Insects buzz in the trees like bad reception, but the nights are finally cooler and crisping up. A bad memory came crashing in last night. My father’s hand, so alien and paper-light while a doctor on a screen—on television!—said my father was the sickest man in the hospital, and all he could offer was prayer. It did not work. Where does one turn for comfort when memories begin looping? There’s a problem with modern grief, a rupture that cannot be filled with squishy words like mindfulness and acceptance. Sometimes I want blood, messy-faced emotion, and revelation. Wailing and ecstasy. But this craving has been muted and flattened into the language of self-help.

Something is grinding away beneath my screens, scraping down the emotional spectrum until there’s only performance and outrage—and even these seem to be blurring.