Dear Diary:


It is dangerous to sniffle when you already resemble a possum. It can make an onlooker think: so that's where I know him from.
It is dangerous to appear dead when you already resemble a possum. It can make an onlooker think: so that's why he looked so familiar.


I am drinking cold water in a cold room and the coldness of the water, coupled with the coldness of the room, is making me cold. I should have seen that coming. There is noise in the room. There is noise that purifies air, noise that heats air, and noise that circulates air. Here there is noise that blocks out noise — the air is loud with air — which is neutral, maybe, or even pleasant.

12.22.2023 (1:44am) like riding a bike

There are three of them, and the one who is cooking is on top of the truck on a plastic crate. There is a generator strapped to the top of the truck, and some sort of boiling water, maybe, and the crate itself, and the man himself, and, once the woman arrives with the pan, there is also the pan.

There is a muchness to everything tonight. You look at the trees tonight and feel (slightly) less resentful towards people who throw around words like “disruption.” You think “there are people in this world.” You think “there are people in these places.” It gives hope that, maybe, you can someday be one of them. These people are presences. These people circulate. Maybe someday you will be a presence. Maybe someday you will circulate. Maybe someday you will exist within a place. Maybe someday you will enter a mist-soft grove and kneel at the feet of Athena and lay down your sacrifice.

They are racing red and white down the roads lights flashing and they are conversing blurrily and they are sharing drinks and they are telling stories and they are hanging ornamental confessions in trees.

Tonight I wheeled. I zipped. I zoomed. I followed my headlamp beam — I knew I was right to bring my headlamp. I shifted gears. I skinned my knuckle.

We played in the tunnel, and I dreamed of women hovering in gothic attics, and of whales.


I should not have to get a job. I am inherently unique and special. I am worthy of recognition. I deserve to be showered with both praise and financial reward for the simple, radical act of being.

I deserve to be celebrated for the work that I would be doing if I were doing the work, and for the work I could have done if only I had sat down three years ago and gotten around to it, and for the work I promise I will do eventually — trust me, it will be worth waiting for. I deserve to have a billboard on Main Street, USA, on which i am splayed all sensual like an old-school too-young American Apparel model. I deserve to have an overpriced niche lifestyle brand that people who are worth knowing know the worth of. I deserve to enter the cultural bloodstream. I deserve to have a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I deserve to be scouted in a Nordstrom shoe department by a brunette 40-something talent agent who looks past my stained sweatpants and sees some vast star power within me that even I don’t see in myself. I deserve to be fallen in love with by a swoonworthy man who is objectively out of my league except that he isn’t out of my league because he is Too Nice and Too Perfect and Too Handsome, which is unrelatable, and thus unappealing, whereas I am whimsical and flawed and messy and complex, which is relatable, and thus endearing, meaning that really I am out of his league.

I deserve to be treated to meals. I deserve to be bought drinks. I deserve to have this one on the house. I deserve to be taken on a date to the Magic Castle by that 30-something close-up magician who might have been flirting with me and might have just been doing the corporate-holiday-party feel-good crowd work that he was paid to do. I deserve to be paid to socialize. I deserve to be told by a smarmy man that it is I who am close-up magic. I deserve to pick a card, any card. I deserve to be pulled out of a hat. I deserve to be sawn in half and then reconstituted and applauded.

I deserve to be patted on the head (respectfully). I deserve to be held by the hand (respectfully). I deserve to be a brand. I deserve to be an institution. I deserve to be reconstituted. I deserve to be rebuilt. I deserve to be completed. I deserve to be transmitted. I deserve to be transmuted. I deserve——

12.11.23 Fuchsia Dell, sunset

Tom Petrini, nearly 50, loved greatly, missed dearly

12.08.2023 atmospheric perspective (@ the legion of honor)

My body is not complete — it is always building itself.

My body is not complete — I am always losing bits of it to the world.

There are so many questions to ask of objects, and so many questions I hope to ask of objects, but I stand before a cabinet and my first question is: am I within you? May I look for myself within you?

I have heard it said that this is the age of autofiction. I stand before a cabinet and I ask: what story can you tell that includes me?

If only museums allowed you to open ebony cabinets intricately carved with representations of various biblical scenes so that you could explore the theatrical tableau and 30+ hidden drawers within. If only museums allowed you to open intricately carved ebony cabinets so that you could look for your spare key in there. If only museums allowed you to deposit your own teeth inside of 13th century reliquaries depicting the martyrdom of Thomas Becket so that you could give your bones a resting place while you're still alive to pay them your respects. If only museums allowed donors to paint themselves into priceless tempera-on-panels of the Annunciation so that local philanthropists could curate direct relationships with old masters, angels, museum attendees, and God. If only heritage institutions took steps to ensure the personal legacies of conventionally attractive visitors. If only the small background figures who lend classical landscape paintings a sense of Romantic vastness would step into the foreground so I could see them better — even with glasses, my vision isn’t great.

I want to be within. I want to see myself represented. I want to stand in the gallery, finding myself here — and — here — and here.

I deserve a sense of place. I deserve a sense of scale. I deserve to be represented in flattering oils and gilded all rococo. I deserve a bed frame with scrollwork. I deserve to walk into a museum, and to cross the threshold linking gallery 2 to gallery 3, and to direct my tour group’s eyes to the single canvas punctuating the far wall, and to say — there — that one, there — that’s me.

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