Dear Your Holiness the Dalai Lama,
It’s your brother, Mason, here. Nothing is wrong with your mom, don’t worry. When she was gone those weeks during the spring, taking over her correspondence with you was half an ass-pain and half useful. I hated having the obligation on top of everything else that was going on—but I liked that it made me give an account of the way things are. So that’s why I’m writing now. To say hi and reach out and all that to my famous half-brother, but also to record what’s happening here and maybe understand it better myself.
I don’t know how it goes down in the Himalayas, but in the flatlands of the central U.S., we’re in our two-year anniversary of being alive post-apocalypse. Various factions commemorate different days. It’s not like Fourth of July, where men wrote down on a piece of paper that we were free and then afterwards, everybody agreed that this was the most important event in the whole freedom-getting process. With the apocalypse memorial, we have a bunch of moments of silence on various days and a holiday when you’re supposed to go to the cemetery and there’s this one random half-hour on a different day when you’re supposed to join hands and take a meditative walk with the neighbors, and then there are days when politicians make pious, self-important speeches—oh wait, I forgot, that’s every day.
(Levi, if you read this, you know I don’t mean you, man. At heart, you’re not a politician. And I don’t mean you either, little brother—you’re a man of the cloth.)
Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.