I find myself floating these days.

I don’t know how to describe it, really.

This week marks 9 years in my job, and last week 9 years in this city. But also it feels like it hasn’t been that long, like the years I spent in previous places stretched longer, despite the fact that this year has lasted approximately 4000 days. Maybe it’s that places that aren’t the four walls of my apartment feel shiny and new with the prospect of After coming into view?

I read Hilary Mantel’s memoir this week. She talks about having almost synesthesic memories of her childhood. Is that it? I put on an album from college and I can almost feel places I haven’t seen in decades. I sleep and people from my past visit, not to play a main role, but ambiently there. I wake up, drift off again, and they’re still there, as if on the other side of a room in a crowded party. (Remember parties?)

There has to be a reason why I’m drawn to Mantel, to Olivia Laing, to Virginia Woolf. Looping and returning. Is it anxiety brain?

There’s also electronic music. And running. And my bike. The same thing, over and over, building, falling back, uncovering, visiting and revisiting.

Looping and returning, spuriously anchored. Who am I, really, these days? And what comes after the After, assuming the After actually comes?