From the moment I knocked my glasses off the night table as I tried and failed to start my day, my crabbiness seemed too stubborn to budge.

Scowling, I filled up the kettle to make a cup of tea — I was too impatient for a warm cup of something to make a Chemex of coffee — and limped and creaked into the morning.

It’s been 227 days since I resurrected this blog, since we quarantined to protect our communities from the virus we all thought would be handled months ago. We were wrong. “Pandemic fatigue” has set in, leading people to make stupid, risky decisions that put everyone’s health at risk.

It’s eight days before a presidential election I’m too scared to feel optimism about, despite polls all but assuring victory for the candidate who isn’t actively ushering in a fascist, authoritarian regime. Did we learn nothing from 2016? Even with a win at the polls, I don’t see myself exhaling until our man puts his hand on the bible in January.

It’s mere hours until a damnable conservative-majority Senate spits in the face of the will of the people and confirms a rammed-through Illinois judge with an antiquated “originalist” view of the Constitution — and everything it represents — to the highest court in the land. Their utter disdain for democracy will come back to bite them.


It’s hard not to feel suffocated under a blanket of existential dread.

If I were the same person I was when I wrote my last couple of entries — during what I now call my “lost summer” — I probably wouldn’t be able to get out of bed. But pharmaceutical salvation found me in August, and I finally emerged from that crippling fog of depression and anxiety (though not until after one of the worst weeks of my entire life).

But I do get out of bed every morning. And I do the thing. I’m not super hopeful for the future, per se, but I go on. I donate money, I text bank, I make sales calls and write proposals, I meet deadlines, I cash checks. I cook until my back aches. I pet my cats, I do the crossword puzzle, I watch The Great British Baking Show and Succession and oh my god so much streaming.

I get a good night’s sleep — well, sometimes good — then I wake up and do it all over again. These days, I’m crabby more days than not.

But then I look out the window through the busted slats of blinds that have seen better days and fewer cats, and I catch a glimpse of our first fat, fluffy flakes.

And I scare my husband nearly out of his chair yelling, “SNOW!”

I rush outside like a child, reaching my hand beyond the deck railing to catch a crystal before it melts into my skin. The snow won’t stick, and everyone who still has to leave their homes bemoans the flurries as a harbinger of the frigid hellscape to come.

I do not mourn the passing of this summer or the falling of leaves.

I can’t help but feel a little starry-eyed and moony at the idea of scented candles, clanking radiators, more snuggling, more streaming, more safe harbor of home. And I recognize that’s a privilege of immeasurable magnitude.

But here we are, hurtling together through time and space, upright on a round earth by a force we can’t see, and the snow will come whether we like it or not. Like so many things. So when the drifts pile beyond our windows, we shovel a path for ourselves and turn our heads to spring.

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Day 96

June 17, 2020

Life descended into misery quickly and aggressively. It’s 96 days, give or take several hours, since my self-imposed shelter in place order began — though I wouldn’t describe my existence as a lockdown or quarantine these days. Phase 3 of Chicago’s COVID-19 reopening started June 3, I think, in the midst of world-rocking protests in…

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Day 53, late afternoon

May 4, 2020

I nearly made it out of the grocery store for under $100 (nearly, because the checkout guy forgot to ring up my chicken-apple sausage the first time around). This means one of several things: I am now a grocery-shopping sensei I actually bought $55 worth of groceries on Friday afternoon and am just now remembering…

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Day 53 (and a Monday, hooray)

May 4, 2020

I have dreams that I’m yelling at people for not covering their faces when they’re out in public. In my waking hours, I’m too tired to do anything but bore holes into the backs of their unprotected heads with my raging stare. (Or, when I do yell, it’s behind rolled-up car windows.) I found out…

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Day 48

April 30, 2020

I mean. So much for journaling every day, “for the historians.” LOL, it’s been 48 days since we locked the doors. Probably about 45 since my hands went raw from all the washing. A month and a half since I could take a deep, easy breath beyond the confines of my apartment. (And well over…

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Day 33

April 15, 2020

It was a strange day. A cold front blew in overnight, bringing potato-flake snow flurries mixed with blinding sunlight, and barely a moment’s occasion to go outside into it. I miss going outside. Today’s bizarre energy could be thanks in part to my early-morning reading of the New York Times comprehensive piece on all the…

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