Two international students are circulating a survey about gender roles in the family. I’m totally cracking up, even though I shouldn’t be, because when they ask for people to elaborate on their opinions, they just say timidly, “Opinion?”

A student asked for help unjamming the printer today and he stood so close to me that I had to say “excuse me” in hopes he’d move away. He didn’t. His arm (through his sweatshirt) brushed my arm (through my sweater) and I got all wigged out. Yes, this is a form of claustrophobia, or a new phobia I don’t know yet.

I was thinking about a new way of journaling here: leave myself a voicemail message about a subject for a new entry, which later I will replay and transcribe into notes for a handwritten entry in my notebook, then take a photo of the entry, print the photo on a printer, scan the print and turn it into a PDF which I would then upload to Blackboard in an online course in which you may enroll. I call it “distance connecting”, kind of like distance learning, except with no grades or degrees.

Day five and all I have to show for it is a photo of Ricardo Montalban as Khan. Day five. If only tomorrow weren’t day six, I’d lay in bed and pretend the sheets were made of pure cocoa.

Three black power cables, dead snake plastic, figure-eight at my side. They go somewhere; they go between thing and element. I like the word conduit and I like the idea of you, but don’t confuse that with me wanting my arm touched.

If you can hear nails on a chalkboard, you know what being touched by strangers is like for me. Brushed up against, as I am constantly on the subway, wincing from the searing pain and my face is angry all of a sudden, while my head is cool. I close my eyes and the train disappears so it’s just me running on the rails, run run run on the rails, thick and hot and straight on to the ocean.

Soon you won’t see me anymore. Don’t be sad. I always come back, just like the train. Just like the tide. Just like electricity when you’ve forgotten it sits beside you. Then you touch the door and I’m right there. I am right there.


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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.