Lockdown: Heart of darkness

I again slept poorly, but got a decent two hours and twenty minutes just before getting out of bed. Thankfully, getting out of bed was a little later than usual since I took a vacation day Monday. I did a few work emails and read the news while eating a small bunch of grapes. Left the house at about 10:30 for the beach.

I stopped at the neighborhood mom and pop’s for a bottle of water and two Spam musubis (it’s a Hawaii thing), which I consumed in the car as I watched the surf. I got a pretty good parking space, about four back from the one I really wanted but rarely get.

I tried to decide, as I was swimming in the cool ocean on a warm late morning, if I like swimming mid day better than early morning. Couldn’t settle it. They’re so different and they offer such great experiences, although I’ll say getting out there early does take a bit more effort.

I’m trying to figure out what it was, or even if it’s worth figuring out, but I had a feeling all morning that I can only describe as heavy-hearted, like everything I was doing, including taking a day off from work, was avoiding thinking about something terrible or doing something I don’t want to do but have to. There was a little bit of dread mixed in, but most of it was this sick sense of avoidance.

It was constricting, squeezing my heart and guts a little but not a lot, just enough to let me know it was there; I think that’s where I’m getting heavy-hearted from.

I was able to distract myself from the feeling while I swam, and for the half hour or so after I got out of the water, but it crept back up on me as I drove home. I had a small list of things I wanted to do before the dinner hour, but instead I took a nap — not as more avoidance behavior, because believe me, I’m extremely, extremely familiar with that pattern, but just because I was tired and I was on vacation.

I don’t know what I did, but the nap was great. Maybe it was the exertion from physical activity and being out in the sun, or the podcast I played on my phone as I slept, but I think I rested two hours, and when I got up, I felt physically great and emotionally okay.

I have a couple of radios in the house but none of them is plugged in at all times as most people’s radios are. One is a clock radio in case my phone ever stops working; I keep it in my bookshelf but right now it’s behind the bookshelf. Another couple are boom boxes I have in weird storage places. I’m mentioning this because the Las Vegas Raiders were playing the Saints on Monday Night Football at 2:00 our time, but ESPN has the Monday Night games and I don’t have cable.

So I downloaded one of the free radio apps you can put on your phone and streamed the Westwood One radio broadcast from a radio station in Georgia. Radio games are blacked out on your own local stations if you’re trying to listen via a mobile app for some reason. So I put the game on from Columbus, Georga while I did a few house chores.

First I put bread fixings in the bread machine and let that take care of itself. Then I washed out some coffee mugs I found in my recent decluttering. They needed quite a bit of attention, but I got them sparkly, I think. I actually have to wait until daylight Tuesday to be sure, since two of the mugs are black and I need to be very sure they’re as clean as possible. There were gross things in them — dead things. I’ve already given them a good Clorox soaking, but I think I’ll do it again just to be sure.

Then I defrosted my fridge. The dorm fridge I got a couple of months ago, not the one I just cleaned out and unplugged. These things have a tendency to ice over and if you let them go too long you break some of the plastic things attached to the freezer compartment. It’s needed it for a couple of weeks and I knew I was going to do it sometime this week. This seemed like a good day, since I was listening to the game.

I ate some extra sharp white cheddar with some crackers and another small bunch of grapes while I defrosted.

What a great game. The Raiders won in an impressive way, and are undefeated after two games.

I watched the evening news, checked in on a few friends on social media, then browsed some recipes before my late-evening trip to the supermarket. I decided on ingredients for three new (to me) dishes, and then my bread was ready, so I had a couple of thin slices with a little more of the white cheddar.

Grocery run was less stressful than it’s been. I spent a wee bit more than I planned, but okay whatever. It actually felt pretty good to go in with a real list in hand and focus on that. I left room for some me-ness in the exercise: I had “some kind of fruit” on the list along with specific items like Worcestershire sauce and mirin, and of course I picked up a few things not on the list like a bottle of cheap red wine and some angel hair pasta.

There was a little bit of trash talk in the office fantasy league chat, so that was nice. Ali texted me a couple of photos for my opinion; I gave it and then asked her how she’s doing. No response yet but I may not get one. Sent JB a Raiders GIF, to which he responded with “Yeah, baby!”

Sylvia texted to ask about a local chef who died. She was familiar with his blogging; he was a friendly acquaintance of mine from the early Twitter days. We’re friends on social media but we’ve never reeeeally been friends. I won’t speak ill of him, and I have no reason to, but for some reason he didn’t seem to have much use for me. Nice guy, though, and I understand why Twitterlulu (as we once called our collective self) is heartbroken. I know of many instances where he was a great friend to others.

Crush Girl and I texted most of the late afternoon; she was good company while I ate crackers and defrosted, despite her not caring one iota about the Raiders game. Later in the evening, we actually spoke on the phone, as she needed some help with something and she thought it would be easier in actual conversation.

Although I’m not exactly feeling the heavyheartedness I experienced this morning, the memory of it is heavy itself. What was that? It’s playing around on the fringes of my mind even as I convince myself it’s passed.

Ryan emailed me to say my daily invitation to connect with readers of this space hinted at my needing more connection myself. I appreciated his checking on me, and while I welcome whatever connection comes my way, it’s worth pointing out that I consider myself really lucky to be connected already to some really great people. Man, some people during this lockdown are spending all day and all night with spouses, children, roomies, or lovers. I’m blessedly free of constant company and I get to speak with Crush Girl on the phone once in a while.

I do want to be a connection for others who don’t have enough, though. So leave me a comment and I’ll send my contact info. I probably won’t speak with you on the phone unless your name rhymes with Mush Curl, but I’m good for some DMs.

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