Falling behind

I had a great cinderblock of business to contend with this morning and afternoon, and there wasn’t any way to get it rolling last night. No matter what I’m writing, I tend to lose myself in the struggle to string together the right words. That’s better than hours spent wondering if I’ve contracted the coronavirus. But a day of wall-to-wall work also caused me to neglect this space, which is something I haven’t done since March. I’ve got more to do after dinner, and I don’t want to slap something hurried together just for the sake of doing it. That feels disrespectful, even if I couldn’t tell you who, or what, I’m disrespecting. Maybe you?

This webpage has kept me marginally sane over the past ten weeks. I owe it more than I can express. It’s prompted me to think, hard, every morning about where I’m at — what’s eating at me, to use a slightly gross euphemism, especially during a pandemic — and get it down as truthfully as I can. Honesty isn’t generally my compositional policy: I like to create characters, channel voices, argue funny angles and try on silly hats, and pretend to be someone other than who I am. That’s not what I’ve done here. I’ve put it all down straight, for better and for worse, and I haven’t gone back to re-read. I figure that’s something to do if I can make it to the other side of the crisis. If not, it can live on the Internet Wayback Machine for future seventh graders to unearth. I don’t mind contributing to a database of personal stories. I know you’ve got some of your own.

For most of the day, I felt fine, except for the hours I was sure I was sick. Midway through my work, my nose inches from a glowing screen, I asked myself if I was having trouble breathing. Were my fingers tingling? What would that indicate, anyway? Hilary was in the other room on a Zoom call with her colleagues at the University, and I didn’t want to disturb her. I rode it out and soon felt reasonably hale, or maybe I just forgot about the symptoms. Today was the first really warm day of the year, and the windows were closed, because when I’m writing, I don’t tend to get up and make adjustments to my environment. A fever overcame me, but it was only the sunlight. After a boardgame with Hilary, my knees got weak. My imagination is presently casting around for other symptoms to simulate; I can feel the projection machinery clicking and grinding away up there. I’m going to take a deep breath, get balanced, and shake off the hypochondria. There’ll be something worth reading up here tomorrow afternoon. Unless there isn’t.