It’s 9:30 am and I’ve been up for five hours. At 4:45, after a failed attempt to ignore the need for the bathroom, I noticed Todd was also awake. He picked up his phone and started playing a game – his usual M.O. when he’s got insomnia. I never tell him, by the way, that those little blue screens are what fuck with your ability to sleep in the first place.
I rolled back over in his direction and sighed. Is this what it’s going to be like when we’re old? Up at 4 a.m. every day… in bed by 7? We did go to bed at 9:30, he said.
Still. I laid there and tried. And the glow from his phone distracted me. I could see it under my eyelids. I sat up and picked up my phone. I had fallen asleep in the middle of an exchange with one of my cousins the night before. This is how we were, for roughly an hour or so. Around 5:50 I put my phone down and rolled over, my back to him.
Then he started talking, reading off the names of people related to something at work – names that mean…. Absolutely nothing to me. Then he asked me a question. I sighed my answer, thinking he’d realize I’m falling back to sleep. Instead, he started singing, dad is great…he gives us chocolate cake…
I looked over my shoulder in his direction – in his direction because I couldn’t rotate my neck far enough to meet his eyes without moving my entire body. I’m actually trying to go back to sleep. Oh, and I’m bothering you, he said, and got out of bed to make coffee.
You know those times when you’re sure someone is messing with you on purpose? I’ve been a little “off” for a few days due to circumstances inflicted on me by (not Todd) someone who is supposed to love and respect me. And no, I don’t want to elaborate.
So I laid there and tried to sink into the mattress and feel the softness of the sheets and my pillow and ….. dammit! I’m not sleeping now. So I got up and padded into the kitchen in search of a cup of coffee. I opened the cupboard and searched for a mug – a not-impossible thing since we have a dozen or so. But none of them appeal to me. This is what we’ve come to. I’m bored with a coffee mug.
I’m bored with most things, in general, right now. I’ve been reading a lot, thanks to the breakroom library at work. I finished two books in two weeks, a new record for me considering all the time I’ve had in the world to get a hell of lot more done.
Work is about the only place in my life where I am not bored. The phones ring endlessly and without pause. Hundreds of families trying to get back on the schedule for well visits. I’m still only in-office two days a week, working a half day at home on Fridays.
Except this week. I had to put in some hours mid-week for mandatory training that turned out to be terribly disorganized and – oh,I don’t know – a shitshow. I couldn’t get the webinar to run so I had audio (on my phone) only and what good does that do? Apparently had to download an app to view the webinar which I did not want to do because my laptop needs a complete wipe (and I am stubbornly refusing to back up my shit like Todd told me to because I’m not a gambler, but I’m gambling) and I’m afraid this app that says it will be allowed to alter the way I view web pages I visit will crash it once and for all.
Well, it didn’t, but I still couldn’t open the webinar and now there are these weird lines over the date and time in the lower right corner of my screen that I don’t know how to fix. I can’t WAIT to tell Todd. But not today. Thinking I should google how to back up files and do it before I tell Todd I might have finally fucked up my laptop.
Our anniversary was Tuesday and together we made filet and baked potatoes on the grill and opened a bottle of 2014 Domaine LaFond Roc-Epine Cotes Du Rhone. It was simple, like us.
Us. I have wanted this for so long, being with the one who loves me, respects me, treats me like I’m valued. The early days of “back together” I looked forward to our moments because they were limited by circumstance. I had all the butterflies and the lack of planning for anything other than just BEING together. It didn’t matter what we did. I remember one night here in this house, when I was heartbroken and sick over custody matters, where we locked ourselves in then-his bedroom with the two dogs and watched movies and ate takeout in bed.
His house, now Our house, is what we have come to call the Healing House. Hard to explain but it is a place many have come and felt the energy of peace and love. That’s all that is here.
These last three months, we’ve become two unanchored ships circling the same ocean. There’s a oneness there that is also a separate loneliness. That we share this lonely sea together makes us not totally alone, but there’s a certain sadness in that too.
Our Quarantine House has become a Hiding House. We bide our time here, wandering about looking for food and comfort in activities that we’re not motivated to do. I can’t speak for Todd. He is busy with work every day, and at night fights boredom. Me – I am easily distracted by things I should focus less energy on and apathetic about the list of projects I could be completing.
There’s a certain devil-may-care attitude to it. Like, who is going to see it? It’s just US. Which – the revelation that came to me – is enough. We do these things to calm our anxieties about today and the future, and to prepare for a future when we can again fill our house with those we love.
I have squandered a unique opportunity to write 1,000 words a day – the standard prescription for writers who need motivation – which, even with my weak math skills I know amounts to roughly 300,000 words since this quarantine thing began, assuming I wrote 3 days a week. I’d have had that first draft done. But alas, I got lost in the space of quarantine, and the draft is STILL only 2,114 words long. I haven’t opened it once in the space of 101 days. Roughly double the length of this post.
I have been lost in the pandemic, the numbers, the hundreds of phone calls, the anxiety, the grief, the anger, the shitshow that is America right now, racism and inequality, stupid people who really don’t care about anyone but themselves, a country falling apart at the seams with Trump as the pilot who has no idea how to fly the plane and only one parachute. And we all know who’s going to get that parachute. Exhaustion, intolerance for people who won’t wear masks (or wear them properly), and a fading faith in humanity.
Time to claw my way back.
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