I live too far away from my actual life, though tomorrow I may feel differently.

Heh… “My actual life.” This has been an undefinable quantity since November, 1999. Upside: I have now forgotten the precise day. There’s a certain joy in that (okay, not a huge one, but one takes them where they come).

I think it’s on days like today that I am in danger of simply walking all day, from one end of the city to the other and back again, without actually stopping for anything more than a drink or a coffee, and without actually talking to anyone. At the end of such days I never have anything to show for my time, and I always feel vaguely silly and antisocial. But they do seem to happen.

What the hell is wrong with dilettantism? By my reckoning it’s a high calling.

One always has to wonder where cynicism ends and self-doubt begins. Or are the two interchangeable at some level? God, that’s a thought.

Things I have that I (regrettably) don’t use:

– A small pile of umbrellas
– A nice insulated coffee mug given me by a friend
– Two bottles of Dave’s Insanity Sauce
– A long zoom lens with a T-Mount for which I have no adapter
– Memories of driving long, winding roads in Piedra Blanca with Neil Young playing
– Post-it notes and post-it tabs
– A brown leather jacket that somehow seems too small these days
– Sense, hahahahahaha

The desire to own a guitar again is tempered by the fear that I won’t actually be able to play it at all. It’s not as though I was ever any good at reading music or tabulature anyway, and now my hands are more accustomed to cameras and keyboards than anything else.

Weather in New York has been very good at marking my emotional states since I got here. Basically every time I’m happy as hell it’s raining or snowing. I’ve tried to imagine, just for play, that I have the power to influence weather patterns inadvertently with my emotional states, but so far I haven’t managed to suspend disbelief.

Zen is basically communism, bamboo plants for luck, good manners, and light clothes in empty rooms.

The noise that traffic “makes” is actually the street itself crying out in pain and annoyance at thousands of feet and tires bearing down pitilessly on its aging skin.

In Southern California, I would get up every morning and ride my bike about two miles to work, down a slight hill. On the way, I would stop and buy two sugar-free Monster energy drinks for caffeine (to which I had become addicted while on tour a year or so earlier). I’d arrive at the office and say hello to everyone and feel like an outsider. Not upper management, not invited to those meetings, not one of the interns or role employees. I’d sit at my desk and drink caffeine and work the database and edit pages and turn up for conference calls with aging academics on the east coast and I’d wonder what I was doing with my life and how I ended up there. I’d break for lunch and eat at the Taco Bell by myself because I preferred it to the strange and banal humor of the office lunch culture. Then I’d come back and work the rest of the day slipping into deeper and deeper dream states until I realized that myself and one or two other senior managers were the only people in the building. Then I’d ride toward home, but wouldn’t stop. Instead, I’d head directly to the end of the neighborhood, into the chaparral, and down the craggy cliffside to Goleta beach, where I’d sit and look out to sea and try to imagine that I’d stayed in Chicago instead.

“I think Im going out of style
I think Ive known it for a while
I think Ive known it with a smile
I think Im going home”

Now it’s 11.00 and I’m still sitting here like a lemon. Damnation, I gotta fucking go. Tschüss, me blog. Catcha on the flipside.

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