In times when we don’t know

I finished The Queen’s Gambit. I loved it.

I don’t know about chess, but it was engaging.

I didn’t sleep well last night. Nothing happened to make me lose sleep. I just couldn’t, even medicated.

In the morning, feeling the old cortisol surge through my body from the physical stress, I opened my laptop and put on Radiohead lullabies. Actual lullaby records they make from popular music. It sometimes does the trick.

But then I made the mistake of turning on the news. In the series, the heroine can see the board game played out on the ceiling. When I listen to the news, I see the future played out in sequence. The individual stories coalesce into a picture and then I can see the moves going forward. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it haunting. I’m sorry to say that today, it wasn’t good.

I spent the better part of the day quiet, trying not to cry because I didn’t know if I could stop it in time to deal with next Tuesday. I was mostly successful. Mostly.

My mind was so off, I managed to burn sweet potatoes in the oven to a dehydrated crisp because I forgot I’d even put them in. Even after I could smell something sweet and carmelized and then burnt. I thought maybe the downstairs neighbor had been cooking something. Gian finally reminded me. No harm, no foul, no sweet potatoes.

I decided to distract myself and paint my face with a cool new technique I learned. You don’t want to cry in mascara. It runs. But even that trick didn’t work.

I told my friends, the oneswho are here and a few who aren’t, that I might need help in the next few days. Everyone is going to need help, but it brings me some measure of solace to know there are people I can count on. I didn’t used to have that. On the day of the last election, I went on a three day bender, so self-absorbed I didn’t even know my own grandmother had died.

Tyler said it best: Head up kid, we got ways to make it better.

I listened to the four-year old boy downstairs play guitar and sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. He was off-key and a little lackluster. But I’ll take what I can get in the form of live shows these days.

Don’t worry. All’s well that ends well. And I have no intent on giving in any time soon.

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