And Iʼm not sure if Iʼm not finishing it because I donʼt feel like reading it or because I donʼt feel like reading at all or because I do feel like reading, and badly, and Iʼm afraid of what will happen when I finish it
Donʼt donʼt donʼt read it right now
The world is falling apart
But is it?
I’m trying to imagine a future in which our capacity for happiness is less than it currently is
Are we standing in a bread line?
Am I dead of infection from a coat-hangering?
Is everyone we know and don’t drowned in the rising sea?
It’s easy for me—with my sunburn and sack of discount bruised apricots and only a vague uneasiness at how the friendly fisherman affirm, to each other, “Juif” after I introduce myself—to be like, Everything is fiiiiine
But, like, everything is not fine
It always will be, in various ways, and as things change, we will make changes, and we will go on
I don’t know what else to say
I’m not saying don’t care
But, like, run for office
OR find a way to keep enjoying the new and increasingly horrific world orders
As much as you’re capable of enjoying anything
I am the engineer of a small-scale sea snail Holocaust
My knapsack is soaked in their seawater, which leaked from the olive box while, presumably, I biked home, but my journal is dry
Yesterday Sylka told me that her mother — 90 or 95 years old, I guess — had a dream about telling me, Rachel, remember me
Today is USAmerican Independence Day, and I will do nothing, in deliberate protest. Will anyone even notice? I’m no longer convinced people in the world care about or have even heard of the United States. Justice Kennedy is retiring and President Trump has the opportunity to appoint yet another Supreme Court justice, and I don’t know anyone here to talk about it with, anyone who wouldn’t stare at my mouth as the sounds came out, both of us considering a question of reality and/or having gotten it wrong. I want to put quotation marks around all of these proper nouns, which are something people made up and getting a little fuzzy around the edges in my mind.
I’ve rolled up in here ready to conform to the preexisting zeitgeists so as to be as sensitive and welcome as possible and also, worst-case-scenario, not endanger myself, and now I’m just like, What does that even mean anymore?
What’s the bedrock of interaction, of existence?
Rachel, your mind is so open, it’s like a poem.
At dinner with an Englishman, a Canadian, a Chinese woman, and two Parisians (one of whom is ethnically Cambodian), how to deal most considerately with our North Moroccan waiter? Do I stack the plates to help him clear, or is that an insult? What about the times I invoked those people with national nouns instead of adjectives? Is the Parisienne “right” to ask if I mind if she smokes, or am I right to understand that Americans are wrong to think they — we — they — can expect any kind of “basic” “courtesy” from the world — is that a myth someone made up to keep us all happy enough to keep paying taxes and abiding by the laws, more or less, or whatever other illusions we’re collectively upholding?
Is my conviction that I should not be robbed or raped strong enough to vest in me the power to reject that possibility when it presents itself, or will I acquiesce because that’s just what’s supposed to happen to guileless white women who wander North Africa alone, and I am nothing if not a cultural relativist?