The COVID Diaries: A Goddamn Delight

Hi Darling Ones,

This weekend I made the extremely smart decision to re-read Kevin Brockmeier’s The Brief History of the Dead, a novel about the end of the world caused by a viral pandemic that decimates most of the world’s population except for one woman living in extreme isolation in Minnesota Antarctica. There’s even a bit about people with websites documenting the end of the world through diaries.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

It sounds more dire than it is. Well, no, I guess not, but still . . . I love this book. I think about it at least ten times a week. It’s one of those that sticks with you. It’s one of my favorite theories on the afterlife. For the record, I also like the theory in “The Good Place” too.

I think of this book and my college creative writing professor every day at dusk, which is usually when I try to write a letter for the day. I think of the professor because she used to tell us we didn’t need to light incense and write by candlelight to be creative. She was a big proponent of just doing the damn work and not getting loss in the romantic bullshit that surrounds creative writing. Why do I think of her? Because I light a candle each night before I start the day’s blog post. I do it because I like the smell and the light, and not because I need to write with romantic lighting.

Most of my writing is done in the harsh light of day with no ritual whatsoever.

However, today I am scattered, distracted, and being very hard on myself about it. I only squeezed out 500 words because I spent most of my time daydreaming while listening to Lydia Loveless and The Cars. I feel a little bit like I let myself down and at the same time like I should cut myself a little slack because. . . well, you know what it’s like out there. Pandemic. White Supremacy. Terrorist Coups. Late Stage Capitalism.

So I chose dreaming over worrying or screaming or crying. I’m not gonna lie, it’s been a goddamn delight.


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