I keep complaining that it’s too hot in Tucson, considering how close it is to Halloween, but deep down I think I know that the weather is usually like this, and it’s only our collective hopefulness that makes us believe the temperature will drop before November. That said, I have been told multiple times that it will be a warm, dry winter, and I’m not particularly looking forward to that. But maybe I’ll change my mind once it’s closer to 70 than 90.

I’ve been very tired lately. A couple of weeks ago I thought I had an ear infection—which isn’t great, considering it’s in the ear I had surgery on a few years ago, to stop me from having so many ear infections—but the urgent care doctor thought it was swelling from TMJ instead, and prescribed me some steroids, which made me insane. My muscles were twitchy, and my heart was racing, and even though it was difficult for me to describe what exactly was wrong, I never felt quite right. Going off the steroids was even worse; I don’t know if the medication is to blame, or if this is just the cumulative effect of such a politically draining year (not to mention writing and selling and editing a book! Though I like doing those things), but it felt like an emotional floodgate had been opened in me. Dave and I went to a performance hosted by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music last week, and I cried twice during the performance. I got a copy of the new Philip Pullman novel, and I am reading it and have again cried. In both cases, I think I was given cause to consider my own relationship to my soul, which is admittedly a heavy topic, but still. It’s a lot.

I hope I sort of even out soon? I feel dumb always, always needing a vacation, but I feel like I need a vacation. Don’t we all feel like that, all the time? Probably.

On Monday I went to a book release party for Aisha Sabatini Sloane and her collection of essays, Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit, which I am really looking forward to reading. It was interesting, because it was held in a place I know and love, and it was a familiar type of event—loving, bookish, intimate—but a group of people I knew very few of. I hadn’t actually ever met Aisha before that night, though I keep meaning to, and although I felt incredibly shy surrounded by someone else’s community, I’m glad I went, not only because everyone there was lovely (not least Aisha, who is clearly brilliant and a force for good in the world), but because I think it’s good to be reminded that our little pockets of humanity are not alone, not the only ones. We exist side by side with other people who are humming along on parallel trajectories, and I guess I personally need to be reminded, sometimes, to try and reach over to and touch them. Anyway, buy the book. Maggie Nelson blurbed it! Not too shabby.

Ok, time to work. I realize that next Wednesday is actually closer to Halloween than this week, in terms of posting thematic comics, but I like celebrating Halloween early and often.