I’ve been kind of down in the dumps lately (I know, just what people want to read about after a long day in the trenches, but bear with me). It’s hard to explain why, but it has to do with some curdling mix of trying to write a novel, and reading Mountains Beyond Mountains and feeling as though doing anything that is not in the service of others is shallow and meaningless. There are so many people out there who are fucked unto the Lord, as Anne Lamott would say, and here I am trying to write amusing sentences about a twelve-year-old girl. And, like, who needs me when the world has Michael Chabon and Lorrie Moore and Richard Yates?
Mixed in to this existential crisis is the fact that my kids have learned the word “hate,” and the little scraps of patience I was sometimes able to muster have mutinied and fled. Then there’s my inability to be skinny, and my irritation with myself for still believing, after all the evidence to the contrary, that skinniness equals happiness.
Furthermore, it looks as though my trip to Italy may not materialize. I’ve decided I do not like writing workshops. Our chickens are constantly shitting in their water, considerably adding to my stress levels. I have disconcerting joint pain. My house feels small and cluttered and there is juice on the floor that has been there a week. I wore out my expensive shoes and now they look bad. Oh, and I’m losing my job but I don’t know when.
Guess if eating alone in the IKEA cafeteria this afternoon helped my mood.
A thing I like
First of all, I forgot to update you on the completely successful neighborhood potluck I had in my backyard after the weird run-in with my icky neighbor. It was great, really. All these people I didn’t know came and signed up and ate chips and drank beer and, I don’t know, it was a little glimmer of hope in my otherwise shitty week. So, there’s that—the fact that a lot of people (or at least 10 people) want to make our neighborhood a better place.
Then there’s this, which starts tonight and is a big reason why summer is my favorite season.
See? It’s not all bad.