On February 12, 2016 I left the house I was living at and I was angry. The reasons aren't really important, although I must have quarreled with my roommate on my way out the door and I definitely slammed a wall. I was walking to a 24-hour ATM about a mile from the house to deposit the paycheck I would have gotten that day. It was late, the temperature was dropping from 12 to 0 later that night, and it would continue to fall into the morning.
The ATM was in a grocery store with a CVS and I knew I was stressed. So I stopped to check my blood pressure for the hell of it at the little station outside the CVS. I wrote the blood pressure in my notebook:
I checked to see that the numbers were correct. The next day, doctors would take my vitals in an emergency room and find my blood pressure to be 150/90.
This was ultimately the beginning of a very hard year which, through a number of unlikely efforts on my part, would also be strangely well documented. This is the first in a series of blogs that will be semi-regular on Mondays until mid June. It will recount the difficulties I faced, look at and analyze the in-depth documentation I kept at the time, in 2016, personally the most difficult year I've endured. A year which simultaneously proved to be one of the most difficult years Americans have lived through.
These posts will come in some kind of concert with regular Thursday discussions about film, aesthetics, and a number of other topics I have planned. With luck, there will also be new monthly posts arriving on the last Friday of each month with new video essays. But the simple documentation of these events is a matter I feel compelled to revisit in depth and as close to concurrently, a year removed, with my experiences as they occurred.