fifty degrees

it is ten degrees fahrenheit in fairbanks, and 59 in la. 50 degrees, 3,281 miles and 24 hours between where i am today and where i’ll be tomorrow. going makes me think about staying. staying makes me think about home. rory was working on her law school “diversity essay” today at work and asked me to read it. “10 miles” it was entitled. in 10 miles — one freeway — i see the whole spectrum of have and have-not, she wrote. i travel.

lately i’ve been worrying that people are more selfish than not. that i like less people than i thought. you only need three people, rory says. the rest are just for now, for instagram. in high school english class, we always talked about whether we liked the books and the characters. as if liking was the be-all end-all. i’m torn between liking & fascination. lost in my feelings about people. and

aziz ansari’s new show, in which elderly people — then younger ones — grow attached to a demented, fluffy mechanical seal, that blinks and squeaks. amelia and rory told me about the show my strange obsession today, about people who eat drywall and pretend to be babies, and i told them stop stop stop. i don’t want to talk about how far we as humans can fall. i’ve already had to come to terms just this week with how many people are killed all the time how many refugees are dying how much death. this is so much worse than the people with strange addictions but it all comes down to loneliness, desperation and fear and sometimes i just want to talk about love and spirt. this week, i’ve already been afraid

when i was running and someone who’d been walking started running after me, sudden threat. (what do you do? run so fast he could never catch you. when you finally stop and look, he is gone. the next day, you return to that spot. you are not afraid of the dark. you are only running from yourself, you used to think. now you are running for yourself.)

when planning this trip, emily encouraged me to write down the following, which i typed into a sticky-note on my computer:
-not feeling badly about expressing needs
-strive for balance between autonomy and capitalism
-touch bald eagle

this trip, i will also take to heart what alok vaid-menon reminded me about vulnerability & strangers:

I hate how “growing up” means that we are taught not to be honest and vulnerable with each other in public. I want to know everything about everyone. I am so bad at small talk. At parties with strangers I want to talk about your daddy issues and your first kiss and what you wanted your life to become and whether or not that came true. It’s hard for me to live in a world where we are taught that people we do not know are “strangers,” and where we are taught to afford infinite complexity to ourselves and not others.

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2 thoughts on “fifty degrees

  1. Hi Annie,

    I hope you and Emily are having a wonderful time together! We’ll be around all T-day if you guys want to call.

    I really like the quote you end this post with. Who/what is the author/citation?

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