I also had this thing where I was like, I can't write to anyone until I finish editing the wolf manuscript for Akim, and I learn to cook chicken soup, and I mop my floors. Cleaning here is a constant pull, and writing is difficult to justify—it takes being selfish with your time; it takes letting other things slip. For the first time in my life I have wanted to hide behind those things, perhaps because being in such a foreign place and calling myself out on all the bullshit—I live a very urban, comfortable life here in many ways; my plumbing works and the showers are always hot, which is more than I can say for the way I grew up. How many 23 year olds from ANY culture get to live in their own apartment? It's ridiculous.
And then I remember that my stairwell is visibly grimy and people live under it, there is graffiti on the walls, and daily I walk around uncovered manholes and daily I encounter at least one pile of frozen vomit. Daily I step over frozen condoms and used birth control packets—but those just make me sigh with relief. Whoever was using them was not in a position, I am guessing, to provide for a little human in the ways every little human deserves to be provided for. I will always remember the summer I worked with family planning clinics in South America and how by the end it was august and Katrina was flooding when I was on the plane home and I had HAD it with misfortune and disaster and buried my head in Harry Potter for two days, muttering about how the whole planet needed to put a condom on until every person got the food, education, and shelter they deserved. The entire planet. An earth-sized condom.