Norfolk, Virginia / at the hotel:

We're in room 720 now, on the second floor. They had us in 6-something-something (it added up to 7, numerologically - I do remember that much), on the third floor, but we requested a change due to a noisy toilet. It moaned like a wounded cow every time we flushed our piss down the drain, and no one thought it was funny but me. While Dad was downstairs negotiating our case with the shy, goggle-eyed hotel concierge, no doubt bitching in his usual sour, holier-than-thou tone - a tone he has developed over many years of playing the victim - I watched two cats sunbathe in the backyard of someone's beachfront bungalow. So we're in room 720 now, which adds up to 9, numerologically. I'll have to look up the number "9" in my book of mystical and occult knowledge. As well as the number "2". Seeing as we're on the second floor now. If I crane my neck, I can still watch the two sunbathing cats from the balcony. I also caught sight of a third, stalking casually through the tall, brown grass growing over the dunes. I'm looking at cats. Should I be watching the ocean? ...

Eh. Maybe later.

We're very close to the hotel patio and pool. As if the hungry, insistent squawking of seagulls wasn't enough of an auditory assault, I can also hear screaming, ecstatic children and babies, wailing from the shallow end of the pool at their lethargic, disillusioned parents who somehow seem weighted to their deck chairs. I can hear these babies as clearly as if a stork were holding them, in a soft, terrifying bundle, up to my face.

What brilliant acoustics!

I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my older brother, the ex-artist, and his overbearing girlfriend. You know, I've noticed she has an odd twitch in her face ...

/ / / / / / / / / / / /

We're still waiting. It's only been a few minutes. I moved my hair around in the mirror and admired my shirt. It's green. There's a little flag. It says, "JAMAICA". I feel entitled to wear it. After all, I have read two books on post-colonial island nations. Michelle Cliff. Frantz Fanon. Yes, I feel entitled and aware, and am proud to support the cause of black national identity. Poverty. The lower-classes. Sinking in the dungle. I am suddenly and unexpectedly overwhelmed with hunger and a desire to be intoxicated.

I still haven't looked up the numerological meaning of "9" and "2". I'll do that to pass the time. Oh, but wait! Was that the door? ...

/ / / / / / / / / / / /

To compliment the daydreams I've been enjoying all week, we eat at a Mexican restaurant. El Azteca. A large painting of Quetzalcoatl glows from the wall directly in front of me, an altarpiece, flanked by several trophy deer heads. Mounted. Deer. Heads. Trophies! Of ... Oh, shit, I'm drawing a blank. The sign at the door said, "WELCOME HOME AMIGOS". Indeed I do feel "at home" here! My friends! All of us here under Quetzalcoatl and his legions of decapitated deer. Oh, and the Tecate helps.

/ / / / / / / / / / / /

Look at me. Sitting here on my brother's front porch, calling all over the goddamn place. All across the United States of America. Home of the free. Land of opportunity. Or, wait, isn't it "land of the free" / "home of the brave" ...? Okay, somebody, some friend, talk to me. The porch is a fucking jail cell, and no body appreciates my humor. My whimsy. Ring, ring, ring, ring. FUCK. "Hey-y-y, this is Brannan, uhhh, I ca--". Fuckin' shit, Brannan. He probably thinks I'm going insane. He probably thinks I'm really fucking depressed. Shit, I bet he's gonna get maaad ... Oh, shit, now I'm a little worried. NOTE TO SELF: THINK TWICE BEFORE LEAVING VOICE MESSAGES / YOU SUCK AT IT. Oh gosh. Gee whiz, gosh. Darn. I. Am. Tired. I want to smoke some weed. I want to drink some NyQuil. I can't sleep. I watched "Independence Day" on fucking mute last night rather than sleep. I hate that goddamn movie. But, well ... I guess it is kind of funny in that sad, unintentionally retarded kind of way ... Okay. Shit. I HAVE GOT TO TALK TO SOMEONE. Who's next? Taylor! Ring ring ring rang rung. "You have reached the voice mail box of --". Shit. Okay, well, that was to be expected. No harm, no foul. I'm just trying like I'm supposed to try. Reachin' out. Reachin' out. Reachin' UP. Um. Um. OH, YES! Fuckin' SCORE! Andy's calling! ... And before our conversation reaches the punchline, my fucking phone fucking goes dead. All the world seems to go dead. I need to go to the store. I need to drive around. My cough is coming back. Shit. And Dad won't let me near the steering wheel of the rental car. Even though he's drunk now. He and his son are watching sports. Of course he's drunk! If I were a dad, I'd be drunk too! Drunk, drunk, drunk. And mom's drunk too, because she has nothing better to do. And I'm on the fucking porch with a pack of Pall Mall Ultra Lights, a dead cell phone, and this sad little journal.

I guess I'll stare at the moon. Yeah. I'll stare at this here moon ... and just ... fall into a trance ... Oh, this is getting too serious. Magic can be too serious sometimes. And scary. I'm scared!

What force is it that makes me miss humor to such an extent that I actually become frantic? Does it really get so hard? I don't know, man. I really don't know. Sometimes I feel like no one's laughing but me, so I stop laughing.

I don't want to stop laughing.

I want to be a comedian. I want to be a comedian. I want to be a comedian.
I want to be a comedian. I want to be a comedian. I want to be a comedian.

Not a sad clown! Not a Victorian vampire! Not a caged bird singin'! Not laughin' alone!

Fuck poetry. Starting right this instant, I'm writing nothing but jokes!

I am a comedian. I am a comedian. I am a comedian.
I am a comedian. I am a comedian. I am a comedian.

On a porch.

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