Before we get into this week’s letter, we’d like to direct you to letter #39 for some resources on how to support the Black Lives Matter movement right now. If you’re looking for a few additional places to send your money this week, we recommend The Palestinian Youth Movement and GLITS.
Back when going to bars and parties was a regular occurrence, I got anxious and easily irritated whenever my boyfriend invited me to go somewhere with him but didn’t give me a specific time or place well in advance. I hated the uncertainty of not knowing where the night was going, not having a clear plan. I hated feeling unprepared. Some people have no problem making casual plans and seeing where the night takes them; I am not one of those people. Calendar invites are my love language. That’s how uncertainty makes me feel on a small scale, so you can imagine what the uncertainty of, say, a global pandemic does to me—or even the uncertainty of what my life will look like in five years. I know this is an anxiety that will probably stick with me forever, on some level, but I’ve gotten a little bit better at dealing with it: recognizing what is actually within my control in the present moment, exercising control over those things in a healthy and helpful way, and learning to let go of the rest.
I’m anxious and impatient but not very good at making plans, and so generally, I don’t. Logistics stress me out. I’m not very fun, because of this, nor do I do very much, but most of my near-future is understood. So, naturally, the uncertainty of the pandemic is fucking me up. Choosing to create certainty for myself means deciding to be pessimistic (realistic?) about how to continue and how the virus will continue, too. My future is working from home, sanitizing all of my groceries (I know technically we don’t have to but read the first two words of this), and wearing a mask every time I go out. It also means being reluctant to look forward to anything; my partner and I used to see each other every month, but now airlines are deciding to book full flights? So no? We’re both in terrible outbreak states? Will TV happen anymore? I don’t want it to if it means people aren’t safe? I’m just a year past graduating and having that spiral of uncertainty, contending with it, figuring things out. All of that figure-outing has kind of dissolved, though. I guess I’m okay with not knowing but mostly because I don’t have a choice but to be resigned to it. At least everyone is sort of in the same boat.
In the spirit of uncertainty, I’m going to recommend a show I haven’t finished yet. POSE on FX! I’ve consumed too much Ryan Murphy content this quarantine, but this show is definitely the best and has the least amount of frustrating trademarks of Ryan Murphy shows. It’s shot beautifully, the cast is stunning and talented, and there are hardly any white people in sight. :) When an episode is feel-good, I cry, when an episode is heart-wrenching, I cry, and if there’s anything I need during quarantine it’s honestly different emotional triggers besides “general despair and hopelessness.” Season 1 and 2 are both streaming on Netflix!
🎶 Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers
Phoebe Bridgers is and will always be my sad girl queen, and she has a new album to help you lean into your sad girl-ness, too. I don’t know how to write about music and I always get nervous when I try, so I will just say that this album makes me Feel Things™ in the best way. Savior Complex is my favorite song of the moment and I’m looking forward to seeing it at the top of my most-played list in my Spotify Rewind this year.
🍽️ Apricot Season
Truthfully, I’m not doing many new things these days, just playing the same video games, watching reruns of Food Network shows, and fucking around online until it’s time to sleep. Time is super warped in quarantine but you know what’s a beautiful marker? Seasonal fruits! Go buy apricots! They’re one of my main sources of joy these past few weeks! They are so little and far less messy than other stone fruit. A perfect snack. If you’re allergic I’m sorry! I’m gonna eat the last one in my fridge right now!
📖 Quaranzine by Conveyor Studio
Conveyor is a very nice indie book studio, and they’re currently publishing a six-part zine series in collaboration with some cool creative folks. You can subscribe to get all six zines, or you can buy each one individually as they come out—and the profits are being donated to NICE and NYC Health + Hospitals. I’ve gotten two of the zines so far, and I love them both.