Eight months in, as the number rise…

Isn’t it interesting how the pandemic hits you differently, from week to week? One day, things feel okay. You enjoy your family and make soup, and take walks, and watch a movie, and you think, “I can totally do this.”

But then, the next day, you wake up in the same house, with the same people, and the same cats. You eat your eggs, but life overwhelms you, so that you’re choking on your sense of loss, sadness, fear. You’re too tired. Too worn from vigilance. From sameness.
For me, personally, THIS is the hardest thing– the inexplicable difference between any two moments, the dissonance in how I feel from one day to the next, even when the days themselves are identical.

Tonight, I found myself listening to music, driving around alone. Nothing was actually wronger than usual, but I couldn’t stand my house anymore, felt a desperate need to get out. Craved, paradoxically, both aloneness and people. Because I’m in quarantine right now, I couldn’t actually GO anywhere, so I just drove and drove.

Eventually, I ended up here. I’ve driven here maybe 15 or 20 times over the last few months, just to stare at these words, but never after dark. And something about the place was so lonely and deserted, but also familiar. I felt better, but also very sad. This is a thing I do sometimes. Push on my own sadness. Like a kid pushing on a scabby knee, to see how much she can take.

There’s a scene in My Jasper June where Jasper teaches Leah about this, about what she calls The Sad Game. She explains that sometimes, it’s worse to try to be okay, and better just to give in to the sadness. Jasper is smart.  So I did that, played The Sad Game. And tonight, it felt right.

On the way home I listened to a song that I knew would make me cry. And when the tears came, I was grateful for them.

Everything Will Be Okay. Also, everything absolutely won’t. Living with that understanding, that discomfort, is something I can do, but it’s incredibly hard for me.

Still, here we are… In the same place, if a different moment.

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