While watching an old video from my collection, I notice it appears to have new weird AI-based compression. Letters on signs in a Palm Springs parking lot in are hard to discern. Makes me sad, because I realize this is probably how companies will be encoding our stuff now (whether we like it or not) and I can no longer use it as a reference. The names are squashed down so much they turn out as gibberish.
Across the street from the parking lot is a line of brushy sand dunes. Like the bare desert across from my old middle school when I was a student, once upon a time. Looking at them is almost painful as everything has an * * extra bright * * overexposed look, which I recognize as the look of June. Today, not uncoincidentally, marks June 1st.
As I’m staring into space, down a hallway at a slight angle, an unpleasantly familiar face appears. Plarvolia peeks forward from a booth at a table. She now fully embodies my avatar of rejection and loneliness. Who knows why she’s here. It’s not important, except that now I have to deal with this reminder of her. (My wife is leaving for a trip today, and I tell her how seeing old Plarvolia made me feel.)
Because of Plarvolia I find out about a new rising artist named Margaret Gerulo in Indianapolis. Her schtick is that she cries as performance art, giving ritual catharsis to the entire community that witnesses the act. She’s become a very successful streamer (it works over the internet, apparently). But there are a few curious conditions: the day before, she needs to visit a haunted place of some kind. And the day after, she needs to receive presents from people. Those presents, and the haunted house, determine what trauma and catharsis she can process for her community of viewers.