Third-Quarter Temper

Keeping a deathgrip on my temper is harder than usual lately. I think it’s a result of the “third quarter of the pandemic” thing. Not only am I retracting inside my shell even harder than lockdown requires, but I’m also more likely to just scorch the earth around a question than deal with any attempted bad faith.

Translation: Bringing petty bullshit to my yard right now is a very, very, VERY bad idea.

I could list the grievances currently boiling away, but that’s counterproductive. I’m trying to focus on good things instead–the strengthening availability of vaccines (though there are still rich bastards jumping the queue, as always) and the fact that we’ll get rain today, the words that are coming (though not in a project I’m being paid for, indeed, not in a project anyone will pay for) and the dogs being their usual dopey, happy selves. I’m trying to focus on “this feeling is temporary, and it will go away in a little while.”

I was also reading a graphic novel treatment of Parable of the Sower last night, and all the pain Lauren sees in that book feels like it’s lodged in my own bones as well. Usually when I’m in this state I read true crime or horror, since both give me a (probably false) sense that justice is available somehow–justice, or at least a narrative. So much in real life is so utterly, well, senseless. But even true crime isn’t helping, I keep flinching at all the pain.

I suppose I’m also cautious about lockdown potentially ending. So many people want to be out in public again, but I’m exactly the opposite. I don’t trust what will happen; nothing in the past two years gives me any confidence that anyone will behave in a reasonable manner once lockdown is eased. For one thing, it will probably be eased (because someone is eager for some kind of profit despite the danger) before vaccination is widespread, which means we’ll have another rash of purely avoidable deaths. For another, the reports I’m hearing of school districts across the country already pressuring parents to pack vulnerable children in poorly ventilated petri dishes are highly concerning.

Maybe it’s just a writer’s habit of running through alternatives. I can see so clearly how things will go wrong. Possible permutations are my stock-in-trade.

So if you’re feeling edgy, like your wires are bare of insulation and sparking, it might be the third-quarter thing. You’re absolutely not alone. I’m trying not to be a huge pessimist; I know things are getting better. We just started out so deep in a hole, it’s difficult for them to get better quickly, or evenly.


In any case, it’s going to rain today, so at least there’s that. And no matter how bad I’m feeling the dogs need walking and there’s a run to get in. Running will help. While I’m pounding the pavement I’m not thinking of what could go wrong on a global scale, only about the next intersection.

It will be a relief, although of too-short duration. Still, any relief is better than none, especially lately. I hope you have something that gives you a little relief today, beloveds.

Over and out.