during the first few hours of driving long distance, time seems to stand still. every mile is a burden and you question, how will i ever make it? you go on like that until you find your zone, and once you got it, you can drive forever. you gotta make peace with your situation. it took me 4 hours to get out of washington. with gas, food, water, smokes and traffic, it was the best i could do. after i got past portland it was easy sailing though. the sky cleared up and i kept beating my estimated times of destinations. i kept myself occupied with various games and timetables (i drove by myself). listen to cd here, make phone calls there, ect. i found myself listening to a lot of talk radio. varying opinions clashing across radio dials. there were old hornet radio dramas on and this really awesome talk show about alien abductions that lasted for hours. a so called 'expert' answered everyone's questions in a very determined manner, yet every so often he'd reveal he was only guessing. it was entertaining as fuck to hear somebody speaking about something no one can really have any answers to as if everything theyknew was fact. it reminded me a little of church. i made it about 70 miles north of bakersfield before i had to pull over and take a nap in a hotel parking lot (where i had terrible, paralyzing abduction dreams all night!). at that point i'd been driving for about 15 hours and only pulled over do to pure exhaustion. i was in the 'zone' and could've driven all night. once i reach that point, i'd rather not do anything else. i could leave everything behind and never look back (if i had the budget, i probably would). no responsibilities. only you and the road, and i know that cliche has been used a million times over, but i think more often than not, people are more in love with the romantic notion of it than they actually feel it. it takes a certain breed. ask any band member or truck driver and they'll tell you. ask me. on my long solo trek, i spent a lot of time thinking. my 24 hours in seattle were very over whelming. it was a lot of change to take in in such a short amount of time. i experienced everything i loved about it and all the reasons why i left it behind. it was hard reminder of a lifestyle i once lived. an average person can read yesterday's post as 'one crazy night in seattle!', i see it as, oh that's why i left. don't get me wrong, i loved seeing everybody and was so happy most everyone was doing well, but that day, that wasn't as much a reflection of a celebration as it was a prime example of a typical day for me in that town. booze, drugs, sex. it was everywhere at all times. it got to a point where i didn't even want it or seek it out anymore, it was just there and it followed me around. i had to leave just to get that out of my life. i don't usually bring home girls in l.a., i've done drugs maybe four times. i drink and party, but it's my job. i've fucked up in so many ways possible that i know what to do now. i also learned what was really important to me, and as much as i hate to admit it, it took a hateful flyer to make realize it. now, i'm not saying i didn't have fun, because i did. doing drugs midday. sure! fun! whatever! makes for a good story, right? but is that a good motivation to do it? at the time i thought so, and if you ever asked me that question, i'd pretty much always say yes. "go for the experience," i'd say. "be the life of the party with your ancedotes," i'd encourage. but be careful you learn that line. know that you don't need it. know that you're awesome without and you're ok. i'm also not saying that i didn't have fun making out with that girl, cuz i did, but i probably wouldn't have done it if i was just a little more sober. there was no passion to it. it was like going through the motions, i'd liken it to going to a gynecologist, but i wouldn't know. i felt more than a little guilty during and especially afterward. what was i doing? there's someone else in l.a. that i really like. but does she feel the same about me? is there even an inkling of interest in that way? should i even feel guilty? i have no obligation. neither does she. did she do the same thing? did i sound like a jerk in my last post that included her? i never got an answer to any of those questions. i hadn't heard from her since sat. sun and monday came and went with nothing but an empty promise of a phone call. where had she gone, this person i'd been talking to almost everyday? strange. there were three other things that happend in seattle too, that i either forgot about or was unable to fit into yesterday's entry. i thought it appropriate to bring them up here in these momments of reflection. ...... when i walked into the 411 house bright and early sunday morning at 5am. the first thing i did after saying my hellos was ask natalie where the showoff mirror was. the showoff mirror was the last remaining artifact from the showoff gallery in bellingham, wa. a place i spent a couple years of my life living and booking shows in. a place where friends were made and hearts were broken. a place that saw the beginning and held the prime of so many legendary and amazing bands. a place that, until it's closure a couple years agao, was the longest running all ages venue on the west coast. it was a legend, but a couple drug kids ruined it for everyone. the showoff got closed and gutted and that mirror was the only thing i was able to salvage. i had a dream to see it passed down from generation to generation of punk kids. each giving themselves haircuts in it and placing their own decals on it. so i asked natalie, where's the showoff mirror? and she responded, "well, you know michael bertrand right?" and i knew. it was gone. shattered to a million pieces. another reminder of my past gone (that's twice in one week), and more importantly, a piece of punk rock history, destroyed. ...... when travis and i were driving back from zane's parent's house after failing to retrieve my stuff, we drove by the green cat. i looked to my left, out the car window and on the sidewalk saw my old roommate and current enemy, devin, walking down the street. seattle people would know, but without getting into the gorey details, he's part of a group that did something that really hurt me and maybe i did something to deserve some of that, i don't really believe so, but that's not what i'm trying to dispute. when i saw devin, the first thing i did was jump. it was like i'd just laid eyes on the scariest monster i'd ever seen in my life. i felt fear, i felt tears in my eyes, i felt a world of emotions i hadn't in a while. here's a guy i used to call my favorite roommate when we lived together at the 13th st house. he's probably the nicest guy most will meet. easy going, laid back, lovable. he's a great guitar player and one of seattle's punk rock heroes. i used to gnaw on his shoulder when we were drunk and he'd hate it. it was funny. that's in the past though. i'm scared of him now, honestly scared. we haven't even talked. there was never a fight, there was never an accusation, at least not directly from him. there was only silence and with that came complete and utter betrayal. dude didn't even have the decency to ask me about it or at least say fuck you to my face. everything i thought i knew about him was runined and he took part in probably one of the single worst things to ever happen to me in my life. but he and they are not the reason i left seattle and i'll tell you this: they're wrong. ...... dylan is getting married. dylan is getting fucking married! he told me that at the cha cha and when i saw the girl he was marrying, it made perfect sense. i don't know why i never thought of that combination before. knowing dylan's history and my intimate knowledge of her's, they're gonna be happy for a while. he asked me to draw the invites for their wedding and to dj at it. i excecpted. this was the first time i've ever actually been happy for anyone else getting married. they just seemed so stoked about it. congratulations dylan. on my drive back to l.a., i talked to my old boss chris beno on the phone and told him about dylan. i told him how weird i thought it was and how he was the first real close friend of mine to walk down the aisle. chris told me that this was gonna start happening around these years and that i'd better get used to it. i was like, "yeah right," and he was like, "hell, maybe you'll even surprise yourself and do it," and i was like, "fat chance." oh man, i really hope not. i don't wanna grow up! ...... i woke up at around 9am in the parking lot of a hotel 6 about 70 miles north of bakersfield. it took me a second to regain full consciousness and i immediately started up the car and headed back out onto the road. a few miles down i stopped for coffee and gas. from there it was hip hop for the trip and the yeah yeah yeahs for the victory lap when i finally entered l.a. it was hot outside and my right arm is about three shades darker than my left. oh yeah, i forgot to mention this earlier, but the entire trip down i could barely walk. i pulled my calfs so bad from loading all of my stuff into my car from zane's parent's that to stand was the most painful thing in the world. i think gas station attendants and onlooking customers must of thought i was handicapped in someway. i got a lot of sympathetic looks as i winced and whined my way to the bathroom and back. as soon as i got back in l.a. my phone rang. it was back to business as usual. i turned my phone off after the reminder and made my way home. i unloaded my car, said hello to our house guests, the mean reds, and took a shower. i hadn't the entire trip and smelled so fucking bad! i made my way down to the internet cafe to write yesterday's entry. midway through there was a power surge and everything i'd written was erased. i swore outloud, stormed outside and vowed to never return again. zane called (he'd gotten back from spain while i was in seattle). he calmed me down and we agreed to meet. i was gonna get my best friend back for a couple hours before he left again, this time to japan.