The Absolute Heart Murder of Gerry Rafferty

In “It’s Easy to Talk, Gerry Rafferty sings of a “city of a million dreams.” It’s a state of mind, sure, but it also seems like the singer himself lived among cascading ideas and harmonies and stories, so many stories, of love abundantly felt.

I say this because I can’t stop listening to his last studio album, Life Goes On, from 2009. It’s not even really an album, moreso a collection of thoughts and dreams. It has his versions of Kyrie Elieson and Adeste Fidelis. Songs supposed to appear on other albums but kept aside for one reason or another. It seems both a glimpse into an artist’s output and a long goodbye.

You’ve heard of Gerry Rafferty. He’s one of the guys who wrote “Stuck in the Middle with You.” But there’s so much more than the song I mainly associate with that Chips Ahoy! commercial from the early 2000s. Gerry’s got some songs to sing and some stuff to show you. 


I love Life Goes On for its abundance. Eighteen songs, 77 minutes, bountiful production, an army of musicians. Everything is on the table – and that table is very close to collapsing under the weight of everything it has to carry. Here are just some things that appear on the album:

“pure cybernetic processes”
Strings on strings on strings
That synthesizer setting that sounds like a harpsichord 
A recitation in German
“Norbert Weiner”
Two Christmas carols
Finger cymbals

That’s fun. But there’s also a raft of emotions from every corner. Gerry’s house is crowded. 

Gerry was born in a town called Paisley, in Scotland. He wanted to live in service to music, the thing that sustained him. He was also wracked by mental illness and alcoholism, battling a deep sense of alienation. Despite an unbearable sadness, a dangerous diving bell of inner turmoil, Gerry still loved with all his heart and opened himself up to the world through his songs.

Life Goes On was Gerry’s last published work. He died two years later of liver failure. Critics said the album was overproduced, full of leftovers. Well, fuck, that sounds like the day after a particularly lovely Thanksgiving. Why can’t Gerry come sing to us of all the love he has? Why can’t we have everything? 

What I see is a deeply considered set of messages, so maybe I can’t help but be defensive about it. The man’s own estate speculates that “he was gathering together everything that mattered to him in a work of sublime beauty which he dedicated to his beloved daughter, and granddaughter Celia.” Whatever was going on, it is a beautiful, harmonious offering.


Early on, Gerry sings:

“I love you so much, but you’re leaving today.”

This is what so many songs are – expressions of love and all that it brings. But this line shocked me. He just said it. A plain feeling, an ocean of hurt. It’s also what his music holds for me – the beauty and the pain in equal measure. Being joyous in the middle of so much tragedy. It’s simple but freeing, revelatory. It’s everything I want.

And I want so much. I want this country to stop letting so many children grow up in poverty and to stop hating women. I want to pet every dog and every cat. I wish I could bake a barge full of cookies and go around giving them out. I wish for every color and flower, every flower in every color. Rainbows never last long enough. 

Meanwhile, Gerry is bringing every instrument and production tool to bear on his songs. He’s making absolute garlands of sounds. Everyone involved in making the album is putting entire feet in this. And would you like some orchestra with that? You can barely listen to any of these songs without getting to a point of absolute wailing – wailing on them strings. I also like to think that Gerry is talking to other artists in some of his stylings, calling to them in tiny samples. I always think I’m hearing Enya and Linda Ronstadt references on “It’s Easy To Talk.” (However, I certainly do bring a heavy crate of my own crazy to the table.)

If it’s too much, that’s too bad. Gerry wonders, “Why suffer the gloom of a renegade heart in some lonely room?” He is both vulnerable and strong in giving these emotions their full range, in letting them free into the world. I’m floored by the openness of it all – so much love, a baseline of pain, and through it all, a deep sense of beauty. It’s a lot simpler when you give in. “You walked into my life and now I must surrender.”

What I’m saying is that this collection of songs absolutely murdered my heart. And I keep coming back for more of its beautiful and devastating atmosphere. Gerry had so much to give, and he gave what we didn’t deserve. I wish I could have even more. 

I hope so much for the repose of Gerry’s soul. Slipping into whatever beyond he imagined. The city of a million dreams.

Channeling the Glow of Dua Lipa

YouTube is a treasure trove, if you want it. I go thrifting there sometimes (all the time), and the roadshow of antiques can surprise even a seasoned spelunker. One Sunday morning, while I was deep in a rut, the algorithm burped out something wonderful – Dua Lipa’s Tiny Desk concert from December 2020. 

Ms. Dua is simply glowing – the light she exudes, and her band amplifies, is genuinely contagious. The smiling, the bopping. And that orange background! Is it light? Paint? Someone’s aura? I’ve been trying to name the color, and nothing seems quite right. Apricot? Tropical sunrise? Sherbet? Whatever it is, I want to eat it.

The musicians perform among that delicious color and a set mimicking a minimalist office, like someone raided the archives of Mad Men and spirited some pieces to a London studio. Dua is decked out in an updated version of a classic Chanel tweed suit, sans the restricting sleeves but complete with the “C” earrings. Her turquoise heels match the suit’s piping. Her band is in blazers and business casual. Chunky gold jewelry adorns all around. They are a team, they are a business. Glow, Incorporated. 

After the first song, Dua explains how the pandemic separated them – lockdown stopped their impending tour in spring 2020. But it looks like they barely lost any time, beaming to be in each other’s company, making these sounds. They are a group of shifting chords, making beautiful music. I’m so drawn to their group, their universe. So at ease with each other, despite months of separation, probably degrees of isolation. Their choreography is connection. 

This video only intensifies my lifelong fascination with backup singers. They tread such a fine line, complementing the lead singer while building the very foundation of sound. An underappreciated art form. Dua’s backup singers are a sherbet (and beige) quartet, each with their own style. They are unison and individual amazingness all at once. They enhance the overall glow my moth brain is drawn to – the world is full of backup singers. May we see them, may we be them. 

My favorite of the four songs performed is a new version of “Love Again” – ‘70s -type weeping acoustic guitar to begin, Dua laments her situation, then her people chime in with their harmonies to bring in the love. “But goddamn, you’ve got me in love,” they intone over and over again. 

This video brought me love again, it brought me light again. It circulates in my mind like so much dopamine (that’s how it works, right?). Dua glows on her own, but even brighter with her fellow musicians. It sparked something in me, too, a tiny fire I hope to build to a similar lava-lamp lustrousness as the background of this video.

Glow on, Dula Peep.

Screenshots from YouTube

“All By Myself” with Céline

Like a lot of other beating hearts on this planet, I haven’t been able to muster myself into any sort of creativity lately. I haven’t written, I haven’t collaged. Those pages sit blank. I’ve only managed to make some horrible postcards that fall apart in the mail and appear at their recipients’ houses mysteriously blank. (A sign from above?) These were slapdash creations glued together and doused in glitter and swathed in washi tape, the only “art” I could squeeze out of myself.  

And so I turn to Céline.

Screen Shot 2020-08-10 at 1.32.33 PM

The only flow I can get into is playing certain songs on a loop, someone else’s art blasting into my ears. One of those is Miss Céline Marie Claudette Dion’s rendition of “All By Myself.” It is a symphony of cheesery and so, so comforting, even as it articulates the pang of longing for companionship. A bit on the nose, perhaps, for those in lockdown alone, but with Céline in your ears, you’re not really alone. 

I may not be able to belt it out right now (or technically, ever), but Céline always has and always will. In my time of need, the desire to create something, anything, but coming up short every time, this woman comes through like the Titanic headed for the iceberg. The song may be an emotional tsunami, but Céline makes sounds that register as something that whales would respond to. Plaintive and wailing, but also a form of navigation out of the dark depths.

Screen Shot 2020-08-10 at 12.52.23 PM

The music video is a master class in ‘90s adult contemporary visuals. In black and white, Céline is walking around in a choice of a haircut in some green room decorated like a Tucson nightmare. She walks onto a stage, emotes in front of a droopy fabric background. Oh, but then, some color! Mostly white, though. She’s by herself, ok! When she dials the telephone, nobody’s home. Back to monochrome, she’s on stage singing it out in front of her many fans, in pleather. She doesn’t want to live by herself anymore! Anymooo–ooo–oorrr-hooo–orree!!

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A Few of My Favorite 2019 Things

If doing something twice makes it a tradition, here I am following tradition and sharing my favorite happenings from the past calendar year. 2019 was a lot for the world and for me – but this collection isn’t in that spirit. The spirit that moves it is my truly spaghetti-to-wall brain. You don’t know what will stick, you’ve thrown a lot at that wall, but it’s fun to see what has staying power. True to my form, these things are quite a mashup of random stuff, highly irreverent but tinged here and there with deep reverence. And so:

Angela Hewitt with Music of the Baroque

On a snowy night in January, I got to see Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 with a woman conductor (Jane Glover). I died imagining that happening in Mozart’s own time. (His sister, Nannerl, was a musical talent in her own right but was lost to the invisibility cloak of old-timey marriage and man-centric histories.) To make things even better, I met Madame Hewitt afterward at a signing, and nervously told her how much the woman-led ensemble meant to me. I hope this is part of a growing pattern in the art world (I’d wish for a tidal wave, but…). 

Getting Jeni’s in the mail

Yes, this did appear on the 2018 list, but it’s amazing every time it happens. Ice cream delivery is probably the best invention of the 2010s. 

“Raquel, do you want some chicken?”

Buckle up for some nonsense. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures – if it brings you joy, and you’re not hurting anyone/it’s aboveboard/etc., who’s to say you should be ashamed of it? Objectivity is a construct of the patriarchy and cultural hegemony ranks the work of women and minorities lower no matter what. Ok, where was I – oh yes, Vanderpump Rules. This show about extremely awful people who don’t actually work at Lisa Vanderpump’s terrible LA restaurants is the rhythm of my life and you can leave if you don’t like that about moi. Everyone on this show is the worst (Exhibit A: Jax Taylor) and I should just look away but I cannot. Long story short, one moment on Season 7 in early 2019 got me through the whole winter, polar vortex incuded. DJ James Kennedy is at a party with his girlfriend and Millennial Teletubby Raquel Leviss. She’s talking to some other man by the bathrooms (??) when James sidles up to her and inexplicably asks if she wants some chicken. No opener, no party banter, just a chicken query. I was so taken by this exchange that I had to memorialize it. I’ve tried to figure out why I love this so much, and all I’ve come up with is that the unexpected is often very, very funny, especially when it involves people who are usually just tearing each other apart in search of reality show fame, not sweetly, weirdly seeing a woman about some chicken. That and perhaps the deep insanity instilled by winter.


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Spectating U.S. Open Spectator Fashion

Here we are again, another tennis Grand Slam, more opportunities to ogle some outfits. Let’s look at what some famous people chose to wear to the 2019 U.S. Open in the idyllically named Flushing Meadows.

Meghan Markle

Once again supporting her friend Serena Williams at her job, Meghan Markle is all understated elegance. She knows all the cameras will be on her, but she doesn’t want to take away from Serena’s day. However, Meghan is still making a statement – the chic sunglasses, the simple dress with a cinched waist, and editor drape – her signature look. The Duchess checks off another patented public appearance.

Maria Andreescu

Her daughter Bianca may have won the U.S. Open women’s final (first Canadian to do so), but Maria Andreescu stole the show in her flamboyant ensembles. Big hair, big glasses, big attitude. Beyond her fashion sense, Maria also brought puppy Coco to every match. From an ivory look draped with a voluminous Louis Vuitton scarf to a Versace dog embalmed with a lady wearing a cat hat with “Dog Queen” written across the neck, Maria wins the trophy for arriving like she’d been here all along. Respect to you and your dog, madame.

Uzo Aduba


Cute, coordinated, and Conversed.

James Blake and Jameela Jamil


What are they lugging around in those matching cross-body bags? Sunscreen? Reading material? Tiny binoculars? Though I am glad to see a man carrying (heh) at least some of the purse responsibilities in a household. Otherwise, James aims for high-water haute couture and comes up a bit short. This whole look is a bit “Grandpa refuses to wear anything but his old golf pants and crew socks so we’re just going with it.” Jameela is part businesswoman, part bicyclist in some rather unfortunate chunky tennis shoes. Points for sports-inspired looks but try again next time, kids!

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Let me tell you about a game called Odds, and the way it rules my family’s life. 

At base, Odds is a simple betting game that we made into a familial battle about who can think of the most ridiculous propositions. It is not about restraint or filtering your ideas by how they may be received. You must create an environment where any thought can at least be entertained. That’s probably why I love it so much – it is the blankest slate to receive and be received. No matter the situation, you must bring your whole self, and nothing but the self. 

The game does not require you to actually sit down and play it. It doesn’t begin or end; it’s a state of being everyone has agreed to. When you and any members of this club are together, you simply let loose with any situation you wish to speak into reality, influenced by your surroundings or not. It is, I suppose, a version of Truth or Dare, but more explicitly a part of the gambling world. The general outline:

  1. Think of an experiential bet – something someone else will potentially do for you to witness. For example, let your siblings buy you a complete outfit and wear it for a full work day. 
  2. Propose your bet to your target, along with the odds – introducing the element of chance. “Odds you’ll [action]?” Continuing the example: “Odds you’ll let your siblings buy you an outfit and wear it for a full work day?”
  3. The target fills in the odds: 1 in X. The more adventurous and/or generous they’re feeling, the better odds they’ll give. This is one of the more revealing parts of the game (beyond the bet itself). It’s clearly much more fun if they give you a higher chance of actually having to carry out the bet. Caution is not a virtue here.
  4. Begin the countdown: 3, 2, 1 and you both say a number in the stated range. If you both say the same number, the target must do the action you dreamed up. If not, keep on odds-ing. 

There is such an exhilaration to saying the number number as the other person. I for one can’t keep from screaming and wantonly gesticulating. It’s as if a wondrous door has opened in the universe and you get to go through it. You’ve altered fate somehow, no matter how small a way. You found that world oyster, and the pearl awaits.

Odds dictates how being with my immediate family unfolds. Especially with my siblings, any moment could explode into a series of Odds. Even the most mundane of car rides can turn lethal. Recently, three blocks from my parents’ home, we caught sight of a house under construction. My brother said to me, “Odds you’ll go in the biff [porta-potty] for five seconds?” It was on. I gave him odds I can’t remember, but we said the same number. My dad had to stop the car so I could carry out the bet. As my family watched and documented, I had to run across the street, up the driveway, past the dumpster, and open that nasty, nasty door. Plunged into a hot, cramped darkness, I held my breath and counted. After an eternity, I kicked that door back open and launched myself down the driveway and into the car. My brother and dad had been yelling out of the car at me the entire time.

Not seeing the possibilities of the format yet? Forthwith, some Odds my family has engaged in:

-In an Embassy Suites in Lincoln, Nebraska, we came upon a bevy of beverage bottles. It was the morning after a big football game, and the entire hotel had imbibed heavily in celebration. My brother, perhaps the most watchful for Odds ideas, saw a nearly full wine bottle (Barefoot Moscato, naturally), and Odds’d me that I would take a drink from it. I am normally an enthusiastic good Odds giver, but…the cornfed Midwestern germs on that thing! My brother won out in the Odds declaration, and I had to do it. I hefted that giant bottle, swallowed my pride, and swallowed the wine. Then I ran. Both in case any housekeeping staff saw me debase myself and to go gargle with Purell. 

-During a family trip to northern Minnesota, I became particularly inspired to do an Odds around the Ben Franklin, an eclectic, hyper-local general store-type establishment that once sold slivers of wood with renderings of holographic Jesus on them. In my most epic Odds idea, I asked my brother whether my sister and I could pick him out an outfit from this store, and that he would wear it for an entire day at work. This was enhanced by my dad offering to make sure the boss enforced the full day policy. (They text about cars, you see.) My brother gave his insane Odds: 1 in 3. I prayed to holographic Jesus and we said our numbers. When we uttered the same one, my soul leapt out of my body and I ceased to exist for a moment. I probably yelled, though we were in a restaurant. We headed straight to the Ben Franklin for outfit picking time. The good old BF is like a north woods Walmart – items for everyday life but also camouflage for any and all occasions. My sister and I had some tough choices to make. After combing through every option on those clothing racks (and making my brother try on some camo coveralls with no shirt), we settled on a black t-shirt with three deer on it that said “Survival of the Fittest” and a camo hat with a zippable front flap. (We were nice and let him wear his own shorts). The next week, we woke up to texts with photos of this outfit in action at the air traffic control tower. Perfection. He did have to wear the hat with the face flap unzipped due to work necessities, but it was still a masterpiece I brought into the world. Not to mention revenge fuel for my brother…

The outfit in action around 5am

-Some Odds involve dredging up old memories the betting club shares. When my siblings and I were all home for some holiday, my sister got the idea to Odds my brother if he would go to the concessions stand at a hockey rink she used to work at (it’s Minnesota, okay), buy a hot dog (we call them rollie weenies), and eat it. My sister had described these rollie weenies made by apathetic teens in great, disgusting details many times before, so this was not an especially appetizing prospect, even for your average hot dog appreciator. Once again, my brother lost at Odds, and we got in the car to collect my sister’s reward. Sadly, I had to stay in the car while he purchased the rollie weenie, so I did not witness whatever happened inside the hockey rink, but the bet dictated he couldn’t actually eat the thing until we got back home. We bore the special weenie back to the house like a tubular king, blessed as it was. Then my brother broke out the ketchup and went to town. He survived, having eaten a piece of history for his siblings’ giggling enjoyment.

-Too many episodes to recount involving flights of disgusting shots.

As you can see, my brother and I are the hardest core Odds players in this family. Everyone else plays it safe and is much less fun. 

Odds brings with it ascendance or humiliation, and a foundation of communal weirdness – you are continually spurred on, whether you are basking in your good luck and seeming power or serving the whims of your fellow bettors. You have all entered this pact and you are all witnesses to a ridiculous reality you’ve created.

I’m sure sociologists have found humans have been doing some form of Odds since the dawn of our time on earth. Society in general is a collective gambling agreement, weighted more towards some than others. But Odds has shown me so much about my human bonds. We push and pull, and a Newtonian relationship ensues. You give and you get, and no matter how crazy things become, you really never know what will happen next. I now realize what those nice British ladies meant when they sang about spicing up your life.

In my family, in our endless Odds, we gamble on each other, pull the slots on our own bravery/stupidity. We elicit the crazy in each other, all within a world we made and continue making. We are communicating desires and testing each other – with a touch of Schadenfreude, perhaps, but it’s more about enabling creativity and giving carte blanche to each other’s weirdness. When else can we be so ourselves? 

Odds is exhilarating, embarrassing, revealing, bonding, all the -ings you’d want with the people you think you know the best. Everyone is large, and everyone contains multitudes. Odds is a rare window into that. I hope you can take these instructions and these stories and go forth and place fun bets with your friends and family. May the Odds be with you.



Earl and Ruth Brindley on their wedding day – July 20, 1947

They were 23 and nearly 23. Young but already lifetimes into life. 

Two years before, he had come back from 25 B-17 combat missions over WWII Europe, and was training to go to the Pacific theater. Death was behind him, but silently crouched ahead. Thankfully, the war ended, and he came home. 

She walked in a commanding fashion. She didn’t have to say anything, but she did when she wanted to. That was the contained power she wielded all her life, in a place that stretched far and wide but was still nowhere. 

At some point, their paths crossed. She walked in her arresting way, across a street he was driving on. The vectors, though exact and easily missed, were joined. Though he was at the steering wheel, she was in complete control. Their horizons merged but expanded. 

Words and rings exchanged in a backyard, among the trees. Both in suits, hers skirted. Fully suited to each other, but each with their own constellations. Later that night, those stars appeared in the sky. They would see them on their honeymoon, driving out west among the natural stone monuments. 

In the decades to come, she would guide both of them. He could build things and fix them, and so could she. 

July 20, 1947


Spectating Wimbledon Spectator Fashion

Berries and cream
Berries and cream
I’m a little lad
Who loves berries and cream
       -Little lad from Starburst commercial, 2007*

I deeply identify with this song and dance by the wee page boy’d page boy extolling the virtues of berries and cream. To me, it applies to Wimbledon and the famous strawberries and cream of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. When this tiny chap claps his hands at the prospect of a sweet treat via berries and cream, I clap my hands at seeing outfits and style at this annual tennis tournament. I’m convinced the royals and celebrities carefully calibrate their appearances, allegiances, and sartorial statements – Jude Law would never go on a day someone more famous will get more camera time, and Meghan supports Serena while other randos vie for the secondary coverage. Some berries and cream is better than no berries and cream. Forthwith, some fashion! (Player clothes choices are a different conversation altogether.)

The Duchesses

Clearly these women will generate the most buzz when appearing at Wimbledon – together and separately. Into the hive!

Joint Duchessing


One glorious (Earl of) sandwich (and everyone wins at sunglasses!)

Kate: Buttons! Bows! This dress has it all! The buttons say “I’m here for the business of tennis;” the bow says “I’ll also make small talk about your boat.” I don’t understand the forest green but I do understand Kate’s fashion choices tend toward militaristic influences. Carry on. 

Meghan: Our Ralph Lauren princess is back at it. I don’t know if this is actually Ralph Lauren and I shan’t be googling it but it has that classic silhouette. The simple, crisp white shirt shows off the glorious pleated skirt to wondrous effect. Duchess Markle shows us once again she is Queen of Subtle Sophistication. 

Pippa: I’m a sucker for toile but this looks like she got a last-minute invite to appear with the Duchesses while staying at her cottage in the English countryside so she had some mice and birds make a frock real quick out of her country chic curtains. I would like to stage a picnic on that pattern. 

Distinct Duchessing


Meghan: Has anyone so successfully pulled off a fedora since Paul Newman in The Sting? Doubtful. What other powers does she possess if she can effortlessly slay a fedora look on a random Tuesday? Apparently the jeans are a no-no at Wimbledon, but if I were a duchess, I’d wear jeans any chance I got. I make the rules, you plebes! The light-checked blazer is a tennis homage, to my untrained eye, and I appreciate the casual cool.


Kate: Bows and buttons continue, but I love this. It’s Kate’s tennis whites with a little black to set it off. She looks like she’s going to underground to crack some codes for WWII Britain whilst tricking the Axis into thinking she’s just visiting her soldier. Some serious spy chic. 


Kate and William: Once again we see the royals sunglassing hard. See this Everyone Looks Hotter in Sunglasses (ELHis) rule. They coordinated! Kate in a powder blue Fraulein Maria-esque frock – the sleeves, what is the folding there? Royal curtains again. But overall, a lovely summer look. I also like the flowery clutch, like she’s stashing seeds for her secret garden in there. William powdered his blue, too, taking cues from his Queen, as he should. 

Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch


It absolutely delights me that a man who gets paid to lurk in movies and Benediction Corksnatch sat near each other at Wimbledon. What did they talk about? The intricacies of the Marvel universe? Their respective British private schooling? How much Pimms to consume before retiring to the yacht? Oh yes, sorry, their fashions – Mr. Hiddleston appears to have come straight from the investment bank he moonlights at, complete with navy suit. Really throwing caution to the wind there with the polka dot tie. I don’t understand the hair and I won’t respond to it. Mr. Cucumberbench is captivated by something on the court, and was clearly tipped off somehow to Kate’s outfit, because he brought out the powder blue. No competing with the Duchess, however – the is just boring. I’ll expect a better showing next outing, Mr. Corkybang.

Adwoa Aboah


An expert deployment of the Editor Drape, in lemon, no less. A delicious confection.

Continue reading “Spectating Wimbledon Spectator Fashion”

On Not Running



I was running and running, but at some point, I simply couldn’t run anymore. I didn’t think I could be injured. Not in an invincible sense, but there was no event, no precipitating jolt that signaled a malady. It was a gradual erosion. Something was off, had been off, but I was denying it with a stubborn power that only grows with time. The hurt wouldn’t wear off, no matter how hard I willed it to. I wasn’t psychic, just psycho.

Since February, I’d been training for a marathon, pounding the treadmill in the face of an unending cold snap. Something painful began to creep into my right leg, but I ignored it. The pain was temporary, I told myself, just a symptom of the treadmill belt and a bleak winter. Epsom salts cure everything, right? You can run through the pain, right? I wasn’t listening.

This was in the bone. I started feeling a bump on my tibia, sickeningly visible through my skin. I could feel it even more when it rained, like a soothsayer trying to block out all the signals. I didn’t want that particular information.

I kept building my mileage, dutifully carrying out the training plan I made for myself. I rose every morning in the arctic dark to run closer to my next goal. Here, on this piece of paper, was a plan that perhaps the gods wouldn’t laugh too hard at. But the pain in my leg built, too, no matter how hard I tried to ignore it out of existence. I wouldn’t even let myself consider the prospect of not running this marathon in June – no, never, not me! Running is what I have, what I aim for, the habit that gives my life shape.

The knot in my leg persisted. Falling further into delusion, I thought I could make it through the rest of training and the marathon, and then see about getting help. If I could only pretend to be okay for a couple hundred more miles, then I could acknowledge what my body was telling me. Then the low buzz of hurt turned into a bad garage band.

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Bubble Bob

Something happens to you when you watch Bob Ross for an ungodly amount of time. Like his perm, all lines are blurred, and you start thinking of blues as “phthalos” and baby deer as potential pets. You want all beings in nature to be happy and all clouds to have feelings. And the colors – he uses a base arsenal of 13 and goes all over from there. I’ve spent so much time with these colors that I had to map them all out.


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