Day 31: After Charlottesville

9:00am

I’ve been up since 4:30, getting myself awake enough to cook in the blessed cool while it’s dark outside. I’m feeling the fade already, but I have a pot of pea soup done and a pan of chicken thighs in the oven. My roommate and I may both be exhausted from the events of the weekend, but we will be able to eat something besides sweets and pizza. That much I can do.

9:00pm

Watching the events in Charlottesville from afar, I felt, and still feel, helpless, which slides into useless if I don’t determine to not let it eat me entirely. I’m not losing weight because of some abstraction, some attempt to emulate some perky woman half my age. I’m working as I can to try to be more able to affect the world around me again instead of sitting at home in helpless rage watching my country tear itself apart. I don’t know if the pushing myself to work, to argue, support, and comfort where I can while I get the body able to do more will make a difference in the long term or not — in my grimmer moments I doubt it — but it’s what I can do.

Day Nine: Fast Forward

I don’t only drink coffee at midnight, but it’s my favorite time to do so.  This morning it was a tall s’mores frappacino Bryan and our friend Ken brought home from Starbucks.  Bryan had to go to bed after he finished his coffee — wise man — but Ken and I sat up laughing until 5:00, at which point I was stupid tired.  He headed for home, and I went to sleep until I woke up at 9:00 feeling far better than I had for several days.  Memo to self:  add more coffee and laughter to my life.

Interlude

I woke thirsty in warm darkness at 2:30, the fan outside by my open bedroom door blowing enough cool air in to keep the hot layer above my head when I sat up and got my bearings. I felt rested, so I figured I had slept six or seven hours. It was cool outside when I opened the front door; I set the fans to pull the chill indoors before I got my first glass of the day’s water. The water lasted long enough to chunk up some roast and heat it up with broth made from the last of the pan juices.

The meat and broth were good with a slice of bread as I struggled to write a post that ended up being as much about the memories this process shakes awake as about the process itself. I posted it about an hour before sunrise and drank off the last of the broth. The excitement drained away with the broth; I felt as if I could lie down and sleep another five or six hours, but I was still thirsty and truly afraid of waking up dehydrated again. Thirst won out; I dropped a tea bag into my glass and filled it up again, intending to bang out a quick comment about how I ended up eating a magnificent sandwich and nothing more the rest of the day, but the story is much less interesting than the cool air and the sights and sounds of morning.