Pisces (2/19 – 3/20): The sky this summer was yellow, ash-filled, irritable; the world created a new palette: red at night, yellow in the morning, gray in the middle. It's been strangely dry, electric, apocalyptic. One bad thought could ignite the entire planet. Use caution, Pisces. Keep a cool head and a warm heart.
Taurus (4/20 – 5/20): I've been feeling a little left out because I haven't been fired from the Trump administration yet. Upon getting fired, it looks like you have a lucrative speaking or dancing career ahead. But I do have this to report: I applied for a job at Amazon Mechanical Turk -- companies that need menial computer tasks post jobs, and people get paid by the click. I thought, gee, I'm a really good clicker! I should do that. You can make $5 an hour if you're fast. Anyway, I applied. After two suspenseful days, I got this:
We have completed our review of your Amazon Mechanical Turk Worker Account. We regret to inform you that you will not be permitted to work on Mechanical Turk. Our account review criteria are proprietary and we cannot disclose the reason why an invitation to complete registration has been denied.Take that, Spicey! And Comey. And Flynn. And Priebus. And Bannon. And The Mooch. Etc. I got fired without even having to work at all! I'll see you in our lucrative after-life careers. Taurus, live as if you already got fired.
Cancer (6/22 – 7/21): Another thing that smacks of the afterlife: The other day, my eye doctor, after revealing that she started school with the intent to become a certified nurses assistant but upon discovering how hard it was, decided to be an opthomologist, kept saying things like, "Yes, you have a bit of macular degeneration, but I'd say you have a happy life, don't you?" Or, "Well, your vision has declined quite a bit, you're forming cataracts, but I think you have a pretty happy life!" It seemed weirdly comforting, and the kind of metric used in the afterlife, not the primary one. In the regular life, you're all, "EEEK, I'M GOING BLIND!!!" But in the after life, it's all, "meh, pretty happy, wouldn't you say?" Which is why I like the afterlife so well.
Leo (7/23 – 8/22): She gave me the pitch about Lasik. I declined, and started talking talking about that Annie Dillard essay where the deaf children get hearing and discover that the world is a loud unpleasant place, and cover their ears, shrieking like some Edvard Munch portrat. I told her I was afraid it would be that way with me and vision. She looked confused but passed me off to my favorite glasses guy so I spent a million dollars on glasses because wtf, this is the afterlife and it doesn't really matter.
Virgo (8/23 – 9/22): I've been struggling to find a gracious and kind way to let men know when they're mansplaining. I assume they don't realize it, and when a white guy about my age explains to me that "new" means, well, you know what it means. I guess he just thinks he has a more complex understanding of the word than I do. (This is an actual word that was explained to me. I'm not exaggerating!) But if you pipe up, "Jeez, I know what NEW means," you're easily dismissed as a tender defensive snowflake. If you smile and nod and say, "Thanks, that's super helpful, I had no idea," it persists. Suggestions, Virgo? I think sarcasm breeds bitterness, and there's enough of that in the world already, so I bite my tongue from saying, 'wait, give me this again -- are you saying that "new" means recent, unused, not old? How do you ever keep track of all this, you smart man? Oh, how I wish I had man parts so this stuff would come more easily!" I don't say that because it goes against one of my core beliefs. But I so want to be able to gently point it out. Any tips, Virgo? Luckily, though, there's no mansplaining in the afterlife, but some of my readers may still be in regular life.
Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19): The real beauty of the afterlife is that I have so little expectations for it. For one, I don't even believe in the afterlife, so it's all a gigantic bonus, like when you play pinball, and you know the little ball is going to eventually go down the shoot and it's game over, but instead, just this once, they give you an extra ball. And you're just plain happy. That's what the afterlife is like.
Aquarius (1/20-2/18): The afterlife forces us to shift from the glass half-empty, the world is going to hell in a bucket, things aren't turning out as planned approach, to gratitude. It's easy to despair, I know. I've spent my adult life crawling around in the bushes, tying plastic flagging on the jurisdictional wetland boundary and requiring people to plant one tree here, 30 trees there, but it turns out to be deck chairs on the Titanic. I could have been a day trader or sold junk bonds for all the good it seems to have done. But, as Hemingway said, 'You lose, of course. The point is how you conduct yourself as you're going down. That's it. We may be perpetrating the largest mass extinction in a while, as if we're our own meteor, but that's how things go. Each of us, doing our best, being exquisitely kind and conscientious, teaching the children and the dogs and the hissing cockroaches that it does matter, every last moment, every kindness, every weird orange sunset, every time we wonder, or worry about, or wait patiently for someone we care about. That's all there is. Enjoy every last drop, Aquarius.