This morning my meditation tape asked me if there’s an observer or just the act of observing. I have no idea what to do with questions like this. I’m trying to focus on concrete things these days. Like iceberg lettuce. Whether I’m in Ohio or New York, a bodega or a supermarket, the iceberg lettuce looks increasingly ratty. The other vegetables are growing larger, genetically engineered into Platonic ideals of carrots or tomatoes, but iceberg lettuce seems to be getting smaller, wilted with brown bruises. Perhaps this is an ambient sign of an emergency, like the dwindling bees.

C. and I scrolled up and down the aisles of the megamarket in full hunter-gatherer mode, aiming to collect enough supplies for a few weeks. While contemplating the fish tank, I tuned into the woman’s voice looping over the P.A. system, struck by how it sounded simultaneously rational and insane: “We’ve widened our aisles to help with social distancing, we’ve enhanced our sanitizing practices, and we’ve increased our options for contactless payment…”

A new culture of shame is emerging, and not just in the trenches of social media. Reporters at the airport harass travelers on television, asking them if they even care about humanity. The New York Times is publishing heat maps of where people plan to spend their Thanksgiving—and with how many people. I’m not sure what I’m expected to do with this information.

Smackos – Shopping at the Survival Store

Pacific Northwest Sasquatch Research | Strange Life, 2007 | Bandcamp