A grey Sunday with the possibility of snow. They’re calling it a Saskatchewan Screamer, this weather system moving northeast across the Tennessee Valley. In the meantime, I’m trying to sort myself out. Will I ever untangle the stories scattered across my notebooks? What am I doing with my time on planet Earth? What do I stand for? But I’m not going to figure myself out today. It’s a lifelong process, I know, and I can’t imagine many of us walk around feeling certain about ourselves and the choices we’ve made. At least not without being an absolute jackass.

Looks like C. and I are going to London next month for a residency, coronavirus be damned. But first we must contend with the paranoia of nation-states and institutional logistics. Yesterday we got fingerprinted for an FBI background check, and I was surprised by my anxiety as we awaited the results. Maybe they’ve figured me out; I certainly haven’t.

I braced for surveillance footage of myself doing something awful, maybe a print-out of my search history or photographs of my strangest dreams. But I’m clean. A search of the fingerprints provided by this individual has revealed no prior arrest date, said the report. This does not preclude further criminal history at the state or local level. I admire how they’ve hedged their bets in case I’m causing local problems.

So these are days of waiting. Today I’m waiting for the snow to arrive on this Sunday afternoon in the long middle stretch of January. The year is no longer shiny yet it has not fully started, its rhythms only faintly heard. There’s a thrum in the atmosphere just before the weather changes, maybe something to do with barometric pressure that I’ve never understood. The forecast has been downgraded from six inches of snow to only two, and there should be a word for this: the specific flavor of disappointment when the weather fails to perform as advertised.

I went for a short ugly run to get out of my Sunday funk, and I stopped to admire a streak of white against the grey clouds: the contrails of an airplane—jet screams, I called them when I was small—and it neatly divided the sky in two. For a moment, I wanted to assign it cosmic significance.

Dean Hurley – Edge of the Known

Anthology Resource Vol. II: Philosophy of Beyond | Sacred Bones, 2019 | Bandcamp