February 19th, 2015

The Red Tree

Hell is white.

I just wrote an entry and...somehow...I erased it. So...really, I should give up and go to bed. It was eloquent. It was well composed. This will be shit. Unless I just go to bed, in which case, it will be nothing. Fuck you, LJ. Fuck you, computer. Why the text didn't autosave, I have no idea. It's autosaving now.

I'm back in Providence, where it's snowing. We leave to return to Woodstock at 10:30 a.m., which means, mercifully, I'll be out of this shithole in another 8 hrs. and 44 minutes or so.

I was just reading back over my "stale Hell" photo entries from last February and March. Last February and March were very, very bad in Providence. This is very, very worse. I will assume that the reason no one's much talking about how bad things are in Providence is that things are so much worse in Boston, where there are more people. But it's very bad here. Most streets are hardly cleared. There a snowbank at the end of our drive that's more than six feet tall. The Providence River above the Point Street Bridge is more solidly frozen than I have ever seen it freeze; the snow overlaying the ice makes it impossible to tell where the river ends and the banks begin. Every winter since I came here in 2008 has been worse, and every summer has been shorter and cooler. But this is, by far, the worst winter (after an almost nonexistent summer).

It's filthy, squalid, ugly, bitter, and cold. No one has to live like this.

If Neil had not let us overwinter in the cabin, I honestly don't think I would have survived this shit. Not this year.

In March, or whenever, when the snow has melted and the river has thawed and the temperatures are at least mostly above freezing, I'll be coming back and starting the process of packing this place up. And we'll be leaving. I don't know for where yet. But almost certainly somewhere far south, back to Birmingham or Atlanta, most likely. Maybe Athens, Georgia. I really don't fucking care, just so long as I never again have to endure a New England winter. By May, I mean to be free and clear of this place, forever. I have given this place seven years of my life, and that's all it gets. This year, I will have a true summer.

Aunt Beast
The Red Tree

389.4 Miles

We're back in the 'stock, as Spooky has dubbed our refuge in the shadow of Overlook Mountain, at the southeastern edge of the Catskill Escarpment. In the past two days, I've had about 8 hours sleep (not counting two power naps, a few minutes each). Tonight I'll take a dose of Seroquel and hopefully sleep a good eight, maybe even nine hours straight. Maybe I'll stack pot, bourbon, and Seroquel, just to be safe. Last night (really this morning before dawn), a couple of hours after I made this entry, I lay down by Spooky, in my bed that no longer feels like my bed. I hadn't meant to go to sleep. I was just going watch a movie on the iPad and stay up, to be sure we got out of Providence early. But I dozed off and slept four hours in my clothes. At least I didn't have to bother getting dressed this morning.

Breakfast was a Red Bull and two dried out, miniature cinnamon rolls. We had to hit the bank and the pharmacy before we could leave the city.

Last night I spoke of last winter's "stale Hell" entries, which consisted of me posting a photo of our frozen, slushy, winter-bound street every day (partly as a means of forcing me out of the House every day). If you're interested (and who wouldn't be?), they begin here, and they end here.

Tomorrow I'll post an account of our harrowing return to the 'stock, complete with photos, just like Life magazine in the old days. For now, I'm having trouble sitting upright.

The wind is roaring like a demon here. When we got back, Philip was relieving the eaves of their dreadful weight of icicles. Currently, it's -2 here, with a windchill of -13, quite a bit colder than in Providence. Philip claims tonight and tomorrow night will be the coldest nights of the winter. I figure a wendigo told him.

And there's this: "Humble Subterranean Press Bundle." Now, you guys know how I feel about ebooks. You may or may not also know that I am a fervent defender of DRM. However, freelancers often cannot afford to have the courage of their convictions; I need the money. So, if you want $96 worth of ebooks from SubPress for a minimum of $12.37 ("pay what you want"), including my World Fantasy Award-winning The Ape's Wife and Other Stories, there you go. Do not ask me questions about platforms and shit, because I don't know the answers. All that stuff is at the website at the other end of that link.

Aunt Beast