Notes on the Caucus

Bernie in Glasgow

I. Environmental notes

In Glasgow, the new little crocuses shaking in the rain in Kelvingrove Park instilled in me a sense of optimism. My American accent sounded shallow within a landscape of rollicking Scottish brogues. The customs officials at the airport the morning after Brexit were at a loss for exactly what to do and how to do it. Taking shelter from the rain, I walked into a room in the botanic garden as a group of teenage boys walked out and wondered for a few seconds which exotic plant it was that smelled faintly of marijuana. I forgot my pajamas and spent half the day in search of anything that could work. All of these observations, not chronologically ordered, contain some feeling of being one person inside a larger context. This feeling is ongoing to human experience but is particularly pronounced when you travel—you’re constantly gauging what this outside context is composed of, what its texture is, and how you fit, or not, against it.

II. Background notes

The hot water in my apartment wasn’t working, so I didn’t shower for a few days and just bought dry shampoo. I ate at a place named Kimchi Cult. These things aren’t related.

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Lucy Schiller is an essayist based in Iowa City. She’s at work on a book about the musician Arthur Russell and on a collection of essays.

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