It was the last night of our vacation when the cycles of fevers and aches began to sink in. Even though it was late and our hotel room floated 100 feet off the ground, we heard everything in Nashville, from the Johnny Cash impersonators in Printer’s Alley to the blood-thirsty Bengal fans that started that brawl outside the Mellow Mushroom last night.
“Mike... it’s getting hard to breathe.”
With my throat on fire, I told her everything would be okay. I wasn’t sure. This mutation is a curveball, and to be honest, I fear the pandemic may continue getting weirder and weirder. For the last few hours, since the Chiefs pulled some voodoo magic in the last 13 seconds of a playoff game, I’ve been nursing my wife through a 103 degree fever. We learned just an hour ago that Nashville has a COVID positivity rate of near 40%. Bad timing. Our flight home takes off in a few hours.
Of course, now that my wife is concerned about her breathing, both the oxymeters we bought in January of 2020 (when Wuhan erupted) were rusting in a drawer back in New York. I texted her best friend, fortunately, a respiratory therapist. She’s stationed in the heart of Queens, where COVID first rampaged the United States back in 2020, and she let me know she had a patient die on her this morning: 30-years old, double-vaccinated, boosted. She told me to take this seriously— if things get any worse, go to the ER.
I had a funeral dream the other night. So did my mother and grandmother. I’ve been told that my great grandmother was a clairvoyant midwife who could reliably see into the future, and that it runs in the family. I don’t buy it, yet I do have a strange track record of foreshadowing animal combat (I predicted that an oversized yellow snake, likely someone’s escaped pet, would get into a duel with the family cat). If I am a precog, it’s mostly useless.
Luckily, things never got worse. But even a paranoid glimpses into that worst case scenario is enough to shake you for the day. We rescheduled our flight, and moved from the Noelle to a Hyatt House so it wouldn’t cost a fortune to quarantine. We made two stops on the way.
First I ran into a Walgreens to stock up on Tylennol, Zicam, Chloraseptic, Mucinex, and the likes. The guy in front of me on line had a public meltdown. It was “cash-only,” so he screamed, bashed a table, and fled the store with a box of masks. Then we hit a drive-in testing center, where rapid tests costed $295, but PCRs were free. I don’t think the tester jammed the 10 inch Q-tip nearly far enough into my nose. It didn’t touch my brain, and my ears didn’t ring, so I’m not sure how it could be accurate.
In the hour or so between the two hotels, I felt inspired to write. “I’m going to write a novel in these next 4 days of quarantine.” There was this raw emotional energy, but I was in logistics mode and couldn’t bottle it. Once we got inside the Hyatt, we crashed, got sick again, and either napped or watched YouTube all day.
@January 24, 2022 2:49 PM (CDT)
- “forrest gump but none of the people on the bench want to talk,” - Joel on no one caring about life stories
- competitive youth
- moving to be with friends, a S/O wanting to travel, wanting to stay
- traveling through US, liberating in terms of creativity
- numb to the cool stuff about where you live
- combat boring suburbia, injecting personality with mass-produced furniture & home goods
- impossible to know people’s mental space or capacity to handle life
- post-high school - shutting off longing
@January 24, 2022 3:22 PM (CDT)
Interesting to think of film as means of “life capture.” I’ve been so bent on using writing to do that. There is a certain potency of words that can’t be captured in images, but the inverse is true too. Certain scenes of nature can’t be rendered in words. A certain expression on someone’s face might be unlanguable.
Two thoughts here.
The first is, it could be interesting to start filming every day life. Focus on composition before craft or technicals. I remember as a kid, maybe a 3 or 4 year old, having this polaroid camera, and I held this random love for photographing everyday objects, like a stack of towels, or a pencil. I could do this through my iPhone. The thought of making a project out of this brings up all sorts of insecurities and doubt. Technical doubt (managing storage). Self-indulgence (is it weird to post videos about my own life?). Leverage (is this the best use of my time). We’ll see if this every exists beyond this daydream.
My second thought on this makes me interested / eager to approach this. What if you mixed spoken word stuff into film? I remember composing pieces for the Mt. Shasta series, and thinking, damn, this stuff just rings off the tongue, and no one might even notice unless it’s spoken out loud. So I wonder what a Joel Haver like video could be if it has 30-60 second written “monologues” mixed in. It could be either incredibly corny or powerful. Or both. Or it’s corny until it’s powerful. Or it’s powerful because it’s corny.
@January 24, 2022 3:29 PM (CDT)
The conflicting values of adventure and stability. There’s a romantic daydream of a traveling, living life in many cities, and a making art, in whatever form, in different places. Sometimes it’s a fuzzy dream and sometimes it surges up to potentially happening. I wonder how common and shared this kind of decision is. What if all the wonder and mystery around living a nomadic lifestyle were transferred to the wonder and mystery of raising another being?
@January 24, 2022 3:35 PM (CDT)
NFTs sucking oxygen out of the digital art space
@January 24, 2022 11:40 PM (CDT)
A note on some hypnagogic sights: there’s a difference between ‘eidetic form’ and ‘automatic forms.’ Eidetic is when you consciously try to remember a scene from your childhood, or play a song in your head. It’s about consciously recreating something in your head with a complete lack of stimulus. But ‘automatic’ refers to when something in an imagined field takes on a seeming life of its own. It’s not just a vivid sense of place, but the automatic movements of things with in it. I just saw a sight of a street parade, with a hundred or so tall figurines all standing, with colorful uniforms. I saw each figure move it’s arms in a unique way, one that I couldn’t consciously orchestrate, but it was stunning to look at. McKenna uses the word “self-transforming” which makes sense here. It’s when symbols take on an ability to evolve on their own. It has an organic/near holy quality to it. This thing has a life of its own, like a wolf in some canyon in your head, that you’ve never seen, and never will see again, but for that split second you gasped and are short on words to explain it.