[Original posting date: June 16, 2020]

Spectra. Gradations. Granularity-


These are things that interest me greatly; places in which I like to…



I remember, back in college, going to a drugstore to try to buy a sleeping aid. 

I asked one of the pharmacy techs about them, who was nice enough to take me over to that aisle, and point one out to me

But, then – he told me that the active ingredient in it was diphenhydramine, and that was also the active ingredient in over-the-counter Benadryl, which was half the price, despite being the same dosage as the pills marketed as sleeping aids.

It may seem like a small thing, but that one interaction, over time, ended up fundamentally shifting how I view the world.

I started eyeing other products more carefully; realizing that, just by changing the box in which a thing is sold, by changing the name or how a thing is marketed

Companies manage to, in effect, change the thing itself, in our minds.

I actually use Dawn dish soap in the bath/shower, like, super frequently. It’s the one with the wildlife on the facing, the one that’s often used to help clean off birds and other wildlife impacted by oil spills

So it’s really good with grease! But also really gentle.

I started using stuff like that when I was living on the street, in Los Angeles- because I used what I could find dumpster diving. But even almost (but not quite) empty jugs of laundry detergent, picked from the trash-

Laundry detergent is so concentrated that I could fill one of those up with water and


I suddenly had a totally functional all-purpose soap!

And, the more different kinds of soaps that I used wrong, out of necessity- the more I came to feel like they differed mostly in degree

some are harsher

some are scented

some, more efficient for particular tasks than others

but they’re all soap

And, I suspect – many are marketed in certain ways for no other reason than to Make More Money. Not because they are Worth More Money.

Then, there was this other time in college, I think (might have been high school)

I learned that there are some languages which have no word for ‘wrist’

but it’s not like people who only speak those languages-

don’t have wrists

or don’t know what a wrist is

Not having a word for a thing does not change whether or not that thing exists.

And where those lines are drawn

it’s almost…

like picking out a single point along a spectrum,

as opposed to defining entire, cohesive, concrete and separate Things.


Like tables! In my head,

I imagine something like a foot stool


taller, now

cushion shrinking as it grows

Suddenly! It is a side table, next to my couch!

But then!

It elongates 

and now I have a coffee table!

….But where did the side table really end, and the coffee table begin?

Arbitrary, almost, these lines of distinction.

Not quite, but almost.

I think, maybe, that life doesn’t really do sudden

life does gradual so well – it only seems sudden, when a thing has become different enough that we notice it


I like to think of my mind as a place where boundaries intermingle

Balancing somewhere between the Hood and the Hills

my brows are both High and Low, at times

dancing between digital and analog

chaotic fluidity of being

(or something!)


I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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