Received: a letter from my good friend Stella yesterday. It had photos and a lovely little watercolour that her mom must have scored in a trade with one of her artist friends. The picture on the front is from Hiroshige's Views of Mt. Fuji series.
Of course I wish I knew who the artist was. But with Stella these things are always a bit of a mystery.

One of the necessities of being a fashion cowboy is answering no questions.

* * * * *

Because I have this eccentric ken for all things strange and dystopian, the news out of Japan seems to be speaking to me on a special wavelength. And the news is appalling: more fires, bigger explosions, radioactive steam. The Emperor goes on television. Foreigners are fleeing even while the international airlines are staying away.

Helicopters are dumping giant red buckets of water on the reactors. Really?

Yesterday I walked to my dentist appointment in thin, shimmering March light. The world seemed cool and distant. I had that sensation that I get sometimes where I feel very tall, very long, and my legs sort of loop out before me. I also felt removed, or far away, which is difficult to describe. It has to do with the air and the evaporation of meaning.

I didn't know what to do with this idea of Japan melting down like some kind of diseased Easy Bake oven. I kept imagining a map with spreading red spots all over it.

Between needles, my dentist asked me if I'd been following the news. I nodded. Pretty hard to avoid, he said. What do you think about it?

I shrugged. I have a bad feeling about it, I said. And immediately regretted it, the emptiness of it.

They had on the office radio, as usual. Commercial radio. My dentist hummed along to the entirety of Don't Stop Believing. I never realized how long that song is.

And I wondered how bad things would have to get before things like that -- things like Journey and Charlie Sheen coverage and the vomitous tons of green beer they're going to sell tomorrow night -- would stop. I mean, will they be playing Celine Dion during the apocalypse?


  1. Mary Arnold1:25 pm

    Well said, Darryl (are you sure your name has 2 rs? seem like a 1 r daryl or is that the feminine?)

    This could be it...villages of 10000 people disappeared...nuclear reactors afire. We don't really know what happens in a REAL meltdown...remember China Syndrome?

    And while such a tragedy is taking place there, we are here just going along.

  2. My sister subscribes to intuitive spelling.

    I *don't* remember China Syndrome, but I can assume the ending was vastly different to The Sound of Music. Of course, I'm only guessing.

  3. Thinking similar things in my part of the universe but in my case the apocolypse soundtrack is Lionel Ritchie.

  4. I know your distant feeling is way different from my distant feeling, but I understand a distant feeling.

    We still need to have dental work done and car repairs and buy shampoo and food. It just all seems less important (perhaps ridiculous), though.

    Celine Dion IS the apocalypse. I'm wondering if the world would be a much better place if she had never sung a note.

  5. decided to read this today before reading your latest..I felt the same way when 9/11 happened. It was awful, but here in little old Utah I was definitely removed from the reality of the horror. I think it really struck home when I realized that no planes on their way to and from the airport were in the sky to the west of us. No helicopters. Just quiet. But like the day my Dad seems the world turns and the mundane continues in spite of tragedy. Can you imagine if we all stopped everything because something bad happened? We would be a paralyzed world. That heart goes out to all who are suffering, not only in Japan but everywhere. But don't think I am a callous person because I went on with my life.

  6. celine dion has a lovely voice. she just chooses to sing retarded songs.

    don't stop believing is a retarded song. celine dion should sing it. now that she's back in vegas.

    there are tiny and terrible things happening everywhere, all the time. the large and terrible things that we all get to focus on together make us feel closer.

    googling the china syndrome now

  7. Anonymous10:32 am

    The whole thing is crazy for sure, and it is difficult to know this, and yet continue on with our own day. The picture is cute...I like your outfit! :-)


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