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"My pain was selfish. Because it was never only mine."

Y'all, I am so, so tired.

I mean that in a couple of ways, of course. It's been hot in the Pacific Northwest over the last week or so, and it's continuing to be hot for the next couple of weeks. Not that this is particularly surprising, because the world is literally on fire (THE ARCTIC IS BURNING, Y'ALL, AND THAT'S NOT A METAPHOR), but one of the nicer things about the PNW before the current decade was that mostly, it was temperate; summers were a highs-in-the-mid-80s kind of summer. This new highs-in-the-mid-90s is making it hard for me to get to, and stay, asleep overnight. And because harsh summers are a new thing here, almost none of the houses (including ours) have a central A/C unit, so we're trying to make do with window units. Which generate white noise, which is nice, but are also loud, which is not so nice. So I'm tired.

But this last week especially has been more than the physical tired. I'm emotionally tired. Drained, existentially tired. Two white domestic terrorists in two different states conducted mass shootings of non-whites, and not only is there no political path to correcting or preventing this sort of terrorism, we can't even get anyone to actually call it what it is, which is white-supremacy-driven terrorism. I said on twitter that I can't imagine what it's like for my friends who aren't white, who aren't cis, who aren't men, and I still feel that way. I'd like to think I can recognize that it's worse for them, but I honestly can't imagine being more tired and more disappointed and more sad and more angry about it than I am now without doing something drastic.

I posted on twitter "I am just going outside. I may be some time." I'm kind of glad that no one who follows me got the reference, because I am now glad that I didn't scare them. But for the record, those were the last words of Captain Lawrence Oates; he was a member of the doomed Terra Nova Expedition of Antarctica. The story is actually rather interesting, in a gruesome way; I'd recommend Susan Solomon's The Coldest March if you want to know more about it. And y'all, Sunday morning, waking up to the second of two mass-murders, I was at the bottom. The people who look like me? They're the Bad Guys (insert the "are we the baddies" skit from Mitchell and Webb here). And that's not a great feeling. And I don't want to be the guy who stands up and screams "#NotAllMen" because that just makes me a part of a different group of Bad Guys.

So instead I did what I said I was going to do: I went outside. I sat in the sun. I petted my dogs. I read a little, wished I had a cigarette, decided that wasn't healthy either, drank some tea. Stayed away from the internet and my phone and tried like hell to keep my focus on being present. I didn't necessarily want to hurt myself; it was just that I didn't want to be tired any longer.

And then Jean got home, and she kissed me. And I took a shower and we got out and about a bit and then we took a nap and I wasn't as tired. I mean, I was still tired, but I wasn't tired. Well, wasn't as tired.

I'm still tired. But I'm not that tired any longer. Maybe tomorrow I'll be a little less tired again, and then I'll go do something, hopefully something that makes the world a little less tiring.

And to all of my friends and folk, who are struggling: we're all in this together, even if it doesn't look like it. Someone out there loves and cares for you. It might even be me.


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