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Dec. 29th, 2009 | 11:45 am


I feel really sad right now. This despite having a great few days seeing friends, seeing art, seeing the outside of my step-dad's house. I'm not sure if it was coming home at dusk as the sun was setting, turning rapidly into night, or if it was all the conversations about Scott I had with our friend Jim. I spent last night in Long Beach, very close to our old neighborhood. I was ok with being in LB. What I hadn't accounted for was the car ride down Ocean Blvd. right past Scotty's old place. It didn't help that Jim felt like talking about him. I've written before that Jim has a very gruff detached way of talking about things that would upset most people. As we drove along the coast down Ocean Blvd I craned my head around to see the facade of his old bldg, decorated with lights, I tried to see his door from the road. Instantly when I looked I was flooded with memories. Actually he's been on my mind this week. Xmas eve was his birthday which in Xmas' past meant a precarious balance of easing him into allowing me to do some low key unobjectionable ways of acknowledging his birthday without acknowledging or participating in Xmas. Since we would be skipping Xmas. The last year he was alive I coaxed him into having lunch at Jim's. Jim cooked chicken cordon bleu, haricot vert, and mesclun salad. I biked over to a Japanese bakery to get a strawberry shortcake, which I somehow got to Jim's without Scott's knowledge. The cake was a lite surprise and by the time I eased him into accepting the meal he was in a sufficiently good enough space to allow the cake to be served. I think I was doing it more for myself than him truth be told. Scott would say, "I don't deal in symbols Toro." I on the other hand go out of my way to let friends know I love them. Maybe I was doing it for myself to reassure myself that I loved Scott. I wondered all this as we drove past 8408 Ocean Blvd. apt. 4, Long Beach, CA.

Car ride home. Report. Over dinner the conversation catch up drifted into dead friends. I asked him about a woman friend of his who's husband had died suddenly about a year ago. I asked how she was doing. We ended up talking about autopsies and it came out that I had ordered Scott's autopsy report but had not had any desire to open it. Jim's friends report was 5 pages and he had read it for the wife. Scott's was 30 something pages based on the per page cost I believe. Jim said he'd be interested in reading it and if there were anything he thought I might want to know he'd tell me. And, just like that I let it go, made the decision without much thought, to let the envelope be opened. Mind you I've been mired in depression so I was walking around with that slightly shocked feeling. It's like being under shallow water. Everything is filtered. I didn't even call my sisters or brothers. I really need to go back to my life in Santa Cruz. This visit has been all about endurance. Enduring my step-dad's freezing cold house, empty pantries, and callous nature. I actually fought with him on Xmas about going grocery shopping. He was irritated beyond belief that I was interrupting his TV time. The only acknowledgment that this was Xmas was when he told me I didn't need to prepare his dinner because he would be going out for Xmas dinner. It's been like being trapped here. My bank account continues to accrue fees for being overdrawn. I'm at $300 and counting plus the $100 overdraft. My school money will come in any day now but fuck knows when.

There have been moments of happiness. I was invited to have lunch with Sister Dirrtie's family the day after Xmas. It was really lovely spending time in their home. It's so home and so family and so not dysfunctional or callous. I forget how nice it is to be around that competent mom energy. I think my observations of my own mom and step dad have taught me to loathe hetero male privilege. I was happy at MOCA too. Jim was a little under the weather and we contemplated postponing it. Once we actually got there and I was in my element I completely forgot everything. MOCA was doing a massive retrospective so photography was allowed virtually everywhere. I realized during this visit that photography really brings me a huge amount of joy. I spent more time photographing/documenting art than I did actually viewing it or taking it in. The depression was demotivating. The size and breadth of the show was overwhelming for someone like me who like to focus on the minutae and read each and every description. It didn't help that most descriptions also included quotes. Of course I got stuck on those too. More so than the art work. A lot of paitings I had seen multiple times so it wasn't till we went over to the Geffen contemporary that I really had an awakening. I immediately felt in my element and very much alive. Almost everything I was seeing thrilled me and stimulated me. I saw way more profound art than I did shit. Even the Koons piece they chose was interesting.

Jim dropped me off in the evening. Last night. Yesterday evening. I ran upstairs and fished behind one of my paintings under the cloth wrap, to find the ziplock bag full of letters and certificates, many I'd forgotten I had. I gave Jim the envelope and said goodnight. Now we wait. It's a waiting game. In a few days I'll be returning back to my life, returning back to life.

When I sat down in front of this piece it attracted another photographer and we ended up playing in the mirrors with our cameras

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