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i was born in new jersey and i moved to california when i was 21

I am now almost 23 years old. It has been just over a year since I moved from New Jersey to California. When I moved from New Jersey to California my girlfriend flew from California to New Jersey and we drove together from New Jersey to California on various interstates near historic Rt. 66 which is really pretty boring. I now live in California, in a acceptably sized apartment on Historic Rt. 66 in California. Historic Rt. 66 has various names across the country. I feel like I live in a Bob Dylan song frequently. Then I remember that it’s Highway 61. I don’t know anything about highway 61.

I went back to New Jersey this weekend for the first time in the year since I moved to California. On the flight there I thought about what I remembered about New Jersey. I remembered the weather, mostly snow and yellow-brown leaves. I remembered humidity, but only vaguely. I remembered wearing pants and I packed pants and I didn’t fit into them because I’ve gotten fatter since I moved to California.

I always cry on planes, during take off, nearly every time I look out the window mid-flight, as we prepare to land, when we’ve landed. I am impressed with the world and with humanity in planes. I think: this is as close to god as I will ever get. I feel like a cliche when I think this. I am sure I read this somewhere. I relate to world better in a plane. I love everyone a good deal more. I was thinking: I will have to decide if I am going to move back to New Jersey this weekend. I thought: I love my family. I thought: I miss going to concerts at Starland Ballroom, at Webster’s Hall, at the Bowery Ballroom, at Hammerstein, at etc… I thought: I have so many friends in New Jersey. I thought: It will be okay if this plane crashes. I thought: I hope this plane crashes.

A good friend of mine from New Jersey passed away two months ago. He was driving on 280 and flipped his truck. He died in the truck. I went home to see his family. I thought: nothing will be the same now that’s he’s dead. I thought: I haven’t grieved yet. I cried, in the way I always cry in public, blinking very frequently, taking a few quick and quiet breaths. Turning my head back and forth, rubbing my forehead strategically to hide my eyes. No one noticed. There was an accountant next to me adding columns on a large calculator.

I was reading a book about a heterosexual in Manhattan who takes a job at a gay porn theater in the 80s. I felt envious. Not of the gay porn theater. I spent a summer commuting into the village to take classes at NYU. I wasn’t smart enough to get into NYU’s Master’s program. I wasn’t smart enough to get into the New School’s MFA program. I feel that my life would be better / different if I had been accepted into either of these two programs. I went to Antioch University instead. Then I dropped out of the MFA program. I am worried that I don’t write well / enough anymore.

In New Jersey it rained. It was cold. It was humid. My family kept the windows in the house open the whole weekend. I couldn’t sleep. I spent a lot of time talking to strangers on Omegle.com until 3 or 4 in the morning. I played a war game with my brother and spent hours killing people on the internet. I saw my old friends and cussed a lot. I was also racist. I drank esspresso at starbucks which I have not done in at least a year.

I felt confused when talking to my friend. I said: I’m ready to go home. He said: That’s[California] home now? He drove me home and we hugged.

I told many people that I loved them even though I had never said that before. I went to the book store and bought Tao Lin’s new novella. I like novellas because I can read them in one day. I like short stories because I can read them in one sitting.

My parent’s dropped me at Newark Airport on sunday. I went through security professionally. I imagined that I was an important business executive in very casual clothes on my way home from a meeting in Manhattan. I sat down at the gate and listened to the Dandy Warhols on my Green IPod mini with the volume all the way up. I felt triumphant. I felt like I was losing something and I closed my eyes thinking that I was an influential young writer who would soon publish a very important piece of literature.

I felt calm. I thought: I don’t want to die on the plane today. I thought: It will be okay if this plane doesn’t crash. I started reading Tao Lin’s book and then stopped after the first gmail conversation with Luis who I suspect might be Brandon Scott Gorrell, but I am not sure. I looked around and kept thinking: I am losing something and I need to write about this feeling. There was a pretty asian girl talking to a very fat asian boy. There was a pretty young girl with a baby in a stroller. There was a tall asian boy with excessive acne. I kept thinking: I need to write this down. I didn’t write anything.

On the plane I didn’t think about anything until I noticed an older man with a turban sitting in the same row as me across the aisle. I watched him very intently. I thought: I will murder him if he moves. I thought: I understand how the planes were hijacked on 9/11. I thought: if he does something I will not be able to move.

It was dark by the time we took off and I watched the lights of Newark and New Jersey below us as we ascended. I felt very emotional. I thought: this is beautiful. I thought: man is wonderful. I thought: I can’t wait to be home. I read the rest of Tao Lin’s book. I felt happy to be in love. I imagined myself hugging my girlfriend for a very long time when I landed. I thought about my little dog licking my face. I thought: I hope this plane doesn’t crash.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted 29 September 2009 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    what’s the name of the book about heterosexual gay porn

  2. Thomas Patrick Levy
    Posted 29 September 2009 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    the fuck up : http://www.amazon.com/Fuck-Up-Arthur-Nersesian/dp/0671027638

  3. Posted 30 September 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I click on that link and it says Hello,Nicole M Sheppard. Weird.

  4. Thomas Patrick Levy
    Posted 1 October 2009 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    that means amazon has defeated you


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