My Daily Day

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

On Tuesday, August 31, 2004
he slept in the JFK suite at Harvard University, the room where John F. Kennedy slept his senior year at Harvard.
On Saturday, August 28, 2004
On Tuesday, August 24, 2004
he visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleaveland. He stood in the clothes section, looking at David Byrne's big suit, Chuck Berry's peach tuxedo, various outfits of Mick Jagger, marveling at the tiny physical stature of these rock stars.
On Thursday, August 19, 2004
while waiting in line at the bowling alley, he overheard the following story told by a heavy set woman to her friend working behind the popcorn machine. " . . . so Johnny comes over, knocking at the door, and Tim answers it of course, realizes what's going on, and Tim, being the big macho man, what do you think he does? He fucking grabs a gun! A motherfucking gun from somewheres, I don't know wheres, just around the house or something, gets this gun and waves it at Johnny, yelling, "You fuck my woman, punk? You fucking my woman?" and Johnny's shitting himself by this point, runs into the street, probably would have never seen him again but Tim has to be the big shot, actually fires the goddamned thing. Fucking shoots Johnny! Johnny's lying there in the street with blood coming out of his leg, neighbors are turning on their lights and looking out the windows, cops probably on their way by this point, maybe there were sirens or something, I don't know. Anyway, now Tim's freaking out, cause he shot Johnny, so he runs back into the house trying to hide the gun or something, thinking about running from the cops or something, and I run over to Johnny and kneel there, and you know what Johnny says? You know what that sumbitch said to me? He looks me in eye and says, 'I think I'm gonna need mouth to mouth.' And then he winks! The motherfucker says that and winks at me!"
On Monday, August 16, 2004
while running, he realized he was audibly muttering, "Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me . . ."
On Sunday, August 15, 2004
he fell asleep at Jenny's cottage on Kangaroo Lake while Caitlin showed her underwear to those present.
On Saturday, August 14, 2004
he couldn't sleep. The house was nearly empty. He sat on his bed, staring at the blank wall, the bare corners, listening to his ears ring. He thought about all the people that had lived in this house since its construction. Families perhaps. Maybe some kids grew up here, long ago, before Pete's lease. Tomorrow, by noon, of all that had happened in a house in Madison, would come another departure, a house filled with untold stories slowly fading from the memories of past occupants. Within days, this old house would be someone's new home. Who will live here? And what will happen in this house after he leaves? Pete wrote in a journal, "I am haunted by a house. I am the ghost. Someone will sleep right here where I'm sitting, thinking. There's only one way to fit a bed into this tiny room. Sleep well, future tenant. Know that I was here, and thought of you. Sleep and dream things more real to you than things that actually happened to me, here in this room, over the past year." Unable to sleep, he walked down to the edge of Lake Mendota and watched the sun come up over Madison. The water was quiet and pink, there were ducks, and then the sun, screaming, thrusting up over the city, pummeling the air with light and warmth, the bright water sheen blinded, and Pete watched it, drained, and though this was his last morning of residence in Madison, it was the first time he'd ever watched the sun rise.
On Friday, August 13, 2004
he got home late after a show in Madison. This was the last night at the house on Chestnut St. for Pete and his roommates. Their lease would expire the following afternoon. Everyone except for Mitch and Adam moved out earlier in the week. So Pete stayed up talking with his two remaining roommates, friends from high school. The scene amused him. Adam had the promise of some girly action, but Mitch had him parked in. "Mitch, move your car. Mitch . . . cmonmoveyourcar! Mitch! Move your car." Over and again. Adam was still standing over Mitch's sleeping bag in the dark living room when Pete retired to his room, listening to Mitch's calm, patient "no" in reponse to each demand.
On Monday, August 09, 2004
he . . . um . . . well, actually, he . . . oh for crying out loud . . . you know, he just, um . . . well, to tell you the truth, and he'd be the first to admit it, but still . . . uh . . . okay, he's got nothing.
On Sunday, August 08, 2004
standing in traffic, he managed to avoid the forgiveness of a heavy truck.
On Saturday, August 07, 2004
he stood with two friends in a field of chest high grass, near an abandoned house on a moonlit night. The house, on Rock Falls Road, was supposedly haunted. Pete examined its smooth, moonwashed wood siding, its boarded windows, listening as Ryan talked about previous visits: sudden drops in temperature, strange footsteps, unexplained lights. But a solid sheet of plywood now sealed the door, and Pete felt spectacularly bored, a little worried that some cop might amble down this back road and find the Saturn parked on the shoulder with its flashers lighting the woods intermittent yellow, and empty beer cans in the back seat. So they got back in the car and drove a bit further, where the fire tower where Ryan worked loomed inky black, high against the clear night sky. They set off across a field, and along a fenced garden, to a patch of woods at its base, when a voice from a nearby farm house shouted at something unseen, "Get down!" They crouched and froze. "Yeah, the farmer's got dogs," whispered Ryan. "I'm surprised they're not barking by now. They always bark whenever I walk past here to get to work." Several passed minutes in silence. Eventually the house lights went out. "What do you say?" asked Ryan. "The dogs probably know we're here. Do you want to try for the tower?" From where they crouched, the ground sloped gently down to an open expanse of grass, iridescent and white-green in the moonlight. Pete looked up at the tower, pitch black against a sheet of stars and faint wisps of cloud. They waited, indecisive.
On Friday, August 06, 2004
On Friday, August 6, he went to a party, out in the country, in northern Wisconsin. He got drunk with old friends. The place filled up, maybe forty or fifty people were there, and then the night's main event: female mud wrestling. Six girls in t-shirts and shorts wrestled in a mud pit, surrounded by a cheering crowd. Perhaps a dozen people knew what Pete knew, that his friend Matt had taken a big shit and piss in the mud before the party. Hilarity ensued.
On Thursday, August 05, 2004
he ate cookies until his stomach hurt while watching Hardball on MSNBC. His dad came into the room during a BP Amoco commercial. "You know," dad said, "I'm sure you could just take all the college graduates these days and give them the energy problem and they could have alternate energy solved in a year . . ." Pete, wary of unqualified optimism, broached the topic of corporate interests and their influence on politics, companies like Halliburton and Harken.
On Wednesday, August 04, 2004
he read the following passage by F. Scott Fitzgerald . . . "Often they swam and as Amory floated lazily in the water he shut his mind to all thoughts except those of hazy soap-bubble lands where the sun splattered through wind-drunk trees. How could any one possibly think or worry, or do anything except splash and dive and loll there on the edge of time while the flower months failed. Let the days move over - sadness and memory and pain recurred outside, and here, once more, before he went on to meet them he wanted to drift and be young."
On Tuesday, August 03, 2004
he started packing, in preparation for the move. In packing and cleaning he laid bare the accumulated pretensions of his previous five years. He threw out back issues of the New Yorker that he really intended to get around to reading one of these days. He threw out old notebooks, toted through three apartments, with the inevitably doomed idea that he might someday want to brush up on Irish History or Philosophy. His trash hand was heartless and unsparing. He felt an opportunity to break clean from the material past, by divesting himself of all but the bare essentials. Which consisted of several hundred books and CDs. A lightened load, unencumbered by the sentiment of an old card from a girlfriend, or a photograph of a friend.
On Monday, August 02, 2004
he went to Matt and Andy's house. The three of them drank cocktails and watched the worst movie ever made - Showgirls.
On Sunday, August 01, 2004
he learned that Wal-Mart is now the largest corporation on earth, having surpassed both General Motors and Exxon Mobil. It made nearly $250 billion in revenue in 2003 - more than the entire GDP of Ireland and Israel combined. It is also America's most sued corporation, facing on average 14 actions a day, for everything from union busting to price fixing to discrimination.