Sunday, February 27, 2005


[May 23, 2002]

[I don’t know what the hell time it is, maybe 3:10 EST but probably 2:10 EST]

Have had a muffin and water for breakfast. Earlier I had a Jack Daniels and Coke. The Lord of the Rings was a pretty good flick. But it ended right on a cliffhanger so I’ll see Part II when it comes along.

They had a Fox News International program on about HEROES from Vietnam. Now it’s an ESPN fly-fishing show. Been listening to the jazz radio program on in-flight headphones. It loops but I don’t mind listening over. The two names above are from the program.
[2:15 EST]

[12:00 pm]

Emily and I met up fine at the airport. My bag came through OK. We then got on the train. She had been there about two hours already and had gotten us tickets. The train to Centraal Station. Tram #24 from there to Werterling around which Hotel Euphemia is located. Afternoon wide open ahead of us.
[12:02 pm]

[May 24, Vrijdag, 12:16 am]

Bought Drum tobacco after changing 115 US in for 110 €—got 10 kosten. Then went shopping for shoes. I saw many styles I liked but had a hard time finding them in stock for shoes in my size. So maybe tomorrow. Then got semi-lost for about two hours, wandering.

[12:24 am, GMT + 1 uur]

Spontaneous combustion & dark matter. The spontaneous combustion stuff came about when Emily and I visited Global Chillage coffee bar and, well, I’m stoned anyway. It was pretty chill. Ambient music. I got a joint of Northern Lights and Em got one of Bubble Gum. We both got at least sufficiently high after having smoked just the tip of our cigarettes. But we went with that for a while, got past the fear and paranoia, and sat, drank coffee, talked, listened to the music, {I miss Brook actually} looked at the mural on the wall. We were there from about 9p-11:40pm.

I smoked a bit more of my northern lights and we got ready to leave. I made point of saying “dank u” to a lady working there and probably made an ass of myself. She kind of laughed once and said I don’t even know what. I didn’t stutter but I didn’t get it out quite right. So what? I was satisfied with myself for having made the effort. She seemed disinterestedly amused.
And Emily and I walked down the road and these footsteps came from behind us saying, “Miss! Miss!” She caught up to us: what, a gray-hooded sweatshirt—zipperdown front or no I don’t remember, jeans, I want to say, black shoes. “You forgot your purse,” or maybe, “Miss, you forgot your purse.” Laughs. “Oh my god!” “Thank you!” “Thanks.” And Em and I said that that was a great save and a what-if disaster scenario.

[12:32 am]

I’m still feeling the effects of my smoke. It was a good smoke and it never got out of control. I was going to relax. Now—it’s going to be interesting when I go to bed, what people and places will be coming across my mind.

It was a pleasant night, anyway. Em & I sprinkled plenty of psychology into our discussion. She shot down one theory of mine: the human evolutionary line may someday lead to a species that uses time perfectly. What’s perfect is what works at the moment. A perfect moment? Plenty, even today, and available every day.

We left what was let of our joints at the coffee bar. My joint had a marking on the paper covering the filter tip. It was “NL” and it referred to my joint being a northern light. I wanted to lift it but decided not to because maybe they write on it so they can survey the ashtrays at the end of the night. I shoudn’t be here if I haven’t briefed myself on the language; I have the most anxiety from that and Em & I talked about it tonight.

Dinner was some of the tasiest food in a while—I woofed everything down: some kind of spicy chicken—it was Indonesian food—green spicy beans, Em’s rice w/ hash browns, some of Em’s beef. The waiter was very amicable (I think) and he was in the end patient about our idiot not-Dutch-knowin’ asses. But when the dishes were taken away we waited a long time (it seemed) and we finally asked for the check. We should have sat through it, even for another hour—we were looking out an empty window, fresh air coming in, bike riders and walkers coming by. But we were eager to get to Global Chillage I guess. We left and exchanged “Dank U’s”; actually, I don’t think we did, I think we exchanged English “Thank You’s” and I just feel really guilty about that for some reason; we imply that we’re falling back on their decision—necessity?—to learn English. The language barrier has seemed insurmountable today. A man in a shoe store I could tell was annoyed for my English-only bungling. And I don’t blame him a bit.

Visual distortions now from the Northern Lights. Into that dreamscape, bon voyage!

[1:47 am]

I’m sitting in a chair in our budget hotel room. The room is great largely by virtue of its private, pristine bathroom, the towels they left us to use, and one other reason which I can’t remember.
W’re going to be here one more night and I didn’t know that comin’ into this. We have yet to hit the Red Light District and/or a Magic Mushrooms shop. I want to buy an effin pair of shoes, eat well, see Anne Frank house, maybe see a library, what else?

I’ve known the feeling of this place. In foosball, in drugs: LSD, mushrooms; in the Acoustic Alchemy; in my current apart., by the swinging doors; the Stiritz name fits in here, somewhere, childhood, dreams—like I’ve been here before so raw but also so familiar in a way I have no conscious cognitive explanation for.

Northern Lights joint was 4€. But, really I’m embarassed about not knowing the language and about shoe shopping—schoenen. I need 48, I’d take 47—but I can’t even get 46. And I saw many pairs I would have purchased. I’ve never been so excited about shoes, like funky I’m-not-a-sneaker-guy-anymore shoes.

I am drinking some water and I’m getting sleepy. –Oh, that other reason, the tap water is good.
Hours breakdown:

Yesterday:4pm—leave St. Louis
8pm—leave Philly


9am—get to airport
10am—train, tram
11am—get to the hotel
12pm—Get lunch- saté, frites, konkommer
1pm—Go to Art Museum, Rijks
3pm—Leave. I walk toward shopping; Em back to hotel
4:30pm—I don’t find any shoes and I attempt to walk back home
5:54 pm—Get home. Em lets me in.
7:00 pm—Wake up from nap. No dreams. Shower.
7:30pm—We get to Indonesian delicatessen and have a great
but at times awkward meal.
9:15pm—We leave restaurant
{Where do I know this feeling? It’s a body feeling.}
and walk to Global Chillage.
11:45pm—Leave Global Chillage. Wallet salvation. Walk back.
1:10am—Somewhat caught up. Some good receipts and scraps.
One postie: “Bel kapot/ Klopper sup” Any ideas?

[2:12 am]

The days’ messages from Brook:
+5-23: smokin’
+5-24: high

[5:17 pm]

At the hotel. A somewhat dreary day. I’ve been struggling with anxiety set into place by a loss of temper outside Anne Frank house after Em & I got split up inside: I was behind her, stayed back to jot down an Anne Frank quotation—I’ll include it here in a sec—and I just finished up with the tour and figured she would have, too; and that she’d be waiting outside. I was wrong. It was about 15-20 mins. we were separated, waiting for each other in different spots. I didn’t look closely enough for her on my way through. So I stood and waited and looked and cursed and told myself to calm down and cursed some more.

But we met up and then we went to shopping. This began shoe debacle: Day II. I fucked and farted around lookin’ for a style I liked in my size (clown feet? I don’t think so). I’ve determined it’s partially because I can’t articulate my position. Em & I look into four or five stores, but I reiterated my wish to look at a department store, which I didn’t do yesterday. We go to one and there are some 46’s there, which I try on to discover that alas they fit. That helps. I need not ask for 47 or 48. But style was lacking in their selection, so I made a mental note of their possibility as a last resort and we decided to keep walking, keep looking. I was able to cash my t-cheques at a postkantoor after AF House but Em had to wait until we found a Thomas Cook, which we did, on Dam after the d-store. But the line wasn’t moving so she said fuck it and we walked E-NE toward the Red Light District.

It was walking through here I think that control started to slip away from me. When I saw a woman in lingerie churning in a windowI knew I wanted to see more. But here was my sister Emily beside me and I was not comfortable with this at all. Walked on, and soon past another, ground level window, and a woman in there, blond, large breasts, rather attractive, in a blue bikini, blue the silversish tinge color of a blue morph’s wings. As I looked over she was adjusting her top and I wondered if maybe it had just been lifted & she was adjusting it after-the-fact. Some men, indeed, had gotten right up to this window before we came upon it, two at least I saw cup their hand, fingers over ther brows, pinky against glass to cut out any glare and see straight through the glass. Two other women behind glass, in small show-rooms, were less attractive. One woman behind a glass door, below street-level opened her door to a short Muslim man pasing us in the opposite direction as we passed; I turned my head to see that he beckoned to her call, stopping in the direction that he was going to turn around descend the small set of stairs and enter the tiny display case. If I were walking along, alone, I might have done the same.

[5:36 pm]

This was about all I could think of as we came to the end of, and pulled out of the Red Light District. Em was now interested in smart shops, in this area of which there were plenty, particularly ones that sold psychedelic, so-called magic mushrooms. We stopped first in one called Conscious Dreams. They sold herbals, vitamins, & serious drugs. Entheogens. Mushrooms: psilocybic-Hawaiian, Mexican, the Philosopher’s stone. Looked mmm so good but my heart was still pounded from the peek into the Red Light District. How can I get back there without indicating one way or another to Emily that that’s I’m doing?

What would she say if she did know? I could say I was going to the modern art museum & go there instead.
And what would I do, John, what would I do? Maybe just look—there would be more of them out—all the window displays would be stocked with women getting ready to take their clothes off, hookers willing to fuck me or suck my dick. Where would I get condoms? As I searched the display counter at Conscious Dreams, that’s what I was thinking, and I saw that you could buy even there three booze-flavored condoms. And see, here’s really where anxiety makes itself clear: when two opposing urges well up inside of you; two forces appear which are just two sides of the same coin, and neither of them, not a hard-on to fuck a middle-aged hooker two streets over nor the decision to race home and ask Brook to marry me is natural, or normal of my steady, persistent self.

But God damn I was thinking about it long and hard. It was raining. I’d walk there in the rain. I didn’t know any of the language. We’d get by. I have only had sex with one person, and that was five years ago. She’d be experienced. The last thing I wanted to do though was get hooked up with some dirty hooker who’d pass onto me a hearty clap or gruesome gonorrhea. I couldn’t ever deny that one to Brook: Brook, we shouldn’t. Why? Cause you’d get infected. How would that make her feel. Woudn’t she ask me in any case? Yes, even if she did it as a “joke.” I’m just kidding, I know you wouldn’t do anything like that. What’s the point of getting a blowjob anyway, if you have to wear a condom.

So I’m starting to feel pretty lousy and we get out of Conscious Dreams after I discard a fleeting desire to buy some peyote and see what Huxley’s ‘thing-ness’ is all about. You’re not really going to get that are you? They did. Peyote. Man. A dream I’ve had for two years. But never anywhere but in my own house. Not here of all places. God, I’d go in-fucking-sane! Same with the mushrooms—if I can’t handle those at home I’d be an asshole to eat the ones they have here. Where would I do it? Would Em be having some? Go to a bar, a club? Walk outside in the rain? Sounds good, but I’ll just have some coffee. No herbal extasy, no salvia. I just couldn’t and wouldn’t.

On to the Natural Elements. A smaller shop with more choices. Skullcap. Opium teas. Do you want anything? I think I’m going to get something. I’ll ask. Yes, hi, um, do you have, what would you recommend for something pretty mild but with mood-enhancing effects? Yeah, mood-enhancing, happiness, confidence, relaxed, and nothing too speedy. He came up with a shiva tea which contains I don’t know what. She bought some for €4.50, but I wouldn’t budge; I got nothing; I’ll hold off I think.

Walking back to Dam. I’m thinking about how bad that shit would fuck me up—not send me into space, shit I’d love to go there: I’d be jumping in styrofoam shoes on the trampoline of the moon, a foam party goofy with blue lights parrot bay rum and stetson cologne. That was good mushrooms, chill music, at the table in my private apartment. The way I was feeling now I knew that mushrooms would mean doldrums and homesickness and not to mention how Emily would handle them. Anxiety. What am I doing with my life? Did I just have sex with a hooker? What kind of person am I? What would Dad say? Am I just a total fuck-up? Would confusion wrap me into its fur blanket, would anything feel good, would I get happy, like I was yesterday, or would I sink into a depression deeper than the one that contains thoughts and questions like this.
Fuck it, I thought. I could go on a peyote bender and wander into the red light and slather my penis all across the glass in front of a model. It might even seem big to them and maybe they’d like me.

The dildos I’ve seen in the showcases here haven’t been very threatening at all. That’s me. I could do that. A peyote bender, how I would describe it to Ray. But I would regret it even if it would make a good story to tell to my…parents? Girlfriend? Teachers? Peyote bender and the clap in Amsterdam. They’re all supposed to be tested but who else have they been with since testing? Would signs at the peep shows inside say don’t get the glass dirty? Dirty. Dirt. Is my semen dirt?

I wanted to just get some fuckin shoes and take a mind inventory after that because I was in the throes of a serious mindfuck at the moment. We were both hungry. Sit down pizza was the plan.
Emily got her thing done at Thomas Cook. Four Argentinian women came in & I thought to myself that I’d fuck any of them except one whose voice sounded way too deep but who after two eye-fucks I was pretty sure wasn’t a man. That voice, though, where does it come from? We walked out and down I think Muntplein which is one of the crowded shopping streets I was on in yesterday’s schoenen shoppin gagglefuck extreme. We checked two shoe places. I saw the places I was in yesterday. So many beautiful people here, too—girls with great asses and usually handsome man friends arm & arm. But damn!

We walk & walk & after pizza places supreme out the wazoo—over by Red Light—we don’t see any now that we’re hungry & ready to stop. We get off of that street & go up another until we land at a New York Style pizza joint.
Here Em & I begin to discuss what’s wrong with me and this was exhausting. I just told her about my bouts with depression and said drugs would only make it worse. But you seemed fine & happy this morning, yesterday. Yeah, but yesterday was before smoking pot last night; you were happy then. Yeah, I’m happy when I’m high but what about after that? I just think you were anxious because we went through seedy areas; don’t just blame it on the pot. I’ve done a lot of thinking about this Emily; I’ve done a lot of thinking about this & I just don’t want to smoke any more.

I was down on pot, down on drugs, down on coffeeshops. I was despondent, in that place where nothing can reach me to feel good, not the thought of a coffeeshop later or a club and I was deeply wanting just to be by myself for a modest stretch so that I could buy some shoes and maybe walk down to the art museum. I was thinking: I’m not getting a chance to do what I really want to do. I just wanted to go to a library. I said I’d go to a club later but I couldn’t make any promise about how long I’d stay or how fun I’d be.

You don’t even want to go to a coffeeshop later; I thought you wanted to try the hash? I’ll go with you and have some coffee and some cigarettes, but I don’t wanna get high, I just don’t have the capacity for it right now. You were happy with it last night. Yeah, when I was high—but I can only feel like that when I’m high; I’m not feeling good right now. We were each finished with our vegetarisch pizza. I threw away a plastic bottle.

Well, I have to find some shoes. And so we decided to split up so that I could get the search done quicker. Meet at the National Monument at 3:30. We walked out & back down good old god damn Muntplein & its gaggle of shoe shops but no size 46 hip kicks. So I said fuck this and walked across Dam & over to where the hell was I? Oh, Newendijk. Hadn’t been over here. OK, the mission is shoe finding. Tried a few other places and no. Then found another Taft, the most brightest hope yesterday over on Muntplein but where I was blacklisted by the prick I couldn’t blame for it. Now, requiem. Downstairs here. 46 in this, no? Again, much patience—the rule generally, well 50/50, but great service in this Taft. Two guys helping me. Then just one but I said 46 in this? No, I’m sorry. It’s diffficult, he said. He was kind. Patient. Do you have a 46 in a similar style? Let me see; in this?

He held up a beige version of black shoes I saw & loved in ten other stores. Sure. Ya? Ya. So he went back & came out with it. But this isn’t really what I want I was thinking. But also this guy’s been nice & why not try it on. Tried on and felt good. It feels good? Ya. Ya? Yes, but do you have it in any other styles? Not in black, no, I’m sorry. Ok, how about, do you have 46 for any other shoes? Ah, let me see. He walks around & I follow him blue-sock-footed. This? No, I’m wanting something darker. Black? Yeah…. It’s difficult. Ya. This? No. this? Eh. Well, if you don’t have any black, I’ll buy the other ones. Ya? Ya. Good. Good. Cash or credit? I used credit. €124.95. They’re fine shoes, even if they’re not my particular style. Whatever.

I would walk back. But I went the wrong way out of the store and saw shops I hadn’t seen before—shops with the shoeboxes out in the store so that the shopper could see what was available. This was how it was in the dept. store & this was exactly the set-up I wanted. Two stores like this, styles & sizes matching lacking but then another and there I bought a dressier pair of black shoes for €45. The cashier spoke to me in Dutch & I had no idea; but I confirmed that I wanted a bag; but when she repeated the price from the cash register reading I heard €55 when the register read €45. So I was like how much? I had a €50 in my hand though & gave it to her when her body language indicated it would do the trick. €45 straight up, not bad.
By now it was 3:25 and I met Em back at the square.

We hit a café for, me, espresso. Things going better but a miscommunication when Emily asked me if I wanted whip cream in my espresso. I don’t think that would be a good idea I said. But she had a spoonful and plopped it right into my little espresso cup. What are you doing? Emily! Yeah, me, the espresso connoiseur. I should have kept my mouth shut & the whip cream was good anyway. We were in there for a while. No time for museum. Raining solid. I don’t want to have to walk in that. I was ready to go but we sat tight for a bit. I’d still like to get to a bookstore I said. I was also thinking about club pants, & what long-sleeved shirt would I wear anyway? Drum & bass rather than hard techno. Sounds good to me.

We walked back & Emily was saying people who’re depressed are most so in the morning. Not me I said. Maybe you’re not depressed then. That car’s crossing—watch out. I’d rather us drop my depression as a subject. And we did. Walked back. Saw some possible spots on our street [6:45 pm] for dinner.

Been back in hotel for a while. Em got on Internet when we got here & I took advantage of the privacy to clear my loins of some burdensome thoughts. I’ve felt much better since. I got on internet & mailed Brook. Came back up. Said I was maybe gonna walk to bookstore but then I started to write. I could use a change & a shower & some food. Some beer. Em is sleeping; probably a little befuddle, nonplussed by me.

[7:00 pm]

hyperlexia—can’t dream, daydream; trouble reading, imagining.

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