10.23.2020 (DAY 2, STORY 8, TAKE 4)

People are able to enter rooms so quickly and simply. It is comforting and discomfiting all at once, like realizing that someone you respect has seen you eat jello.

10.22.2020 JOSEPH BAZALGETTE (1819-1891)

Everything went wrong.

10.18.2020 (DAY 3.5)

Days flow together in continuous pursuit.


I am on the edge of something.
Last night I sat naked in bed thinking about birds, and about ships, and about whether I'll be beautiful when I grow up.
Everything is dissolved.


Once, a few years back, I got lost in the supermarket. I walked in to buy something specific (A sweet potato? A cabbage?) to make something specific (A soup? A stir-fry?), but never made it past the produce section.

The incident was without doubt my fault. "You have to set out early," they'd said, "or you risk not making it through the mountains before the snows start." "You have to set out early," they'd said. "Or you're setting yourself up for failure. You can't round the Cape during storm season." I hadn't listened. Hubris, doubtless.

And so I set off, mid-October. I got to the grocery store. The sliding doors slid open. I slid through the sliding doors and they slid closed behind me. I took a basket: I was buying something specific to make something specific, and did not need the optimistic capacity of a shopping cart.

I made it through the tomatoes ok, and through the apples and the parsley. I made it past the garlic just fine. I believe I made my first wrong turn near the squash. There were too many kinds of squash -- they all looked heavy, they all looked weighty and nonspecific. I thought about buying a butternut squash, but I did not buy a butternut squash.

By this time, I had drifted too far off my charted course. The squash aisle! The squash isle! The Isle of Squash! I hadn't brought my compass (hubris, doubtless) and I have never learned to navigate by the stars. This is one of my many shortcomings -- that is to say -- that I can't navigate by the stars, and never could.

The men from the ship found me days later, floating aimlessly near shoals of frozen halibut and deveined shrimp. How far I had drifted! How lucky that they found me! How lucky I was to be found! I was, to be sure, born under a lucky star. I have always said to myself: "you were born under a lucky star."

They hauled me aboard (nearly frozen stiff) and warmed me up with brandy and with a comfortable, stylish, and, the men insisted, surprisingly affordable Eileen Fisher pashmina.

Life is glorious! and very big, and sometimes far too cold.