I stood in my socks eating cold pancakes with beer as the dog watched, wagging her tail. I then inventoried the remaining wine, cleared Charlotte’s homework away, lit a stick of incense, and tried to relax. Upstairs someone was either crying or laughing. It rained for the first time in weeks, the longest dry spell on record for April. I walked in it, the long way around the park. I thought about work and how lucky I was, though it brought me stress. Somehow I felt more prone to anxiety now, but it fueled my desire to please, to do good work. The sound upstairs was definitely laughter, though Lily sobs like that when she’s about to have an attack. The laughter and crying are just a few degrees apart. I remembered a dream where I was holding my favorite book and the spine broke off, the pages crumbling like fallen leaves. I got up early so I could walk before it was light and get online by 6:30, hit it hard. I sat like a concert pianist laying everything out. I took it to heart, and did my best. I was getting paid to write! Paid well. My hair looked horrible. The beard was growing back, all white. I was up to 90 push-ups but not weighing myself, would save that for later. We probably wouldn’t make it another week before we had to go back to the store. Pretty much everyone was in masks there now. I made plans to meet Gregg and walk around the lake, FaceTime felt too weird for a friend who lives right around the corner.