That Time of The Week


I had one of my best nights of sleep in a long time last night. It was also one of the worst. I would expect nothing less from The Bed of Torment.

The window was open a few inches, and I could hear the patter of light rain against the house and the wind through the large pines opposite my room’s window. I easily drifted to sleep, and that’s when I was treated to one of my go-to Dreams of Torment.

My DoTs include the following:

  1. I’m back working at the Trib, and I’m seemingly happy about it. Except whenever I pick up an art request form to work on, I can never find the right files, or something prevents me from working on it. I get increasingly outraged and eventually realize that I don’t work for the paper anymore, and the paper, as it was then, doesn’t even exist anymore.
  2. Everything is normal except my teeth are crumbling, I spit out shards of teeth like mouthfuls of broken glass. I keep trying to go to the dentist, but something always prevents it from happening. So I just keep trying to shove the hunks of teeth back into the vacant spaces in my gums.
  3. I have a regular old dream, but at some point, I find myself on a skateboard type device, like a mechanic’s creeper board, and I’m pushing myself along busy roads where I would typically be riding my bike. Cars whiz by, and I never seem to get where I want to go no matter how much effort I put out.
  4. I’m back in grade school or high school, but I’m my age now. I can never find the right classroom, and I’m filled with all the same anxiety that I took to with me to school from grades 1 through 12. At some point, I realize that I don’t have to be there but only escape the scene by waking up.

Last night was a Number Four DoT. I was supposed to be taking finals, but could never find the right classroom. I would try to latch on to kids I knew were in my class and follow them, but I would get inevitably get separated at some point and start to panic about failing out. Eventually, I realized that it didn’t matter; I’m 48 years old, and life turned out pretty OK, yet I can’t escape the dream unless I wake up. I would have a version of that dream about four times last night. Happy to wake up from it each time, but then ending right back where I was minutes later.

So, despite sleeping well and feeling rested this morning, I woke up feeling like shit mentally, and it would only get worse once I went down a mental wormhole of COVID depression.

Today I crave normalcy. I want B in school, playing club soccer, looking forward to some summer camps and planning things with his friends.

I want to hang out with my friends. To sit and talk like normal, having a few beers, cooking out, and playing goofy games around at the dinner table.

I want to go to the store and not wear a mask. I want to work in the bike shop and have customers milling about, talking, and driving me crazy. I want to go to the gym, sweat and feel good about myself.

I want to watch football on TV and see the supporters in the stands. I want Wifey to find the happiness she gets from visiting with her family. I want to go on vacation and spend time relaxing with friends and family. I want to get a fucking hair cut.

A reminder from my grandparents of harder times: their World War II ration stamps and cards.

Yes, some of those things will be happening soon, but won’t be “normal” for a long while. And many of those other things aren’t going to happen at all, and that is what brings me down. Sure, some of those things are undoubtedly self-serving. Others are not, and seeing my wife and son sad, or not finding their regular enjoyment in life is what gets me down.

I’ve discussed many a time in recent months, how unaffected many of my days are by this whole mess. Yet, I now find myself struggling to find any trace of positive thoughts.

The whole thing has me thinking of the old Twilight Zone episode called Time Enough at Last  if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about.

Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images – © 2009 CBS WORLDWIDE INC.

To translate it into my issue, I am more than used to doing things on my own and have always considered myself an introverted extrovert. And here I am, having been, given the gift of social distancing and time on my own without the need for excuses, but that seems to have come with the unfortunate catch-22 of seeing loved ones denied the things they love, and enjoy, and realizing what their happiness does to make me happy. “Me time” is only truly fun, if I know that the others in my life are happy and safe. And right now, there are huge chunks of their life that I can’t control. At all.

As luck would have it, I had a Facetime appointment with the O.G. Mind Bender today, and that helped a bit. I hope to put some of her advice to work, and hopefully, this funk will blow off me soon. I’m also hoping that I can see the value in everyone getting a chance to hit a societal reset button. Whether any lessons we’ve learned remain after things get closer to semi-normal will remain to be seen, but it would be nice to think about.

I seem to go down this depressive wormhole about once a week. I guess today was my day. Sorry that I felt the need to share it with the world.


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