If you regret it is not my fault

The other day I was walking through barnes and noble and a man who looked like a regular Japanese hipster browsing the literary magazine section grumbled something at me. I looked up and said “excuse me,” and then he yelled. I though he was yelling to his child who was probably over in the teen idol section or snacking on a rice krispy treat in the starbucks.
“I’m right next to you,” I said, like the asshole who I am who can’t help but say shit to people like it’s going to change them. “you don’t have to yell in my ear.”
He looked at me then, and I had that new Yorker momement when I realize I’ve interacted with a crazy person. (maybe *i* am the crazy person) and quickly went over to the art and design isle.
I picked up the issue of Juxtapoz, but I had already purchased it. A petite woman with curly hair looked at painting magazines next to me and we both looked up when we heard a yell
“Wait,” I said to the curly haired woman. “who is he talking to?”
“If you regret it is not my fault. If you regret it is not my fault. If you regret it is not my fault.”
She did the international sign for nuts with a twirl of her finger and a roll of her eye. “I think he’s a little…”
“still,” I said
“it’s kind of a beautiful thing to yell.”
I looked at a copy of ploughshares and wondered if I’d ever receive another Granta from my subscription. I wondered about literary subscriptions. Who had time to read all these words? Plus the goddammed New Yorker and the Economist which come like twice a day in the morning mail and the evening and the New York times and Netflix and really did anyone read all of these things?
My friend Jon published in Ploughshares. So did Scott. Did they no longer talk to me because I lived in Red Hook? Or was it because I don’t have a job? Because I’m a loser? Or is it because I’m single? Aren’t I allowed to be single? I’m pretty happy being single; there isn’t anyone I love. It’s because I’m a drunk, isn’t it? But I’m not always a drunk, just when i am trying to keep up with the drinkers or really scared. Am I a loser and that’s why we aren’t friends anymore? was it my fault or are they having fun without me. Jon and Jesse came to my 40th birthday party. I liked that. Lucy bought me that copy of Don’t look Now when I’d never (ok, I had read Rebecca but I hated it.) read Daphne Du Maurier even though I’ve really only read a bunch of her short stories and some of her novels. Still I count Iris Murtoch and Ernest Hemingway as my favorite writers and I have not completed reading their works. Jon used to say he was a completest. I have not completed Jennifer Egan and she only has five books. I have completed Tana French. And Donna Tartt. But barely any Larry McMurtry past Lonesome Dove.
I bought the Ploughshares. This is the second time this year I’ve bought a Ploughshares off the newsstand. It must speak to me. I bet I wouldn’t read it if I subscribed like all of those Art Forums that just sit on my couch.
He walked by us, on his way out, like Maverick flying by the control tower, just to make sure I knew he was talking to me, then he went past the Starbucks and down the escalator, never letting up on not his fault.

international catsitter

I’ve just thought about it and I think that it’s true that it wouldn’t hurt me to add to this. Blogging is fun. It’s as least a billion times more fun than posting to etsy is. https://www.etsy.com/shop/archibaldleach

So I’m two years in being Van Life (read: homeless) and having Roger Sterling the 1992 Chevy Van as my trusted companion (instagram @annewithavan) and dog and cat and occasionally person sitting around the world.

Today the weather just dropped twenty five degrees or so and I’m minding an aged Pug and a super cute-whirring-purring calico cat, so I worked from here and roasted a chicken and am drinking some orange wine

going coastal

i’m in morro bay, where dave and melissa used to live. (i don’t think i knew it existed before the time i came to see them (for about an hour) on that road trip five years ago. i can’t remember thinking about it. Still, my knowledge of California had to do with LA or San Francisco, and of those I only knew San Francisco. I never did anything but UCLA when i was in LA. i certainly don’t know a thing about San Jose.  that california road trip a few years ago was the first time i had bothered to drive through redwoods or go to big sir.)

they didn’t love it here. i recall melissa saying they were planning to leave–she thought it shouldn’t be weird that she was a lawyer or that dave speaks six languages–i wonder if it is that provincial. it’s really pretty here.

the coffeeshop where i’m writing seems pretty rad. Top Dog coffee shop.  It’s got typical california old school coffee vibes.  Aha on the radio, chalkboard menu sign. wooden tables–that are made, not recycled–only a little aluminum siding. but bagels, garden with flowers, they serve beer at night. or all the time. they serve beer all the time and some of that beer is pacifico.

i wonder if it’s a republican place? i don’t know anything about any of these towns from ventura all the way to Monterey.

i told philip i would come see him in temescal, but i think i’m going to  head north and stick to the coast and then go to the river for ani’s birthday.  i wonder if there is any place really cheap to stay.  i just found a very unsophisticated map with campsites on it. a little useful. funny how i get less bold about where i sleep now that i’m closer to home.

definitely having a free place too sleep has to be part of my decision making for the next month.  but i also have to get on selling stuff. i’m setting up my BigCartel site right now. i’m not sure if it makes any difference. certainly i have to get on selling stuff. there is plenty of it to sell in Rog.

yesterday invovled some semi radness. i know louise has mentioned the Madonna Inn, but i had NO idea. really none. it’s amazing. full of pink booths and a steak house and a ballroom with people of all ages dancing. i couldn’t tell if these were students from Cal Poly or what, but there was dancing and pink and flowers and family photos.

totally rad.

i also had a sad interaction at the Kon Tiki motel in Pismo Beach, which was less Tiki and more dumb than could be hoped. Oh well. another day another Tiki mission.







solvang? aren’t there some dutch people clogging around here somewhere

i’m in a starbucks in Solvang. i feel like we were supposed to come here with the Fam when i was a child but didn’t for whatever reason. i kind can’t wait to get out of the starbucks and see if  it’s awesome in a tacky way. i love tourist traps.

meanwhile there is a fat guy in one of those tshirts with kinda fake tattoo ornamental baroque silk screen that make everyone look like they’ve just walked into wet paint who has taken 20 minutes to take everything out of his bag–a ziplock of change that he had to count to pay for his Iced tea– a mouse, a charger for his phone AND for his gigantic laptop and gigantic mouse. he also has that giant iphone. maybe it’s a 7 or an 8 or an X or whatever. maybe it’s just a ipad.  it’s a lot.  totally harshing the starbucks mello. then again, i’ve never worked in a starbucks and not had my mello harshed. now he’s moving. oh well. no more new neighbor.

i wonder if i’ve counted this town short. maybe there’s a really good coffee shop. there’s a java the hut, but they rarely have good coffee.

got a bunch of audio book cassettes at the granny thrift store for cheap.  so that’s something.