Depression is setting in. Oh, not the clinical kind but the everyday malaise where nothing seems worth the effort. I’ve been staying in bed well past noon and even when I do toss off the covers and slip my BiPap mask off of my head, I still sit on the edge of the bed trying to decide when, or even if, I would flip off the oxygen generator and pull up my pants.
It’s so complicated having to move around. I go to pump a double-espresso from my pricey Swiss machine but it’s first got to be turned on and cycle through it’s ready routine only to be told the drip tray needs to be dumped, and then the water needs to be refreshed, and the coffee beans are low so I scoop enough to re-fill the bin with a minimum number of beans bouncing off the machine and skittering behind the cabinet. Then I realize my cup is in the other room and, when retrieved, needs a good wash-out before use. One pull. Another pull. Then juggle the cup on the handle of my walker trying desperately not to spill too much on the way to my desk in the office.
Turn on the computer. Turn on the iPad. Continue listening to the radio on the iPhone while grinding through my diminishing emails. Check the calendar; dump the A.M. pills onto the desk to gag down with a protein shake; screw a fresh needle onto the insulin pen and try not to bleed on my T-shirt. Eventually I will wheeze my way back to the microwave and puff-up some egg whites to go with a tin of kippered herrings, but right now I’m still catching my breath from the exertion of morning coffee.
On good days I get a little bump of excitement from a new book but by the afternoon I’m often burned out and looking forward to the next title on the list. You might think I was trading real life for reading novels but given the current pandemic, the viciousness and mendacity of the world, and the gradual decline of all that is me, I consider myself lucky to have a ready source of enjoyment and learning and am thankful for the modern digital tools than keep me well stocked.
Or is it depressing?
Let’s see how my February selections tickle my interests:
- The Robber Bride — Margaret Atwood
- Zorro — Isabel Allende
- Valis — Philip K. Dick
- Night of the Assholes — Kevin L. Donihe
- Zeitoun — Dave Eggers
- Wait Until Spring, Bandini — John Fante
- D Is for Deadbeat — Sue Grafton
- Our Man in Havana — Graham Greene
- Something Unbelievable: A Novel — Maria Kuznetsova
- Gideon Planish — Sinclair Lewis
- The Days of Anna Madrigal — Armistead Maupin
- Utopia Avenue: A Novel — David Mitchell
- Noir: A Novel — Christopher Moore
- Apples Never Fall — Liane Moriarty
- Down and Out in Paris and London — George Orwell
- The Sacred Book of the Werewolf — Victor Pelevin
- The Thanatos Syndrome — Walker Percy
- The Overstory: A Novel — Richard Powers
- Touch — Francine Prose
- The Coup — John Updike