Covid Metamorphoses #10 – Moods

Yesterday, I hit a wall. Not with my fists, but with the inside of my head. I couldn’t do it anymore. Couldn’t keep doing things. Couldn’t maintain the positive attitude, the motivation to keep on keeping on. Awakened every morning at 7am by an excited, nervous five-year-old. Making breakfast. Dishes. Teaching. Lunch. Writing break. More school. Any lull in activity greeted by “Dad, do you want to play with me?” Dinner. Dishes. Animal care. Bath time. Three hours after our son goes to bed. A zero-sum game of choices–yoga? movie? TV? book? etc.? Throughout the day, I sneak peaks at the news. Most of it is bad. My wife and I tried to make a rule for ourselves that we wouldn’t check the news after 6pm.

I’m tired of doing the right thing. Putting a positive spin on things for our son, not lying so much as spinning. He’s learning a lot about percentages these days. Tuesday night, he woke me up in the middle of the night because he had a bad dream. Wednesday night, there was a thunderstorm. Last night, he started crying five minutes before bedtime, inconsolable because of the Coronavirus. During his bath, he had heard his mom and I talking about the Senate bill, our frustration with the contempt that our government–almost entirely occupied & co-opted by the ruling class–has for people who work for a living. I calmed him down, and helped him feel better, with a, “Maybe this will force people to re-evaluate their priorities. Maybe it will help society change for the better. In 10 years, this might be a good place to live.”

It’s all I could manage.

I didn’t even want to write the post I posted yesterday. Just drained. What’s the point of anything. What’s the point of being a good person. There’s a side of me that just wants to switch off. Tell me when it’s over. Here’s the TV, kid. See you in a few hours. I’m going to go buy a 12-pack of ironic Coronas and listen to Flipper on repeat.

Would it be any easier? Any simpler? Like everything else right now, it would end up being a wash. One thing gets better, but something else gets worse. And you end up right where you started, Bullshit to the left of me, bullshit to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle (of poo).

Or something. I’m a little less sleep-deprived today. This time, when I got woken up at 7am, our son announced he had cleaned his room. He did a good job. He had even gone through and pulled out all of his books with the Scholastic logo on them (they have a free website that is part of our daily lesson plan). The Senate bill passed. So much awfulness in there just to get working people who can’t work some money to live off that isn’t nearly enough, that is 60% of what they’re getting in Canada. In Canada, the payment is guaranteed for four monthly installments, but tell me again how America is the best of all possible places, and the envy of the world.

Yeah, it’s getting hard to greet each day with a breath of fire, to keep fighting the good fight. And if I didn’t have a child watching me closely, sizing up my moods, looking at me for clues about what’s going on…

He pointed out the window this afternoon while I was making lunch, and shouted, “Daddy, look at the squirrels! They’re six feet apart! Aw, they’re practicing social distancing.” I made a dad joke about “squirrel-distancing” that made him laugh. I think this is what my therapist called “faking it until you make it,” but some days lately, the cracks are beginning to show.

About ScottCreney

Scott Creney lives in Athens, Georgia. He is the author of "Dear Al-Qaeda: Letters to the World’s Most Notorious Terror Organiztion".
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