The effects of light on windows.

There is a staggering statistic of people who die just before they make it home.

I have been sitting here for days.

Unmoving over this vast distance.

There is an old man that sits across from me staring out the window.

He approached me this afternoon, motioned for me to take out my headphones.  When I did, he asked if he could speak with me for a moment. Off my guard, I can only imagine my agreement to this proposal must have appeared awkward at best.  He tells me he was on a long journey to visit a friend he hasn’t seen in a very long time.  His words are highlighted by his accent (which he seems to immediately acknowledge as though he is sitting inside my own head) when he tells me he is from Puerto Rico. I think back on the time I had spent there exploring Old San Jaun and drinking Pina Guava for breakfast.   I manage a smile and nod while he continues, undeterred. 

"I am going to see a friend I have not seen in.. ohhh.. a very long time, I think… since 1962? I met him when I visited Florida. And HIS name, is Mickey Mouse!"

I laugh and I can feel myself ease for a moment.  Something about the whimsy and insanity is almost comforting and familiar.

He asks me where I’m going, and I tell him. Turns out we will be shuffled off this electric coil at the same stop. He asks me if I know how to get to LA or Anaheim from where we will be.

I tell him I don’t know how to get anywhere, anymore.  He tells me again the friend he is going to visit is “Mickey Mouse!”

"I am George.  It is nice to meet you, 

Johnny.”

My mind is beginning to unravel.

As it turns out, hours before I left, I ran head first into a brick wall.  I felt the weakness of every brittle bone while I crumbled from the impact.  I even apologized for being so careless.  The countdown to this departure suddenly became an ignition sequence, and since that moment I’ve been holding my breath and waiting for the rockets to give way so I might float weightlessly through the darkness of all the blankets on my bed.. catching fleeting glimpses of the tiny holes of light poking through the fabric like distant stars.  Waiting for the warmth of the sun as she comes for me.

I am so close.  Maybe even seconds away.  14 billion.

But, the truth is, I have days left…  30 billion.

If only I could hold out just a bit longer… Not sit here and kick at the bricks. 

George occasionally snaps some pictures out the window.  Just moments ago, I caught him snapping some pictures of himself.

My ears keep popping in and out with the changes in elevation.  Every tunnel takes a minute or two to adjust my eyes.  When the train goes quiet, the silence is enough to make me panic… I type faster just to hear myself still in this seat.  The sun is setting.

I am waiting for them to call my dinner reservation.  The fact that I am starving is keeping me from blasting music in my skull to drown out the sound of me coughing.. or the sound my eyes make as they re-read every condemning line my fingers have built for them.  A long labyrinth made from an ever descending staircase of broken thoughts and poor grammar.

This darkness is deafening.  I almost can’t even hear the elderly gasp their diminishing moments of consciousness.

I’m starting to think I have been forgotten.  Maybe my name was misplaced.

Who is he taking those pictures for?  For his family?  Why aren’t they here with him? 

Maybe they are just for him.  A reminder, perhaps.  A moment of impact.

I wonder if in these lonely houses visible from the tracks, they tell stories of ghost trains in the night.

The strings between my hands and my head are a tangled nest.

I just forced air through my ears and the rumbling of the train is making my jaw tremble.

I hear an elderly woman telling her husband that he doesn’t hear her.

Has it been this loud the whole time?

I think George is finally asleep.

An announcement just came over the PA stating the dining cart is now closed, and will be open again for breakfast tomorrow morning.

Now, even my phone is searching for a signal. It makes me uneasy to think a decimal place can become the end of a sentence.

The windows are black.

I hear the slow creaking of wheels in the darkness.

All dressed up with no place to go.

It’s so amazing how much I am affected by something as inconsequential as caffeine.

So, here I am.  Sitting in a cafe in Pittsburgh.  From the time I left New York 3 months ago, I had intentions of writing entries like this weekly, if not daily.  Sharpen my skills as a “telling writer”.  I am too easily distracted.

An employee here just walked by and commented on how exhausted I appeared.  ”How do you just sit there and stare at the wall like that?  Where are you right now?”.  To be honest, as I wake up I’m not sure where I am anymore.  Baltimore? Los Angeles? Boston? How the fuck did I end up in Ohio for the night?  Waking up next to someone helps you remember.  Like an anchor of personality prescription.  But, I have none of that here.  If anyone stayed, they left quietly before the sun climbed up through the window.

My hands are shaking.  This always happens when I drink coffee alone.

I knew if I left this long bench seat, I would never write this.  The walk back to a place you sleep is deceptively defeating.  Sitting here in this random city.  Sun through the windows, colored by the glass markers telling all the passers by the day’s specials.  It looks pleasant in here.  There is a painting of Albert Einstein.  An exposed brick wall; A muted, well determined color scheme.  Nutella and glass bottled Coke on the shelves.  

My kind of place.

I did have a good lunch.  This place makes a perogie inspired crepe.  Complete with home made apple sauce, sautéed onions, sour cream and cheddar cheese.  It’s good.  Not to mention they dice pickles into their mayo-less potato salad, which has some sort of mild curry seasoning in it.  It’s almost enough to make me propose marriage to the same girl that seemed to question my very existence with one simple passing moment of rhetoric.  Last time I was here, I made friends with the guy that rang me up.  He was asking me questions about my phone in comparison to his iPhone.  We talked tech for a while, then about Pittsburgh.  He insisted I wouldn’t want to stay long.  ”There is nothing for you here.”  The fact that he had a thick russian accent solidified my decision to give the perogie crepe a go this time around… I can be very picky about these things.  

Anyway.

I think I feel happy, and of course that means I will sit here and try and determine why.  I look around the cafe. ’Nice surroundings. No distractions. Silent Majority in my ears. Sunny weather; Good food.’  Naturally, I should be happy.

But, that’s not it.

Often, when talking with clients and sometimes other random people about tattoos, I hear them express how much they like it, “Just as the outline”.  Most of the time, I feel the same way.  But why.. Is it the aesthetic?  I don’t think so.  I think it’s something about the idea.  I’m not happy here and now because I should be.. I’m happy because I’m lost.  Perhaps, some of us like it better when it’s unfinished.  Maybe the outline of where something is, allows our mind to fill in our own details.  Like a good book.  The excitement and appeal is in the potential.  Or the prospect that there must be more time because things are not yet complete.  What a masterstroke of false comfort.  I look up and in the mirror I see there are empty frames on the wall here.  Just over my head.

If only I wasn’t so dizzy.  If only I would stop shaking.  Maybe it’s time to switch to decaff, April.

In two weeks, I’ll be back in New York.  Thankfully, only for two weeks.  I’m not as bent out of shape about it as last time, but I’m also not looking forward to it.  The work load should be enough to keep my mind from collapsing on me, but I’m never well after.  At least the summer is nearly here, and with it, the ocean.  I can lay in the sun, pretend I don’t notice the shitty tattoos and lack of clothing on girls old enough to be my kid sister, and reminisce on all the summers past.  How nostalgic.  All of which are welcome distractions from vertigo.

The russian is cooking bacon.  I can smell it is as I read over this and realize what it is I’m trying to say.  I should probably start walking before I make another decision that could lead to heart failure.

A quick note on work and travel plans.

I don’t have exact dates yet, but I want to at least put it out there what my schedule is looking like for the next few months so people can have a heads up.

After New York* (May 25th-June7th), I will be headed back to the west coast and San Diego. Which is where I will be till the end of June. 

After that, I will be guesting at a shop in Texas for about a week or so. 

The rest of July I will be working in Florida.

After that, if all goes as planned, I will be in Europe for some time.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at johnnyxtruant@gmail.com

*I will not be back to New York till October.

Paradise City, I’ll be seeing you soon.

Well, it’s time I make this official.  In short, this post is to inform people that I will be leaving New York.

For the next few years (or more) I will be living on the road.  The plan is to move from city to city, country to country, and work as much (or as little) as possible.

Often people ask me when or if I will be in their area to work, and I have grown quite tired of simply telling them “soon” without being able to do so.  So, now I will be going where ever I want, whenever I want.  Just as I had always intended.

Here are a few answers to the questions I have encountered so far from the few people I have told prior.

  • I WILL BE COMING BACK TO NY PERIODICALLY. By no means will I be gone for good.  I plan on coming back and working whenever I have the means and desire to do so.
  • the means and desire?" means simply this- (and this goes for every location I would plan on travelling to) If I receive enough general interest from potencial clients and friends for me to come visit, I will come. Basically, if the trip will monetarily support itself, I will be there.
  • Also, if certain locations turn out being awesome and lucrative, I have no problem staying for extended periods of time.

So, there you have it. In short.

All information on where and when I will be going will be posted here and on various sites online.

Now, I’d rather not try and keep track of inquiries and such over multiple social network platforms.  Which means, if you have any questions, or would like to contact me about coming your way please email me :) This will also make searching for your information and references as easy on me as possible.

johnnyxtruant@gmail.com

This is an open invite to any shops or interested parties or artists.

On a side note, if you have a couch for me to crash on.. you can be my new best friend.

Locations already on the list as priorities:

  • March 1st-5th: Hampton, VA
  • Between the dates of March 5th and March 30th- I will briefly in - Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, Las Vegas, and San Diego. This is a road trip I’ve been planning for a while, but I would love to do a few small tattoos on the way :)

*ATTENTION NEW YORK CLIENTS*

I will be leaving NY March 1st.  If you would like to get in before I leave, I will be working around the clock from tomorrow till I leave. Please contact me. Also, if want me to let you know when I will be back at Lotus, email me and I will add you to my “favorite awesome persons” list.