In early April of 2022, in the second month of the Russian invasion of and war on Ukraine, Phoebe Bosché, Editor of Seattle-based Raven Chronicles Press, invited me to interview Christine Lysnewycz Holbert, Founding Editor and Publisher of Lost Horse Press, as part of her Raven Chronicles’ “Raven Talks / qaẃqs” podcast.
Back then I was taking Estazolam. It had brought along bothersome but tolerable side effects. For the whole day I was clumsy and unsteady, and at night I'd hold the tablet pack tightly, unable to stop my craving. I studied your messages in drowsiness. Zolpidem and Lorazepam were what you recommended. They might make me feel better, you said.
Throughout my father’s life, people often described him as a sage or clairvoyant, a blind man who could see beyond the visual.I was seventeen when I noticed the pattern. When an admissions officer at a small liberal arts college called me in for an interview, she spotted my dad and his dog in the waiting room.
Yet DanceNotes is uninterested in writing that aims to freeze lived experience. The mission statement continues: “If notation is an instrument for comprehension, preservation, and iteration, DanceNotes is an experiment in notation dedicated to refractory, malleable, and plural knowledges, and to re-contextualized genealogies of movement.”
The boys are dancing. They prance around the dark stage in matching white shirts, striking a pose with their pale arms and pale necks. Seven cookie-cutter boys toss back their hair—bangs just skimming the eyes—then bend their narrow waists, fold themselves unbelievably tight, and launch into acrobatic flips.
Pain is uninteresting to everyone except the person who experiences it, and even then, the appeal wears off. I became bored by my own pain, afraid that I was becoming irrelevant, ceasing to exist. Who was I if I could not teach, could not parent, could not write? Pain makes a very poor companion, and rather enjoys maximizing presence so that no one and nothing else can occupy your time. I worried about Stockholm Syndrome: was I making nice with my pain or simply getting used to him?
The books feel farther apart on my nightstand; the tub has shouldered open, wide enough now for two; space seems to have grown between the sugar and creamer on the breakfast table, and despite the silent chess game Renée and I play with them as she reads the paper and drinks cup after cup of coffee—the cream now advancing, now slinking back in retreat—I somehow can’t bring them together.