Many people on social media have advised keeping a daily or weekly record of the abnormal and alarming events that are transpiring around us, in order to manage the information, and fight back against our naturally adaptive tendencies. This is an emotional record, for the same purpose, and also with the hope that I can someday accurately tell a child what it felt like to live through this.
- There is a constant low roar in the back of my mind, like rusting machinery, or like a fire I can’t admit is a fire yet because that would mean admitting that my house is burning down.
- It’s impossible to moderate the amount of news I take in, the amount of time I spend on Twitter. There is a constant stream of information to be absorbed, processed, expelled in the form of a tweet (or a piece or a Facebook post) that is either frantically ringing an alarm bell (for an audience that either already knows or never will), or trying to find some mordant humor. The point at which it becomes manageable, at which I learn to compartmentalize my mind, always seems like it is coming soon. It must be coming soon. I can’t get anything done.
- Careful, all of the sudden, about passwords–finally trying to make them that mix of letters and numbers we were always supposed to.
- Generally more careful about what I post: not my travel plans, or pictures that show the easily recognizable exterior of my house, or my favorite bar, or my nephew, because I’m afraid of being doxxed by internet fascists, or the government itself.
- No longer able to tell when I am being paranoid.
- Often irritable with myself and those closest to me. Even when I’m not lashing out, I feel like a frayed wire.
- Insatiably hungry all the time. (Possibly unrelated.)
- Grateful for substances that help me relax. Frightened of depending on them too much.
- Recognizing the look of exhaustion and despair on the faces of friends. (For the most part queer, female, POC, or trans friends.) Watching them retreat into themselves and pass a hand over their eyes at parties.
- Being astonishingly angry at straight, white, male friends when they tell me “we’ll survive this” or to “find the positive.” Not being able to tell whether that anger is fair.
- Seriously contemplating the merits of capitalism for the first time since college.
- Coming to a new loathing of my own whiteness. Trying not to mistake that loathing for work.
- Exercising harder because I think of it, vaguely, as “training.”
- Occasionally forgetting about it for a minute or an hour and just living and laughing and kissing my girlfriend. Always emerging from these respites with the thought:”So that’s what it would feel like if this weren’t happening.”
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