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2016.12 =>

[NOVEMBER 2016.]

R. came home from school and bounded around on the bed, bellowing something that might have started out as a Thanksgiving song:

Our horn of plenty has a screw in it
A screw in it
A screw in it

I couldn’t agree more! Sup well, drear-nighted November.

i'm still on how, when you told me you and J were expecting a child, i thought, "okay, we've got another century or so, then."

we're going to need that screw for upping our courage this winter. xo

About ten years ago there was a period when I would often, in my sleep, have conversations with the President. It must have been about climate policy; that’s what I would have wanted to get across. They were always reasonable conversations, and I was glad in sleep to find my hunch confirmed that this President was neither especially stupid nor especially evil—lazy and incurious, to be sure, and surrounded by some truly bad eggs, but nothing that couldn’t be faced with honest talk. We had common humanity to reach for.

I don’t expect to have such dreams this time around.

I remember the sense of banding together that came of being younger and less distracted (and perhaps of having a less braying Internet, though false memories are easy). I’ve been in a long sleep, the sleep of the Obama years, a sleep called “professionalism” or “slotting into structure,” tiny berths on big ships with someone else steering.

I think the comment box was broken by a directory rename about three years ago. I just fixed it. Who’s out there now, where do you spend your time? God help us, even social media is yet something.

here with you, unhappily roused from sleep -geegaw

i spent the first three days weeping with only intermittent breaks, in the same clothes i wore election night.

Greetings from a fellow grad alum. (Atom feeds are <3.) That'll do, since I'm not sure what happens when I hit the `comment` CTA.

All the machines idling in their bays because they dug clean through their own offramps. Watery sun, from time to time the shadow of a passing pleasure boat in the sky.

His face grew calmer, he then turned toward me. “Have you come from Germany, son?” “Yes.” “From the concentration camps?” “Naturally.” “Which one?” “Buchenwald.” Yes, he had heard of it; he knew it was “one of the pits of the Nazi hell,” as he put it. “Where did they carry you off from?” “From Budapest.” “How long were you there?” “A year in total.” “You must have seen a lot, young fellow, a lot of terrible things,” he rejoined, but I said nothing. “Still,” he countered, “the main thing is that it’s over, in the past,” and, his face brightening, he gestured to the houses that we happened to be rumbling past and inquired what I was feeling now, back home again and seeing the city that I had left. “Hatred,” I told him. He fell silent at that but soon volunteered that, sadly, he had to understand why I felt that way. In any case, “under the circumstances,” he reckoned, hatred too had its place, its role, “even its uses,” adding that he supposed we could agree on that, and he was well aware whom I must hate. “Everyone,” I told him. He fell silent, this time for a longer period, before starting up again: “Did you have to endure many horrors?” to which I replied that it all depended what he considered to be a horror. No doubt, he declared, his expression now somewhat uneasy, I had undergone a lot of deprivation, hunger, and more than likely they had beaten me, to which I said: naturally. “Why, my dear boy,” he exclaimed, though now, so it seemed to me, on the verge of losing his patience, “do you keep on saying ‘naturally,’ and always about things that are not at all natural?” I told him that in a concentration camp they were natural. “Yes, of course, of course,” he says, “they were there, but…," and he broke off, hesitating slightly, “but…I mean, a concentration camp in itself is unnatural,” finally hitting on the right word as it were. I didn’t even bother saying anything to this.

—Imre Kertész, Fatelessness

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