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Last night we had an Oscars viewing party at a friend’s house. One of my favorite parts is when they show the dead people montage. I’m not happy they’re dead, I just look at them with envy for the work they’ve left behind. Their mark. They worked, they worked hard and we give a fuck. I feel strangely proud of them. Or maybe its just respect I feel. One of the faces that came across the screen was Ray Bradbury. During my booze-drenched consciousness over the past year I missed it. I had no idea he had died. When I was a kid, I thought he was absolutely brilliant. The first book I read was Something Wicked This Way Comes. I never liked Sci-fi or anything based in an overtly fictional land but it was the truth with which Bradbury wrote. His constant commentary on life hidden in the guise of fantasy.

During my departure point into Ray Bradbury obsession, one of my friends was hit by a car and killed. He was one of my first ‘boyfriends’, back in the day when that word was simultaneously one of the most useless and fulfilling phrases one child could utter to another. When he first asked for my companionship I told him I probably had to say no due to my mother’s insanity and my personal interest in everyone’s safety.

My mother owned a local business where I spent most of my free time. The next day I was at the desk, which faced a picture window pointed at the front parking lot. He came around the corner on his bike. He came to meet my mother so they could get to know each other before becoming my childhood lover.

After that he was dead. And after that I read this by Bradbury:

Death does not exist. It never did. It never will. But we’ve drawn so many pictures of it, so many years trying to pin it down, comprehend it. We’ve got the thinking of it as an entity. Strangely alive and greedy. All it is however is a stopped watch, an end, a loss, a darkness. Nothing. And we’re more afraid of nothing than we are of something. You can fight something, but nothing – where do you hit it?

That’s probably paraphrased because I typed it from memory.

Next I read The Butterfly Affect. After that I was fairly certain I had the ability to ruin the world, my life and quite positively the lives of many others. This idea was a hot, steaming, delicious cake from a recipe most likely composed of a heaping tablespoon of ego and a dash of undiagnosed OCD. His book is about going back in time and changing one thing – for example, stealing a butterfly. And how this one minute act has catastrophic consequences on the landscape, the eco system, the people and last but not least all of history and humankind.

Being sober has been pretty rad this time around. It’s interesting how immensely difficult it was for me to clean up the second time. Constantly shoving swords in rocks, declaring my stake in the sobriety game, waving my own decapitated head to the crowd (aka the few friends left who were still speaking to me) – just to slowly and quietly drink a short 24 hours later and hope nobody cared or gave me shit for it. One of the many times I did this, a friend asked ‘Well, what are you going to do different this time?’ Good question. My only plan thus far was to hope harder and/or master alcoholism and drink normally because if I could drink like a normal person I would all day everyday. Eventually the thing to do differently this time was to get on meds. And for fuck’s sake, antidepressants are saving my goddamn life.

People really trivialize the solutions of others. Like if I hear one more person in my lifetime say “Well ya know, Einstein’s theory of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results…” – I’m going to stab his/her eyes out with whatever is the sharpest object within arms reach, go to my apartment, get my bike off the wall, put the front tire back on it, ride to the Brooklyn bridge and take a sailor’s dive off the highest point I can find.

I can’t even recall the amount of time’s I’ve ‘learned a lesson’ and recreated the same situation. The most shocking part of that is not that It occurs but that each time I’m incredibly surprised to find myself there. As if I’ve snuck up behind my own back, tapped myself of the shoulder and said boo – at which point, I piss my pants in fear.

When I was eight my teacher got the class a bean plant. Well what she actually got us was a bowl of dirt and a seed. Our assignment was to write what we thought would happen. This is what I wrote:

WE got a bean + plant. I think that it is going to work because you said this is not your frist year Doing it. So why would you Do something that Does not work over and over againg throw K and second 

Good question asshole, why don’t you wait twenty years and let us know how that’s working out for you.

– With love, JT

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