I’ve only been alive for 45 years, so civilization isn’t exactly looking at me as an expert witness. But I’m getting pretty good at home improvement projects. Like waiscoting:
What a weird little tool, this image compare thing. I swear, you step away for a little while, and the world turns upside down. Clearly I didn’t think to take a “before” picture until after I had already started. Genius.
There’s no way I recap the entirety of the last (lemme check)…2 months with any clarity. Not because of anything wild. Things have been about as normal as can be expected (don’t say it, Andy) in a year like (here he goes) 2020 (I bet you wish you could do numbers in all caps, eh?). Everything gets old if it’s given the chance, and we love giving things the chance, don’t we? Anything about “2020,” any utterance containing the phrase “we got this,” and any written or spoken iteration of the words “essential workers” can just be kept and held for the duration of 2020 by anyone who still feels essential enough to want to got this. (yes, every word of that is exactly how I want it)
For a while there the air was so thick with smoke that everything (else) was canceled and we were urged (again) to not even go outside. And in all seriousness, it did suck. But not as bad, I suppose, as losing your home or your life or a family member in a wildfire. The Boy (9 years old) has had chronic bloody noses for years now, and in the midst of our smokiest days he had a couple that put a legitimate fear in me. There isn’t much positive spin you can put on a nose that – and I swear I do not exaggerate here – pours blood like a faucet turned half on. Especially when it’s coming from your child. On the second one I had him standing, eventually, in the lobby of the urgent care clinic, sopping handful of bloody rags held to the nose he was trying to pinch shut, only to be told by some lisping, rubber-spined simpleton that it would be an hour and a half before he could be seen by anyone. I simply do not yell at people, by policy/principle/nature, so I did not yell at him. I got on the phone with a nurse, took some guidance from her, went to a drug store to pick up some gauze and Vaseline (because it was closer and faster than going home), and fixed him up while he bled there in the parking lot. It’s unbelievable how much of a stud that boy is. Two days later we were at an ENT (not that kind, Frodo) getting his nose cauterized. Also a miserable experience for him, also a lousy thing to watch him go through. Also, again, what a stud.
So let me explain, without saying much. Nothing happened. I just stopped writing. I tend to be subject to sudden, significant changes in focus. I’m a binge/purge kind of person. For a long time there I was reading and writing prodigiously. I even got a few chapters of my novel written. But then I just stopped wanting to read and write. A day went by without writing anything, then two, then a week, and here we are. That’s about it, and that’s how it’s always gone with me. Sure, I noticed that I was gaining a lot of weight and feeling miserable, which kicked off one of my obsessive exercise jags, but I didn’t make some concrete choice that “I am going to stop the literary hooey and start working out instead.” Nope. Like I said, I just shift sometimes. Bigly and swiftly and completely. So yeah.
Daughter is still baking all the time, cats are still beautiful and wild, we even spent a weekend at a cabin on the Hood Canal (still haven’t found a place of our own). Soccer’s back in full swing (minus actual games), I spent most of the last 2 months watching hockey, and my son’s school has found a way to get me running creative writing workshops for the 5th graders via Zoom. The beat goes on.