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If You Have Insomnia, I Have the Cure
It's this. It's reading this.
Hello! How are you? This is how I am: I have been up since 5am. We got back from a trip to the UK and Greece a few days ago, and my internal body clock has not quite adjusted, despite the melatonin I have been microdosing (maybe I should’ve been maxidosing?) Yesterday my kids were up at 4:47am, and the day before they were up at 4:48am, but today they slept in until a normal time and yet I was somehow still awake at 5am, my god, how boring is it hearing about other people’s jetlag, somewhere slightly above hearing about their dreams and slightly below hearing about their experience at Burning Man, am I right?
Instead of doing something useful with those extra pre-dawn minutes, like writing or exercising, I merely spent them tossing and turning in bed, letting every single one of my anxieties trundle to the forefront of my mind so I could peer at it nervously, watch it unspool to its worst possible conclusion (death, despair, everyone talking in a private group chat about that weird thing I did etc etc etc), then usher the next one forward to repeat the process. Super relaxing and chill! After an hour of this, I got up and drank two cups of coffee—don’t know if you’ve heard, but caffeine is exactly what you want to add to crippling neurosis—and snuggled up on the couch with my dog to finish the book I was reading, which is the excellent “The Rachel Incident” by Caroline O’Donoghue. I adored it! I love a coming-of-age novel, I love a novel about formative friendships, and I love reading Irish writers who are not Sally Rooney, so this was right up my alley. Highly recommend!
(Nothing against Sally Rooney, I think she’s great, but did I ever tell you about the time I trekked into San Francisco to see her read—an event I had been anticipating for months and was extremely excited about—only to sit, as the clock ticked later and later and she didn’t appear, in a packed auditorium of people carrying literary-themed tote bags, until finally, 90 minutes after Sally Rooney was supposed to take the stage, a harried PR woman came out and said that Sally Rooney would no longer be reading because she wasn’t feeling well and we should all just go home? Major bummer! I mean, I guess these things happen and it wasn’t her fault and it doesn’t mean I like Sally Rooney any less, but still. Let’s celebrate some other female Irish writers too! Another book I read recently by an Irish author was “Tresspasses” by Louise Kennedy, and that was also extremely good. It’s a bit more of a downer than “The Rachel Incident,” which leans more funny/arch, so choose the one you’re in the mood for at the moment, but they’re both wholly enjoyable. In fact, this evening, I am planning to read a third book by an Irish writer, Foster by Claire Keegan, because it’s my book club book for tomorrow night and, like almost all things in my life, I am doing it at the last minute. For the intoxicating adrenaline rush? As a result of trying to do too much at once? Because the lingering effects of cancer treatment have manifested in a soupçon of undiagnosed ADHD? All three? In any case, it’s only a slim 92 pages, so it’s not nearly as impressive as I’m making it sound. But there you go, a quorum! Three lady Irish authors for you!)
Anyway, what else has been happening? I had a piece published in The New York Times in July about morning meditation, which I am like a month late on linking to but would be remiss in not mentioning, since freelancing is, after all, all about the hustle. I had two short stories rejected in May, just to balance that out a bit. My kids went back to school yesterday and they are now in such old (high?) grades that I can barely even say them out loud because it makes me too sad about the inexorable march of time (first and fifth, oh my god). My washing machine broke, literally a few hours before I went on vacation, and I was like screw it, I’ll just deal with this when I get back, except then I got back and had like 400 loads of laundry to do, all of which is still sitting in suitcases on my dining room floor because a nice man called Louis has been out to try and fix the washing machine twice and then yesterday just threw up his hands and was like naw dawg you need a new one, which led to a fun spiral in Lowe’s this morning in which I mentally knocked down and rebuilt my entire house in a bid to go with stacking machines instead of side-by-side—hey wait, I’ve found something even more boring than someone talking about their jetlag!
Okay, I guess that’s all my news, and anyway, it’s time to go and pick up my kids now, my kids who are ridiculously old and basically in college. I’m hoping I’m going to write here more regularly now that my life is getting back into more of a routine again. Anything you’re particularly interested in reading about or should I just talk about my broken washing machine some more?
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