PRIVATE PRACTICES

8:30 AM, more or less— wake up halfway, stay in bed a few minutes longer, refresh the trending page on whatever stupid app my finger finds first. (pretend to) be shocked by death toll reports (higher than yesterday, and the day before, and the day before, and… you get the picture). gloss over words like shortage and front lines and essential workers. scan the obituaries. clear app eventually. find myself already yearning for a new day.

11:00 AM— eat breakfast in an attempt to fill the black hole of hopelessness churning in the pit of my stomach. realize that never works—not these days, at least. do some light aerobic exercises to remember that I somehow still have a body. might as well remind myself, right? take a scalding hot shower to melt whatever self-pity still contaminates my skin, then either sob in there or perform the most dramatic songs on my quarantine playlist, because I still can do both of those things, if anything at all.

2:00 PM— angst kicks in. throw a mental tantrum and fantasize about the void.

4:00 PM— do something, anything. today, for example: jump on the basement trampoline for an hour just to feel something other than anchored down. smile at the dust particles dancing in the light. remember, even for a moment, that I am part of a grand waltz.

6:00 PM— watch the reporter on TV tear up as he wraps up the evening news. remember again that I am part of a grand waltz, except none of us can hear the music anymore.

8:00 PM— try to write a poem. realize I can’t do anything but beat myself up over the act of not being able to do so. grapple for the right words, or even words at all. such feats feel impossible under these bleak skies, these horror film evenings. all I can do is sit there, as vacant as the street outside my window.

9:30 PM— get mad. really mad. say some things about my life I don’t really mean. I really am grateful to be here. some people don’t even have that anymore.

11:00 PM— calm down. at least a little bit.

12:00 AM— say something quietly to myself. look, a new day! or look… a new day. the tone varies.

1:00 AM— try to fall asleep.

2:00 AM— try harder.

3:00 AM, more or less— last thought I have before the lights shut off for the night: time will tell.

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