Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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november 14, 14, 14 dad looks on

something, like the date, tells me it's november 15. but i still feel like it's november 14. november 14 is a hanging day, a day that comes on me before november 14 and lingers long after the sun has passed and even i've slept through the night after november 14.

so being that i'm in the midst of november 14 and i haven't figured out how to spend it, it comes as no surprise when my life is all the day - everything i am supposed to know for this religious checkpoint sinks nicely in the few days that are november 14 this year have left me plenty of material for writing here the last night of 14 november, 1998 being the only difference.

yertlin' after dark

now i'm 23 and every time i write a web page is like taking stock of my life but there's something about dates and moreover seasons that changes the face of the mirror.

things you can do to lift your autumnal mood without sunshine -

  • eat chocolate
  • buy weird full light spectrum lightbulbs invented in finland that they might sell in a health food store near you.
  • read
  • have houseguests
  • recently i was called to participate in a web conference, where independent zines might figure out how to get money and go big time and then really be free and happy. they asked me to speak right mack stab in the midst of november 14 - saturday night. bad time of year, i said, lots of people kill themselves in the fall.

    recently i was talking to carl, who's dad also rubbed himself out, probably in the fall, though carl doesn't hold that date readily. he prefers to celebrate the birthday of another near one dead, rather than the day of her death. but that's not so easy either - singing happy happy to someone floating on the other side of a broken monitor.

    so i thought the thing i was doing this year in honour of this date, the passing of my father on november 14, 1983, almost 15 years ago, this year it's more like an activity and less like a composition

    i have honoured this date, by swearing at the man. i have honoured this man by swearing on the date. i have called him on the phone, and i have written him online. i have photocopied his face into the computer. i have remade myself in his image

    m a n

    and so things grow increasingly abstract as i have a better handle on myself i think but in fact it's just that i can't remember his voice any better than i used to and now i've just mostly given up harassing my mother and his friends to remember him to me almost as well as i remember him myself visiting Dillard's or listening to Duke Ellington in sharp shoes. writing letters and being caring. acting like an old man before my time. scaring my familiars.

    i'm starting to recall him as i used to

    and i'm prepared instead to spend my only real dense personal religious holiday annual this year getting my life together because in the end he didn't, right, (that still presumes to judge)

    smilies and this weekend amy and i celebrated our anniversary by driving to big sur for the most romantic thing ever. sleeping together tentless under a cypress tree, the ocean in sight and sound, candles burning by our sleepingbags and comforters, champagne, and we had just broken up at a restaurant because she felt like maybe she should leave because of things i don't even remember all that well except staring at no reflection in a dark window holding my crew cut in my hands

    mute booby fuckbag?  no way! it had something to do with detachment like this week when her period hit her like she was two inches from a mack truck with her back against a brick wall she threatened to leave to get space and avoid marriage and i said okay. i said i would end up fine either way, that i loved her, but she should do what she wanted. and this honesty and love as i saw it drove her test me further perhaps, or it just drove her to departure so when she actually talked about homefinders and logistics i cried a little and said, "i'll miss you mcmuffin" into her shoulder and the fact that i did shudder some and grip her tight like letting go might be hard seemed to knock her leftwards and she cried some more too and we did sleep together and

    after bruising our hips on the hard ground, sleeping on our side and trying to dream, we woke the next day and over breakfast telling each other breakup stories, like the last time i broke up with someone on an anniversary, she said tell me a happy story

    when i was working at electric minds, and everyone i worked with was mental and sad, and i was mental and sad and i could only talk to the web and my hands were broken and i lived alone i met this beautiful girl and i could talk to her and she listened and she was so wonderful to me and she gave me something that was so nice to have after being without warm company for so long

    and that made her cry
    so she told me a happy story

    fun with steve about how she was dating this guy, and she hated fish, but for his birthday, he asked her to loosen up and try sushi with him and she did, and she described the fun they had with the sushi chef and

    and that made him cry
    and we drove all the five or six hours from big sur to oakland telling stories to each other about each other in the third person, talking about our situation and asking advice about something we loved but we could speak easier of with some linguistic distance and it was strange and wonderful because it brought us back together and it was cheaper than therapy

    but anyway, in the midst of this, early in the night under a cypress tree, she said, i fear that you will become detached, and kill yourself like your dad. and no one had ever said that to me.

    and i don't know what i'm supposed to do except explain to her that i'm trying to get my house in order because i don't know where i'm going or who i'm supposed to serve but maybe if have something slightly solid to stand on i'll be able to walk tall and know that i can come home to a hand sanded desk and a freezer full of backup food and say okay i'm ready to brainstorm because i don't have everything in my life falling apart around me, just my primary relationship and my career and my car.

    elling @
    but then again, everything is great. after i exhaled at the webzine conference, drew said i should be a televangelist and i said i didn't know anything i could preach about and then carl bought me a fish taco and asked me about my marketable skills. and i like carrying around a colostomy bag full of hot air and trying to figure out how to have fun. Duke Ellington helps. thanks Dad.

    i used to think throwing myself into work would save me but dad was probably a workaholic, and colin definitely is but fortunately my career is so screwy that i can't avoid life by putting in long hours so i'm forced to deal with people and settle for a gross november income of $750.

    and as we have relearned to communicate as we cohabitate Amy has once again become my greatest support and strength.

    dad looks on i don't know what my job is but if i keep my head about me i'll do good things and i won't die before my time. amen.

    (slam is a great movie, see it if you have the chance. the mack truck brick wall quote above in this font is drawn from there.)

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