I don’t know what’s going on with me . . . but for some reason between like six and ten pm I feel extremely sad, and then I bounce back again and feel all right. Though I’ll tell you what: those four hours are harrowing. I’m starting to wonder if The Stuff I Take To Endure Existence is waning, or else there is some dip in its effectiveness during that pocket of time. It could be also that this is a strange limbo between two points in my day: when I stop working and when I start working on my own stuff late at night. Because I only really ever get things done from eleven on. Too much time on my hands is dangerous. It really rattles me and makes me feel rotten as hell to let my mind sputter and backfire like that. I create a sort of figure eight in my mind, and I race through the same thoughts over and over again with no end in sight. I get real paranoid is what I’m saying, and wonder at things. Like the fella said: It’s enough to make a stranger stare.

We must also consider the fact that there is still a deadly pandemic raging outside, and probably half the people I know in the Bay have covid or are on the precipice of getting it because their roommate does. It has made me feel lonely that I can’t really see anyone. They even closed down Eli’s till February, so it’s not as if there is any place to go hang out outside anyway. It really is a deadly equation when you get down to it, and I have no doubt that the sadness of this time is at least partly responsible for burying me in the depths.

Well: Today I was looking at pictures from around this time of year, from three winters ago when we had the last normal winter, and I found these pictures of Jess and me in Chicago. Man! That was such a good trip. I wrote about it earlier on Instagram:

I think I’m the luckiest person I know when it comes to befriending Internet Strangers. I have found or have been found by all these really good people who have been unconditionally generous and hospitable even though I was just some guy from the internet. Everyone is always so nice to me. The kind of affection I have gotten from my friends reminds me of this little passage from NO LONGER HUMAN:

. . . natural friendliness which never became oppressive. Friendliness with no ulterior motive, friendliness stripped of high-pressure salesmanship, for someone who might never come again.

Though yeah . . . I got really really lucky with Jess. She’s one of the best people I’ve ever met. Here are some pictures from that trip:

It took me out of this hell to think about that trip. I remembered when things were fun. Alas!! I wonder if that is now an extinct thing for all of us. Well, it was fun while it lasted. . . .