0700: Our car pulls into my parents’ driveway. Yes, I’m in a car and yes, I’m back in Wisconsin. The woman who gave birth to my dad stopped living and that seemed reason enough to pause the Adventure. Pausing an adventure—what a very American concept, I don’t bother to think as we pull onto the gravel. Instead I think: I don’t want to unload the car; I do want to sleep; I need to do work. We just drove 16 hours back from Pennsylvania where the funeral was.
My grandmother, Mary King Jacob, at her wedding in 1946.
0708: Breakfast of chocolate-covered graham cracker cookies and, if I remember correctly, nothing to drink, not even water and definitely not coffee.
0712: Set to work on my laptop in my parents’ den. “Work” in this case mostly means procrastinating by checking online games, email, new photos of old friends on Facebook: anything that does not involve writing about a basketball player’s DUI after my night of driving through thunderstorms. I complete my work incrementally and in fits.
0822: Submit articles and an invoice. Accept that, as I’d feared, my brain is now firing way too much to sleep. Have a great idea for an art project involving women’s faces as they masturbate. Try to search for women’s masturbation faces without getting only porn. Fail. Wonder if my art project can truly be liberating and empowering and low-key erotic or if it will just be smutty. Am too tired to trust my judgment.
0831: Agree to go with my mom to her haircut appointment later. Maybe there will be spring rolls at the neighboring Asian market.
0836: Discover that my mom also intends to combine weekly groceries, liquor store stop, gas station, and bakery run with the haircut trip. Begin to regret my decision to come. Consider cancelling. Decide spring rolls are worth any tariff. I commit to being ready to go at 9:30.
0910: Mom begins the first of several knocks on my door, certain that I will not be ready at 9:30. I go back to sleep.
0935: I am not ready, but explain to Mom that this is because I’m looking for a cord for the iPod I gave her which will let her use it in the car. She is about as excited as if I told her I can get accessories for an iguana terrarium.
0940–1332: Long pile of errands. The Asian market does not have spring rolls. I cringe and read a book.
1344–1406: Drink four bottles of beer while eating as many slices of pizza. This is an alarming beer:za ratio but ends with a pleasant mild buzz. I eat cookies both before and after the pizza/booze orgy.
1432: Excitedly send off an email making Friday plans that involve pizza, beer and cookies because the hit machine will never stop, right.
1435: It’s somehow still cloudy and cool outside and I want to go for a walk, but it’s Thursday and I need to create a blog post because that’s my deal. Shit.
1439: Instead of creating something philosophic I hastily write a post using my dead grandma to prey on reader sympathies. She has been buried only 24 hours and this is already not the first time I’ve leveraged her death. I remind myself she (a) would understand and (b) is no longer around to understand or not. I focus my thoughts to exclude my recent swing of opinion toward believing there is no soul. That would make the meat of a real blog post, which this is not.
(But seriously, guys, there is no such thing as a soul and that makes the language of mourning over the past 48 hours ring absurdist and lip-bitingly innocent in my ears.)
Feel free to wax faithful or philosophic on your thoughts on the soul: I’m going for a walk (followed most likely by beer) and will be sure to respond in kind. But really, FYI there is no soul. The gods told me so.