Lockdown: Hello darkness, my old friend

I’m beginning to realize that it takes a little more effort than I anticipated not to slide into hermit mode. Sometimes I envy people who crave the company of others. I’m fine without it, but left to my own solitude, I go so into myself that the whole apparatus seems to turn inside out, kind of black-hole-like. I don’t exactly want to lock myself in a dark room and stay in bed all day, but I also kind of want to.

The darkness is a temptress, promising anonymity and freedom to be whatever I want without judgment. In the dark, nobody sees what I look like, and nobody remembers the stupid hurtful things I’ve let slip out of my mouth. I can’t fail to meet any goals because I don’t bother setting them. Oh, and the self-loathing! It feels so great to feel so terrible about myself.

I did (finally, at midnight) force myself out for a walk, telling myself (as I did Wednesday night, I think it was) it would just be a short walk to the stripmall. I want to make waffles and I don’t have any eggs, so I invented the errand of getting eggs from the open-all-night Long’s store in my hood. The walk is what I needed. Of course once I got moving, breathing the fresh cool air and feeling the pulse of Kalihi as it slept, I felt great, still anonymous but among the living, which at that hour consists mostly of fellow nameless ghosts like me, spooking the mostly empty streets.

I wonder if it’s why I like hanging out in cafes. In the world but not of the world, as someone says in the gospel of John. Or why I feel so good at the all-night laundry every week, writing under the harsh fluorescent lighting while cramming too much McDonald’s food into my hole.

Whatever the reasons, I’m presented again with anecdotal evidence that getting outdoors and moving around for ninety to a hundred and fifty minutes is one of the tiny handful of things keeping me Velcroed to the — to whatever real life is in this week’s incarnation by this week’s definition. I walked down to the fourth-nearest 7-Eleven (I think; it could be the third-nearest or fifth-nearest) to get a money order for the rent, then wandered around in the area for a little. Then back to the stripmall to drop a Netflix DVD into a mailbox and get those eggs.

The walk back from the drugstore was a little weird. I was suddenly really, really hungry, shaking a little from the hunger by the time I got back to the crib. Mostly I’m glad I did it. It added up to 10,408 steps, about a mile shorter than my usual walk, but it felt like it was longer.

Breakfast. A bowl of cereal. I’ve avoided naming it because it’s embarrassing, but it’s that Churros cereal by the Cinnamon Toast Crunch people. Basically the same cereal in a different shape and not as good.

I kind of skipped lunch, then for dinner I had an enormous bowl of mashed potatoes and two heads of broccoli, steamed in the Instant Pot. The broccoli came out great. I normally do something to the potatoes, like stir in some wasabi oil, or add sauerkraut, or at least chop up some decent cheddar, but it’s been a while since I had mashed potatoes so I had them plain. It was all quite filling and delicious.

I guess I can call that lunch because when I got back from the walk, I had a couple of quesadillas. I had four tiramisu Oreos for a snack and I’m about to get two to four more. Still kind of hungry from the walk.

I did all three of my usual Sunday crosswords — New York Times, L.A. Times, and Washington Post. I usually spread those out over the week, but I really needed them Sunday. Somewhere in there I worked on two of ten stories for the Hawaii Stories project. Not quite as much progress as I had in mind, but pretty good work.

Most of my interaction was intermittent IMs with F5 girl. I probably needed more.

Nothing else to say and it’s nearly 5:30 in the morning, and of course I have to be at my desk for work at 9:30.

Not my best day, but a better day than I’ve been having. I invite you to reach out if you’re having similar. Or even if you’re not. I’m good with texting, or IMs, or DMs. Whatever works!

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