If you pinch a line of knitting yarn between your thumb and index finger and pull the one end so that your fingers run along the length of the yarn, you can feel where the weak spots are; where the yarn might break if stretched beyond its powers of cohesion.
People are a little like knitting yarn. Strong in most places, but weak in a few.
I hit a weak spot today.
When I opened my eyes this morning I instantly felt the sting of an icy winter morning on my face. But I hardly cared. My cat hadn’t returned from his nightly escapades and worry throbbed through me like my heart was pumping cement. My mind stepped in gear and went where it normally goes when worry consumes me: all the way to Worst-case-scenario-land.
Just as I was about to call together an OJ Simpson-level search party, Mr Cat came wandering into my house like a teenager returning from a loud, boozy but deeply satisfying night at the club.
I dressed to go out. A birthday lunch called me from my home and I tried the jeans that still fitted perfectly nicely last week, but must have shrunk from the cold weather or excessive application of potato. I considered putting on something a little less…distressed, but I thought, ah fuck it, who’s gonna look at my pants anyway with a facial expression of disgust like this?
As I passed through the living room on the way to my car, it became immediately, intensely and olfactoraly known to me that an unknown and as yet unnamed cat entered my home during the night and unloaded its urinary vesicle onto the side of my couch.
An hour after arriving at the gift store where I was supposed to meet a friend, I finally accepted that I’d been forgotten. I had been abandoned and left to die by way of wolf.
Later, sitting around a boardroom table, listening to colleagues moan and groan about the inadequacies of remote student learning, I received a text from a friend: her brother’s cancer is inoperable. Terminal.
The wind won’t stop bellowing and humming its miserable tune of woe. If only it could sing. Maybe if the wind sounded like Etta James it wouldn’t make me so sad. Or maybe Frank Sinatra. Or maybe that Joseph Solomon, the young man on YouTube…whose voice seems like hot, liquid velvet being swirled around in God’s big, open palm.
Half the world is under attack, the other half is burning. And in my small, uneventful town, the wind is mourning it all. On weak days like today, it feels like all that is happening is happening too fast and too angrily.
It is not a chococino day. Hot chocolate with marshmellows and sour jelly babies on the side…