Everyone liked last month’s post so now you get another one. I skipped February because fuck that month, what a dreadful month. (Unless your birthday or something happens to be in February in which case Happy Birthday, I hope it was a gas.)
Mixed feelings on reading this month, friends. I finished The Liar’s Dictionary and spent a good chunk of the last month growing my way through The Overstory. Simply put, I think this book changed me. It’s a tale of trees and the people who briefly pass by them, the miracles grown out of thin air. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
And then, in the depths of winter, isolated during a still-raging pandemic, I thought to myself “You know, I ought to read Stephen King’s The Shining next” and here I am, my bookmark plunged deeply between its middle pages. Against all odds I am loving this book. Reading mostly from the young Danny’s point of view, there’s something strangely familiar about it, like something I remember from a dream. That’s probably childhood, for you.
The loaf I was baking when I wrote my last post turned out seemingly great: looked pretty, smelled good, and even tasted great, but unfortunately it did not sit well. For now at least, it seems like from-scratch gluten free bread is just not for me.
This week I returned to a box mix and that turned out excellent, and has left my gut happy. So, a win?
A year now into this pandemic.
I’m thinking about when it started last March. I was pretty scared. For most of my life I’ve been scared of illnesses (it’s a whole thing), and so this “novel coronavirus” thing and the fear around it maybe wasn’t so novel to me. But it was to just about everyone else. We all locked down at the same time here in New York as though we’d all been snowed in. Not safe to go outside! we thought, and we wouldn’t even if we could! And in that waking nightmare we needed each other desperately, and I had more phone calls and video calls with my friends and family than I’d ever had in my whole life. And truth be told I miss how desperately we needed each other.
As we collectively settled in and the nightmare became slightly more lucid, as the fear that had swelled retreated like a sea tide, the phone calls and the video hangouts slowly ebbed away with it.
Summer came and and our faces grew masks, and we felt safe enough to see each other, tentatively, outdoors. And it was so good to see faces not blurred or buffered, even if it was just the top halves of them. Friends left and came back and some moved away, for “for now"s that eventually slipped into “for ever"s. Everything is complicated, every life has more going on behind the scenes than you could ever fathom. You realize you thought you were behind some of those scenes, too, only to learn there was more lurking behind another curtain.
The unthinkable becomes unremarkable before I can catch my breath.
A year ago I was quivering with anxiety through my waking and sleeping hours, but I’m not now. As a tech worker, as a recovering germaphobe, as an introvert, I’m kind of poised to flourish in this work from home environment. But I am starving to hear the laughter of my friends, the symphony of our conversations, a one on one dialogue nestled in among crisscross of our collective jabberings.
There will come a day, there will come a day.