Emotional Raft-Building

Monday has dawned early and cool. I thought there was some marine layer but no, it’s only a slight haze and the fact that we’re past the solstice. The sun is rising a bit later as we tilt away, which pleases me. I do understand the giant nuclear reactor in the sky powers all life on this planet (well, except the stuff hiding in thermal vents at the bottom of the ocean), I just also want to hide from its radioactive yellow eye.

I did decide to put my Eye of Argon reading on YouTube; you can find Part I here. I’ll get to Part II in the next few days, I suspect–if you want to see it live, it’ll be on Twitch first, then I’ll pop it over to YouTube. I would very much like to find out what happens to Gringr, as well as the Girl with the Golden Brassiere. It seems you lot rather like me reading to you, and my daughter says as soon as I finish this novella I need to read at least the first chapter of some fanfic titled My Immortal. I floated the idea on my social media feeds, and the response is half-and-half. Half of you are saying, “OMG it’s so terrible, DO IT,” and the other half respond with, “I love this idea, DO IT!”

Just like in parenting, the hardest thing will be keeping a straight face. I suspect you lot, like my children, are actively trying to break my composure. I did chuckle a few times during Eye of Argon‘s first three (and a half!) chapters, but I was not reduced to nonverbal hysterics, so according to my own rules I have not yet lost. I’m sure in cutthroat competition rules I would be required to hand the reading over to someone else, since I have given a giggle or two, hut honestly I’m not superhuman.

Despite my best efforts, I might add.

The hilarity is helping. I’m finding myself with a little more energy nowadays, and I think my body and brain are adjusting to the idea that I might have survived creeping fascist coup (so far) and not-one-but-two pandemics (again, so far) and I can’t keep going in emergency mode. It feels rather like the third act of a zombie apocalypse franchise lately–the first wave of disaster has passed and we’re left clinging to wreckage, attempting to build a raft instead of simply focused on merely keeping our heads above the waves. I’m sure this is a quite widespread feeling. Mostly I’m just exhausted at being in crisis, and withdrawing like a bruised anemone.

It helps that autumn is approaching, and with it the rains. I’m most productive when water is falling from the sky; with a new roof I won’t have to worry so much all through winter and that’s a welcome thought. Boxnoggin will hate the damp, poor fellow, but perhaps it will keep him from shenanigans during daily walkies. We’re working on not yelling our fool heads off when another dog appears.

The concept has not quite worked its way into Boxnoggin’s poor dazed head, but we’re trying. After four years in our household he is much better behaved and less reactive, though it’s an uphill battle all the way. He was really treated dreadfully in some of his previous homes, and it’s left a mark. On the bright side, he’s been with us for longer than anywhere else combined, so he’s beginning to relax and think of the Chez as his permanent home.

We do not believe in giving up around here. At least, not on our companion animals. Certain other things we heave over the side with abandon, but sunk costs are not a consideration when it comes to the canines (or felines) we’ve promised to take care of.

I don’t want to relax. I don’t want to loosen my deathgrip on my coping mechanisms or my temper, because that will be the moment some-damn-thing else will happen and I’ll have to start the process of emergency coping again. On the other hand, living on the ragged edge of adrenaline, no matter how familiar it feels (spent most of the first thirty-odd years of my life there), is not optimal and I do not want to continue.

Boxnoggin has just finished his traditional early-morning doze. It’s the nap he takes after the first potty break of the day; he gets a few more z’s in while I’m absorbing my coffee. Now he is informing me the schedule means toast for me, toast crust for him, and the preparations for walkies must commence in a timely fashion. He’s not quite as insistent or managing as Bailey was, but gods help us if the rituals are disturbed. And I suppose it helps me keep on track. I might ignore my own needs, but never his. Off I go, then.

Brace yourselves for Monday, my beloveds. I have a feeling this one’s going to be a dilly.