Dream Journal 6-14-17

The dream started out as me in a castle, I think I was a prince, and I’d invited a bunch of my friends for a sleepover. I told them I’d recently discovered a really cool hidden room, and that I’d been told it used to be a place for the royal family to hide in case of invaders or whatnot. So naturally we all wanted to explore it, so I took them to the passage where I’d found it, and one of them insisted on being the one to press the buttons that opened the passage (they were in two rows, and you needed to know the exact sequence to open it, which I’d found out through trial and error). Once the buttons were pressed, however, suddenly the floor dropped out from under us! Almost all of us managed to race to the edges of the room, but one person fell, and on landing found that they were now face-to-face with a nasty monster! One by one my friends jumped down to join the fray, while I stayed above and loudly protested that this wasn’t supposed to happen (I was sort of in shock). Finally I jumped down to join them, managing to land the killing blow. It was a very D&D type encounter, I even cast Featherfall on myself and another friend to soften the blow from jumping down.

At this point I was telling my friends that this was entirely new, I had no idea what was going on, I’d explored the route a bit before and when the buttons were pressed it just opened into a narrow corridor, no falling floors or monsters or anything. My friends didn’t act like they blamed me, and said they believed me, and that we should continue on to figure out what the hell happened.

We climbed up a staircase to enter a new room that was entirely filled with pianos. Some of them were gigantic, easily five times the size of a normal human piano, while others ranged from regular to huge. We could hear a rhythmic thumping noise along with some piano music, so we proceeded with nervous caution, until one of my friends bumped into a piano’s keyboard and accidentally struck a jarring chord with their butt. Suddenly there was a whooshing sound, and this enormous round wheel came crashing down from the ceiling. It had a vague piano-like structure (aside from being round) and I cautiously knocked at the top to find that it had little flaps that I could open, and inside were big silver hammers. For some reason it made sense to me to yell to my friends to remove as many hammers as they could before the boss came, so we all started frantically reaching in and pulling out hammers, throwing them willy-nilly around us. Then a huge “whomp” sound rang out and we were thrown off our feet, and when we looked up there was an enormous Nutcracker/Santa type wooden doll that had landed on the wheel and started to fight us. It was very much like a video game boss battle, I was one of the weakest party members so I kept having to be healed, and halfway through I realized that it could gather up the hammers we’d removed, so I shouted at my friends to throw the hammers out of the room (there was the stairwell we’d entered from, which it couldn’t fit through). It heard me, though, and savagely blocked the stairwell. That was when I noticed there was a row of windows opposite, so I gestured to one of my friends to gather up some hammers and toss them out the window. It caught on before he reached the window, but was too far away, and roared in frustration at losing some hammers. While it was thus distracted, we gathered up more and threw them down the stairwell. We ended up going back and forth like this a few times, before managing to beat the thing into submission (as it’d grown substantially weaker with the loss of its hammers).

At this point we took a quick break to breathe and rest, and suddenly the dream became a novel I was reading, and I looked up and saw myself on a bus with all the friends from earlier, and I realized I was the author of the novel, I’d sold the movie rights to a studio, and I was sitting on a bus riding back into town after a long day of shooting with the cast. They were joking around and goofing off, like kids on a bus are wont to do, and I went back to the novel to read a bit about what was going on. Apparently, the whole set-up was the doing of a particularly evil god (there were almost a hundred gods in this fantasy setting), who was trying to glorify his own name by taking credit for the torture and subsequent slaughter of the royal heir and his friends. He was the one who’d warped the original tunnel to lead to this “dungeon” that they were going through, where each level would be harder and more horrific than the last.

After finishing that bit of exposition, I put the book back down and spent the rest of the bus ride laughing and singing with my new friends (although I was now an adult, while they were still kids/teens). When we arrived at the studio, I went into a dressing room to change, but I kept having people come in to congratulate me on a good day of filming, the success of the book, etc. Finally I managed to get everyone to leave, and turned to take off my shirt to change.

That was when everything went sideways. My vision started blurring, and I was seeing red, and then hearing cackling, and then at the edge of my sight I’d see a wickedly grinning face. I kept turning to look at it, only for it to vanish. Finally I stumbled over to the mirror, where I saw the evil god from the book. Only he wasn’t my imagination, he was real. He explained in a horrific voice that he had planted the idea for the book in my head, and now that it was becoming a movie, he would be able to infect other people with his image and thoughts. He told me that the filming would become sickeningly real for the young actors, that they would all have close calls on set and then later on mysterious deaths (after the film’s release). He told me that I was to blame, and that his name would live on forever after this.

I begged him to reconsider, but he merely laughed and showed me an image of my fiancee in her car, which morphed into this red, evil-looking version of itself and careening out of control until it caused a huge accident, and her mangled body half outside of it. That was when I had an idea. I told the evil god that the filming would continue, but he should invent even more horrific bosses for the kids to fight. I argued that it would glorify him further, if they managed to get past those bosses and eventually work their way straight to him, and battle him. How much better would it be, I suggested, for him to personally dismember and disembowel them? He seemed convinced, and made me promise that this would be written into the script (which wasn’t a problem, as I hadn’t finalized the script yet). Then he disappeared.

At that point I ran out of the room and gathered all the kids to come to a props room to tell them what had happened. At first they thought I was joking with them, pretending the story was real, but when it became clear that I was deadly serious, they started getting nervous and trying to figure out if they could escape the room. They were suddenly trapped with an adult who was acting crazy, and needed to figure out how to get away. I was still trying to convince them that I wasn’t crazy when I woke up.

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Worms, May 27, 2017

So I went to Worms yesterday, on a specific mission. I wanted to buy some locally-produced German wine as a gift for my dad. Most of the wines available in grocery stores here are decent, but not anything I’d consider bringing across the ocean. My dad likes really high-quality stuff, so I needed to search out a dedicated wine store, and after some Google research, I found one in Worms.

I started the day around 9, did my usual morning things, then headed to the train station to catch the train to Worms. It’s only about 20 minutes by train from Mannheim, and the train wasn’t very full, so it was a pleasant little trip. I arrived at the Worms train station and plotted a rough course toward the St. Peter Cathedral, which I wanted to visit before the wine store, as I really love going into old European cathedrals.

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This is the Martin Luther Memorial in Worms. Very impressive and located in a lovely little park, which I passed through on my way to the cathedral. Worms is the actual name of the city, and it’s a famous and historically important city in Germany (although rather small, compared to other cities). It’s the city where the “Diet of Worms” happened (not the kind of diet that has to do with food). It was an assembly of the Holy Roman Empire to respond to Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. You can Google it if you want to know more, but suffice it to say that if you’re a non-Catholic Christian, you owe the existence of your faith to Martin Luther. 😉

I also happened upon this, the “Memorial for the Victims of Fascism”. It’s normal for most cities in Germany to have memorials of various kinds for the people who were killed, tortured, and/or exiled as a result of the Nazi regime that came to power in the 1940s. Many cities also have “Stolpersteine” or “Stumbling Blocks” which are polished bronze plaques that are placed in the middle of sidewalks, each bearing the name of a family or individual who was killed. They’re raised slightly, although not enough that they cause any real danger of tripping, mostly it’s symbolic. Germany lives with the constant reminder of what they allowed to happen in the middle of the 20th century. I think of this often, and wonder how different other countries would be if they all treated their past tragedies in this way (slavery and genocide of indigenous peoples come to mind for my own country).

Past the memorial, I could just barely see the cathedral’s towers above the old city walls. I found a staircase to climb up and went through the passage to see the side of St. Peter’s Cathedral. Unfortunately there was some construction that overtook the whole area on one side of it, so I wasn’t able to walk around it entirely, but it was still impressive.

The interior was very dark, actually much darker than I expected, although I was able to get a few photos. Naturally, the area around the altar was the most well-lit, and it took a little while of waiting for other tourists to finish taking their pictures before I was able to get mine.

I exited on the other side of the building from where I’d come in, after paying a nice older gentleman 40 cents for a post card of the cathedral. I like to buy postcards from the various museums, memorials, and cathedrals I visit, as they tend to be better than my own pictures and they’re a lot lighter than bulky souvenirs like mugs or whatnot.

I really loved this little bronze representation of the cathedral, but when I started taking pictures of it, I realized that it was a visual representation for blind people. You can see in the side view where the explanation is all in Braille, and there were multiple Braille passages on parts of the cathedral so people would know which part they were touching. I thought that was really cool, and I think this should become normal for all monuments and places of architectural & historical interest.

After I left the cathedral, I once again consulted Google Maps and headed toward the wine store. It was actually extremely close, and when I arrived there were several men and women sitting on benches out front, enjoying glasses of wine and chatting amiably. It was a store and a wine bar, you could sit and drink wine and then buy a bottle to take home. I was greeted by the man working behind the counter. I told him that I was looking for a gift for my father, who likes strong red wines, and he recommended a couple different ones, and also said I could try their signature red to see if I thought he’d like it. I ended up buying two bottles, one of the signature red and one of another red, and hoped he would like them. I thanked the employee for his help, stashed the two bottles in my messenger bag (which I’d brought specifically for wine carrying purposes), and went on my way.

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Here’s my last picture from Worms, of the Siegfried Fountain. Worms is also famous in part because it’s the supposed setting of the mythical Nibelungenlied, which was the inspiration for the Ring Cycle by Wagner (it’s a pretty interesting myth, but don’t jump into Wagner without some preparation). Siegfried is the hero of the Nibelungenlied, hence why he gets a fountain. He looks pretty good for a product of incest.

It was getting hot and I was hungry, and a little thirsty after the wine, so I got some ice cream on my way back to the train station. That wasn’t quite enough, so I ended up stopping at a little cafe bakery and having some tea (despite the very hot weather) and cake before I went back. I’d considered trying to go to Heidelberg later on, but by the time I arrived back in Mannheim, I was hot and tired and a little sore from the heavy wine bottles, so I ended up deciding against it.

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I did end up finding a walk-in salon and getting a haircut and eyebrow styling (threading, not waxing), because my boss told me last week that she wants to get a picture of me on Tuesday for the company website, and my hair wasn’t looking very good (I’d been growing it out, so it was in that shaggy in-between stage), so I made the decision to do that. It should also help once I get back to the states, not having hair on my neck will definitely be a blessing in the Florida summer heat.

Overall it was a lovely day, and I was pleasantly sleepy by the time I got to bed. 🙂

Berlin, April 30, 2017

First I make my way to Museum Island. On the way I spot a beautiful bird looking at me. I think it’s a hawk at first, then it turns its head and I realize it’s a corvid, a crow or raven perhaps, but half of its feathers are grey instead of black. I manage to take a few pictures before it flies away.

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I visit the Bode Museum, which I’ve never been to. It’s interesting, but most of it is Christian art. They do have an exhibit on coins through the ages, which is really cool. I wonder why almost all coins have been round for forever? In another gallery I find a marble statue of a girl putting on her sandals and I fall in love with her face. I take pictures so I’ll remember her. I wonder what her name was.


After the museum is the antique and book market. I’ve been here multiple times before, and each time is interesting, but I’m also a lot wiser than I was the first time. I walk right by the stalls full of tourist-y crap and focus on the books and antiques. I’m caught by a book stall that has several tiny books, around the right size for the dolls. A few stalls down is a bunch of miniature household things, most likely made for doll houses, and I have to tear myself away to walk further. I come to the end and turn back and get caught by the miniatures again. I tell myself I’ll come back once I’ve seen everything. I walk through and nothing else catches my interest. I was half-hoping to find a beer stein that a friend and I had found a few years back and he loved, but neither of us had the money for it. I was going to buy it for him, if I saw it, but unfortunately I didn’t. I return to the miniatures and buy several, about six of them for 10 Euros. I buy two of the tiny books too, another 10 Euros.

I sit in the Monbijou park, resting my tired feet after two hours of museum and antique market walking. The sun in bright but the wind is brisk. I’m warm, so I sit in the shade next to the fountain. A doting father poses his little girl in front of it for a photo, the picture of familial bliss. A long-haired black dachshund runs by, his owner biking behind him, and the girls giggle and run to their mother, acting scared but also pleased. The dog is happy, tongue lolling, and his owner smiles at the mother reassuringly as they pass by. I see the street car pass and I suddenly want to cry. This Berlin will always be my heart, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get to stay here. Passing through, like a ghost, leaving only the smallest trace behind me.

I’m cold now, so I get up and walk again. It’s a beautiful day.

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Two young men practicing boxing while another films them. On the other side, another pair of young men appear to be practicing American football. I assume they’re American students, studying abroad, until one says something in unaccented German.

I reach Hackescher Markt and a musician is finishing up “Country Roads” and it’s kind of hilarious and sweetly naive. As I pass, he starts into “Hey Jude”. He’s pretty good, but it’s too safe. The Beatles are always safe. I guess he does have to make a living, though.

I walk a bit down the street to where I remember there being a noodle shop next door to a döner place. The noodle shop is gone, but the döner place is still there. I order a vegetarian one with cheese, garlic sauce and every vegetable. I walk back to the open area of Hackescher Markt and sit down to eat it there. It’s delicious and tastes just like I remember, except this time the cheese sank to the bottom of the pita instead of the red cabbage. I’m still 25 minutes early to meet Emilie, so I sit and people watch.

Two Italian (I think) men approach me and ask if I know where a restaurant called “buong” is. I say no, they ask if I’ll use my phone to look it up, as neither of them have a data plan. I don’t sense any harm to them, so I say yes. One of them sits down next to me so he can see my screen as I pull up Google Maps. It turns out after some searching that he means “Monsieur Vuong” which is a famous Vietnamese restaurant nearby, and I’ve been there years before. I tell them how to get there and they thank me gratefully. I smile as they say goodbye and walk away.

Emilie arrives, and I don’t recognize her for a moment because her hair is very short! It looks good, of course, because she always looks good. It’s so good to see her, we end up sitting at a cafe right at Hackescher Markt for several hours and catching up on each other’s lives. I can’t express how happy I am to see her again. I remember how few friends like her I have, the ones who I always miss and it doesn’t matter how many years go by, we’re always happy to see each other again.

We walk back to the antiques market, which she says she hasn’t visited since I took her there three years ago. We find the artist’s market, which I hadn’t realized was open today, and walk through it, bemoaning our lack of funds and how we’d like to buy everything. I get caught at a stall with beautiful ceramics, including hanging tiles with various types of cats painted on them. It’s almost time for the markets to end, so some people are already packing up, but we see enough pretty things. On the way back I end up buying one of the cat tiles, a little brown sleeping kitten who reminds me of Kočka.

We walk over to the antiques market to browse there as well. People there are also starting to pack up, but not very quickly. Emilie notices a pewter plate, “Berlin 1990” and laughs and asks if I remember. Suddenly I do, a rush of memory of buying her that same plate (the same design, anyway) for her birthday three years ago. She wanted it, but didn’t have the money. It made me happy to buy it for her. She says she still has it, it’s sitting in her library at home.

Emilie ends up buying a handmade journal with an embossed leather cover, a beautiful thing. I love journals, but I write so slowly by hand that I never use them. She also asks after the price of an old typewriter, which is out of her price range right now, but she’s glad to know, just in case.

We make our way back to Hackescher Markt to the S Bahn to head home. Emilie asks if I want to walk to the Goethe Institut, but my feet are starting to hurt so we head to the train instead. It turns out we’re going almost to the same area, so we talk some more while we ride the train. It’s bittersweet, knowing our time together is coming to an end, but we’re also so happy to have the chance. We hug once more as I get off at my station, and I look back one last time before the doors close, one last glimpse of my dear friend.

Riding the Tram in Mannheim, 4-20-17

Riding the Tram in Mannheim, 4-20-17

A sweet little black girl, running around a flower bed at the parade square, her braids bouncing. She stops when she sees her mother trying to take a picture or a video, and does that cute little girl pose, half shy and half in love with herself.

I see a branch of the bank I used back in Salzburg, and feel a surge of homesickness.

Three young guys at a park bench, eating ice cream and laughing together.

A man and his short-legged dog stand in front of McDonald’s. The man is watching a woman help a little girl with her bike, the dog is intent on the door that leads to the good smells.

I hear “Servus” and “Grüß dich” and get confused about where I am.

The post-modern church with the minimalist clock.

I still haven’t made up my mind about Mannheim. It isn’t pretty and it isn’t funky in a cool way. It is, however, decidedly German.

I keep my eyes on the ground at the tram stop because it feels less intimate, I worry about making eye contact. An ant steps into a tile valley under my foot.

I had to take a picture of the Vietnamese Restaurant, which has the same name as one of my cats.

There is a castle, I’ve watched it go by while riding on the tram. It isn’t much to look at. I suppose I’ve seen too many castles, how can this dinky little thing in the middle of Mannheim compare to Neuschwanstein or Hellbrunn?

My view of the Rhein is kind of ugly, full of factory buildings belching white smoke, metal pipes and run-down buildings. Still, there’s a beautiful late afternoon sun making the water shine, and the trees are vibrantly green. It’s a beautiful kind of ugly. Squinting against the bright sunlight, one of the factories almost looks like a castle.

Dream Journal 3-18-17

Another Critical Role dream, which I’ll blame on the fact that I finally finished all the past episodes this week, so next week I can start watching it live. 🙂

In this dream my middle brother and I were playing a session with the group. First we were doing some kind of weird Mario Kart type game where all our characters were in little go-karts trying to race around the round table where we were seated (instead of the usual setup of the show). That was apparently an interlude or warm-up, because then we got back into the actual game. I’m not sure what my brother was playing, but I was a human paladin (a class I’d never choose in real life) and I was trying to help the group hunt down some demon or something (Ashley/Pike wasn’t there). I was trying to be chill most of the time, but I was also geeking out pretty hard about getting to hang with them and even play a game with them (I think my brother and I won some contest that allowed us to join the game for one episode). My brother and I weren’t really speaking because we’d had a huge fight a couple days before (I actually had some separate earlier dreams about us having several huge screaming fights, which I guess my subconscious incorporated into this dream) but we were mostly able to downplay it. During the break, my brother ended up reading some poetry to Liam that he’d written about him, which was really nice and poetic (not romantic, just general “you’re a really cool person and I admire you” type stuff). Then my brother left the table and they asked me a couple questions about him, and I said that even though our relationship was sometimes difficult, he was a really good writer and also super smart and otherwise cool, and they seemed happy with that. At one point Matt was trying to find some handout he’d sent out about the rules for flanking, and I thought I had it but it turned out to be from a different DM and he was a little miffed I brought another DM’s handout to his campaign and I felt bad for a few minutes, but then a few minutes later everything was fine. My character tried to flirt with Grog and failed hilariously (mostly because he didn’t catch any of her hints) and then we ended up ending the session with me and my brother’s characters staying behind to hold up a horde of undead while the main party rushed onward in search of their main goal.

What struck me most about the whole experience was how cool everyone was, and how I felt like I’d known them all for ages, even though I’d only watched them on screen before. They were all really nice and welcoming and eased my nerves when I was anxious and overall were just super awesome and fun to be around. 🙂 They didn’t exactly invite us to come back, but Matt sort of hinted that our characters could possibly return at some point and if we ever found ourselves back in California we should swing by, and that was also pretty awesome. Also Travis and I totally drank some wine together, which was funny because I dunno if Travis is much of a wine drinker in real life, but in the dream he was like “hell yeah red wine” when I poured myself a glass from a bottle I’d brought, and clinked his big tankard against my wine glass, which I then saw was full of red wine. XD I also vaguely remember talking to Sam for a little while about how much I liked Scanlan’s character progression and just gushing a bit over it, but he was very nice and listened patiently and thanked me for the compliment.

Honestly, I barely remember anything about the actual game, it wasn’t really an important part of the dream, it was all about interacting with the other players and how nice and cool they all were. 🙂 So overall it was a really nice dream.

Dream Journal 1-24-16

So I’ve been watching Critical Role, this show produced by Geek & Sundry that features a group of professional voice actors playing D&D on screen. Last night I had a dream that the DM, Matt Mercer, had become my personal DM in this strange game/fantasy world. It was unclear if it was some kind of virtual reality or a LARP, but I was placed in a situation where I knew I was myself and that I was playing a game, but everyone around me (in a realistic setting) acted like this was real life and I was the character I was playing. Matt would appear to me, but others wouldn’t be able to see him unless he was playing an NPC for my benefit (either a monster attacking me or someone guiding me), and then they’d only see what he wanted them to see, even though I could see him as his real self. My character was the king/prince (people used both titles through the dream) of a large kingdom, I wasn’t sure if I appeared male to them, because I saw myself as female (I looked like my real self, not a dream self), but regardless, everyone treated me as the monarch of this kingdom.

The game started with Matt waking me up from my sleep (in the game) and attacking me with this monster that could shape-shift and control minds, it mind controlled me and I had to go shambling off into the palace, acting weird (at least it felt weird to me, I was all stiff and unnatural in character, even though my real mind was fine and mad at being out of control), trying to go find a servant to order to do the thing that the monster wanted me to do (something about sending off a particular person, a hunter, to go try to capture it, presumably as a trap). At one point I was passing through a large foyer-type area in the palace and someone cracked a joke about my character right as I passed, and I turned and asked them (flat affect, in a monotone) what they’d said. As they stammered and tried to recover (apparently I was generally a nice monarch, but here I was basically staring into their soul while confronting their little joke) I ended up turning and just leaving the conversation without allowing a response, disinterested in that situation, since the monster still had control of my mind and wanted me to do something else.

At that point I managed to roll my saving throw and bucked the mind control, and then went to the chambers where I thought the monster had last been before attacking me, to look for clues. There was a ton of glittery stones all over the room, which I was gathering as Matt commended me for thinking of looking for them, except I had some trouble seeing them because in my haste to be in character and shamble through the castle, I’d left my actual glasses that I needed to see in my room. So I went back and got them, gathered the glittery stones, set off some kind of water trap that soaked me and Matt both, and then we went back to my royal chambers to dry off, at which point a guard came to get me, I had to scramble to finish changing (we were not changing in the same room, there were multiple rooms of course) and answer the door, still holding a little pot full of glitter and water that I’d combined.

The guard told me I was urgently needed at the Court, so Matt and I went and discovered a trial was going on, the Chief Justice and a noblewoman had dragged a peasant man in front of the court, accusing him of murder. They appealed to me for judgement, asking that he be put to death. When I questioned everyone involved, it turned out that the man had gotten drunk at a tavern the night before, and had gone into the noblewoman’s garden and destroyed one of her rose bushes (dug up and rooted out and then set the remains on fire). The particular variety of rose was actually quite poisonous and dangerous, as the man’s lawyer explained, and he in his drunken stupor had simply assumed it was planted there by mistake and removed it for the greater good. The noblewoman claimed it was planted by one of her ancestors and was very dear to her, like he’d killed a member of her family (hence why she kept calling it murder). I was told that a botanical expert had examined the remains (several roses were intact after the destruction) and independently confirmed the genus of rose, its poisonous properties and how it was the only one in town for that reason, as it wasn’t allowed to be bought, sold, or planted in the kingdom, but that particular bush had escaped notice since it was planted a few generations ago and was in the noblewoman’s garden.

At this point I expressed my absolute disgust for the proceedings. I walked around the court as I pronounced judgement, pointing out that destroying a plant was not akin to murder, no matter how dear the plant, and saying that I refused to kill a man for poor judgement. I sentenced him to a week of hard labor as his punishment, since he had done wrong in trespassing and destroying someone else’s property, but over the objections of the Chief Justice and the noblewoman, refused to have him killed. The man, who had looked as white as a sheet for most of the trial, had tears in his eyes and was immensely grateful, while the noblewoman and Chief Justice were livid. I left the room, noting that I’d probably made a couple new enemies, and making a mental note to investigate if people around the noblewoman had come up poisoned in the past.

The dream got a bit hazy at this point, I remember a couple snippets after this, one where Matt and I were trying to make our way through a walking labyrinth in the palace garden, like one of those floor mosaic labyrinths some cathedrals have, except slightly raised off the ground, and with a few traps (not super dangerous ones, you’d just get your foot pinched or slapped if you stepped wrong, it was for fun and many people were doing it while we were also there). I also remember just sitting in my chambers having a conversation with Matt and laughing and joking like we were old friends, which was one of my favorite parts.

Presidential Fears

[Content Note: violence, death, Trump]

I haven’t posted about the election, or much of anything, honestly, in the past few months. Part of that was feeling like everyone else was saying it so much better, and part of it was being busy with personal stuff, and part of it was just despair.

I knew he was going to get the electoral college votes. I knew there weren’t going to be any surprises. I hoped anyway, because it was the last hope I had.

I’m so terrified of what the world is going to look like in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. I haven’t been talking about politics in the last few weeks for several reasons, one being that I feel sick and anxious all the time. People will die. Some of them might be people I know.

I never realized before how deep-seated our society’s hatred of women is. What hope do I have, as a queer fat woman, if one of the most intelligent, qualified women on the planet couldn’t overcome her gender to defeat one of the most vile, least qualified men in history? What hope do any of us have? What hope do people of color have? What hope does our country have?

I’ve never liked post-apocalyptic fiction. It always felt too possible to me, people romanticizing the idea of a societal collapse that always felt too close for comfort. But even in the worst days we’ve had as a country, I never before really believed we could be destroyed as easily as I feel we could be now. I honestly wonder if there will even be a United States of America in four years. I fear for all the people who will die if our society does collapse, not just in possible military coups or bloody civil wars, but from malnutrition, lack of access to necessary medications, lack of working infrastructure. We already have those problems, and many of them will get exponentially worse.

I’m terrified for my nephew. He’s going to be a year old next month. I’m an adult, and a relatively healthy one. Barring nuclear war or random acts of violence, I’ll probably survive infrastructure collapse (and I have at least one skill that would make me able to emigrate). But elderly people and children are always the first to be severely impacted by such things. And even if he survives the physical hardships, what kind of world is he going to grow up in?

The assassination of a Russian ambassador earlier today gives us horrifying echos back to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Will we have WW3 this time next year? Will the world survive, when we have nuclear weapons? In 100 years, if the human race still exists, will they look back on this and scoff at how obvious it all was (as I’ve witnessed people do when learning about WW1 and WW2 both, the “how did they not know this was coming?” reaction is pretty common)?

I want to run away. I was already planning to move to Germany, so I might as well go ahead and do that (whether I have a job or not). But is anywhere safe? Would it be better for me to stay near my family, if only so I can help them when things go bad (and possibly be with them when we’re all vaporized)? Or would it be better to go somewhere else, where I could possibly help them travel to if things get even worse than that?

I’m only 31. I don’t want the world to end. I don’t want my home country to collapse. I don’t want any of this.

This is a nightmare I can’t wake up from, and I’m so, so afraid of what the future holds. I wonder if there’s even a future to worry about.