I suppose I’m fine, thank you.
How else to describe a morning in which I listened to “The Well-Tempered Clavier” in its entirety, uninterrupted, while eating a bag of Cheetos in its entirety, also uninterrupted?
These are remarkable times.
I feel for all who are not fine: those who are mourning; those who are dealing with job and money struggles; even those who start to unwind when stuck inside.
I’ve been out a few times. And I will say I’ve noticed birds and trees more than I once did, which has some value.
But mostly I like being indoors.
By pulling the curtains and closing the door, I can stave away the slowly creeping fog of dread and breezy spells of anxiety. Instead I’ve tried to enjoy a rare prolonged period sitting in a nest of my own making.
I’ve played albums I hadn’t played in years. I’ve read some of the books I’d long meant to read.
I see more of my family, which is nice.
I’ve worn sweatpants every day.
Still there’s an itching unease. I’m obsessive about time. Hornby’s 30-minute units are 15 minutes too long. Mine are calibrated to a quarter of an hour. In a flip on Vonnegut, I haven’t become unmoored from time, but rather I feel like time has become unmoored from me. Twice over the past two months, I’ve awakened not knowing what day of the week it is.
This is neither good nor bad, but rather disorienting.
Time feels to me as if somebody dropped a cork sphere, some twine, two cow hide strips and red thread on a table and said, “Wanna play baseball?”
I re-read George Packer’s “The Great Unwinding,” which is a little old but prescient – or if not prescient, aware of how behaviors can play out across time.
There will inevitably be some sort of slow rewinding. We may not notice it as it’s happening. A baseball is a poor metaphor for our culture. Its construction is too clean, symmetrical and perfect.
I miss baseball, John Prine, record stores, concerts and travel.
I’ve enjoyed Bach, Cheetos, sweatpants and books about birds.
I still don’t know what to think about time.
Willie Nelson wrote, “Still is still moving to me.”
But he also wrote, “Time will take care of itself, so just leave time alone.”
I bet he’s handling this well.
So, how are you, Joe Folladori?
Author sketch by Ken Ellis. Where Is Time drawing by Andrew Dansby.