This fucking climate. • It's the end of October and it's finally cool enough • for the winged burning bush in my neighborhood to start turning vibrant red. • It's getting there. • I wonder how Audrey is doing.

Audrey is the name of the winged burning bush I sat under • while high on mushrooms, contemplating identity, and listening to the woods speak to me. • We don't see much of each other these days, • but we're pretty close, you know?

It was beautiful there, in the way that nature just is, • just by existing and growing toward the sun. • I smiled for a picture and fell upwards out of my body. • I looked back to see a woman laughing, and my partner snapping photos of them. • It's been a while, but they're still the best pictures I have of my smile.

We find beauty in old, gnarled, twisted natural forms • because of the history and experiences told by their misshapenness. • I see beauty in the organic sprawl of old factories; • the ones that seem to have sprouted from seeds rather than blueprints, • the ones that branched and grew for a century • before they thought to slow down. • I don't think enough people are comfortable • in their own twisted natural beauty.

I'm thinking about Audrey • and thinking about how, • when I'm old, and gnarled, and weather beaten, • my hunched back, and thinning hair, and weirdly thick fucking wrists and ankles • will all be like knots in Audrey's branches, • and someone will see me and marvel, • and read in me all the experiences • that brought me to where I am.

For now, that's enough to keep me going. I hope you're doing well, Audrey.