W. Dylan Byers

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Annandale-on-Hudson. January 24th - 29th.

Annandale-on-Hudson. New York. United States.

Back at Bard and making the most, in truth the first week was fantastic. I will have to continue to make the most. The alternative is reversion to a life in the library and pathetic purposeless weekend wanderings, and then, of course, there will be nothing, nothing at all, to write of; for life then will not be lived at all, but passing. Keep outdoors and in good spirits, dinners with friends and time enough for great nothings. On forward, and ahead.

Crescent North. January 23rd.

Virginia to New York. United States.

Long train ride to New York City, Lilly and I high in the sleeper car watching the old east turn to New England. From New York City, then, up to Annandale. Stepped out in Rhinecliff to a beautiful cold sunset over the Hudson, and solace, at last.

Charlottesville. January 19th-23rd.

Charlottesville. Virginia. United States.

Lilly and I spent five days at her house outside Charlottesville, good food, getting high, yoga, and walking dogs around her mother's new property... everything I feared for when leaving New Orleans... and yet it was a fine time, preparing ourselves for the return North.

Highways North. January 18th.

Alabama to Virginia. United States.

Last leg to Charlottesville, Virginia to a big house and warm meal and view of the Blue Ridge mountains - ("I've Been All Around This World") - and meanwhile I'm fearing the return to comfort and luxury like all Hell come crashing down and all my fault.

Highways North. January 17th.

Louisiana to Alabama. United States.

Drive north through the rain and fog to Gadsden, Alabama where I spent all my time regretting that I had ever left New Orleans. Watched Bull Riding competition on the hotel television and wondered if there was any substitute for experience, and of course there isn't. Lilly and I had a terrible bottle of red wine, and slept.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

New Orleans. January 8th - 17th.

New Orleans. Louisiana. United States.

New Orleans must exist alone in my memory, for it is far too much to write of here. Had I stayed, as I might have, through February and the Mardi Gras season, it would be worth the novel. Those of you who experienced it with me will know, or know in part, what I mean. It was true living, life lived to the limit of human flesh and blood, and I will hold it with me forever, until I return.

I was in New Orleans from January 8th to the 17th, staying in the 9th Ward, amid ruins, the ruins of a poor neighborhood struggling to build itself up again from the ashes, and in doing so, to preserve the City - a City only existing so long as its culture exists. In our time, before and still, the city of New Orleans was struggling for Rebirth, and it was the greatest pleasure of my life to be a witness, if only for a moment.

Should Nunnie or any of the others who were kind enough to treat me to fried snapper, baked butter beans, barbequed chicken, and beer; should any of you stumble upon this page... know that I am forever thankful to your hospitality and will be returning soon enough.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Seattle. January 7th.

Seattle. Washington. United States.

Final night in Seattle. Kate and Johnny and I walked Capitol Hill and imagined Seattle years from now, the city it is becoming. Sat on street chairs as the city slept and spoke of possibility. Stood up for a New York Times and lost all my money...

Less than two and a half hours and I'm off, at last, to New Orleans...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Seattle. January 6th.

Seattle. Washington. United States.

Running all over town again, and felt great. I can never stand to leave Seattle. Only before leaving do I see it as it is, still a truly great city, still with the odd houses on Capitol Hill and the used bookstores and endless cafes. Only before leaving do I get beyond th rain and my own psyche and finally acknowledge the city alone and wish to capture its scape and specifics in film. I walked down Madison and thought back to summertime and Fellini and sang like a madman to myself. To Seattle in the summertime, a perfect feeling. Saw I Am A Sex Addict at the Film Forum and spoke with writer and director Caveh Zahedi afterwards.

Zahedi is an honest man and genius and comfortably awkard... walked down 12th again after the film muttering and bumbling like a madman, this time to Sofie, because I couldn't stand it: someone makes a fantastic peice of artwork, and after the show, you walk up to them and say thank you, and thank you again, and fumble for a question because the artist is so perfectly honest with himself that he has nothing to say or ask of you and no interest in faking it... you'd like to unload praise but know better... you'd like to hold on to the artist for the possibility of some lasting relationship to let the inspiration hold... instead you leave with what was given, the art itself and nothing more...

Then wander an all night bookstore with Sofie but can't read anything now anyway, so you walk the streets but you can't rightfully say anything to one another, and that's just it... the fleeting inspiration... and it's almost perfect, but not quite.

Seattle. January 5th.

Seattle. Washington. United States.

Rains in Seattle. Wet and gray and I dragged myself all over town with a numb mouth from the doctor. Train plans fell through so I am flying down to New Orleans. Cannot wait, sunshine and work, and over the phone with Evan - already down - I heard a slow fiddler and a banjo picker outside the church in the 9th Ward. Last days in Seattle, make the most... stay in cinemas and warm cafes and think things through.

Seattle. January 4th.

Seattle. Washington. United States.

I could have left this morning, but it came to soon and I'll be waiting until the seventh. Woke on Lake Washington and walked alone along the water to bus stop downtown belltown lunch and back up the Hill and down again and then to old friends and smoke and finally at night again back on Lake Washington wearing the same goddamn clothes I had woke and left in and in dark and haze watching Victorio de Sica's The Bicycle Thief...

I could not have left this morning, for it came to soon. But all the day's events considered I do not know why not. Or I do, it is the familiar, the friends and the Cafe, the limited run at Film Forum, the midnight showing of Bride of Frankenstein midnight at the Egyptian, Trattoria Michelli's and nights, a dentist appointment, my brother - who I still have not truly seen - yes, family. The simplicity, the comfort. Still, all the day's events considered, I feel one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind of where I am supposed to be: a train heading south for New Orleans.

Seattle. January 3rd.

Seattle. Washington. United States.

First day again in Seattle. Took Grand Uncle Jim out for promised coffee and drilled him on everything about travel and Apes and how to live and why to do what to do. And the Cafe and the rain and the wondering.

Highway 99 South. January 2nd.

Highway 99 to Seattle. Washington. United States.

Woke, the three of us, at nine am again and now the sound of four cleaning ladies rapping away on the door because we were a day overdue and so the lead called front desk and pinned owners with a fee... fortunately, not knowing the owners of the appartment, we got up and out and on Sea to Sky Highway 99 out through hour long accident back up, neighborhood streets of Vancouver across Peace Arch CA/US border and down I-5 to hometown Seattle. Big dinner and wine, and grand uncle Jim telling modest stories of Mali and the Congo and ten months alone with the Apes.

Whistler. January 1st, 2006.

Whistler. British Columbia. Canada.

Up this morning at nine am with Johnny demanding to ski. First run down from the peak and lost in the woods for a good hour. Finally caught the main track to the lift and went in for beer. Evening in apartment, Johnny and Phil and out for wine and spaghetti... and smoke to ease sore muscles.

Whistler. December 31st.

Whistler Village. British Columbia. Canada.

New Years eve in the Whistler streets. Staying with friends in an apartment at the center of the Village, up above the liquor store with a balcony out to the falling snow. Drank wine and whiskey, hot Drambuie and cheap champagne.