Thursday, February 14, 2013

Morning Fog

Early this morning a dense, frozen fog lay across everything, and filled up the woods for miles in every direction. It melted more slowly than usual--turning to mist and then eventually to steam as the sun swung higher into the sky--and the rich sunbeams and shining air held on until the last moment before sliding away. The crystalline structures of the cold dawn faded back into wood and leaves and stone, and by 9 am the silent (save for birdsong) morning cathedral melted completely into the strong sun and noisy energy of day.

I should spend more time in the morning.

I stepped onto the gas station lot to put gas in the van this morning, and when my feet hit the ground I inhaled, and the world smelled like Turkey. Smelled the way the world used to smell when I loved someone else. On Valentine's Day. When I want so much not to think of those things anymore.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Thoughts on a possible zombie apocalypse

I have something of a moral opposition to the idea of arranging one's life around a television schedule, and yet still I find myself regularly watching two shows when they are in season: Doctor Who, and Walking Dead. I've been watching far too much Walking Dead lately--catching up on the first two seasons, since I started on the third. I love the show, but now I've got zombies on the brain. I've been staying awake at night running back over the show, thinking about courses of action in the event of an apocalypse, eyeing buildings on my way around town and assessing which are the most defensible, wondering which kinds of people would fare better or worse.

I started thinking about what would actually happen, you know? Generally in talk and stories the zombie apocalypse is treated as an extinction event, and also generally (in my experience) isn't thought through to the end, or in a particularly logical fashion. For instance: These things are always set in populated areas. Even if they're set in the countryside, they're in the countryside near populated areas. Know why? Because that's where there would be enough zombies to be scary. What about Mongolia, where a third of the population is nomadic? What about communities isolated in the Amazon, far enough from civilization that corpses would rot or be eaten before reaching them? What about everyone who lives at high latitude? I don't care what people are wearing when they die--I doubt even the most warmly dressed zombie would produce enough heat to keep from freezing solid in the winter, or any time above the Arctic Circle. A lot--or even most--of the world would go to hell in a handbasket, I'm sure, but enough would survive. Gradually people would build safe havens, learn to protect themselves, begin to repopulate, and the next generation would be bred for intelligence and physical fitness and luck, or maybe even immunity. And slowly they would beat back the tide, retake the world, turn the power back on (probably renewable power this time, having learned a little from past mistakes), and start work on a cure. If things had followed the trend of Walking Dead, and people turned when they died, then the new world would take better care of their sick and elderly and mentally handicapped. They'd do a better job of making sure no one was alone. They would develop accountable communities out of necessity. They would be better than we are.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Oh, so that's what that is.

It has taken me until the age of twenty six to admit to myself that I have an anxiety problem. It never occurred to me before this week, though in retrospect it seems absurdly obvious. My paralyzing fear of graduate school that's keeping me in an endless cycle of unfulfilling odd jobs? My inability to sleep caused largely by my fear of not being able to sleep? My obsessive worry about relationships and commitment? Yeah. Totally doesn't sound like an anxiety issue at all. Two nights ago I had a two-minute argument with my roommate/twenty-year-best-friend/landlady about recycling, and then I cried for about an hour and a half before I could calm down enough to go to bed. I feel like that was a little bit of an overreaction.

In other news, I'm hoping that one of these days, breakup songs will stop tearing me apart inside* and making me emotional about David, making me start making bad, bad plans about giving him slightly-too-long hugs or sending him Valentines or writing him unnecessary emails full of oversharing. I think I'm getting closer, maybe, to not doing these things.

Speaking of Valentines Day, though I'm obviously Ian is so great, so sweet to me that I feel like he deserves something really nice for the holiday. I don't have any money, really, and I'm not sure what to do. I was thinking about saving dollar bills and getting him roses, which tends to be my typical response to Valentines Days, but it seems a little weak, especially since I know that, despite my protests, he has already ordered me a gift and will likely add chocolate and flowers to it. Ideas would be welcome.

*This still happens despite the obvious issues that existed within our relationship. Despite his apathy toward improving his emotional state of frequent if not near-constant depression, despite my proximity to his depression worsening my own, despite my fervent avowal that I am not willing to be with a person who is content to spend his life unhappy, despite our inability to communicate with one another effectively, despite the two-seater rollercoaster of love and fear and uncertainty we spent nearly our entire relationship riding...I told him I wanted to marry him, back in whatever year it was, a few months before we broke up, and I meant it. I wasn't the only one to have brought it up. And I guess I'll never know what went through his head--then or ever--but in the end, it wasn't what he wanted.