Dispatches From Home: Day 118

Hi, I’m back, 100 days after my last post.

I thought I would manage to blog my way through this ordeal, but what I failed to grasp then — and continue to struggle with now — is that there is no “through,” that this is the way life is now. The days and weeks dragged on and I couldn’t stand to write another word about it. So I’ve stayed inside on the couch and watched the pandemic unfold on my phone, feeling scared and angry and heartbroken and restless and all points in between, with my ability to process those feelings quickly receding into the distance.

I recently decided to learn to make pizza. I put all the ingredients we needed in our grocery order a few weeks ago, then waited patiently until it was time to pick it up. Everything I need is in our fridge now; friends have sent me recipes and advice; and every day, I wake up with the notion that I will make pizza for dinner that evening. But we have not had pizza yet. It’s always something — I needed to start the dough by a certain time and didn’t, or it’s 40C outside and I can’t justify cranking the oven to the highest setting, whatever. For a while I couldn’t figure out what my problem was, but I know now that I just can’t stand to be disappointed by my dinner experiment if it doesn’t work out. Everything’s been so disappointing for the past four months that I just can’t manufacture another reason to feel this way, no matter how much I’d like to have pizza for dinner one of these days.

My social media feeds are cluttered with videos of distant acquaintances doing things I would never dream of doing now. I’m annoyed and sometimes jealous by their ability to pretend like this isn’t happening, and it bubbles over into rage occasionally: “What is X thinking? Do they read different news than I do? What is the matter with them?” Adrian will shrug and say, “yeah, I don’t know.” I feel like I’m constantly muting or unfriending people to get their life choices out of my face.

Adrian’s going back to work at the end of July, and I won’t see him again until sometime in September. The dread I feel is immense. Is this getting easier for you? It’s not getting any easier for me.