April 8, 2024.
A total eclipse of the sun, viewable from NYC.
If I’m still alive and kicking by then I want a date to share that with.
You can view the eclipse with a pinhole camera. But even without one, you can see it by making a pinhole of light with your fingers cast on the ground. I learned this when I was 11 at the University of Arizona planetarium.
I spent a year in the sun. 2016. I’d felt sad most at the time. I’d spent five years in hibernation and seclusion. Suddenly, after receiving an umpteenth lease on life, I woke up having made a conscious choice to live.
I had to lie to a lot of people about why I’d disappeared and then returned. I wasn’t ashamed. But back then, I didn’t know how to talk about things without being judged. The people who did know where I’d been were unkind. They made up stories about me. That I was an alcoholic (I’d bought wine in bulk to give away as presents at Christmas). That I used cocaine (it was protein powder for smoothies). That I was crazy (the ultimate gaslighting technique). None of these stories were remotely true. But they were easier explanations than “we abused her so badly she cracked.”
Every day, every single day of 2016, I went outside…sometimes dressed in nothing more than a t-shirt and underwear because it was all I had the energy to wear…and I just listened to The 1975 in my backyard. For hours at a time. I texted a lot. I went to therapy. And I worked with Day Schildkret to build me up in a way that couldn’t easily be toppled.
That is when the stories started flowing out. And they’ve yet to stop. I’m a solar-powered writer.
I finished the year in Paris, where I’ll be in less than a week.
So, 2024. Odds are I might be alive. Who knows. But if I am, I hope to be in NYC. On a rooftop with friends. The sun brings life and abundance. I want as much of it as I can get.