Day 68 of Staying the Fuck Inside

This many days of working at the dining room table have begun to take their toll a little bit. I’ve had a pinched nerve in my leg for the last few days, which comes and goes. If it’s particularly bothersome at night, it takes me a while to get comfortable, and inevitably I gank my back and/or neck.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Routine has become routine. Groceries and provisions are becoming a little easier to obtain again, and Sonoma County is reluctantly dipping its toes into easing restrictions a little. Stockholm Syndrome and PTSD, however, make us wary.

Dreams come and go, and at least once a week, become weirdly violent. A few nights ago involved watching a basketball game except there was only one basket, and it was sticking out from a concrete wall. One player grabbed another player from the opposing team, and proceeded to repeatedly bash his head into the wall, until there was nothing left except for his bloody face sliding down the concrete to the floor. This dream was followed by another one where I had to thwart my psychotic ex from ripping off a series of art galleries and book stores owned by friends, before she could pin it all on me. I succeeded, but it was exhausting.

Kiddo is wrapping up the end of what I’ve dubbed “Suck-End Grade” (too long to go into, it’s not just current events), and received some good news about third grade next year.

He also decided to watch Rogue One, and was enjoying it until he realized what its inevitable conclusion was going to be. We decided to take a break, and we had a good discussion about the concept of “noble sacrifice” as a storytelling trope (guess I’ll hold off on introducing him to the works of Leiji Matsumoto for the time being), and in real life situations, such as combat, and first responders (including current ER doctors). It saddened him tremendously, but I told him it’s not something he needs to worry about, hopefully ever.

I made him laugh with my favorite George Patton quote: “The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his.”

Other than that, we’re still healthy, and somewhat sane. I expect re-entry once this is all over will be interesting on a number of levels.

A while back, I found an anthology called Dangerous Game (“MAN against BEAST – from darkest Africa to the treacherous Red Sea! 15 Exciting Adventures!” – it’s from 1955, and culled from various Men’s Adventure magazines – cut me some slack). There’s a story in it called “The Ape’s Revenge” by John Campbell (not sure if it’s the same as John W. Campbell, but who knows?). The story is about as unwoke as you can get (1955, Men’s Magazines, remember?). Casual racism, casual sexism, big game hunting, ethnic stereotypes, and senseless violence, not to mention the opening paragraph, which is one of the more epic ones I’ve ever read:

“A female orangoutang will rape a man, and don’t let anybody tell you differently. Ask any native south of Singapore or any white tuan from Sumatra to Borneo and you’ll get the same answer: ‘Sure, it happens, but we don’t talk about it.’ Well, I saw it happen – in the most horrible way imaginable.”

The story is only 9 pages long, and given everything I’ve told you, including the title, opening paragraph, and source material, you can pretty much guess the plot.