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We should stay inside. Let the other animals have back their planet. Surely we have had enough of it already.

Our time is over. It should be clear to us now what it is we have done here. Let’s wait a century, see what happens, see what can improve.

We do not deserve the trees. We do not deserve to travel. We do not deserve to see more than what is viewable from the windows of our earth-constructed homes.

Let us cease to roam. Stop taking more than what is essential. It is not good. It is very likely bad.

So let us stay inside. We can listen together as the birds come back, chirping loudly on “overgrown” trees. Let the grass grow tall, be overtaken by “weeds”. Let the natural plants come home as we stay inside ours.

We do not need anything more. We have taken too much already. We are surrounded by it. It is killing us and everything.

The wolves will roam the streets. No man will force them away and out. The roads will crumble, return to dirt, return to forests. The Earth will heal itself, given time.

It is a small thing. We are too big. Enormous. We rules the skies, the seas, the highest mountains. We took it all. We should return it. We have more than what is necessary. Humans must learn to share.

 

 

He’s back, almost two years later. Everyone is unsure how to feel. Happy, at first. Excited for some amount of joy, eager to soak any of his sunshine in during the dark times. Confused, unsure, hesitant, guilty.

Was he guilty? If she thinks so, does it matter? What matters? Does he still matter to us? Are his words still important? Can a man be separate from his work? Am I?

He painted in rainbows, in sunshine, in colors so bright they might still blind us from our harsh realities.

It’s been more than a decade, more than a moment, more than that night we sat together in the same room and thought about the same things. But he was with other people in other rooms, too.

We move on.

There are seedlings growing in the sunshine on my balcony. Sunshine itself is sadly not enough for you and I to grow. Apart or together.

They abuse the colors of the rainbow to make money, to spread fear and misinformation, to tell truths we may or may not need to hear. There is very little silence. Here, too.

Writing is speaking. Speaking is wind rushing out of your lungs, through your vocal cords, over your teeth – back into the air. Release it all.

There is very little space, now. Too many people stuffed in too many homes. Don’t spread anything. Keep quiet. Share nothing. Don’t move. Stay still.

Yes, you’re all special. Loud and terrible beings. Your mother is the worst, your dog is the cutest, your life is the most important. Here, too.

It is warmest in the sunshine next to the window. From there you can look out onto the street, watch the people riding their bikes, buying fresh bread, holding hands.

It’s always been very distant. There’s never been a goal. I’ve never been part of it.

He’s back, feeling not too bad about any of it. He tells us he’s learned a lot about himself. Is that possible? Do we care?

Everyone is very tired. They nap in the sunshine, in the quietness, next to the colors of life.

The old man walking down the road calls to his little dog: Come, come here.

Last year she quit her job, sold her belongings, and moved to another state. Now she’s back again, and we’re here pretending nothing happened – no man broke her heart, no time has passed, she’s just living in a different apartment now, working a different job – slightly shifted but the same.

In my dream they stood naked in a field. In my head he sings to me still, though I haven’t seen him in years. He sings, he sings, the sun goes away behind a cloud, my eyes disappear beneath their lids, water swells over the earth.

You want to listen to his music pre-2017, Bob Dylan in his early years, my music in the future, if there is one.

My professor said all humans seek recognition. It’s the only way we can know ourselves – to see our self through someone else.

It isn’t real life, he said. It echoes at me through the years. It isn’t real life.

What are we building now? The houses of our past has crumbled. My mind is crumbling. Must we always make something more?

You are still alive out there, somewhere, though I haven’t seen you in years.

My old Philosophy teacher doesn’t want to vote for Bernie. But we all already knew that there is a limit to the usefulness of Philosophy.

The strings we left dangling may yet be tied back together. All we have is the time we have left to see what happens: what dreams we will dream, what music we will lose and find again, what people will fade away or come back, what all we will build and tear down.

I wonder if I am a good writer, or if I have ever been a good writer, or what a good writer is, or if they have ever existed, or if they can exist.

Maybe I used to be good. Maybe I just used to think I was good. Maybe I’ve always been chasing some past version of myself that never actually existed. Maybe we all are doing that, right now.

The wooden bookshelf in my room has absorbed the scent of the frankincense incense I burn almost daily, becoming one large incense stick itself, one sure to burn down your entire apartment complex if lit, since it can’t fit inside the small vintage incense burner your dad gave to you or you stole from him, one or the other, one and the same.

I pick up one of the few books I have here, philosophy of happiness, read a page, put it back down, wonder what Athens looked like covered in thinkers.

The shades are often drawn, blocking out most of the sunlight. Summer has ended, over, finished, until the next one, if any of us live that long. Autumn began a few days ago, of course nothing really feels any different other than the change in the weather and in necessary outdoor wear. I wonder if I’ve changed in the year I’ve been in Europe. Surely. Maybe. Is it human to think so or human to think I’m exactly the same?

His crazy rambles make me crazy. I want to scream right back at him – SHUT THE FUCK UP! STOP TALKING TO YOURSELF! I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOU ANYMORE! FUCKING FUCK!

It’s raining today. That makes it different than yesterday. Life just slips by, one day into another, season by season, long pants by short pants.

We are animals – it’s important to remember that. We’ve created all of this – thought it up, dreamed it out, built it up. It’s not real. Is it?

I can’t keep sitting here listening to the rain, I’ve got things to do. We all have things to do. We made them up.

I think I will sit here by the window in the sunshine with my plants a bit longer and listen to the rain with them. I’ll light an incense cone and watch the smoke crawl up towards the ceiling.

This isn’t meant to be anything. Maybe one day – one season, one summer, one year – I’ll make something more.

It’s due to rain straight through until morning. I’ll be here, at the window.

 

1. We’re not dead yet!

2. Be kinder. But on the other hand, people who think climate change is fake are responsible for the continued destruction of our one and only goddamn beautiful planet Earth. So what can we really do?

3. Sparkles!

4. Politics is war.

5. Let’s all remember that one time in 2012 when Josh Tillman (Father John Misty) tweeted @ me about my dad being a fan COS WE ALL NEED SOME GOOD MEMORIES IN THIS DAY AND AGE

(shout out to Walmart’s wall of fake flowers and that black coat that kept me warm for several winters)

6. I see your 24-hour cold brew coffee and raise you my half-full of cold coffee french press which has been left abandoned on my desk for a week. Take that, hipster scum!

7. Grow a garden. Plant trees. Sunshine.

8. Read something by Alan Watts (or Carl Sagan or anyone)

9. Podcasts are great. Podcasts are radio? Who wants to make a podcast with me?! Does EVERYONE have a podcast?? Does the world NEED more podcasts??

10. We can win.

 

 

Dusk and early morning look the same, share the same gray light. I am a mourning dove, cooing and crying. I replace the hot tears with a cool shower. When my hair is wet it swings in clumps of curls, dries straight. There is nothing to see out my window, doesn’t cure the loneliness of a gray and empty room.

I can’t think of his name. I drew his picture four times. We’ve spoken less. There is such great disquiet in my quiet soul it freezes in anger at any chance to free itself. I don’t know if I’ve always been like this, or if I’ve lost or gained something. My body learned how to feel anxiety as a pressure in my chest this year. Not all knowledge is useful or positive.

She is beautiful – she looks like someone I could love. Their laughter is silent, encapsulated in other. The person I am is in some other storybook, and I cannot read, and there is nothing to add.

 

 

 

 

 

I miss the smell of grass cut from your own yard, way in the back where the neighbors can only just hear the sound of the push mower, a little buzzing noise from a motor unseen. Cut the grass around the apple tree, newly flowering, around the old car, left slowly rotting.

I have been eating too many cherries this season. They are deep purple-red, sweet, tart, juicy. One tastes like soap. One tastes like the sour apples I bit into too early in the summer – tart, bitter, sour, green. Not ready yet.

No longer mine – the grass or the apple trees or the push mower, or the land that held all of it.

The grass still grows there – and is cut. The apples grow, ripen, fall, rot on the ground in the shade, or are nibbled on by deer, raccoon, fox, squirrel, rabbit.

The stream will trickle by, as it did before I arrived, and long after I am gone and gone forever.

The sun beats down brightly here, but it is empty warmth – a smile without friendliness. Much is missing. The blue sky smiles sadly at me, the clouds offer their best wishes for future summers full of smells.

 

He screams, roars, yells in the other room. He is a beast – we are all animals but we have lost our first voices. We cook with wooden spoons, move with metal cars, walk with rubber soles – we made nothing of it. I make nothing, sitting here in different countries on the Earth. It is not special, we will all end up back where we came from. This room is a breath of air. This day is 24 hours of trillions. We are nothing and I have yet to be anything at all.

His beer bottles rattle in a bag like bones picked apart and broken for marrow. He sips everything down – he’ll get you, too. Beer bones, protein teeth – her wilted hair needs watering.

Magic boy’s in town. There is a gold glowing path where they have walked. The sea parted and he and his friends went in. Not you, crazy man in the back of the dark apartment. Stay still. Be still and not seen. Fill your beer bottles later with the leftover water from their party in the river. Drink it down, get wasted on wastage, age faster and with a growing loneliness that no bottle can fill.

The journey was for nothing. They haven’t learned anything, Mr. Churchill. They will all kill each other again, clean it up, grow peace gardens, pick the fruit, eat it down to the roots, forget why they were hungry, get mad, find the old war. We shouldn’t be here. He shouldn’t be here with his beer, drinking the same bottle down again, filling it up, losing hair and teeth and collagen, wrinkling down to the bone, fading away, filling up the Earth with broken bottles and coffins.

She was a shining girl leaning against a wall of a beautiful place during a beautiful place in her life. She had wonder. She wonders now if she’s lost it. And is it gone forever? Is this aging or a new age?

A little plant grows on her desk in the sunshine. He is reaching up. He is just a plant. He is growing. It is simple. We understand it.

To be a plant would be better. Let us all be plants. We will save the Earth and ourselves.

She sips water while the plant sips water. They are similar. Not the same. She has a lot to do still. The plant does the same things. She does the same things. They both grow. The plant might grow more.

She needs a new explosion. She is hiding behind the detonator. Something is different. She has packed something away – she needs to unpack. Cut the tape. Push the button. Scream. Grow more than a plant. Cultivate something.

The skies here are gray forever. The last dandelion of summer is gone from my walking trail. The season is on the edge, it is on the edge, we are all on the edge forever.

Somewhere in my father’s house there is a box of VHS tapes covered in the dust of a decade. My cartoon friends live there, abandoned on strips of film – baby happiness, streams of joy, dancing smiles, tea parties with friends and balloons.

The things that we love and cherish become vintage collectibles to be sold and then given to museums if they survive long enough to deserve a little placard with the date stamped on the face. Those are real things. We are real things.

We cannot say how the past should have been lived. I cannot tell you about my long-gone family. We have too many stories to share with our children. They forget most of them, passing down shorter and shorter sentences until there are no words left.

My grandfather standing at the top of the stairs. He brings us Kit-Kats and grapes. Cinnamon gum. My grandmother’s house. The smell of the basement laundry room. The yellow eyes of a black cat staring at me from the shadows. Black Cherry ice cream. A napkin holder with a picture of Jesus. A swinging chair. Purple was her favorite color.

If you start enough adventures, they never end. One after another becomes a single journey. A place on a game board briefly visited. Gum Drop Mountains. Molasses Swamp. Lollipop Woods.

I don’t know what the past was like. I can barely remember my own. I wonder if it has ever been like this before. Is this the most terrible? Are we? Is this the worst it could be? This could be the worst it could be. What a thought. What a thought to be capable of having.

We are all of the past and the present. We are all of the cycle of the universe. Gray skies and blue and black and red and pink and cotton candy summer’s end and bright orange leaves on the ground in piles we raked together and our old dog jumping in them and gobbling snow and sawing down pine trees and vacuuming up tinsel. Cycles and cycles and adventures and hoping we’re all going the right way and that no one will hate our old photographs but wonder who we were instead.