I Continue To Be Less Than Fully Happy
It’s raining here today and my memory is very poor. I am so angry that everyone around the world is not getting the vaccine that my brain has no room. I was leaving a voice note for a friend of mine and all I could summon up from the formerly vast stock of facts in my head was “Joe Alwyn.” Here are some things I remember: obviously, Taylor Swift/Joe Alwyn, only men and my mother like sweet pickles, the podcast Appearances made me sob in great heaving gulps.
This past weekend I went to Oakland for 18 hours; it was like going to Paris for ten years. I had to go for work, although I guess I could have refused the work. I stayed in a hotel, where I wore a medical-grade mask in the hallways. I went out for dinner at a place where you sit outside, my friend and I rode together in a car with masks on, I went into several stores for the assignment I had, also wearing my medical-grade mask. Was any of this stupid or selfish? I’m not going to say “I don’t care” because I do, I’m not going to say “It was all worth the risk” because how do I know that? If you saw something on social media or the news about full mall parking lots and you were like “idiots” one of those cars was mine and I was working and I’m not saying I’m an idiot or not an idiot, just that if you spot a little red car it might be mine.
Dinner with my friend was the best part of my trip. We reminisced about working together at a completely ridiculous company in New York when we were young. A few weeks ago, I wrote something about how lazy we both were at this job and have felt guilty since then, I told my friend, because I wrote, without actually remembering, that we had both been very lazy at this job, but perhaps he had worked very hard? He assured me that no, he too had done as little as possible. “Oh, good,” I said. “That’s what I thought.”
We wore cloth masks when we were not putting things into our mouths. At one point my friend said he hated talking on the phone and I said “When I called you today were you like ‘Oh God no the phone’ and he said “No, in that case it’s fine, because you’re one of my best friends,” and I actually felt my heart leap with joy that my friend liked me as much as I like him, but I didn’t say anything. My limbs felt light with the euphoria of novel, grade-A human contact during the whole evening, except when I was describing for him what I believe is possibly the one hail Mary for the world to save itself from climate change, which I am not going to mention because I don’t want to know what anyone else thinks about it, and I started to cry. It wasn’t quite “Appearances” finale level sobbing but definitely obviously I got chocked up and cried for about eight seconds. My friend is nice but he didn’t say anything, like, ‘Awww,” or ‘There, there.” He is from Connecticut and when people cry this is one of the times when you might guess this.
When he dropped me off I said, “That was so fun except when I started to cry about the potential end of the human race” and he said “Oh, it’s Ok, I mean, it sounds like it’s really important to you,” and we laughed hard for about three minutes, me standing outside the car so as not to get my laugh all over the enclosed space, and then I went into my hotel. Some Young People next door to me were having a party, hooting and screaming and, though I can’t prove this, doing shots. I was about to call the front desk and get a new room but then I woke up and it was 8:30 a.m. so it all worked out.
Now I am back home. I almost wish I hadn’t seen my friend because now everything is just re-boring. My dog is lying on the couch. I should take her out and I will but it’s raining hard. Her eyes are half closed, she is half sleeping, half awake, she is everyman. “I love you,” I say, and she closes her eyes all the way.