Friday, June 1

notes from nowhere, somewhat after midnight

“We’re nowhere”, characters on The West Wing have a habit of saying as they reach a standstill in the middle of some intractable debate about policy or legislation. This is basically how I have been feeling lately.

It’s late. I should be asleep. I’ve been trying to work, but it hasn’t been working. My girlfriend’s out of town, facing down a family tragedy; I am feeling especially powerless to help. I came home for a couple of days to do things like pay the rent and beat the lawn back into submission and get a van running and reassure the cat that we hadn’t entirely abandoned him.

At some point tonight the silence started to get to me and the cat both so we watched some TV:

An early first-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that was so bad I became fascinated by it — you forget how stilted and kind of foundering that show could be in the beginning, how much it could still feel like the original show at its worst. Then the first episode of sense8, a show I kind of wanted to hate immediately, and then wanted to like, and then wished didn’t seem like it was going to be so animated by violence because a lot of the other things that animate it are way more interesting.

Anyway I’m eating too many tic tacs and trying to write.

The first crop of radishes came up thick in my garden; I picked half today and will get the rest soon. The chard that wintered over is threatening to bolt, but I think I’m going to let it go. It feels like anything that hardy probably deserves a chance to go to seed, and maybe I can plant the seeds for a fall crop.

The tree & grass pollen is unescapable. You can see it in the air, there’s a thickening film on all the windshields. My eyes are burning constantly, sometimes I can hardly keep them open. I can’t breathe for shit. I’ve got to go to an allergist and plead for some kind of intervention. Of the things I never guessed about living past my early 30s, that I’d be wrecked for entire seasons on end by ambient plant sex definitely makes the list of disappointments. It’s not quite as bad as fully realizing the mortality of everyone and everything I love, but I might put it roughly on a level with the awareness that computers are actually a terrifying existential threat in terms of its overall impact on my mental health.

I found myself searching the commercial internet for facemasks capable of filtering pollen earlier today. That can’t be an actual product category, right? Just a filter mask you wear for like half the year? No way. Even if it were a thing, I can barely stand to put one of those things on for fifteen minutes when I’m dealing with solvents or, as recently, shoveling packrat shit out of a derelict shed in the woods in New Mexico. I’m probably not going to become full-time face mask guy.

The town turned on the irrigation ditch again, maybe for the duration this time. It was running muddy and full of leaves yesterday; I pulled a bunch of crap out with a rake. Today it was moving fast and clear.

I just remembered that they found a body in the creek just around the corner earlier today. (Yesterday now.) I don’t know anything about it except the guy was younger than me. I hope to God it doesn’t turn out to be anybody I know.