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Daniel Bensen
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Newsletter: Waving Back

Newsletter: Waving Back

I’m waving through a window, oh Can anybody see, is anybody waving back at me? -Ben Platt, “Waving Through a Window” from “Dear Evan Hansen” So there I was, like, five minutes ago, curled up in the chair I’m still sitting in now, crying. It was a good kind of crying. Like the air coming in through the window I’ve just opened. It smells like rain on the spruce tree behind our house. A hundred million tiny pores, exchanging gasses. Whew. I don’t usually write quite so much in the moment. Half an hour ago, I was wondering how to ground the abstract and cerebral topic I was planning to write about today. “So there I was, talking on Zoom”? “So there I was, thinking how this friend had a solution to this other friend’s problem”? “So, there was a social network diagram”? Shudder. But then I put on some music and spotify played the song I’ve most recently favorited: Ben Platt’s “Waving Through a Window.” I suppose I was procrastinating – I listened to the words, thinking about the fear of

May Newsletter: Ice Cream and Hope

May Newsletter: Ice Cream and Hope

http://www.thekingdomsofevil.com/?p=8397 So there I was, feeling good. I was in the grocery store for maybe the third time since February, buying ice, salt, frozen strawberries, and the other ingredients of home-made ice cream. My headphones were in my ears, playing Terry Pratchett’s Maskerade, and my own mask was fogging up my glasses. I carried my bags out, nodded to the hand-sanitizer lady, and emerged into the green, breezy warmth of May in Sofia. Big, white clouds piled themselves above the hilly crowns of the chestnut trees. Swallows dove and starlings chimed. People walked between the apartment buildings and neighborhood stores, but the playground was still roped off. I removed my mask, attempting to neither rip my glasses nor my earphones off my face, and made for home. The whole scene should have scared the hell out me. Warm breezes? Fluffy white clouds? Last spring, buying ice cream would grip my guts with dread. I remember stopping by the frozen food section and feeling

April Newsletter: Stripping the Gears

April Newsletter: Stripping the Gears

http://www.thekingdomsofevil.com/?p=8367 So there I was, locked in the attic, stripping my gears. I bounced in my chair, heart racing, breath baited, teeth clench, shoulders scrunched together, tingling fingers typing furiously away at nothing. And I mean nothing! I was moving words around on a spreadsheet, for God’s sake. I copied those words, deleted the copies, made changes to spelling and undid them. I wasn’t thinking, wasn’t working, just churning, churning, churning those words until all sense had been ground into a slurry. My plan that Wednesday morning  was to get up around 8 like I had most mornings of the quarantine, have my breakfast and coffee while I talked to Pavlina, then lock myself in the attic guest room from 9:30 to 11 for focused writing time. What a luxury! From September to January, we’d had to make up at 6 every morning to get our girls to school and daycare. Then we’d rush from one meeting to another until it was time to pick the girls up and rush home with

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