A Letter To My Friends at UCSC

 

Hello everybody, it’s Jason, the guy who for some reason you can’t seem to get through a single day without running into. So… how’s it going? How long has it been since you’ve seen me, a couple weeks? A day? Maybe more like ten minutes? Wait—am I actually in your living room now? Weird. Anyway, no matter how long it’s been since we’ve talked I’m pretty sure you’re aware that in a couple weeks my family and I will be moving from lovely, rural Watsonville to downtown Santa Cruz. And why am I so sure you know this? Because I’ve been mentioning it constantly to whoever has been unfortunate enough to be in the same room, dining hall or kava bar with me.

In fact, it’s highly likely that I’ve brought it up even when the topic of conversation has nothing to do with me. Most of our recent conversations have probably gone something like this:

 

         “Hi!”

         “Oh—hi, Jason.”

         “How’s it going?”

         “Alright, I guess. I’ve been worried lately, my mom’s been really sick, and we can’t afford—“

         “I’m moving to Santa Cruz!”

         You get the picture.

Anyway, I’m posting this blog as an opportunity to get the word out to you all in the hopes that one or two of you may feel charitable enough to help me with the move.

But first, let me put this move, and how important it is for me, into context.

Many of you have already been to my farm, and while it may have a great view I promise you living here is not what it’s cracked up to be. We moved up to this house with an unreasonable amount of acreage in Watsonville about eight years ago. The plan was to start a little homestead and provide most of our own food, so that we’d survive if the infrastructure ever collapsed or if humanity was mostly wiped out by something scary and not at all crazy and paranoid, like a major earthquake or an invasion of plague-carrying, undead marmots. Hey man—these things happen all the time. The point is, we were trying to learn how to do things ourselves, as opposed to relying so much on first-world, privilegey things like supermarkets, gas-powered vehicles, or actual paychecks.

So we gave it a go, raising animals, putting in a huge garden, and doing all the things homesteaders are supposed to do to at best chug along with a healthy level of self-reliance, and at the very least not die, shivering and emaciated, in a rotting barn.

But after a couple of years I began to realize something that I should have known all along, something that was probably obvious to everyone.

I cannot do any of the things.

I mean, look at me. Do I look like someone who should own a tractor? Or a chainsaw? I shouldn’t even be trusted with a hammer, for fuck’s sake, and I’m expected to whittle my own dining room table, kill and butcher animals, and, I don’t know, make toothpaste out of beeswax, thistle juice and a live duck? And not only can I not do any of these things, I never enjoyed even trying. I hated being out on the “farm.”

But now that’s all going to end. Soon I’ll be right near downtown Santa Cruz, a place where I only need to walk a few minutes in any direction to find beaches, restaurants, clubs, and soiled, lifeless bodies strewn across the sidewalk in front of my favorite olive oil store. That’s right, I can finally leave behind years of isolation, loneliness, alcoholism and despair and enter a new, more normal phase of my life where there’s just the loneliness, alcoholism and despair.

And don’t let anyone knock downtown Santa Cruz, either. It may not have the pastoral charm of the country and more crime, but at least I’m less likely to die by getting run over by my own tractor or by being eaten alive by a family of bobcats.

So here’s, finally, the point. I could use some help moving. Not just heavy things, either; there’s lots of little things too. We will be moving on May 30th and 31st. It’s a Thursday and Friday, but most of the actual moving will be on that first day, the 30th. I would love it if anyone of you had any time at all to pop over and lend a hand. I figure that we’ll be around most of the day, so that if anybody wanted to help at any time there’s a good chance we’ll be there and the doors will be open.

I plan on having plenty of snacks on hand, and of course beer, but I’m sorry to say that we won’t have any mescalin or peyote this time as I finished them both, along with all the hard liquor, on Mother’s Day. If you’re around in the evening I’ll grill something, and I promise it’ll be food I bought from the supermarket and not something I murdered with a rusty tractor wheel out behind the barn while little Sarah watched, frozen with terror.

Actually, and I mean this, you don’t even have to help us move. Just come on by to say hi, see the house, and grab a bite. Or maybe you’ll just want to case it out so you and a friend can come back late at night and rob me. That’s what my aunt Marguerite always does when she visits.

So I’m talking to you Leah, Megan, Anthony N., Ariel, Michelle, Danielle, Sam, Jonah, Zach, Eve, Anthony M., Josh, and whoever else. Many of you have already seen the new place but if you need the address I can message you. If you can’t or don’t want to make it, it’s totally fine. We all know this is just a ploy by me to get people to come over. No big whoop.

Best, and thanks!

Jason