You would not know it from reading these pages, but I was doing alright. I mean, there were periods of rage, bewilderment and sheer what-the-fuckery happening to me on a daily basis, but more or less I was fine. I could have won a gold medal for number of times unloading the dishwasher in a single day, and even though we are living in pajamas, I was enduring marathon laundry sessions befitting an outfit-changing Southern debutante (seriously, people — what is it that I am washing exactly?), but I was ok.
Until I wasn’t.
After a close assessment of the goings-on around me, I’m pretty sure that I can blame Passover, but I can’t be one hundred percent sure it wasn’t the children’s fault. Either way, Passover ended, and I put my kitchen back together. (For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, just know that for some reason celebrating the Exodus involves changing over all our dishes, silverware and pots and pans. Also, excessive amounts of potato flour.)
And then I sank.
I sank for a few days, which involved me opening the fridge, closing it and climbing into bed. It involved me walking downstairs, making eye contact with all the people who needed me, and then climbing into bed. It involved answering the nine million requests which came my way each day, even the ones that came to me while I was in the bathroom with the door locked (side note: if you can slide a note under the door then you can probably answer the question yourself), and then climbing into bed. I climbed into bed but did not rest. I just lay there swimming in a sea of jello sadness, which is the best description I can think of. (I hate jello. I would rather have been swimming in a sea of rice pudding, but I had no say in the matter.)
And then, the dreams. I know we have all been sleeping strangely, and #CoronaDreams is a real thing, but as my cousin H. likes to say, when I get really anxious, the Nazis visit and last night I had such an awful, vivid Nazi dream that I woke up gasping for breath, and I think it had more to with my state of mind than with the fact that Yom Hashoah begins tonight, but I could be wrong about that because lately I am wrong about many things). I decided to get up and leave the Nazis in bed and when I got back a few hours later, they were gone. (I don’t know where they went, but if they came to your house next and screwed up your dreams, I’m truly sorry.)
Maybe it’s because we all thought it would be over by now. Maybe it’s because Spring is a pretty evil season to begin with (it’s raining/it’s sunny/it’s raining/it’s sunny) and it’s not like there’s much about summer we can anticipate. (Yelling, but in sundresses and shorts?) Maybe it’s because suddenly everyone wants to garden and all of the plants and seeds I buy every year are SOLD OUT. (Come on people, I’m not buying your baking shit, can’t you just leave my plants alone?)
Who knows? Either way, I can say that whatever it was began to lift this morning when I woke up (I did go back to sleep eventually and if I dreamed, I certainly don’t remember it) and realized the kids would be on some kind of schedule because school was returning and that meant I could also go back to work. Maybe it’s because it hasn’t rained yet today (sometime I wonder how I survived seven years in Seattle and then I realize that I almost didn’t). Maybe it’s because M made dinner last night while I hid in the bedroom and all I needed was a night off. (Ok, maybe I need one more.)
I hope this week is better. I hope that the daily grocery-slot lottery I play ends with a win and not the constant rejection to which I have now grown accustomed.
I hope the Nazis leave us all alone.
6 responses to “Nightmares, Jello, and other notes from a Quarantine.”
Feel very honoured. This is really good. Your writing is on fire. Love you
Hanna Geller email@example.com 07968194406 http://www.buildingfeasts.com
Sent from my iPhone
Right back at you xxxx
I love reading your blog! As hard as these uncertain times are… you brighten up my day with your posts! I don’t mean to laugh reading your posts, and I feel bad that you are going bat-s—t ( didn’t mean to bring the bat into this although rumor has it the bat is the cause of this).
Just know as my mom would say “ This to will pass”
And if she was alive Today and said that I would tell her that saying is not coming true fast enough!
Hang in there.
Jan Simon – Tacoma WA
Former resident of Bellevue WA ( not Bellevue the mental hospital in NY LOL)
Jan, this really put a smile on my face. I can’t thank you enough for reaching out — and your mother was right, it will pass — just yes, not fast enough. Thank you so much!
Thank you for your earnest writing, and saying it “how it is”. I have felt for some time that that collective grief of the universe will impact each and every one of us. In counselor education, I always teach my budding counselors that when things start to get better, that’s when the flood hits and it’s when we really need to check on clients and each other. Sending you a hug. Hoping this week brightens more for you and that people keep giving back to you in small, but meaningful ways.
Thank you for bearing witness to these inexplicable times and sharing a well-deserved “dayenu” moment so eloquently.