Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This is what they write about, Judah Nagler sings

on The Velvet Teen's "False Profits." I'm on the green line train, Boston, bound for North Station, and I've very recently become homeless. I think, "Yes, this is what they write about, isn't it?" thinking specifically about Al Burian and his book Burn Collector, a compilation of his most excellent zine work. The book is largely about Burian's time spent homeless, or mostly homeless, sleeping on couches, broke, unemployed, in Portland, Oregon and Providence, Rhode Island. Courtney loaned the book to me during my last visit to Philly, and I've been obsessed with Burian's hilarious and heartbreaking tales for a week solid. It's only fitting that, as I near the end of the book, I find myself in an eerily similar situation: I'm out on the street with literally nothing but the clothes I'm wearing and that very copy of Burn Collector.

Let me back up a bit and fill you in on my situation in general, in case you're one of the many people with whom I haven't communicated in a while: in the last three months, I've traveled roughly 6000 miles, moving across the country three times--Denver to Boston, back to Denver, back to Boston. The specific reasons for each of these moves have already become hazy and shallow to me, so I can't really tell you why I'm here. I'm just here.

And tonight, I'm homeless. The short story is: I've been kicked out. You probably know I was staying with Jill. In fact, she's the whole reason I came to Boston in the first place. And now, through a series of circumstances too laughably pathetic and painful to recount at this moment, she's kicked me out. All my stuff is still in her apartment; she wouldn't let me come up tonight to drag it all out of there. The deal, she tells me, is this: she's going to put all my shit out on the lawn in a couple of days. The idea is aggravating, mostly because I've got a laptop and a couple of other things I don't want to lose, or see smashed on the pavement. I manged, though, to bargain her down to this: she's going to, whenever she feels like it, probably some time in the next few days, throw all my stuff out on the lawn in front of her house, but she's going to call me when she's about to do it, so if I'm free, I can run over there and grab it all. Seems fair to me.

So until she calls, I'm stuck with what I'm wearing: a pair of jeans that haven't been washed in far too long, and the old beat-up Cure "Boys Don't Cry" t-shirt I inherited from Nick. Actually, I got lucky, because I had the foresight (before last night's drunken adventure to The Other Side and Eastern Standard and, eventually, Shannon's apartment, where I slept on the couch) to pack a spare t-shirt, to wear to work today, and--the real saving grace--my phone charger, so I'll actually be able to receive her call when she says, "Come get your stuff, asshole."

I don't think I've processed yet how I got myself into this, or what it means. That can wait.

In case you're wondering, my course of action, after being told to leave empty-handed, was something like this:

- call Courtney;
- call around to see whose couch I can sleep on (Rhianna comes through);
- get to Rhianna's and immediately open a beer;
- walk with her, and beer, to CVS to buy a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and a bar of soap;

and now I'm typing this on Rhianna's boyfriend Rob's giant amazing iMac in an otherwise dark room near a window overlooking the North End.

I aim, with this post, to take this woefully neglected blog in a new direction: specifically, I want to document whatever it is that's going to happen to me here in Boston, where, oddly enough, the only constant factor I have going for me right now is my job at Whole Foods. And when better to start writing about my uncertain adventures then the absolute first night? You're getting in on the ground floor. Congratulations. You can be witness to all the details: whose couches are more comfortable, whether I retrieve all my belongings (intact or otherwise), what I end up doing with my life now that I'm here in Boston, et cetera.

You know, the good stuff.


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