Earlier tonight I heard bats outside the bedroom window, just now I heard the woman-screaming sound of a fox. It’s spring, and nature is doing what nature does, which is to say, fussing, fighting, fraternizing and the other f-word I won’t drop here because family is reading. The rest of the planet is operating just fine without us as we fret/doze through sleepless nights, and wake to another morning of grim headlines.
Today was a rough day, maybe for everyone, certainly for the US, in general. I wasn’t surprised, not exactly– I’ve been reading. I’ve seen the models. I know what happens during a plague—but it still managed to plunge me into a darker place than the dark place I’d been swimming through most of the morning, which feels like it was about forty years ago.
These days last forever. No task takes up nearly enough time. Today I did two work projects. I attended a conference call. I edited a piece of fiction. I worked a large section of jigsaw puzzle. I went to the supermarket (AND ACTUALLY FOUND TOILET PAPER, HALLELUJAH!). I rehearsed and told at a live storytelling event online. I went for about a twelve mile walk. I watched four episodes of the improbable, ridiculous “Tiger King.” Not necessarily in that order. How is that possible? How did that not fill the day? How do I still have so many gaps where I fall to worry? Those gaps are deep too, dark chasms. You get stuck down there and you can’t see the bottom. You just keep sinking into worse possibilities, until you generally stop trusting the good news.
There is good news. The less self-indulgent-catastrophist side of my social life likes to remind me of this. And I appreciate it, especially when the thrill-riding-pessimists want to chat about about what happens if the banks fail and the hospitals are forced to close because there’s no one well left to tend to patients. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to be instructive, or what I’m supposed to take from it except that I doubt I’d be very useful at Total Societal Breakdown, unless, of course, the plague ravaged wasteland is in want of a not-so-successful writer who still wants to talk about what bands/books from beforetimes were overrated, while we try to subsist on boiled bark and radioactive Twinkies, or whatever the cool kids eat in dystopia these days.
I should never read the newspaper in the middle of the night.
It’s supposed to be beautiful tomorrow. I can sit on my deck. I can try to stay focused on the small segments of life I can control. I can be there for the people I love, even if I cannot be there. I’m pretty sure I can pretend to be brave, even if I don’t feel that way. Eventually I’ll fake it ‘til I make it . Eventually, I might be able to convince even myself that I’m not scared.
Picture today is of the outfit I assembled tonight. My new quarantine hobby is putting together outfits I wouldn’t ordinarily wear, because I have all of these clothes that totally still bring me joy, Marie Kondo, and what are they doing other than taking up space in my closet? Might as well wear them now.
As of this writing, 122,672 people have recovered from COVID-19.