I should write more, I’ve been thinking. I used to keep an online journal, and the adventures I chronicled there are remembered a little more vividly than the ones that blew past introspection and review. It isn’t a new year’s resolution, or anything. For all I know, I will abandon this attempt at a reboot before I stop drawing 9s over accidental 8s when signing checks or invoices. I’m sitting in the JetBlue terminal at Long Beach Airport, with an hour or so to kill now that I’ve missed my 7AM flight to San Jose. I fly out of this airport once a week, give or take, and I’ve got my routine and my tricks. I usually show up when my flight is set to board. If there’s any sort of line at security, I’ll upgrade my check-in to priority boarding and breeze through the express line. Today, that didn’t work. I recently switched to an iPhone, and now the JetBlue website works as designed, forcing visitors to the more efficient mobile check-in process, with a reduced set of features and no option to add upgrades on the fly. So now I’m flying to Oakland at 9, due to a confluence of holiday airport traffic, common quirks of mobile web development, and who I generally am as a person.
I’m facing the airport News & Gifts store and there’s a display in front for some bullshit book about “an FBI agent with killer skills.” I found myself looking at this stupid display, thinking, I could write a book. I look at this display, and I imagine the author projecting his aspirations into a comic book character version of himself with a ridiculously fake-sounding name. He was probably a cop. Or a PI, or one and then the other, before landing on the New York Times Bestseller list with this hero fantasy jerk-off. What would my book be about? Would I lean into this silly trope with some wildly exaggerated protagonist avatar? Nah, I don’t see me writing The Boy With The Dragon Tattoo. I’d probably go in the opposite direction, and write about a wretched, cursed fuck-up. Jesus’ Son meets Owning Mahoney or something. 2018 was the most turbulent year of my life to date. Very few aspects came out the way they went in. From July through November, I was pulling off roughly three miracles each week, always together with one or two brutal setbacks, in a quixotically ambitious revolution centered around taking a job with Apple, and flushing toxic friends and acquaintances to make more room for some of the most beautiful humans in Los Angeles. I have a lot more work to do, to rebuild collateral casualties. As I write this, I have some heartache for things I’ve lost permanently and temporarily, but everything has gone somewhat according to a far-reaching, multi-phase plan. I risked everything. I won. But I can’t help but fantasize about who I’d have become if I’d lost. Who I could become at any point, if I were to lose control at this speed. What gutter is waiting to embrace and devour me? I’d be more interested in that story than a hacker rock star saga.