Most of the time it's okay.
But there are days that feel remote, days in which I'm distant not only from Nora but from myself too. Days that roll by as silent movies of malice, the landscape as seen through Tony Soprano's windshield, where everything is broken and stained. The machinations and intrigues that reveal themselves are less threatening than sad, that someone would reduce themselves for so little.
A day goes by, and then an evening goes by as well. Last night's pizza reheated, consumed along with the New Yorker. The Bolshoi Ballet reveals itself to be just as treacherous as any workplace, talent and aspirations painstakingly bent over time to become weapons. The history of Guantanamo Bay, neither Cuban nor American terrain, "the legal equivalent of outer space" where no laws pertain, no one can adequately explain under what purview its inhabitants had arrived, and no one can decide to stop. A generation of young people who, dissatisfied with their assigned identities, elect to physically modify themselves in fundamental ways.
When cats have nothing to do, they do nothing. Not so with us. Solitaire, Sudoku, crossword puzzles. A certain form of zazen, mildly focused but not attached to outcomes. A $1500 computer put to the same use as a two dollar deck of cards or yesterday's newspaper.
Six becomes seven becomes nine.
A week ago on Thursday evening, I was in California, heady with success. That afternoon's talk had inspired a room; the second talk the morning to come was certain to be even better (and turned out to be so). I was at dinner with my hosts, filled with hope and possibility. As one of my friends has recently said, "It was nice to feel like a smart and talented person for a few days."
Not so today. Possibilities have been replaced with threats, green grass with slush and chill wind. Completed projects unraveled, intentions unstated, friends in pain. Gallows humor is, after all, a recognition of the gallows.
I know that sleep will help. The house is cold, so the cats will be close by, Simon at my legs and Ed at my ribs. We will all sleep, and see what news awaits us in the morning.