the short days
They've turned on the smoke machine in the mountains and covered the sky with a dirty gray tarpaulin. The weather report tells us to brace for more.
We didn't get a Christmas tree this year. Not that people in apartments usually get trees, but when my sister and I came down here in July we brought a few boxes of ornaments and figured that we would set up a small pine when the time came. It didn't happen. Things like Christmas trees just don't occur to you when you live this far on the margins of society. Having no school, having no job, I have met precisely no one since moving here. This is partially my fault, but where to start in a city with next to no intellectual life outside the closed system of the university? Plenty of cities are like that, of course. I'm sure Iowa City was like that; we just didn't notice at the time, since the grad program came with a built-in community.
I spent last year making noises about how overrated the young/hip/urban thing was, and I still believe that to an extent, but I was not prepared for this loneliness. So long as I was writing the book, I could ignore it. I love the desert, but I am questioning how long I can stay in this city.