We had it coming

We had it coming

We drove into the city the other night – only an hour and twenty minutes with the traffic! – to go see my close personal friends who live inside of my phone turned into flesh for a Comedy Bang Bang live performance. The show was a lot of fun of course but more important to me than that was walking around Downtown Crossing and the Common and going to an old favorite bar and being around so many strangers and feeling this mix of melancholy and lightness that I haven't felt in a good while. I don't go to Boston that much anymore in part because of the pain in the balls of getting there but also this specific cocktail of emotion I have a hard time describing. I mentioned it to some friends and we talked a bit about nostalgia for our youth and there's some of that in there but it's not quite that because I'm not pining for something that is unattainable like the past I'm frustrated by not having access to something that still exists which is the city. It's all still right there just without me inside of it.

I thought of the old Bobcat Goldthwait joke:

"I lost my job. Well I didn't lose it, I know where it is, there's just some other guy doing it now."

Then yesterday we walked around our perfectly fine suburb and it was perfectly fine.

It's not the same of course. It does not nourish me in the way the city does. I need to be around people. Strangers. I long for the camaraderie of our shared indifference to one another. The community in that.

I can’t do it
Today the great Jim Ruland joins us to write about seeing Dead & Company at The Sphere and Devo at Punk Rock Bowling on back to back nights in Las Vegas. You’ll need be a paid subscriber to read that one down below or you can jump to it here: Suburban

There's something seriously wrong with me. Haha yes I know but not like that. I mentioned in here the other day that I went to the emergency room because of bad stomach pain and the good news is it's not organ failure or a hernia so at least I can keep going to the gym and injuring myself every day. But the bad news is they don't know what it is and so I am now hovering in the liminal space of constant self diagnosis and see-sawing back and forth between convincing myself it's bowel cancer or else just IBS. Either I'm going to die or my body just stopped knowing how to take a shit the right way.

I have felt this pressure building in me for weeks because of it that I need to cry and I finally did last night. Not for myself – although when we cry for others who have passed or very well may pass soon we are always in part pre-mourning ourselves – but this time for my friend Linda Tirado whose health seems to have taken an even worse turn. I have been trying to find out the details but she isn't answering her phone which is a very bad sign because that lady loves to be on the phone.

I get to be the person I always wish I had been
An update: Story Thirty-NineThis time, it’s for Linda.Stories From The RailLinda Tirado Please give if you can to Linda Tirado at one of these options below. She would do it for you. Venmo: Linda-Tirado-3 PayPal: Bootstrapindustries@gmail Zelle: 806.433.6075 Linda Tirado called to tell me that

I talked to Linda – the journalist who was shot in the eye in 2020 by Minneapolis police with a "less lethal" round – in here a few months back about how dramatically that impacted her health. Now the traumatic brain injury seems to be cascading in catastrophic ways throughout the rest of her body. If you are able to send her a few bucks please do. She would do it for you.

Venmo: Linda-Tirado-3
PayPal: Bootstrapindustries@gmail.com

It's Fathers Day so of course I'm thinking about the time we agonized over the decision to kill my father. If you never read this one below it's a fucking punch in the face wherein a bunch of people talk about the experience of watching their parents die.

We agonized over the decision to kill my father
Today we’re going to talk a lot about watching your parents die. Often after you’ve made the decision to let them do so. It’s a heavy one not going to lie to you there buddy.

Good enough excuse to share one of my favorite poems again.

Spring and Fall

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

I called my living father just now and he said he had gotten up early and worked out already and that my mother was yelling at him to get down off the ladder he was using to try to paint the house. He said he was going to take the dog for a run in the woods later but that ol' Cody is ten now and not quite as spry as he used to be. Then we talked about Bill Belichick apparently having a new 24 year old girlfriend and we both said come on man and it was another thing to be bummed out about because one of my hopes has always been that we as men someday stop being like that. Eventually you wake up and realize you are no longer a horny sex pervert. I guess not. I guess we have to carry this around forever. This disgusting burden.

I just realized I lied about not having cried in a while because I cried watching the stupid Tom Brady Patriots Hall of Fame induction extravaganza the other night and I cried watching this interview with R.E.M. on the occasion of their being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. I must really love Halls of Fame. They also performed a song together live for the first time in like 20 years at the ceremony and I'd post a video of it but Universal Music Group has had it taken down everywhere I saw it shared. Very smart move on their part in my opinion to nip the most public excitement over the band in years in the bud.

The most since this Hell World anyway:

The greatest American rock band
The top 5 R.E.M. songs ever

We sat in the backyard and watched a large bird perched at the top of the tallest tree in sight surveilling its kingdom and argued over whether or not it was a crow or a raptor of some kind and a flock of smaller birds circled and circled closer to it and I worried for them and after a while it darted so swiftly down toward us into the thick of our one tree and I said see it's chasing something it's going to eat its ass and for some reason I picked up a rock and threw it into the leaves and scared it off and now I don't know if I saved one bird's life or starved another slightly bigger bird. Who am I to meddle in the affairs of nature?

Then I read this story in the Guardian about bird watchers in the West Bank and Gaza. Apparently the region is a significant and busy corridor for migration.

“To watch birds we need to go out very early in the morning. But most of the military operations are in the early hours, so you can be shot if you’re out around this time," a photographer and bird watcher named Mohamad Shuaibi said.

“The migration hasn’t stopped,” he said. “These birds, despite the war, they are still coming. And it gives us hope.”

“I want to show the world this is not just a country of war. It’s not just death, bombings and killings. There are people who are interested in wildlife, even when nothing is available to them,” he said. “There is life here. And we love life.”

The reporter went with some school kids on a field trip in the West Bank to watch the birds.

Lamis al-Harithi, 15, says she loves watching birds. Her favourite is the bright-coloured Palestine sunbird. “I love it because it’s a symbol of Palestine.

“The sunbird doesn’t migrate. It stays here all year,” she says as her classmates nod.

Their Unrwa school is cut off by the separation wall, subject to frequent military incursions, and surrounded by Israeli settlements illegal under international law. A study by the University of California in 2018 found residents of Aida refugee camp were among the most exposed to teargas in the world.

The field trip allows children to breathe clean air under oak and pine trees. When it is time to release the chiffchaff to resume its journey north, the girls shriek with joy. “Birds can travel wherever they want,” says Malak, one of the schoolgirls, and the chiffchaff flies away.

Down below for paying Hell World subscribers a few pieces of short fiction by me that originally ran at Flaming Hydra. Thanks for your support and for reading as always. Here's an insanely steep discount.