Sunrise at 7:51am with lows in the teens and highs in the forties. Omicron is now the dominant variant in America and Joan Didion died today.

Yesterday I woke up several hours before sunrise, which was out of character for me. Perhaps some deep part of my brain wanted to catch the last hours of the longest night of the year. I sat in the early morning dark with a new notebook in my lap, thinking about the routines I’d like to develop here, the type of man I’d like to become. Although I should know better by now, part of me still believes the right notebook will solve all my problems.

I think about my grandfather, who believed adding cream and sugar to coffee was a sign of weak character.

The dust is beginning to settle from our move to the Middle West. We have a car now. Our furniture is in a storage facility on a blank county road. As I shoved boxes, cabinets, and chairs into a unit with a concrete floor and corrugated metal siding, I encountered a few middle-aged men tending to their belongings, men like me with their lives in some state of disarray.

At the supermarket, I scrolled down aisles wide enough for a car and marveled at the endless array of frozen pizzas. I bought an iron, cookies, and a candle that smells like a pine tree. At night it is silent, save for the lull of distant highway traffic that sounds like the sea. Space and quiet: I’m grateful to have some of it for a few weeks—even if it might be more interesting, more tenable, to crave the noise.

Claire M. Singer – A Different Place

Solas | Touch, 2016 | Bandcamp