Excerpts from Colfax's Jail Diaries on memories of Vancouver December 1996:
Colfax Jail Diary: December 14, 1998
"Last year at this time I was in Intake. the year before that I was going to the government run beer and wine store off Granville Street, near a big construction site in Vancouver. Regularly buying Chinese mishmash from a sidewalk window and leaving it rotting on my hotel room radiator all the live long day . Watching Letterman at 4:30 in the afternoon. So rarely venturing outside. So utterly lost...anything could happen."
Colfax Jail Diary: November 27, 28, 29th 1998
"ah yes, VANCOUVER, X-mas, trudging through snow with a note. I was on a mission there. It will throw sawdust in the gastank of the "ATTENTION" angle. Oh no, I am a one of a kind! But one recycles unused actions. There was more reason than you yet know for the fire. When I tell you it will be as if I'm standing B4 you and in a fit of pique I pull my own kidneys out for examination. "Here, for Christsakes, this is WHY I went to VANCOUVER." The climax shall be as a bad note on a tuba. Gameshow music when one has lost."......"This will rival that fateful X-mas in Vancouver for miserable isolation. I was there for SIX WEEKS."
Colfax Jail Diary: December 31, 1998, January 1st/3rd 1999
"When I was in Vancouver some preachers used to set up a caravan across from my hotel on Granville Street. oh, they'd preach + preach with a bullhorn to a LONG line of people who just wanted EAT the glop they'd hand out later. It was MISERABLE, not helpful. Invasive, not rehabilitative, oh, how I rolled in my bed wrestling with demons, locked in a "half-cobain" position. Tick, tick, tick. Time was getting short. Christmas 96 was drawing ever-nearer. I was waiting for it, I was waiting for something HORRIBLE to happen"
Colfax Jail Diary: February 26th/28th 1999
"Expliquez vous"...(out with it)...the truth is THE ANSWER was to have happened in Vancouver. As for les fire and note festival at la maison Ramsey, I know YOU can scroll back those newspaper files to see that the police TITILATED YOU by revealing that I had a letter in my posession containing the sentence, "SOMETHING HAS TO HAPPEN TODAY". (Note: even though Judge Bellipanni ordered that letter released back to me, Det. Gosage told my sister he'd only give up a xerox, not the original). The letter also contained the lamentation, "Oh, why didn't I just AIDS myself to death?" There were other sentences showing the true mood. But they weren't wanted."
Colfax Jail Diary: March 2, 1999
"The ROYAL HOTEL on Granville. Oh, it was about $120.00 Canadian dollars a week, and I'd waddle a block over to the Royal bank to suck les money from my credit card like there was NO TOMORROW. My room faced the street. Lovely view of a porn theatre, and beyond that one could see a Christmas tree high atop a crane. There was a flower box in my window, the flower corpses getting WORSE with my use of nature to keep les beer cold, by setting it in the box, which would OFTEN get covered in snow. God, did it snow, in a peaceful ominous way. If I looked straight down I'd see a plethora of beer cans that had been tossed down on the hotel's wooden canopy over the years. A cabbie selected les hotel for me. Twas a fruity bar in les lobby, filled with queens in sweaters."
Colfax Jail Diary: March 4, 1999
"Onwards...in lonely Vancouver I several times ended up walkin and talkin to myself on the parking grounds of their coliseum. Barren and snow covered, the circles get so wide you gotta burn SOMEBODY ELSE'S bridges. What gives YOU the right to assume my disasters are CASUAL. Like I don't understand the ramifications. I can HEAR the squeaky wheels of the drunken grim reaper's idiotic gurney."
Colfax Jail Diary: March 11, 1999
"TV. How I did plop in front of it in Vancouver. Why, it was Christmastime, and I learned that hockey sticks are pretty damn CHEAP. There was so OFTEN a commercial for the B.C. LOTTERY" with 2 younguns making echoes into a blowing fan. Then one suggests, "let's oscillate" and the other, misunderstanding, skips a beat and whispers, "you mean together."
Colfax Jail Diary: March 17, 1999
"I want to tell you about an odd note I left verifiably in Vancouver at Christmas. I'm going to write about it HERE in June...and my thought is that it MIGHT be something you'll have to nail down as a matter of fact."
Colfax Jail Diary: March 31, 1999
"I am going to TRY to recreate the feeling...the tidal wave...that knocked me loose from San Francisco, sloshed me to Vancouver, and ultimately surfed me onto Ramsey beach. I said the FEELING. I think my train ticket cost about $260.00...that's an EARTHLY fact...I'll catch those planks and nail them in TOO...but we've got to UNDERSTAND utter desperate exhaustion and IT moves on without receipts. Because UGLINESS is and was, let's GO THERE."
Colfax Jail Diary: April 7, 1999
"I think I once sought to write something loserish behind the picture frame in a Vancouver hotel room, but instead I knocked the picture off the wall. Broken glass under mattress. Spying, worried maids."
Colfax Jail Diary: April 26, 1999
"ONCE it was bleerily important to me to get to FRANCE, and, if not FRANCE, then scale back to French-Canada, but pla me that loserish tuba music - I only made it to Vancouver. And in Vancouver round the time of JBR's death I had no wild party to go to. Nopey Nope No, I'd look down at a MISERABLE street preacher's show every Wednesday from my Royal Hotel Room. The Ragged standing there to get fed. I pulled out the bible from the nitestand and wrote items in it foreshadowing criminal activity to come. And more. I suppose it's still there."
Colfax Jail Diary: April 30th through May 2, 1999
"What would YOU do to get your affairs in order if your end were near? And the same question again if you were only going to be half-dead? I didn't even take a second pair of pants to Cananda. But, the way things turned out, I ended up buying some jeans while there. (Store clerks glad when my nervous carcass left the shop.) I kept on STAYING in Vancouver so I also ended up buying a little radio at a pawn shop down the street from my hotel. The radio sucked. I later wrote "TEMPORARY COBAIN" on that pawnery's doorjamb. But I left all my belongings behind in San Francisco. My typewriter. The VCR I got after my mother died. Clothes. Whatever. The idea was that I couldn't hold onto it in S.F. anyway. I was looking elswhere. I Also left behind a huge spray painting I did on a piece of plastic. I'd written in green, "I CAN LIVE AS A HEAD ON A TABLE." Writing that AND leving it behind, well, that is part of MY answer to the question of half baked final affairs. Eventually everything drops. Pushed down by swirling clouds of despair that FORCE tense action."
Colfax Jail Diary: May 6, 1999
"At the end of 1996, I spent 6 weeks walking from one end of Vancouver to the other, immobilized from traveling further. Christmas looming closer day by day. The look on my face scaring people away. But, as I meant to, I found a way to go on."
J.T. Colfax's Final Days in Vancouver, Canada before returning
to the United States and being sucked into the Ramsey Vortex