There’s a dry heaving cold in the dark of midwinter. I’ve always hated it.

It’s been said that we are the heroes of our own stories. I’m not the hero of mine. The hero of my story has always been someone that I’ve aspired to be, and for a very short while, I was - but in the blip of my existence that period of time was the blink of an eye.

It seems that in the days of these fucking miserable lives we all seem to be living, I’m stuck here trying to get it up day after day. My motivation. My happiness. My dick. My popularity. It’s all flaccid.

And enter into the picture the backdrop of my youth - South Whidbey Island. There it was, is, will be - that place up on the hill in the distance. That pile of glacial sand and emotional shitstorms. Fucking whidbey fucking island.

You know all those fucking Hollywood movies you’ve seen where the guy leaves home and never looks back? I’m that guy. Except I just can’t seem to escape this place.

And so here I am in downtown Langley enjoying a mocha in the coffeehouse.

I was in this place called Moonraker yesterday. A bookstore. I dropped off a copy of the poster I’ve made to promote the crowdfunding efforts for my novel. Picked up a copy of THE SULLEN ART, featuring Allan Ginsberg and David Ossman.

ASIDE: Every day I learn more things about Ossman that I never knew before, and it makes me overjoyed to have ever known him. I still have to nail down a time to do my podcast with him.

And I got talking to the owner of the store. Probably the only remaining old-guard of the Langley business establishment still sharp as a tack. She’d just gotten finished with a word-of-mouth Women’s March in Langley where nearly 1,300 people had attended. To put that into perspective, that’s half of the population of the village.

We got to talking about Trump without actually mentioning his name, and what terrible things that this might mean for our country.

“We are suffering from that great old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times,” she said.

“I’m not sure that’s a curse,” I said.

“Do you think that age has something to do with cynicism?”

She looked hard into my eyes.

“Well, that’s a long conversation,” she said as she sat down, still looking into my eyes.

And her eyes were on the verge of tears behind her wire-rimmed glasses.

I sort of laugh-sighed and did that nervous smile that I dawn when I don’t know what to say. I had simply asked the question because I thought it was apropos. I didn’t realize the consequence of conversation.

“Well…” I said.

“When I was young, there was not this appeal to apocalyptic novels. I can’t seem to handle them. But your generation seems to be fascinated by them,” she said. Her eyes analyzing me. Her voice searching for brighter shores.

“Your novel here, it seems…” she said.

“Well, it’s not apocalyptic but everyone dies. I take kill your darlings to the extreme,” I replied.

And that’s my main character - this is the place that I was in when I started my novel. I’m sure that my own identity has expanded and I’ve probably learned some valuable life lessons since I’ve started this novel - but this character that I’ve found is still the same cynical shit he was when I met him.

I want to hate him, but I really can’t bring myself to, because I’m still so fucking confused. I don’t know anything. I don’t know shit.

I’m lost. Or I feel lost at least. And constipated.

My confusion exists in the want to hope and the loss of faith in humanity. I am also doubting the existence of God, and maybe that has a huge role to play in this.