This is train travel on and on through the nights: I feel like I have nothing to say. I’m on the train from New Orleans to N—. The last days I’ve disappeared into a tight knot away from sensory life. My eyes are like holes. I stayed with an old friend who I haven’t seen for six years. I was nervous but she’s still the same, just more, and more open.
Jazz is a very male-dominated field. We saw one female jazz musician performing the entire time. The jazz bars on F— St have a one drink per set rule, which is militantly enforced by the bartender at the S—. I asked for a glass of water and the bartender tried to give me a bottle. I said Can’t I have one for free? He said everyone needs to buy a drink. I said, I’ve already bought a beer! In fact, I’ve bought two drinks. That really got my goat, as much as when unknown men tell me to smile in nightclubs and I feel like hitting them. Another unsavoury incident occurred when I tried to take a seat and a man who was dancing tapped me on the shoulder and indicated that the bar stool was his. He kept dancing with a girl, and then perched on the stool for half a song before walking out of the bar, without telling me the seat was now mine. The thought of his tennis visor and wooden beaded necklace still makes my blood boil. Asshole, as my friend would say.
She said that this country is fucked-up. This is the ‘third time this year Obama has had to make a speech commemorating victims’ of mass killing.
The weather was warm, but the last night a thunderstorm started up and when my friend drove us to the train station the ground was wet and the air was cold.
On the train people were chatting all around us. The forest was bright grass-green, frail-looking leaves.
Now I’m on the other side of the country in a cold seaside town, in an attic. The lamplight reflects in the glass of the skylight and earlier, I stood on the toes of my stockings and saw the half-moon in the sky.