Viral Times, Part 2

One thing I’ve been telling myself, as a form of gratitude and optimism, is that I’m glad we’re going through a pandemic instead of a war. At least in a pandemic we’re all on the same side, all fighting the same enemy. (Well, except for the greedy and corrupt people in power who are on no one’s side but their own. Of course, that’s true in every scenario.)

But it just occurred to me that I would have been more psychologically prepared for a war than for this. America being in yet another war wouldn’t surprise me. “Trump starts a war” was probably on more bingo cards than “sudden global pandemic.” No wonder this has knocked me (and, I’m guessing, other people) for a loop.

Not Writing Earnestly

About writing fiction, Ernest Hemingway said:

The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.

He clearly didn’t have ADHD because I’ve tried that and 90% of the time, when I come back the next day, I cannot for the life of me remember what I intended to write next. What was that character going to say? What were those two characters going to argue about? Where was everyone going to go next? I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE. So I go writing down a different track and maaaaaybe much later I’ll remember what I had meant to write but going back and changing at this point would be a massive rewrite or I never recall it and it doesn’t matter anyway because the story’s off on a new direction and it’s never going back.

Sometimes the best thing you can do with advice is not follow it.

Viral Times

I left my apartment today, the first time in four days. I had an appointment with my therapist, which is one of the best reasons to leave your apartment when you’ve been hiding from a virus-stricken world and you’re all stocked up on anxiety. (To be fair to myself, anyone who isn’t even a little scared and upset about things right now is either an enlightened Zen monk or someone stupid enough to help this virus spread by not taking the right precautions.) (more…)

100 Years of Social Distancing

After two weeks of self-imposed quarantine in my small apartment, just my cat and me, I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to get outside. I needed to be around people. I knew how important it was to stay away from people if we wanted to slow the spread of the virus until a cure was found. But there’s only so much solitude I could take. I had to risk it.

When I walked out of my apartment building, there was no one about. Not a single person. No dogs or cats. I could hear birds singing and saw some squirrels run by, but no one I could have a conversation with. And before you ask, yes, I’ve had conversations with dogs and cats. Mostly one-sided conversations, but still conversations as far as I’m concerned. That day, I had to walk half a mile before I found anyone to talk to. (more…)

7 to Midnight

all the stars in all the skies
will never understand the reasons why
i got so lost over you
underneath by gravestone blues
an epitaph that told you so
my compass points that look as though
i caught my death in the cold
i got so lost over you

you & your stars