Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So much more to say

We’re turning onto Alameda and oh no, look, there's the fire – I mean the whole sky is black and you can actually see the flames – it looks like it's right here. Mano says that must be an illusion, right? We're sitting in the dark at the intersection and Mano starts to cry – she says I need to stop for a moment. I say that's no problem, should we get out of the car? She says I feel like I'm watching my mother burning – it's so hard, I mean you've been active for most of your life but for so long I was living in denial – when I was with Amma we would pray, but it felt so distant. It reminds me of this dream I had a long time ago about the goddess Kali ripping all the trees up and all the bees were in a room full of books of knowledge and they had the answer to what was going on. Some people would die from the bees stings and some people would learn, and that was before everyone started talking about the bees. I just feel so powerless, I know this happens all over the world all the time but now it's right here, it's like we're all living in denial.

Now there are fires in three directions – the huge one in Arizona that’s the size of Rhode Island, the one up north that looks like a bomb blowing a huge plume of smoke straight up into the air, and now this one. Julie was saying: my job is to take kids on hikes in the mountains, but now there's nowhere to go. Where this fire is now – I was just there, and it was so green, it was the greenest place in the area.

Mano is still crying and we're staring at the flames and it just seems too constricting in the car so I say why don't we get out? And then we’re talking about climate change, the decisions this country makes that will leave the whole world in flames. I ask Mano if she thinks the smoke smells like burning animals at night and she says yes, it reminds me of when I lived in India, and there they burn everything.

It's hard not to keep staring at the flames that looks so close, right near Los Alamos is what I'm thinking and how that's my biggest fear – a disaster right there. We get back in the car, and as we're driving, everywhere there are cars stopped on the side of the road and I realize everyone's stopping to watch. This is what we do: we watch, as disasters strikes. And that's when I'm crying a little, in the car staring out into the darkness. At my house the air smells awful, but not nearly as bad as when I go outside in the morning, sit outside on my chair and I look at my hand that I used to move the chair, and it’s covered in ashes. I touch the seat: soot.

I'm thinking about how I moved here for the fresh air. I wonder if the air is so bad today that I shouldn’t be outside, I mean maybe there's a warning. Should I close all my windows while it's still cool out? Back inside, I get a message from Jessica – she says thank you for your message last night, we did take Alameda home and we saw the fire too but I didn't know what to think about it. Hearing you talk about Mano crying, and listening to the anxiety in your voice made me realize the situation, and I did a lot of research online to look into it.

Now is when I'm crying, sobbing actually because Jessica heard the anxiety in my voice and I didn't remember sounding anxious. I turn on the news, every hour on the hour but I keep missing that moment, a day of trying to find out, finding out, trying to decide if I should leave as a precautionary measure and every time I call someone and think they're going to say no, it's not a problem, they say yes, you should leave right away. And then I'm crying again, by nighttime my whole face hurts from the pollution or stress, I mean pollution and stress, and then I can't decide whether to close my windows, which is what everyone doing, but I can't deal with the heat so I leave them open.

The train goes to Chicago or LA, once a day only, but there are no tickets on sleeper cars until July 2. What about Denver? I can take a train to a bus, and it’s much closer. But is it far enough?

I decide to go to Denver for a few weeks, until the fire stops burning, but then I wake up and I'm too exhausted – remember there's only one train a day, at 1 pm and that’s too soon. So I decide to get ready today, so that then tomorrow I'll be ready. Today there's a cool breeze coming from the south and they give the illusion that the air is actually fresh. Except by the time I go out for a walk it's sweltering, okay now I'm back.

There's so much more to say – I don't know anything about Denver; I don't know anyone there; I don't know where to stay. Did I mention there are at least 20,000 barrels of toxic waste at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, sitting around in tents. They’ve even confirmed this fact. Of course they say all the radioactive material is safe -- like it always is, right? If that burns, it all goes into the air – right now the fire is about 3 miles from that area.

Now I feel sad – I don't want to leave. But I need to. All we need is rain, but this is the desert, and it may be the driest year on record. There's so much more to say, but I need to get ready for another trip.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jana, Jana...

Jessica and I arrive at the faerie house and this girl comes rushing out to ask for change, that obnoxious skinny faerie tweaker with the bleached braided hair extensions, she's even paler and angrier than usual from all the drugs, face contorted into something that may or may not be need and I say no, she scampers away as we're getting ready to go inside the way, where is my bag? Shit, she took my bag – Jessica, we need to get my bag!

But I can't remember that girl’s name – inside I ask about her, she took my bag – but the person I'm talking to pretends she doesn't know who I mean, or maybe she doesn't. Someone comes over, a short full-bodied woman with red hair: do you mean the one who organizes all the events, holds all the circles together, guides the intention? That's me – no, I say, that skinny trans girl who everyone hates, why do you even let her live here? But no – I don't say that exactly – just no, that skinny girl with the bleached to dreds, are they dreds or extensions, I'm just thinking that part too but yes, Jana, that's her name, and then I'm rushing around to find her before it's too late, but where's Jessica, I need her to back me up so Jana doesn't say that I'm lying.

Now it's a festival inside some kind of mall and I rush around the corner – I figure I can just offer her some money, since there's no money in my bag that's in my pocket and I don't think she could've already use my credit cards – oh, there she is, inside the diner– she’s the one who collects the money from everyone, bribes or payment I'm not sure, and I rush over to say hey, you stole my bag, but she rushes away and this cute straight indie guy working there comes over in his apron to look me right in the eye and say I’ve – got – codeine! We're almost touching wait we are touching, the lower halves of our bodies grinding together and I notice all the makeup on his face, maybe he's not straight and I'm studying the way he's applied the base, lines accentuating his cheekbones whereas from further away his face looked pale and a bit pasty, chubby, now I can see the bones. Maybe he should have chosen a lighter color of base and I'm trying to figure out if I'm attracted to him, we're still intertwined in something like desire or sameness – I say do you have any more codeine and now there's a beat to everything – Jana, Jana, where is Jana – Jana, Jana, where is Jana – the whole restaurant is singing, even the floors and the ceiling, salt and pepper shakers vibrating on the table and my body in this beat and somehow this suddenly feels so satisfying that I wake up, wondering if now I won't feel so wrecked in the morning from the earlier time in bed when I was so wired, wired about what the homeopath wanted to know – nothing, everything, I mean I just wake up and once my brain starts I can't stop it, I don't think it's my brain that wakes me up but once it's on, oh no. But then here I am in bed, how funny to think of a drug in my body for the first time in a while, a drug in my body and this calm.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Want To Be a Part of It -- that's right, honey -- New York, New York, a short podcast...

Yes yes – here it is...

I can't figure out how to get the podcast to show up with an audio player link so that you don't have to leave the blog, so if anyone knows how, please please share! And, of course, tell me what you think...

Oh, shit -- Mano tells me you need a box.net account to listen to this -- any idea on how to make a podcast that doesn't require an additional account?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What is

It would be lovely if I could blow my nose sometime in the morning and not find blood. It would be lovely if I didn't have to study my face in the morning to watch for dry skin damage. It would be lovely if my feet didn't dry out and peel every night. It would be lovely if I didn't have to use moisturizer on my hands 20 times a day, even right before washing my hands, just so they don't dry out too much.

But anyway, I guess I'll still be here for a while. It's 10 am, and already 78° out, a rare 15% humidity and can you believe it – a 10% chance of precipitation, that's like astronomically high compared to the last few weeks, but still disastrously low. We need some rain to get rid of these wildfires, right? To get rid of these bloody noses. To help me feel like I can walk I can walk a mile to feldenkrais in the desert sun, how am I going to get there today?

I got there last week, so I guess I'll get there today – that's what I'm telling myself, anyway. But speaking of rain, let's check the humidity in a few other places – Montréal, 73%. Seattle, 95%. San Francisco, 72%. Even Albuquerque has 20%. Oh, rain – when will we get rain? People keep telling me that it's been hard this year even for people who’ve lived here forever, it might be the driest year on record. All those dreams of dry air and improved health – well, at least I know that it's not the right climate for me, although I'm certainly not sure what is.

Meanwhile, the scent of the oil I put on my hair is irritating me – I'm supposed to leave it on for a few hours before washing it off, and I definitely don't feel like taking a shower yet anyway – too exhausting – but maybe this will be the last time for this treatment. We’ll see if it helps – I mean, that's one thing that's not that different: my hair was already dry and 72% humidity San Francisco, probably because I can't digest any oils, and that problem hasn't gotten any better. I mean nothing at gotten better: that's the problem.

All That Sheltering Emptiness is playing this Saturday in Chicago!

Here are the details:

Onion City Film Festival
Saturday, June 25, 9:00pm
Shorts Program 4
Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL

All That Sheltering Emptiness (Gina Carducci & Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore) is a meditation on elevators, hotel lobbies, hundred dollar bills, the bathroom, a cab, chandeliers, cocktails, the receptionist, arousal, and other routines in the life of a New York City callboy. Gorgeously hand-processed in full 16mm glory, All That Sheltering Emptiness explodes the typical narratives of desire, escape and intimacy to evoke something more honest.
16mm, color, optical sound, 7 min.

“THE BRAVEST FILM OF THE YEAR”
-- Barbara Hammer

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's official – I just danced to alt-country – what's next, in the Land of Enchantment…

Seven blackberries

It's only 12:30 pm, but I'm so tired I feel like this day has already lasted forever. Yesterday I went to a going-away party, but I was so tired I could barely speak. Or, I could speak, but then it got too exhausting smiling and saying hello so I went on a walk, but actually that was too tiring so luckily there was a small empty park where I sat down and stared at the buildings. One of them was called Joe's Market, or maybe it was John's or Johnny's, something like that – Old West style like it could fall down at any moment or last forever continuing to crumble and crumble the way that’s glamour to a lot of people here in Santa Fe. Unpainted wooden slats making up the building or maybe they were painted at one point but no longer. No longer a market either, although I couldn't tell what exactly it was, I saw office furniture and computers so something I guess, lots of nice chairs on the porch, and then I walked back.

Today I wake up thinking maybe this is the day, but then you know I wake up hoping that all the time, and then. Haven't eaten anything yet, or wait I ate seven blackberries so delicious but then I could sense bloating coming on so I stopped. But often on these days when I think wait, maybe today, maybe today is the day when I won't feel completely drained the entire time, maybe I'll have energy to do things not just pushing to try. But wait – now I'm crashing just sitting here, suddenly my head fills with the crush of exhaustion words out of reach maybe if I just keep listening to these birds chirping, the sound of the ceiling fan like a clock, feel my breath and the places that lift and lock, no now I'm just more tired. Should I lie down again? Not the bed again – I don't like this pattern where I get up, get back in bed. Maybe feldenkrais on the stretching mat, I'm not sure.

But I wanted to write something about the emotional access I have at this time of the day, like I just look at one headline -- 1.5 Million Female Wal-Mart Employees Lose Historic Sex Discrimination Case Before Supreme Court – and there I go with tears. Not that I can remember the details of the case exactly, something about equal work for equal pay which doesn't exactly seem like the central issue for challenging hideous Walmart but still that sadness. Crying, even. Although then here I am again, sitting at the computer and thinking about going back to bed.
Maybe it's not emotional access exactly anyway, just complete and utter exhaustion. I wonder if going on a walk morning has become an exercise in futility. It used to clear my head, make me feel a little bit happy calm at least looking at the flowers. Now it just drains me, then I get home and try to wait at least a little while before eating, but here I am all anxious and angry with hypoglycemia already.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My next novel, if I get enough energy

Let me try and think of something to say, something to say about how awful I feel. Why is today the worst? I can't think of anything else to say, I mean I'm too exhausted. But wait – what happened to what I wrote yesterday, just a few sentences, about how actually yesterday was worse than the day before, the day that starts at the beginning of this paragraph? Yesterday I almost wrote down everything I did, just to see, even though I hate when healthcare practitioners ask me that, but somehow it suddenly it sounds interesting, because I felt like I did a lot, just at the beginning of the day, even though I had to get back in bed, twice, and after the second time, when I actually fell asleep, I felt so horrible it was like there was no possible way to wake up, except that I was awake, right, but not awake, and then eventually I went back to bed, slept through the night and woke up thinking okay, today’s the good day: maybe I'll even start my next novel, or at least think about it – it's the one about Boston, for a while I was thinking I didn't want to start it until I was in Boston, but that's silly – I want to start it now.

So now I'm thinking about whether just to start writing, or first to read my journals from that time, maybe a brainstorming list I mean I've started lists before, so maybe I should look at them first, then there's the thing about the ending. That's what I keep thinking about, I mean when I think about this novel that I wasn't sure that I wanted to start yet, but today I'm sure, yes I'm ready to start soon – but right, the ending: of course I don't need to know that yet. There are things I want to investigate – like what would've happened if I got more stuck, more addicted to drugs and I couldn't get away. What if I lost my critical engagement and just became part of that world that I couldn't escape. I want to write about that trick in New York who paid me monthly, but move him to Boston. Maybe he's part of the escape, and part of the trap. Maybe I want to write about AA and how Chris abandoned me, but not Chris in this case, someone else, or maybe I'm the one who gets addicted to AA and does the abandoning.

But first I need to write about what actually happened, that's what keeps drawing me to this idea even though I'm not exactly sure why, I mean except that I need to write about Boston, the first place where I really lived inside gay worlds not queer; where drugs and club really became the center of my life; where I went to escape college and what I was supposed to be, I mean the second time; where I really hung out with fags for the first time, I mean only fags. Those dreams of drugs and longing; that lunar landscape of the sky and everything beneath; my relationship with the John Hancock Tower, which I called Andrea; hopelessness through hoping, coping, hoping again, coping. What I want to investigate and what I want to bring back; what I want to leave; what I left; what I was never there for; what I found; what I lost. So much to think about, it’s crazy and exciting – a new book to write!

Except then I get so tired again, tired like I need to get back in bed; I already got back in bed. Tired like I can’t even think, have to push my thoughts out, pull them into space, hope that my brain doesn't give way. I guess there's no rush. Except that I don't want to keep feeling this way.

Oh, but the book – maybe it will help, I mean when it doesn't give me a headache just to try to get the words out, ouch. Of course it will help – writing always helps, right? Or, well, helps something. Although back into that world of drugs, what will that make me feel? Sketchtasy, that's what the book is called.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Oh, my – I'm behind on showing you the most recent prepublication blurbs for Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots – check these treasures out, my dears!!!

This anthology is full of gloriously fresh writing and startling stories, by turns anguished and funny. I was galvanized by the shocking honesty of these accounts. You may have thought you understood human nature before you read this book; after reading it you will be humbled by all you failed to grasp until now. America invented identity politics but here those identities have been multiplied and articulated as never before.
– Edmund White, author of A Boy's Own Story

Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots is a collection of essays that not only examine the intricacies of the current socio-political climate within the realm of the gay/queer/trans world, but also show how important it is for us to interface and aggressively seek to inform the world view of the culture at large. In many cases the essays go beyond critique to point the way toward more healthy and loving possibilities for everyone. This collection is a must-read, especially for those who purport to speak for our culture in mainstream gay media and educational establishments. Thanks, Mattilda for the insights, intellectual rigor and the glittering ammunition with which to destroy and rebuild. I adore you!
Mx Justin Vivian Bond, singer, songwriter, and author of Tango: My Childhood Backwards and in High Heels

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another ethical gamble

This dryness is too much – the new homeopathic cream for the inside of my nose isn't helping, maybe it's even making it worse? Or maybe this hot and dry thing dries me out more, today I'll try the oil I was putting in my nose before, to see if that helps more or less. Yesterday I saw a lizard, my first desert lizard, as I was walking down strip mall St. Michael's on the way to therapy I saw something jump out, almost cross my foot, run underneath the bush, it was beautiful. And then another rabbit, underneath the picnic table when I came out of the film last night, a tiny one, bounding into the distance I yelled look, a rabbit, but I don't think Mano and Jessica were quite as excited as me, those are the things that make me happy.

I'm still thinking about the fog, mist, something I won't see until next year I guess. Or, maybe if I go up further in the mountains – maybe that's something I should try. Although the driving sounds exhausting. But, that place where we watched the sunset, I should go there again, for sure. In weird moments, I think about moving back to San Francisco, just for the weather. Wouldn't that be funny? Knowing that I hate it, not wanting to be there, but liking the weather that everyone loves to complain about. It's a good balance between here and Seattle, I mean if you're thinking only about weather. Not about exhaustion, depression, hopelessness, gay consumerism, consumerism in general, scenesterism masquerading as defiance, a ridiculously overpriced landscape, somewhere I don't want to live, why do I keep thinking about San Francisco? I mean of course I keep thinking about San Francisco, but anyway I was talking about the dryness here. It's funny – I used to think of San Francisco as dry, especially on those hot summer days, ha! But the dryness here, the dry heat, walking around in it is kind of overwhelming I will say, the way it beats down on you and you need to wear a hat, and then that makes you warmer, but safer too I guess.

What will all that moisture feel like again when I go somewhere else – like health and hope and deliverance, a soft cushion, or just the grossness of mold everywhere? Oh, it's all so complicated. Today I'm trying a new supplement, something that completely disgusts me, and adrenal supplement from an animal source, but just to see, to see if it helps. I mean that's what the doctor recommended, after looking at my adrenal profile, which is both super-low and super-flat, two things you don't want, did she say that it's one of the lowest profile she's ever seen? I know she said that about other things – the immunity of my gut, vitamin D, yes I think she said that about my adrenals too. Supposedly they don't hurt the animals with this particular brand, but I guess what that means is that they don't hurt them as much, since it's hard to imagine any cows sitting around waiting for you to take some of their adrenals away, something about how they do it in the lab not from slaughtering the animals but I'm not sure. I know the doctor said the animals were not harmed, but what the hell does that mean?

I guess I can check – let me call the company. The first guy says no, they're not slaughtered, but let me put you through to someone else who can answer that for you. Okay – it's sourced from grass-fed animals in Argentina who are not given any antibiotics. But what does that mean? Are the animals slaughtered? Excuse me, the person on the phone says.

Are the animals slaughtered? Yes, they are – the adrenal gland is a key glad that you couldn't live without. Oh, no – this knotted feeling in my stomach. Should I have called first? I already took the supplement once, now if I return it they're just going to throw it away. How long am I supposed to take this anyway? I guess what made me decide to do it was when I talked to Paul Pitchford, who wrote Healing with Whole Foods, almost a vegan nutritional bible, and he said he thought it would be a good idea. So here I go, on another ride I guess, another ethical gamble.

I go on a walk. Oh, no – it's way too hot at this time of day for a walk. But I like to get out of the house as my day is starting, but after I've eaten at least once or twice, so that means high noon and oh my, it's hard to walk in this heat. Sandals hurting my feet, but I don't think I'll be able to wear covered shoes for a while, except at night when it cools off. But wait – look at that beautiful butterfly, it's huge, the largest one I've seen yet – how do butterflies deal with the heat, they look so fragile you’d think they'd wilt, but here this one goes again, soaring.

But ouch, what the hell is this headache, pulling my head apart but from the opposite direction as the usual headache, in back right by my neck I guess, am I holding my head strangely, or could it relate to that gross supplement? What's next? Next is that at least I get back home, and it doesn't feel that hot actually, I think the fabric over the skylight actually helps -- there is a little bit less light, but I can certainly deal with that if it stays cooler.

That red sun! (with all the haze from the forest fires, which thankfully doesn't seem as bad right now, but who knows how long that will last…)

Monday, June 13, 2011

After Santa Fe

It does make me feel better to sit outside and watch the light, listen to the birds, but only for a few minutes, right? But anyway, moving – yes, moving again. Not right away, and that's what I want to hold on to – the beauty I feel here in my home right now, the friendships I'm making – but then also I start thinking about leaving, and there's that sadness again. I want to feel hope about connection, stability, love and intimacy and new possibilities, here or wherever, but also I need to leave, not so soon, but sooner than I would like in certain ways. Because this climate definitely doesn't help my health. And there are certain things that it's hard to imagine ever finding here, like a sex life that actually connects to my life. But I want to enjoy it while I'm here, savor the things I wouldn't learn anywhere else – knowledge about living in a small town and how people interact and build or fail to build culture and community and intimacy; all the crazy things that grow in the desert; the specificities of race and class and colonialism and cultural amnesia in this wacky tourist town.

I remember, five or six years ago, when I felt like I was in San Francisco to stay – not that I wouldn't leave, but that I would come back and it would feel like home. And then all that fell apart – my relationships, and then my relationship to San Francisco, which was already falling apart anyway but it was the relationships that were keeping me there. It took me a while to get away, but I did – I did get away, and I'm so grateful for that choice.

I don't want to stay somewhere just for stability. And I don't want to go back to San Francisco, even though in some ways it would be easier than most places, but not easier emotionally. I hate San Francisco and all that it represents, which doesn't mean that I also don't see the possibilities that exist there that I'm not sure I'll find elsewhere. Maybe it's more accurate to say that I can't love San Francisco anymore, and that's what makes me hate it. The sceniness, the insular we-have-arrived boosterism, the gross ways people treat each other and call community, hope, something else, something we can live with. I don't know if I ever want to live somewhere again that's that type of queer destination. And of course there's nowhere quite like San Francisco in the queer imagination, and that's one of the things that makes it such a horrifyingly corrupt place. Somewhere like Seattle – or, well, Santa Fe – where queer outsider worlds are miniscule in comparison to San Francisco, it seems like people treat each other a little better, if only because there are so many options. Maybe other reasons too, I'll have to think about that.

But gay Seattle, oh no – so retrograde, at least when I lived there so long ago oh my I guess that was 15 years ago! Gay Seattle reminded me of gay Boston actually, the worst gay culture I could imagine – that preppy judgemental smallmindedness. While much of Seattle was recovering from the grunge moment or basking in some vague attempt at counterculture, gay Seattle just felt like the usual class-striving hyper-normal backwardness. But I guess that's gay culture, anywhere.

Oh, Seattle – Seattle and clouds, Seattle and rain, Seattle and the suburban urban experience, Seattle and mold.

I guess what San Francisco represents for me, and one of the reasons that it hurts so much, is the way the gentrification of the queer imagination poisons the possibilities for anything except some kind of cool consumer mentality. But it's tricky – because also there's so much there, so much I don't want but still. I guess I lived there for 14 out of the last 21 years, 10 years in a row before here, so of course it’s the place that's most familiar to me – most formative too, and it haunts me. I miss the fog, but not much else. Thinking about living there fills me with that sad desperate longing, that crushing hopelessness even or especially when surrounded with everything that's supposed to matter, but only feels like loss. When I think about San Francisco, usually I think I don't think I ever want to move back, but then there's some other part of me that still wonders. I know I've said I'd never move back before, and moved back. Twice. And so for now I'll just say not next, and not for a while – of that I can be sure.

Although then I think about what I'll feel on my book tour, the big book launch at the San Francisco Main Library on Valentine's Day 2012, and will it feel like home? Will I walk through the streets enthralled by urbanity, or disgusted by corporate consumerism and the viciousness of everyday living? Will I revel in the familiarity of the streets or feel mesmerized and trapped? How funny to think that I'll be in a big city for the first time in over a year at that point, except Albuquerque I guess, which is relatively large but not in the urban way that's always meant so much to me. What will all this mean after Santa Fe?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trying

Somehow I wake up in all this emotion – no wait, first I wake up, and go outside where the air still feels cool, soft, nurturing, and then I sit in the sun where it's warm, hot almost, but fun to watch the light in my garden, shadows on the walls, feeling the breeze on my body the possibility of softness in grieving, no breathing – the voice software wants me to say grieving, so I'll let it. But then I walk inside, about to cry about so many small things that matter, gestures of hope I guess, and that feels promising, about today I mean, maybe I'll feel a little better I'm not sure.

It’s still cool in my apartment at this time of day, and maybe Dana is right that if I figure out a way to cover the skylights that will help it stay cool. I mean I'm sure it will help, just not sure yet how much. These wildfires are intense – in the evening the smoke pours in like fog, not sure how that works exactly but suddenly there’s that darker gray taking over from the clouds at the horizon, and that smell of 10,000 campfires, cigars, burning rubber, kerosene, dead animals – the dryness in your face and a choking. Yesterday when I got home it was worse in my apartment – I’d accidentally turned off the ceiling fan with the light switch. I guess they tell you to close all the windows, but I can't bring myself to do that, feels like suffocation – I wake up in headache heartache anyway, right? I was telling Jessica that there's always something bothering me here – if it's not the wildfires, it’s the soot from fireplaces, seasonal allergies, car exhaust, incense from my neighbor next door – and yes, the dryness I came here for. It's too much; it's not helping; it's not the right climate for me. And yes, that makes me sad – when I started thinking about moving, not just in the abstract like where's next but in the question of when, that's when I started to get sad. Sad about planning all that displacement – undoing all the work that's made my apartment so beautiful, home really, really home. Overwhelmed by how exhausting that will be, that exhaustion again, that overwhelm. Sad about all these things I do to try to feel better, and how they don't work really, and how I just have to keep trying other things, keep trying, that's the point.