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1.They can come back. It won’t be the same, but it will be better than emptiness

2. I know you love your new human and all, but everyone else really doesn’t need to see each picture you take of it. Thanks.

3. Look further out.

4.Floss your teeth, god dammit!

5. We are all family.

6. Are we getting better and worse at being nice to each other at the same time? Do we need to police each other’s niceness? Do we need to rate all of the social interactions that ever occur?

7. Dropping your cell phone is the same as dropping your baby, change my mind.

8. It doesn’t matter. We’re all going to die. It does matter. This is your life.

9. We are all still here. You’re still here. Hello. Thank you.

10. Do kids still build tree houses?

He thinks he is a rabbit. Small, young, jovial. Walking through fields, past lakes, hiding in caves. He thinks he will never die. He wants to look for something but doesn’t quite know what it is.

It is a big world. A huge, beautiful place. And even more, the universe, but one planet is more than enough for most of us, for a lifetime of adventures or of hiding in caves.

I have been old for many years. Since I was 10, knowing I was no longer singular. And now, 26, four or five gray hairs on my head, a candle flickering beside me, burning away.

I see you sitting there and growing old. I see your armchair is comfortable with you.

I know there are many different types of stories. What I don’t know is what kind mine is. How can it plot out a path if I keep moving? What if it never forms to anything? I’m not running away, just searching, running towards.

I had a dream last night that I was in school. I got good grades. I showed my grandfather. He said something like, “good, you can be a teacher.” And I replied with, “maybe when I’m older.” And he laughed, implying I’m there now.

When does youth leave you? What day? When do you become old and no longer young?

Count the days. Count the lines on your face. Count the moments of happiness. When does it happen?

So far it has been mostly the same. Wonderful days and days we wait out. Bunker down to hide from them. Seek the weekends. The two of seven days that belong just to us. The freedom.

I hear a door shut. I can hear my neighbors upstairs. I don’t know them. I never will. I am leaving and I will never have said hello.

I sit at the traffic light often, waiting, almost home, or almost to work, or almost to somewhere. I watch people drive by, alone, their turn to move. No more waiting. Still ignoring everyone except those who might cross their path.

We made this world. It has grown up with us. We raised it, taught it how to behave, how to drive, how to wait. We showed it what to care about, what not to. Together we ignore the man standing in the middle of the road with a sign. We tell ourselves he doesn’t need us. He’s a trick. He’s a lie. We can’t love him like we love our mother, we’d never get home to her. Maybe it’s human. Maybe it’s not.

I am not done searching. I haven’t found anything yet. All I can do is keep going and hope the world doesn’t ruin me. It hasn’t so far.

I love you.

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1. Call someone on the phone and have a conversation.

2. Take a picture of something and don’t share it on Instagram.

3. Take a picture of yourself and don’t show it to anyone.

4. Find a quote you find meaningful and keep it to yourself.

5. Write a letter using your hand and a pencil and send it by mail.

6. Plant a garden from seeds.

7. Spend time with your friends, no technology allowed.

8. Go for a walk.

9. Watch the sunrise/sunset. Don’t take pictures.

10. Speak to someone you don’t know.

11. Pick a bouquet of wildflowers and put it in your house. Don’t take pictures, just smell it every time you walk by.

12. Ride your bike to a bookstore, buy a thick novel (in paper form), read it.

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1. Holy sheeshing fudge crap! You must watch “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix! It’s really good. Which is weird, because it’s a t.v. show. But it is! It just came out this month, and every episode of the first season is available to watch. Thank gosh and his son jeepers we live in 2015 where no one has any patience and we all just want to binge watch 8 month’s worth of work in one sitting!

2. It’s almost spring. I went outside the other day and I wasn’t cold! I heard this weird noise and then I realized that it was a bird chirping! Wow. Spring.

3. This year I paid attention on St. Patrick’s day and I was terrified and embarrassed. Why are all these Americans pretending they like beer?! Also, no, you’re not Irish. Calm down. Also also, good job pulling out the iron to get the wrinkles out of that green shirt you keep in your closet to wear once a year. You yanks!!

4. Once an Irish person (like, a real one) called me a yank and I was like, “Uh-uh! Only my people get to use that word!”

5. Ok, we get it, you read Hemingway and Vonnegut! But like, really, what do you read?

6. Bukowski hated Shakespeare, too.

7. Did people share pictures of themselves in their bathroom mirrors before the internet? How did we all communicate before Facebook?! Remember telephone conversations? Yeah, me too! Weird.

8. It’s almost sidewalk chalk season. Also hopscotch. Also jump rope. Wait, we’re all still 8, right? Just kidding, these activities are ageless. For-all-ages. Let’s get chalky.

9. It’s so hard to motivate yourself when you have no motivation to motivate yourself.

10. Find a goal.

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I’m not really sure he works. Artists are always like that. Flighty, fluttery. You’re never really sure where they are or what they’re doing. It probably involves paint. Or they have paint on their hands for some reason unknown. There’s no transparent artist. Or anyway, we don’t want there to be. It’s supposed to be dreamy, not, “Yeah guys, actually, so, I work at Pizza Hut most days but then on the weekends I make stuff, or at night, or at 5 AM.”

I picture him with a tiny sketchbook in his hand. I don’t know if this is accurate. But he’s gotta write down these crazy ideas sometime, right? Whatever it is. Some crazy contraption or some terrible poem or some horrific self portrait. I mean, that’s the kind of art I do, so it’s easier to imagine.

Art is really hard. I know it is. Unless you somehow land some cozy job where they pay you to do it because you’re some kind of brilliant mind, and you can prove you are. That’s the hard part. Being loud enough, yelling it where someone important will hear you. Otherwise it’s you in your garage or bedroom or basement grinding, cutting, lazering, gluing, whatever. And then painting, of course. Or you’re on a guitar or piano or saxophone. And your art is music; sketching it in pencil on paper. Bringing it to life not with paint but sound. That’s good stuff. Important. Necessary.