The Ross Letters

April 14, 2019


It’s a privilege to miss somebody the way I miss my wife.  I shed tears if I look at the videos she sends me for too long.  She has a look in her eye that was never there before.

We’re out in the real world now.  We were under a safe roof, and we took it all apart and agreed to face the unknown in order to make us stronger.  I’m proud to be married to a woman who pushed me to challenge myself.

And I’m proud to have made it this far.  I have some weird momentum right now.  My day to day life is awkward and challenging, but my trajectory is undeniable.  It’s all about who you marry, Matthew.

You dumb shit.

Love, Iron Paul
From Space



I’ve never watched the sun set behind a cloud until today.  It was a magnificent thing.  Although completely by accident, I saw the very last outer edge dip below a cloud, followed by a warm, red glow.  I think Somebody Somewhere was trying to tell me that I did a good job today.


Not Your Day, Chico

April 5, 2019


This morning I woke up with the hiccups.  I went to go sit in my usual spot, and immediately got a charlie horse.  The universe hauled back and slapped me in the testicles this morning and said, “Son, not every day is your day.”

So here’s to hoping tomorrow will be my day.


April 5, 2019


My brew is cold.  That’s all I really know.

Frantically, almost absent-mindedly, I write.


The Purist


A few hours ago I ordered food from a delivery service, and I offered the driver an extra twenty dollars to bring me a pack of smokes.  Unfortunately, I got the young driver.  The busty gal who came here two days ago would have done it for sure.  Instead, I got the 19 year old who acted like I was asking her to take a damn bullet.  I think she even came with her dad.  There was some older guy in the car with her.  What a damn bust.

And I’m a shifty piece of crap.  There’s no way for me to look like anything less than a suspicious weirdo.  It’s 2019, Matthew.  That’s the exact year that a person should have access to cigarettes being delivered with their tofu.  I don’t think I’m wrong.  Hell, In Thailand you could get those moped courier guys to carry anything.  It’s how we got our weed.

Everyone has a price, just like Ted DiBiase said.  That girl was full of shit.  She wanted that money.  I bet she’s thinking about it now.  Twenty dollars.  That’s three fucking lattes.  You botched it, homegirl.  Now I’m never ordering from your dumb service again.

Coooooooooooooold turkey it is, PJM

Cleaning up… a little

April 3, 2019


I’ve had a rough start, but I’ve begun to clean up my act.  I may not be detoxed yet, but I’m less-tox for sure.  I’ve started every day with a carton of leafy greens, a few carrots, at least a liter of water, and a protein shake.  Then, I take a few supplements and I’ll probably have some coffee.

The ground isn’t steady.  You can’t really make long-term decisions when you’re having to constantly respond to the things going on around you.  People step in and you just have to do the side quest.  It’s how you get a little farther down the road.

But I do need to get my shit together.  I lost a little bit of weight, but I look like crap.  My gut is just busting out in a glorious muffin top that would have never been allowed to develop when I was overseas.  I was in control of that one tiny element of my life, and it gave me a great deal of satisfaction.

I have very little control over anything now.  I can get up and move around, but I’m trying to tiptoe around my hosts right now.  It’s already challenging enough, especially when I just now finished my last half pot brownie.  I’ve had some PM sinus medicine and a small dose of melatonin, so I should be down for a nice little stretch.

Maybe tomorrow I will make a little more progress.

Screwit, pete

March 28, 2019


When I was in Kindergarten, we would have these little assemblies where we would have guests.  Sometimes the guests would talk about safety, sometimes they would talk about good habits, but this one time, Matthew… this one time some kids came out and they showed us karate.

My old man watched Chuck Norris from the time I was able to focus on a television screen, so I loved karate.  Five-year-old Pete watched in wide-eyed amazement as these older kids threw coordinated kicks and shouted all in unison.  I was mesmerized.

What struck me even more was that there were girls doing karate.  I was so happy to see that having karate as a pre-requisite for my future wife was not off the table.  I figured the odds of survival as an adult were better if you both knew how to throw a kick.  Neither of my parents knew karate, so somebody needed to take the initiative.

At the end of the demonstration, the karate students all lined up, and they each broke a board.  The students were lined up from the shortest to tallest, so as they cycled through the students, the complexity of the board breaking increased.  For the finale, it was a very tall, masculine girl who broke a total of three boards in a flurry so impressive that young Pete nearly peed his young pants.

After the demonstration, I went through and shook the hands of every one of these mighty warriors.  The youngest one was not much older than I was, though the oldest was in seventh grade.  I understood now that karate was something that came to special people, but it was a gift I would potentially have.  These kids were just normal kids like I was, and there they were:  kicking, shouting, and breaking wood.  I knew that I would have to learn karate one day.

As we were being led down the other end of the stage where all the karate kids were, there was a board on the side for everyone to look at.  This was the exact same board that all the kids were breaking.  My classmates would pick it up, a few of them even trying to punch the board in an effort to break it.  What poseurs, I thought to myself.

The teacher took the board out of the hands of one of my classmates, and leaned it up against the wall.  Holy crap.  This was so perfect.  I had to see for myself if I had the gift.

I casually walked up to the board like I intended on walking by.  However, at the last second, I twisted my body and positioned myself with my right foot facing the board.  I pulled back, and I kicked down with all of my might.  With a satisfying crunch, the board broke cleanly in half.

I knew it.

My teacher very quickly came up and collected the pieces.  I calmly asked her if she saw what I had done.  She said she did, but it was an accident.  The kids on stage practiced for years to break their boards.  I broke mine by mistake.  A lot of people tried breaking it before you, anyways.  The board was probably weak.

But I didn’t listen to her.  I broke that board just like I had set out to do.  I copied what I saw my new heroes doing, and the board couldn’t help but shatter under the force of my technique.

She said it was an accident, but I knew better.

I know karate.


March 27, 2017


The more art is unlike art, the more arty that art is.  Only the art that pulls away from art can be artistic.

You have to pretend like you’re trying.  If you’re actually trying, you’re a poseur.

You don’t have to have experience; you’re unique enough to do it, anyways.   Don’t be weird on purpose, but still be weird.

Push the envelope.  Disruptions are statements.  Everything is fair game.

Except it’s not.  You have to do it this… one… tiny… way.

Tip Your Bartender, Shitbird.

March 26, 2019


You know, there has to come a point where I stop doing this.  Couch-surfing and waiting for things to fall into my lap is an old, old habit that I need to lose.

Yeah, I’m currently working on a few things, but not at all with the amount of seriousness that I should probably be applying.  I’m halfway expecting to get tired of it all and go back to Thailand in a few more weeks.

But there is work to be done.  I need to pick up where I left off in late 2006.  I was trying to create, and I was trying to live an open enough life that I would never have to worry about running out of material for my writing.  I think I’ve done enough of the latter to finally perform the former.

Eating too much.  I always have my vegetables, but you Americans and your fucking snacks.  Every house has them.  They are evil.  I’m a stupid, impulsive kid and I can’t ignore it when you leave that shit lying around the house and then tell me to help myself.

I’ve been smoking cigarettes again, too.  A lot of them.  I really needy to get my shit together.

Tomorrow, probably.  Tomorrow I will start to get my shit together.


March 20, 2019


In a cold, cold apartment on the water.  It’s one of those spots that have always been for transients, even back in high school.  A big house, with a small house on the side.  That’s where I am, the side.

My host is manic.  He’s an old friend, and I know he’s on uppers.  He does weird shit.  I threw out a bunch of food that expired in 2016, and throughout the night he dug through the trash can and put everything back.  he told me that dates don’t mean anything and that we shouldn’t waste food.

But there’s hot water and a good bed.  I slept a lot last night, and I will probably sleep another ten hours when I lay down again.  My body is screaming that it has had enough.

Everything takes so long to accomplish.  It has taken a lot of patience to get to my stopping points.  It’s just a dash right now between living situations.  I’m getting too old for this shit.

The pot is good, though.  You can’t even find regular weed anymore.  Everything is from Colorado or Maryland.  Everything is like a kick in the head.

And thank God for that, by the way.  It’s tough out there.  I’m glad people have stopped being so uptight about pot, even in the states where it is not legal.

Now it’s balls-thirty in the morning, and I can’t figure out whether to lie down or try and get some editing done.  Either way, it will have to be another after a long, hot shower.

I guess I’ll do some work.  A little more coffee and some hot water should clear the fog and frustration from another needlessly difficult day.  It looks as though I have now entered the kind of schedule I kept in grad school.  It’s oddly comforting.  Maybe now I can finally get some work done.

All smooches, no… pooches?