—From CB—

Normal life has been disrupted, for which I’m always grateful. I hate routine: I want each day to dance its own jig, and when I see it falling into gym/coffee/writing/walk-home/lunch/etc. etc. etc., I start fearing death. In our latest novel, the child thinks of death as just lying there with the flies landing on you, and it makes good sense to him why people fear it.

But when routine is disrupted, like this week, I start getting very antsy. Last weekend was Elizabeth’s 80th birthday, a wonderful celebration which left sumptuous leftovers and a fractured schedule in its wake. And realizing I have another 20 months before I’m 80. I’ve been trying to catch up with Elizabeth for nearly 60 years, never quite managing it. Even when I make a mad dash, the months keep getting in my way.

But this week I watched a movie, I went to a circus, I took a mighty load to the dump. I read a very well-written, popular novel that offers all the joy of popping pimples—not my favorite pastime. I ate a vast bunch of leftovers and tried to get back in harness. And I wrote a long political screed, which I decided not to post, though I may do so in the future. Looking forward to 8 months of sleeplessness as we stumble forth to the election.

I feel as if I’ve worn the wrong suit to the Senior Prom. I can’t get my rage factor turned up against my fellow Democrats. My candidate Warren apparently made a stir in the debate by demonstrating the attack-dog skills required of a candidate, but I fear it hasn’t given her much of a bump in the polls. It doesn’t seem enough in this Super Bowl to flex your muscles against the other guys: you need to cripple the members of your team—not fatally, of course, but just hitting their toes with a hammer. Rage is a mark of sincerity.

But that pulls me off track. This week I’ve managed a few snail-cramps forward: finishing the 10th draft of our novel MASKS, getting the first performance of RASH ACTS scheduled, and starting work on a new novel based on an old, old play—five chapters into it but having qualms—while also looking back at an unpublished piece to see what it needs.

So this week I intend to get back into full swing of a routine that revs up my discontent to a degree where I feel part of things. I hate to feel left out.


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