Last night I dropped off my wife in D.C., not to see her again for three weeks, and the expanse between here and there looked like nothing I’d seen before, the fog coalescing so thick at times that only my intermittent, numb detachment kept me moving forward, trusting, in a way only that turns the phrase, that the road would not run from underneath me.
I’ve been alone for fifteen hours and I feel a widower. I had the bed to myself and after ten minutes’ sprawl, I returned to my slivered half. I woke up three times, knowing she wouldn’t be there, but, with my eyes closed, allowing the possibility that comes of willful blindness.
I am exhausted. I don’t know when it was that I last slept a full night; it’s been longer still since I got close to what I needed.
For the past few weeks I’ve had the edgy sense that there was something I needed to do. A constant hum, like Pete Parker’s additional sense, smouldering low at the back of my skull. It was the holiday. There was no obvious reason for the anxiety. We agreed that our anxiety is generally a social construct, a symptom of the times in which we live and the fascist pretends-ident sliming his way toward Mary’s city. It’s a time for intellectuals to pick and choose which emotions they’ll feel, honest reactions no longer make sense in an epoch of intense lies.
When one manufactures his own mood he must remember all of the things that prompt an emotional response before deciding upon it. If anything is forgotten, or if a low grade feverish worry simmers too long, and he tamps it down until it no longer registers, he might forget the impetus.
The holidays are over. I’m employed, doubly employed, and after spending so long telling myself not to worry, to forget the peripheral visions of apocalyptic orange agents, to focus only on one foot in front of the other, the practice has hit its first obstacle. I owe my new employer twenty or so pages of edited copy. I owe myself a half catalogue of new stock for the market I accepted as a favor to Mary. I owe my sanity sleep. Of the three, the former is most important, the latter the most disposable. Maybe a bit of madness would do me some good, given the way the world’s headed.