from an old notebook recently found, undated.

I sound like such a little girl. I suppose that’s what I was. We were all children, once, and we all made a child’s mistakes, responded with a child’s petulance and deflections. I feel differently about some of these things now, some the same.

Mostly it’s just so strange to find myself visiting my past self like a foreign country, a language I’d almost utterly forgotten. Time, time, time. There is always some new heartbreak to turn our lashes to. My memory is poor and life is so long. I am trying to be better at only being a part of kindness on all sides, but I sometimes find it counter to my inclinations. 


It’s cold. He makes me so angry. I recent myself for having accepted poor treatment for so long–even convinced myself I deserved it. I didn’t. I’m disappointed in myself, in him, furious at him, furious at myself for ceding my time, my energy. Where’s my cardigan?

I’m broke, scared I’ll end up like my parents, trapped by money, my lack of it and my laziness, carelessness in managing my finances toward my artistic goals being accommodated pursued to their fullest.

all that money spent on beers I only sort of wanted, time spent in bars I should have spent working or asleep, and I really would have rather been doing those for some of that time and knew it. I feel like I’ve been fucking up. All those applications never finished, or shoddily submitted, all those drafts unwritten, all those rehearsals and meetings I was unprepared for. I let myself blame my job, but what about all those hours I do control? so much time is getting wasted in drama and drinking. and when it’s not my own, it’s others’! I say I’m tired all the time–I could go to sleep before 2am some more nights. My excuses are bullshit. 

[—-], not a productive presence in my life, because he is not to be trusted. He just wants whatever ammunition he can find. He is loyal to no one– not to him, not to her. He is a shark, don’t take anything he says at face value.  Everyone has their reasons to lie to everyone else, and they do.

several blank pages later:

She is blowing on her fingernails. He takes her hand, and presses down on each fingernail. (Slowly, firmly, deliberately.) His eyes move between her nails (painted) and her face (her eyes on him). It is completely silent. As he moves to her second hand, we hear the sound of water running, of dishes clattering in a sink. Two men sitting on the floor take the lid off a cookie jar and slowly eat cookies. They pass a single glass of milk between them. 

To my beautiful daughter Samantha on her 10th birthday, today

November 23, 1997

May you find your passion, treasure it and keep it close to your heart. Peace, wisdom, beauty and creativity are already yours.

With boundless love,


Unsent birthday card. Year unknown.

Inside, a drawing of a green star, with happy birthday! written across.

I had a dream not too long ago, I was standing by a window in a school, reading a green xerox copy of a poem by the sunlight. I had to read it, some assignment or another, and as I did I realized you had written it. I don’t remember details, except for the first word, A N G E L, spaced bold and above the rest. I’m pretty sure it was a good poem.

No date. Excerpted.

Call me Ishmael. If you are reading this letter I’m either dead or in college.

I swear the stamp is my RA’s.

I miss everyone back home, you especially. Nothing in this world is quite like conversing with a member of the opposite sex that stimulates you intellectually.

My only advice to you is to take a deep breathe and remember that comedy is easier on the heart then drama.

PS: Never laugh underwater.


Been trying to meet you.
Must be the devil, between us,
or whores in my head
whores at the door
whores in my bed, but
have you
If you go, I will surely die.
We’re chained.

A playbill, Phantom, New York City, December 2003.

The first dollar I ever earned making art.

Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo, New Orleans.

The Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Valentine’s Day 2004.

Every school play I acted in as a child. The Junior Prom.

The New York City Ballet, the Nutcracker, December 9th 1995. Carsick on the way to the city, my Uncle Mike’s youthful laughter. 

Chunks of pages of a paperback edition of 1984, found on the floor of my high school, torn apart in a rage.

A valentine from a dead man. 

The invitation to a 17th birthday–now, the invitation to a wedding. Time, time, time.

Two glass marbles, and I can’t remember why.

boxes of paper. 


I’m writing this as I’m thinking so please try to bear with me. I still don’t think you realize just how much you hurt me this past week. While I’ve been sitting alone in my room punching holes in the wall, smoking, drinking, watching sappy romance movies, you’ve been out with him. It’s not the sex that hurt so much it’s every minute you spend with him laughing, walking next to him has been another tiny dagger in my heart. I’ve done nothing these past six months but put all my energy into making you happy please try to give a little of your energy to try and find some way to make me happy. It’s so hard because I love you so much. Every day, ever minute I spend my time dreaming of holding you I dream of spending all my time with you please be with me please find some way to make this right. I love you with everything I have and there will always be a place in my heart for you. Please call me when you read this. 

love always.

Already, now, a distant memory: standing at a sink with your wife, warm soapy water covering our wrists. Perhaps she set her ring on the counter. Perhaps she had forgotten. The fourth of july, blood streaming down your face. You tried to kiss me in the gravel drive belonging to the first man I ever loved. This town gets twisted in on itself. Escape to a home in New Jersey with a woman who will treat you kind. Leave me to do acid on the highway. I will not remember this letter. I will remember mostly the scar on your left arm which no longer can be seen, and the rain that covered us on the beach at night. For whatever it’s worth: the apology of a child.

I return the letter to the envelope, and dried petals crumble in my hands.

a box of paper called the internet

My baseline anxiety level has been pretty high lately, and one of the ways this has been manifesting itself is in the desire for technological clean slates. And so here we are. I’m certainly not deleting my archives, they can be found here, but I just to take a little step away. I’ve also been importing email archives from various accounts and deleting and sorting thousands of emails and getting them all into one place: sid at sidbranca dot com. It’s a weird process. For several months I was occupied by going through boxes of physical paper scraps while moving back and forth across the country. And then I ran out of boxes, but that drive remained. 

Really, what I wish I could go through is that hotmail account I had in high school. I lost my virginity during the days of that hotmail account. That hotmail account got me through two long-distance relationships. There were some beautiful emails of advice from a dear cousin, and strange mediated friendships lived there. And then when I got to college, I stopped using it. I didn’t log in for the requisite time that I knew nothing about, and one day I realized it was all gone. I cried. But anyway. 

These email archives document my progression from abusive relationship to abusive relationship, and from failed artistic project to failed artistic project. I suppose that’s sort of depressing. But there are little markers of progress along the way. I handle things a little better, I get a little more done. I keep it together a little more of the time.

I’ve been so antsy the past few days in part because I am just ready to be busy again. I’ve felt like such a bum for so long, since March, since January really, and this much time on my hands makes me tired. I start my 9 to 5 next week, and have a number of artistic projects on the horizon. Things will be improving soon. Oh, right, and I need to find a place to live come September.