Ghost in the Shell drawing by Fox Larsson

Ghost in the Shell (Safe Space-3) — Some Stories Squared

I am back in St. Pete.

The first week I got back J. was away in London, and I was suddenly all alone in an all empty apartment. It was the first time I was alone since grandpa’s death.

When grandpa died, I stayed in Petrozavodsk with my mom for a bit. And that whole month that I was in Petro, when we were taking care of grandpa, the days he was dying, the days before and after the funeral time was kind of warped. While grandpa was still alive, it was always with him. And mom was home. And then there was a crazy rush of people when he died. Never alone time.

I wanted it, but I was scared of it too. While there were all the people running around, or while there was mom to be strong for, I guess I was numb, in a way. Nothing really felt like anything, except for the nightmares.

And then there was the absolute stillness of my apartment.

Usually J. is home if he’s not at work. He’s a quiet presence, mostly either sleeping or curled up with his laptop. But he’s alive and he’s there. I never anticipated that not having him there would make such a difference.

I started this piece way back in April. The giant shell outline. I think that was when I found a sea shell in the park when walking my dog, right here in St. Pete. I don’t know where it came from, it was just there when the snow melted.

It was a completely different shell. Nothing like the one in the drawing later. So I guess it was just the idea of it that made it into the picture. Though I remember looking at it while drawing. I still have it. I washed it and cleaned it and oiled it, and now it lives on my desk: and out of nowhere magic shell from under the melting snow.

Returning to my favorite graphic series was one of the first things I did when I got to St. Pete. I needed a safe space to go. The very first night I watched Ghost in the Shell with a friend. And tried to get on with living. With sketchbooks and Dogster and tea, even if my apartment was quiet.

Ghost in the Shell drawing by Fox Larsson

I am glad to be back with my square pics. I’m also lonelier than I’ve felt in a long while. It’s a mix of things. But one of them is that I’m becoming more alive. We’ll see how that goes.

I really appreciate you sharing,

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