The nighttime is the hardest. That is when my child goes to bed and I don’t have her joyful ignorance to anchor me in the present moment. It’s when I read news, and fret. It’s when I try to write. Then I think about the futility of what I’m writing. It’s trite, meaningless. I think about the possibility that there may not be a publishing industry to return to. Or perhaps the world will be more thirsty than ever for books, if we spend so much of our lives socially distant from one another. But my book? Still not my book, surely. It’s too stupid.
I thought that I better write these things down. I thought that might be important.
Everything feels enormous today. It’s unnerving for the entire world to be talking about the same thing. We’re not meant to be that unified, I don’t think. A little diversity of interests, conversation, that’s what made social media a pleasant distraction. Not the hammer on my psyche that it is now.
Even the cool shit that people are making is heavy. The live-streamed concerts, and poetry readings, and creative videos are heavy–no matter how joyful–because of the need from which they spring. We need art more than ever, but my God, I was never prepared for my art to matter that much.
I’m worried that this will change the world beyond recognition or repair.
I’m worried that it won’t, and what the fuck was this all for?
I’m worried that industries will become obsolete. That we’ll slip into a Depression. That most of my friends, and I, will be destitute. I’m worried about finances, okay? It sucks.
I’m worried for my daughter. That our little ship of isolation, her mom and her dad, won’t be enough to keep her stimulated. She was thriving in daycare. She is so social. I’m worried that she won’t get to play with other kids for so long. Too long.
I’m worried about my parents, all of whom are immuno-compromised.
I’m worried that my dreams don’t matter any more.
I’m worried that there are certain people I may never see again.
I’m worried that not enough people will take this seriously and too many people will get sick.
I’m worried for our doctors, nurses, first responders. Everyone out there.
I’m worried we won’t get a general election.
I’m worried that that fucking volcano in Yellowstone is going to erupt.
There it is, a short list. But you know what? I can breathe through all of that, for now. I can take it day by day. What I can’t take are these days. I love my little family. I miss other humans. I took for granted my social spirit. I miss people. I miss you. How long will we last like this? Who will break first? The economy? Our spirits? The fever?
The only way I’ve ever known how to get through anything is to really go through it. Deep into it. So, sorry, I can’t look on the bright side right now. I have to make my way through the deep end. Words have been a trusty tool. Words bring me comfort. Always. So I just keep writing. Writing into the darkest parts of this. Like one day it will matter. If it ever did.