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Six months into an interminable lockdown, I find myself missing the long dead. The throughline feels like a logical one — it’s a pandemic. Of course I’m thinking about death.

Death and the post office.

That took me slightly by surprise, even in a year where nothing has been what I’d imagined. I didn’t think we’d be arguing whether or not we, as a country, should be able to send and receive mail. Then again, I didn’t think we’d be debating on whether germ theory is real or not, either.

A few people have told me that those of us defending the United States Postal Service don’t care about the institution, but I have always regarded it with a level of fondness that one does not normally attribute to governmental institutions. It’s like finding yourself waxing poetic about the passport office or the IRS. They shouldn’t elicit an emotion other than a bit of ennui, perhaps a cold feeling of dread. …


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Harvey Weinstein was found guilty today on some (but not all) of the charges brought against him by the state of New York. And I find this unbelievable, not because I believed in his innocence in any measure, but because I believe in the ability — as old as history and time itself — of powerful men to hurt women without consequence. When you’re so used to rape and assault going unchecked, even a partial meting out of justice feels surreal.

I’m angry that he wasn’t found guilty on all the charges.

And at the same time, I can’t believe he was found guilty at all. …


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People are always surprised when I tell them Rand and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. I mean, we used to. But dear lord, it was always so, so much, and it always felt a little weird and uncomfortable and forced, even if it lead to some of my favorite photos, ever:

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Our first Valentine’s Day together, in 2002, and my god we were babies. BABIES.

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2003, back when little hearts would pop out of his head whenever I kissed him and thank god he saw the doctor for that.

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2006, and rocking the mid-aughts fashion here. (I wish y’all could see the belt I’m wearing in this photo. …


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Every now and then I get a well-meaning email or Facebook message from a reader.

they will write, and I can practically feel the gentle trepidation as they do so,

(at this point, I imagine them shaking a stack of papers on which they have, rather interestingly, printed out my tweets and instagram posts, evidence of my digital procrastination)


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Recently my Twitter replies were doused in gasoline and set alight. It’s been both somewhat alarming and interesting. (Uncontrollable, raging fires usually are.)

I wrote this tweet in the lobby of a hotel in downtown Seattle after I’d had a . An exhausting, emotionally draining day filled with some of the more intense stuff you can deal with in a family dynamic (I’ll just leave it at that). I was waiting for Rand, and leaning with my head tilted back against the wall, and just trying to hold it together.

Have you ever been there? Where your entire body feels like it’s made of wasps, and if someone just jostles you the tiniest bit, they’re all going to come streaming out and it’s going to be a mess because there will be yellowjackets everywhere? …


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The problem with any writer who happens to experience that rare, fleeting phenomenon known as “external validation” is that for a few moments, we go a little mad.

Which is to say: we start believing our own hype. And for a writer, truly, what greater madness is there than believing in yourself? Don’t get me wrong: I’m still a neurotic bundle of frayed nerves, unsure of my own role in the grand scheme of things, powered mostly by nutritionally-devoid snacks that have come to replace meals. I am basically a frittering raccoon poorly masquerading in an ill-fitting skin-suit.

But for a few ephemeral moments now and then I think that maybe I can do anything. It doesn’t last long, it’s wholly born of madness, it’s dependent upon the opinions of others (which is a whole other ), and yet: it’s there. …


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I am scheduled to leave for Germany in several days. I have already told my husband that I don’t want to go, in a whining tone that stretches syllables out so far that the words they once formed are barely recognizable. As a woman nearing the aging of forty, this is how I am coping with the death of my father, who passed away *checks calendar* … a not insignificant amount of time ago.

I never imagined losing a parent would be an easy thing. But I reasoned that the death of my orderly, logical, unsentimental father would be different. I had loved him, and in his own way, he had loved me. And now he was gone. I had felt sadness — both the intense grief of the moment and the lingering aftermath of it. I felt the pang of finding reminders of him (a global stamp meant for a letter I never sent, a scrap of paper with his handwriting on it), witnessed the persistence of time that rudely passed on without him. I figured I had processed all of these things. Grief was something you push through and then it’s over, I thought, like a workout or a particularly terrible movie. You’ve done it. …


I am on occasion asked for relationship advice. I often do not know how to reply. The list of things I could tell people is long and winding, may be entirely irrelevant, and varies from season to season and day to day.

In summer, I learn to appreciate freckles and to not mind when the heat is so intense that you can barely touch one another without hearing a sizzling sound. In the spring, I feel like making elaborate tarts might be essential to a good relationship (no, there is no photo, it was gone too soon, leaving only flakes of crust in the bottom of the pan like petals of cherry blossoms). But I can’t say definitively because there is no control group. I’ve never made tarts in the spring. …


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— — — — — — — -

My trip to Cambodia feels so long ago — more than five years — that I have to remind myself that I was there. I look at the photos, and see myself looking so damn young that it almost startles me. …


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49 people died yesterday, gunned down in two mosques in coordinated attacks across New Zealand. The intricacies of time zones and the international date line mean the date of their deaths was actually today, Friday the 15th. …

About

Geraldine DeRuiter

Founder of the award-winning (wait, what?) Everywhereist blog. My memoir, ALL OVER THE PLACE, out now: http://www.everywhereist.com/all-over-the-place/

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