28.12.16

I was in some sort of vehicle, maybe a bus, looking out over the Cerrillos wilderness during the golden hour. Hoku had gone to visit my grandparents and they offered a lead on an abandoned  building where he could squat and watch movies (it was formerly a theatre and still had electricity). The roof fell down on Hoku and killed him, splitting his body in half. I felt grief anew over his death, even though in the back of my mind I knew he had died before. I woke up sad stomach, missing Hoku.

I’m on an airplane right now, seat 16F, by the window. Can’t believe my luck. Fucking love window seats. Also excited to go to Berlin.

Every feeling I’ve experienced for the past several weeks, since I found out Cash died, is filtered by an impermeable depression. It’s like there’s a hard substance separating me from the full realization of my own emotions. When tears come to my eyes it is sporadic. It’s like the feeling of when you’re really thirsty in the morning and you only have half a sip of water, so you drink that and you’re still thirsty but don’t get up yet. Yes, I am emotionally dehydrated.

27.12.16

In this Midevil village, people occupied abandoned castles for dance parties and squats. The graffiti style around was cute and simple, it featured line drawings of winged lions, dogs, and dragons.   

I was examining a stone room for speaker placement. I was concerned about the roof caving in.

I think the graffiti was some sort of communication tool.

At some point I was swimming in a gray pool.

I liked the dream. 

I spent the day vaguely nervous, being the worst and a failure and not getting it together.

Holiday Cheer

Before the holiday break I bonded with Angelo (Semeraro). He is intelligent,  gentle, and quiet but a surprisingly uninhibited dancer. We cut the rug to 1950’s pop music at the American-themed-company-Christmas-party.

For most of the two week break I was in close quarters with Nicolas’ charming and overwhelming parents. Our balcony is still overflowing with their holiday cheer…

We had Isaac, Shek, and Juho (the Finnish dude who traded rooms with Antti over break) over for Christmas brunch. Isaac used our washing machine. An offensive Christmas tablecloth remained for longer than was comfortable.

Nicolas’ mom speaks perfect English, having spent 14 years in Connecticut, and his dad doesn’t know a word outside of Greek. The dad and I smoked silently on the balcony as the mom maintained a perpetual cycle of cooking and cleaning, refusing to let son or husband assist.

It was difficult for her to feed me as much as she would have liked (“Doesn’t your body need meat and cheese?” “As long as you’re healthy that’s all that matters…” “But what do you eat for eggs and meat?”) she did offer me a lot of breadsticks, tea, and cheek-kisses, which was sweet. I mostly hid in my room.

Doggy

Ali said he tried “Doggy,” had to quit drinking for 2 or 3 years.

Antti “2 or 3?”
Me “My first word was “doggy”
Ali “Ha ha ha ha ha”

I saw Ali with his hat on in illuminated-Treviso, post-holiday-break. I was getting some kale at Natura Si, he had an H&M bag. Then I saw him at Valetine’s Baazar, I was buying gloves, I think he was also buying gloves.

I Didn’t know Ali was internet-famous until he presented his project “Everyday Iran” at Sssssssshut Up Series. 

Ali drinks Cocoa Cola at Piola and when I saw him at the bar with the Dutch girl (when the Dutch University was buying all of our drinks) he said he wasn’t drinking… but he was, maybe, falling in love. 

I was making fun of Ali for falling in love, asking “When is the wedding” when we were the only people on the bus.

Ali was telling me about going to the Netherlands when we were at the American-themed bar, at the American-themed holiday party. I was drinking a big beer (American style) and he asked if he could give me a hug. “Of course” I said, “It’s all I want.” (Our first time saying hi since the Oakland Fire). He had given up drinking Coca Cola in favour of “big beer” that night.

“Do you believe in anything?” Ali asked me, at Mensa, sometime later “absolutely not” I said. “Good” he replied.

Down That River

Isaac and I rode downhill home together. When my chain fell off I “fixed it.” We stopped at the white moustache bar that smells like family-meat and is the only place. My black, greasy fingers bled on the tile floor. We both laughed and he asked if I wanted to go to the washroom. “No.” I didn’t want to think of the words in Italian that might make strangers worry about me.

Spritz Campari, red wine, little cups, plastic table in the cold with a silver minivan in the Italian countryside. We talked about how to succeed or whatever but not play such hard capitalism. Isaac plans to live in a van. I know he is a championship ice skater. I know he will ice skate down that river, maybe have a snack.

Fruit Bowl

“Sorry, you are an asshole, you aren’t meant to be in this place and you have to go.” – Massimo Banzi, on moderation in tech forums

He came to speak at Fabrica, talking about cool Arduino stuff and the evolution of maker culture.

Thinking about maker spaces and DIY culture in general, my mind drifted to how these things are supported: these ideas and cultures that define my life/generation inhabit literal and figurative structures that have been abandoned by capitalism.

I ended up going out for dinner with Massimo and the other key nerds of Fabrica. We were all out of place at the luxury countryside hotel where thousands of jewel-encrusted event-goers drunkenly waddled on their heels. “Where’s the hot tub?” Asked Massimo.

There was nothing vegan on the menu,  and naturally trying not to be too much of a bother about figuring out what to eat inspired in our group a micro-discussion of ethics.

There is essentially no way to live ethically, at least not if you eat food or wear clothes or use electronics. For some reason I still have conviction about trying.

My restaurant-Italian has improved. With the help of the waiter we were able to come up with a non-menu vegan entree. For desert he said there were no options, unless I wanted fruit. I said I would take grappa (for those who don’t know, this is a divisive hard liquor made from grapes, I think it’s tolerable but many do not. Whenever a young person orders it everyone pretends to be surprised).

The waiter brought me a giant bowl with mandarines, bananas, grapes, apples, and a pomegranate with the grappa (and everyone else’s tiramisu). We all guffawed. The next time he came around I asked for a box – “I couldn’t finish it all!” When he brought a bag Angelo said to take the bowl and leave the fruit on the table.

Isaac got kicked out of Fabrica “for designing a banana holder” we all say. I brought the bananas from the fruit bowl to him at the bar (Colonetta) after diner. The bartender knew Angelo. She was sweet, the bar was tiny. Angelo got red wine, I got a spritz campari, a bunch of people joined us because it was one of a series of going away parties. All the days are the good old days if you are sentimental enough.

Important/Beautiful

I found out Cash was missing before the fire was extinguished and spent the weekend anxiously anticipating the worst – which is what happened (as evidenced by my last posts).
Cash’s parents wrote a touching/heartbreaking memorial in Rolling Stone and Kennedy released the last song they were able to record together.
themareusss
I like the song so much. One specific layer of pain is that I can’t continue to look forward to hearing new releases, or to scheme about collaborating or touring together.
When I met Cash and Kennedy one of my first thoughts was “I can’t wait to be friends forever.”

There was this euphoric dance moment to the live version of “Bird” by The Knife and we were all so IN IT.  I was honored to facilitate that after party. I was honored to play my first show, opening for Them Are Us Too.I am happy that the specifics of favorites, aesthetics, references, politics and selves which make up our precious cultures have intertwined to the point where I got to briefly know the radiant and deeply intelligent Cash.

There is a lot of political/systems thinking that hinges on the fire and how it affects our cultures and futures, which I find myself thinking about a lot. But none of this approaches the intense grief surrounding the lives that were lost. I wasn’t friends with any of the 36 victims except Cash, and my base reaction is that there could be no greater tragedy because she was sublime and critical and going somewhere, and the world will never be as important or as beautiful without her.

I miss a future where we get to experience Cash’s new art. I miss a future where we get to be friends forever.