Noticeably cooler in the country—leaves are finally yellowing, and the tent caterpillars have taken up their residences at the ends of tree branches, draping everything in a fine silk netting (after the gypsy moths they seem so much more harmless now, hardly worth killing). Night of the full moon—Pisces moon, at its zenith just a few hours from now. I didn’t know until after I put my car into park, but I felt its pull on me as I made my way up the country roads. A surprising heaviness. It’s cooler here now, cooler in the city but cooler here than it is there. 

Some posts are like the yellow and black striping of a wasp’s belly. Some are like this—circular, nostalgic. Or they seem like they will be. I think of an article I’d like to write for HTMLGIANT (recently risen from its grave). “My Eight Past Lives,” following a recent appointment I’d made sometime in late July or early August on a whim. “Why did you contact me?” my psychic had asked. I kept my cards close to my chest, or tried to, or in truth had no answer but the obvious one, which seemed much too apparent to bother mentioning. “I don’t know,” I said. “I just felt the impulse.” 

It was the truest thing that I could say in the moment. 

“Take a shower afterwards,” she said. “Be gentle to yourself.”

I had hoped that at some point the appointment would ring so true in me that I would resonate like a bell—I wanted the metal to be struck in just the right place, for myself to break down, to come apart. Instead, I felt a kind of dull, weary ache in my third eye. Eight lives—too many to speak to all at once. 

Now it almost happens, what I wanted then, thinking that whatever I had been before wants so urgently to contact me. 

But what do I do for the full moon? I look for a token that I can burn as a kind of effigy. An offering. Something to indicate a change, a transition—a marking of place, on a night where I hope the heaviness will pass once and for all. The first thing that occurs to me are the paintings, recently taken down from the refrigerator—your paintings. Paintings that in truth I would never burn. 

But what feels closer to the truth is that I would, or might. 

Who do they belong to now? Who would be hurt?

Always myself.

I remembered the shopping list that I found bunched up behind the fruit bowl. It seems an appropriate substitute—marker of an entire life. A life that I guess I didn’t want after all. I would never say that, but you might.

I haven’t burned it yet.

But we still have a few hours to go. 

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