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Pretty creepy honestly how faithfully these stories reflect some of my own anxieties, particularly around the 2020 pandemic and other kind of contemporary tragedies. I suppose that’s probably true for a lot of folks around a certain age who grew up a certain way and live a certain kind of life now. These took me a long time to get through, but not due to any fault or flaw in the writing–it was all just kind of a lot so I needed to keep switching back to something else. As stories, they’re not what I would call “propulsive” but they certainly do capture a certain not so pleasant vibe extremely well. Some favorite passages below. 

I can’t believe all these animals we have are real and we just take it for granted I said before drinking half of my glass. Growing up our parents tell us there’s no such thing as monsters so we’ll go to sleep but a bear is a monster and a moose is a monster and a bird is a monster too. Every bird in the world would rip your head off if it were somewhat larger and you were somewhat slower.

Imagine if whales didn’t exist and then one showed up out of nowhere? We’d never stop talking about it Joe said. We would never get over it.

It’s probably no coincidence that the most famous novel ever written was about how fucked up a guy got after knowing about one particularly angry whale.

It’s just that we get used to the things that are scary Joe said. The real action is in novelty.

A day is so long but a life is very short.

As they float further and further away from the original dive spot they bicker and blame one another and grasp for something different they could have done that would have sared them from this ordeal.

As if logic is a shield against chaos.

Eventually the realization that there is no order to things and that two people can in fact be left behind like this dawns on them.

It’s never a good sign when your parents ask you if you remember so and so because that dude is fucked.

Then I was thinking about how the video for “Criminal” which came out in 1997 was my version of Puberty 2. Puberty 1 is just regular puberty that we’ve all heard of but Puberty 2 is when your brain unlocks what kind of pervert you’re going to turn into.