Welcome to Night Vision

We're all trying to see in the dark.

Hi friends. So glad you’re here. Welcome to Night Vision. 

We’ll keep this first one somewhat succinct so I don’t scare you off into unsubscribing already. (Because I can see when you do that, you know!)

Sometimes you’ll find essays here, other times poems and other other times a series of photos of Cher rollerskating. Let’s ease into it with some general musings on life as we know it now and just one photo of Cher rollerskating. 

I’m not in Montana.
I was supposed to be half-way to Montana right now. (Or Trumptana?) I’ll spare you the sob story, but I’m not. I’m on my couch or my bed or my couch or my bed or occasionally a porch if the mosquitos are behaving, which I can only imagine is nothing like the Crazy Mountains. 

Nobody dies because of canceled plans, but they can slow-and-low sadden you, especially if you’ve forgotten to delete the Google calendar reminder when that date rolls by. I can go to Montana another summer, another year, but there’s something about these canceled plans that have irritated a subdivision of nostalgia I’m not familiar with. They’ve made me nostalgic for things that never happened. Maybe there’s a word for that. It’s a cousin emotion to when, at the end of a relationship that you didn’t end or a death that came too soon, you feel cheated out of future memories.

Here are some things I miss about the Montana trip I didn’t take: 

  • Road trip snacks, the packed ones from home on the drive out, the gas station ones on the drive back. There’s something about visiting a grocery store in a new place that’s thrilling too. So this is how they grocery shop here. A little familiar, a little not. 

  • The ache on the top of your ankle from a long drive.

  • When a road trip playlist matches the scenery, but moreso when it decidedly does not match the scenery. Last summer I repeatedly played Cut to the Feeling by Carly Rae Jepson while driving through the hills of Tuscany, which made absolutely no sense.

  • The thrill of not having to break your cruise control when wanting to pass someone, but first needing someone else to pass you. Friendly reminder to pass on the left.

  • The internal praise for making yourself use a gas station restroom, even though you don’t think you had to and definitely didn’t want to. Who knows when the next exit will be? I’m forever scarred by a road trip with my friend Sam which included crossing Utah and all of their “no services” signs with the gas light on. 

  • There was supposed to be a hot tub, which is only appealing while on vacation with someone who’s enthusiastic about hot tubs.

  • How the car conversation turns weird about 10 hours in, somewhere on the western half of North Dakota.

  • The shared memories of traveling with someone. I say this having done my fair share of traveling alone, which I still highly recommend. Figuring out an international train system by yourself forms new neural pathways in your brain, I swear, though I’m not even close to a doctor. Still, I’ll set my independent ego aside for a second and admit it’s special to share those memories with someone. I’ve tried to describe the night my friend Rachel and I drove across Montana (see? I love Montana) without having a place to stay and riding the center of the highway hoping it would give us a millisecond more reaction time in case one of the hundreds of deer alongside the road had a death wish, but it’s really only funny for her and me. The you had to be there times. 

  • When you confuse vacation life with real life and genuinely think yeah I could live here, buy a ranch, lasso horses, what of it? “I could see myself living here.” You start Zillowing houses. You consider how hard it would be to find another dentist you like. I’ve felt that way in Maine, Bozeman, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, the Hudson Valley and for an hour in Nashville while on a walk through a neighborhood with incredible craftsman houses. I did not feel that way in Phoenix.

If 2020 has taught me anything – and I hope it’s taught me a lot of things, because what else are we doing otherwise?? – it’s impermanence. I’m not in Montana. I’m not doing a lot of the things I want to be doing (remember concerts and reliable income? *sobbing emoji*), but I can’t strong-arm my way into a relationship or Europe or an industry ravaged by the pandemic if the universe says no. Tough pill for a Taurus to swallow. 

That’s it. Something, or maybe nothing, to think on. Until next time, here are some other writings for you to enjoy. 

Reading materials:

Something I wrote: What’s It Like Living In a Glass Dome? I’m not an exhibitionist by any means, but I also don’t care what the neighbors see when my blinds are open. If they see something interesting, good for them, you know? So I’m all about living in a glass dome in Berlin like this one I wrote about for Domino.  

Something I did not write: Wine Simple, which is too, eye roll, simple of a title for such a beautiful book. That aside, everything else about Wine Simple, from the graphics to the conversational voice, is exquisite if you’re even remotely interested in wine. I think about this book when I’m away from it. 

Something I wish I’d written: From Two Large Stones by Arnold Lobel (1977)
The two stones
sat on the side of the hill.
They felt sad
for one hundred years.

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