My Daily Day

Friday, April 30, 2004

On Friday, April 30, 2004
he became a birch tree. Seasons passed. Time and again, he woke from melted snow, soft rain seethed overhead, his buds sprouted leaves, summers hung heavy and humid, insects cackled privately in dusk's haze, and then autumn, cool nights, the leaves tinted gold, and finally fallen like dead sunlight gathered at his feet, and then the long dark sleep in a shroud of snow and stars. He learned the value of patience, and the affairs of men became negligible.

On Thursday, April 29, 2004
he performed his last concert with the UW Little Big Band.

On Wednesday, April 28, 2004
he reminded himself, "this is not an issue of deservedness."

On Tuesday, April 27, 2004
he learned that the fires inside the north tower were so hot that the aluminum exterior of American Flight 11 melted and flowed down the outer wall of the Trade Center.

On Monday, April 26, 2004
he re-read a journal entry from his freshmen year of college, and cringed at liberal use of "poet soul" in his self-references. Dear readers, understand that this writer wishes to avoid narcissism, and pretension, and congratulates you for noticing with repugnance his occasional relapses into "poet soul"-esque soliloquy. He now assures you that he no longer understands a "soul" as an immutable core of an individual, that he understands "poetry" as a literary genre, and that to combine "poet" with "soul" so as to imply a dreamy, romantic self-nature, is as meaningless as it is pathetic. He now understands the value of reality, has acquired some capacity for a sense of wonder independent of introversion, and would like to kick his 18 year old ass.

On Sunday, April 25, 2004
he listened to a song he hadn't heard in years. He remembered, vaguely, at some remote point in his past, listening to the song through headphones while lying on a couch in a dark room at his house in Merrill. He could no longer remember what upset him that night, why it was probably two or three in the morning and he couldn't sleep, why he lay on a couch in a dark room steadying his nerves with a slow song. He only remembered the dark room, some vague anxiety, and the soothing assurance of music.

On Saturday, April 24, 2004
the movie "The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" provided a profound emotional catharsis.

On Friday, April 23, 2004
he stood up and he said "yeah."

On Thursday, April 22, 2004
he saw no lofty purpose.

On Wednesday, April 21, 2004
he asked John Wayne, "where'd you get all that sexual authority?"

On Tuesday, April 20, 2004
he woke before sunrise and opened his blinds to see if the stars hadn't faded. He flinched. The Titanic stared at him through the window, iron and rust. "Pete," groaned the Titanic, "I sank beneath the weight of symbols and projections, men's projections of themselves and their achievements, beneath the weight of morals and lessons on everything from technological pride to class warfare."

On Monday, April 19, 2004
the catapult got into the barn again, scaring the chickens and cows, launching them.

On Sunday, April 18, 2004
he drove his new Saturn station wagon to Copps, quietly fascinated by the freedom and responsibilities of this car, this new token of conclusive adulthood. He stood in the produce section, filling a clear plastic sack with navel oranges, reminded of the scene in City of Angels where Nicholas Cage starts crying as he shops for peaches. Having years ago reached the conclusion that sadness is an inevitable, necessary part of life, Pete now thought about the ways in which sadness is a positive, beneficial force in life, and decided that the necessity of sadness lay in its capacity to foster empathy, the ability of sadness to resonate emotionally with other people, and thus build friendship and love to an extent equaled by happiness. Of course I'll forget this, Pete reminded himself, so I'd better write it down. He drove home, pleasantly lonely, the day outside indecisive between clouds and sun.

On Saturday, April 17, 2004
the night was warm, and he slept with his windows open. He woke at 3:30 AM to the sound of someone crying. A female voice, sobbing somewhere in the dark near his house. He lay in bed, listening, waiting for it to stop. Soft, sniffling, high pitched sobs. He finally got out of bed and descended the stairs to the front door, where he stood, listening for several more minutes. Was this girl in the driveway or something? Why was she crying? Who was she? It suddenly stopped and he returned to bed.

On Friday, April 16, 2004
he stood in the UW Stock Pavilion watching a strobe light cast gruesome shadows of an iron sculpture onto the concrete wall.

On Thursday, April 15, 2004
unable to sleep on the floor of the van, he sang Nick Cave in his head, "Not the end, not the end, just remember, that death is not the end."

On Wednesday, April 14, 2004
he performed for two hours at the Chancellor's house. An attractive woman from New York introduced herself between songs, but afterwards, Pete found himself unable to address her. She said, "Nice to meet you" as he left, and he couldn't even look her in the eye. "Nice to meet you too," he replied, and walked out feeling socially impotent.

On Tuesday, April 13, 2004
a memory assaulted him. A sudden, inexplicable, unprovoked scene from years ago, complete with smells and light and renewed detail. Out of nowhere, like it had happened again.

On Monday, April 12, 2004
he woke from a good dream, and the morning held promise.

On Sunday, April 11, 2004
his Easter dinner consisted of a granola bar, a Cadbury egg, and some raisins.

On Saturday, April 10, 2004
he practiced on an out of tune upright at the Acoustic Cafe in Winona, Minnesota.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

On Thursday, April 08, 2004
he walked home from Ken's open mic at the Casbah, down a State Street already teeming with drunks who took advantage of the warm night to start their weekend early. A random drunk man knocked Pete's cap off, and laughed. "Hey buddy, you lost your hat!" Pete responded with an inappropriate gesture and several obscenities.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

On Wednesday, April 07, 2004
he saw a friend holding an orange in the Union. "Why you holding on to that orange?" Pete asked. His friend lowered his gaze. "Because I can't let go."

Monday, April 05, 2004

On Monday, April 05, 2004
he lay awake wathcing a fight unfold. Personal Freedom wrestled with Desire for Companionship in the semi-annual Monogamy Inner-conflict Tournament Extravaganza.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

he visited the new bird compound at Vilas Zoo with two friends. He stared down from a suspended bridge at the waterfall pool below. Dozens of shiny coins glimmered up at him. He wondered whose pennies and dimes these were, what wishes went into the water with them, whether the wishes were whimsical or desperate, whether they came true.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

On Saturday, April 03, 2004
he sat in the window of Einstein's Bagels on State Street and watched passerby during a half hour break from practicing. He noticed that people walking alone tended to look depressed, but that people walking in groups were invariably smiling and laughing.

Friday, April 02, 2004

On Friday, April 02, 2004
he saw a sketchy character on Library Mall, dark hair and unkempt beard, wearing a black T-shirt that read "You say psycho like it's a bad thing."

Thursday, April 01, 2004

On Thursday, April 01, 2004
he was in no mood for practical jokes.