I started writing today’s newsletter in December. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the newsletter, and it feels important to get this out on the record before then.
There’s an art to telling a story so it seems close enough to feel important, while also having let enough time pass that you don’t make anyone worry about you. This is not something I’m particularly good at. I heck it up in both directions — trivializing details that would make the story exciting and relevant, or somehow making people worry over situations that are over and done with. I could try to get better, but it’s such a specific situation, there aren’t a lot of examples for self improvement.
The last time I saw this type of storytelling practiced to perfection was last summer, when Gus’s folks showed up to our weekly zoom dinner with mysterious wounds. Gus’s mom had a black eye, and I think their dad had a cut above his eyebrow. Neither of them offered an immediate explanation, we had to ask what had happened. What followed was a very entertaining story I’m sure I won’t capture right. The previous weekend they were up north at a family friend’s cabin. It was a beautiful night, they were leaning against the deck railing, looking at the stars. The railing collapsed under their weight, sending them backwards to the ground. Somehow they managed to make the grill fall down after them. Their friends at the next cabin over heard the crash and came to check up on them. They got all patched up, and by the time they’re speaking to us it’s clear there’s no lasting effects. By then it’s just funny, because people falling is funny. In the moment it must have been terrifying, but with time the shock is humorous. It’s a wild story, a tale of survival to brag about. If they had texted Gus the night it happened we would have worried, but finding out well after the fact the only option is to appreciate the story.
I do not have the same gift for perfectly revealing things that happened that I meant to tell you about before. But I have to try, because this blog is a blog where I attempt to be entertaining, but it’s also my journal of the pandemic, and there are things I didn’t write about at the time that shouldn’t be let down. So for posterity’s sake, here are some things that happened long enough ago that there’s no point in worrying about them.
We almost moved over the summer. I don’t want to get into the whole thing, but there was a possibility to live with some friends, and it went past the hypothetical stage. There was apartment hunting, and we even found a place, but then when it got to the application stage I kind of freaked out over the idea of moving in the middle of a pandemic and the whole thing was scraped. The whole thing caused me so much stress, and made me cry at least twice.
For the awhile at the start of the pandemic, for like a month at least, I was watching to instagram live videos that SortedFood did every morning. I stopped because I realized I didn’t actually care about their cooking adventures, and didn’t feel like I was learning anything, but it was really good for my sleep schedule, and I kind of regret stopping for that reason only.
I walked up the the K-Mart store closing store the week before Easter. I didn’t need anything, and it probably wasn’t a reasonable risk, but that place is a landmark, and an important part of my childhood, and if I hadn’t given it a proper goodbye I would have regretted it forever.
In the middle of January I had a cold/anxiety something that involved enough coughing that Gus and I went and got covid tests at the convention center. It’s just a few blocks from our apartment, and was a really well set up operation. Obviously I didn’t want to be sick, but there was a moment where I was like, “well, if I do have it, that means afterwards I’ll have antibodies, and I could go to the movies, and the library, and get new glasses, and not have to worry.” I held onto this instead of freaking out about how lousy I felt.
A bit before Christmas I video called a friend I hadn’t spoken to since spring. Since then his mom died, which wasn’t unexpected, but I still felt bad. If I had known about it I would have tried to do something. He also got a new girlfriend, and I was happy for him, but apparently one of the things they’ve been doing together is shooting guns. He was really worried about the possibility of another civil war, and felt that it’s important that people from marginalized backgrounds learn how to handle weapons in case something like that happens. I haven’t talked to him since because I don’t know what to say to any of that.
That last one might not just be a thing that happened that we don’t have to worry about anymore yet, but leaving it off this list entirely felt like a grave omission. Sometimes you just have to live with your worry indefinitely. If there’s one thing I’ve gotten better at this past year it’s living with indefinite worry.
PICTURE OF THE CAT
WHAT I WATCHED YESTERDAY
I wanted to show Gus The Witches of Eastwick before it leaves HBO at the end of the month. It’s a really fun movie, and they enjoyed it!
SONG OF THE DAY
I am writing this at not quite five in the morning because I can’t sleep, and picking a song of the day this early feels incredibly aspirational. I can pick a song now and decide what my day is going to be. I don’t want to have an interesting day, I just want to have a comfortable day doing boring things in decent weather. So I’m going to pick another song off Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, an album that has been a great comfort to me this year. It is so dependable. Just chill, and adaptable to any mood, and familiar without being boring. That’s the type of day I want to have. May it be so.