A Profound Look Back at the Week: November 16-22

You know how sometimes you think “That’s it, it just can’t get any worse than this”? And then it does get worse and you feel this urge to drop everything and go somewhere and hibernate? Yeah, that’s what this week was like.

A Monthly Write-off

It’s been a year of write-offs for virtually every company in the world. Twenty-two days into November I’ve decided to write off the month for similar reasons. It has been a complete waste of time, mental and physical resources, so I’m writing it off to conserve what resources I have left. Here’s the roundup.

First, Big C. got the Sniffles of the Century. After, I might add, a negative Covid-19 test. He lost his sense of smell around the end of the first week of the Sniffles of the Century. This week, he called his GP because he still couldn’t smell anything. Congratulations, she told him. You had the coronavirus, you’re a happy man (presumably because he had a mild case). Did I say his test was negative?

But why should this be all when there can be more. Little C. got cystitis, which I have now learned is so common among little girls it’s something like a miracle she didn’t get it earlier. So, last Sunday, our household included a sniffling, sneezing man and a girl who cried while she peed. It’s hard to be the only one without some form of suffering in this environment. Luckily, fate or rather pathogens, took care of that.

The Curse

I don’t know if this has been tried as a torture anywhere but if it hasn’t it should be. Just put a hungry person in the vicinity of food but make it impossible for them to reach it. They’ll tell you everything you want to know in a few days. If you don’t believe me, watch Dread.

For me, the torturer was my seasonal pal herpes simplex. I know the name causes STD associations but the simplex is the cold sore virus, there is nothing even remotely sex-related to it. And while we’re on the topic of fun facts, did you know you can have cold sores not just on the outside of your mouth but inside it, too? Isn’t this fascinating?

What it is is torture, that’s what it is. I may or may not have already mentioned it but late autumn and early winter is my favourite cooking time and I have been unable to fully appreciate it because eating makes me cry (On the inside. I’m still tough on the outside for family morale purposes).

Besides, I bought tonnes of oranges and grapefruits for a vitamin boost and ambiance and I can’t eat them. I’m currently making plans for when the bastard goes away and these plans involve me stuffing myself with everything I can think of. I’ve lost weight I need to regain anyway.

No Joy Left

I’m generally chipper, even in the face of adversity but when this face headbutts me not once but three times in just two weeks I, apparently, stop being chipper. I never realised worry could be so exhausting — exhausting to the point that when I received an email telling me a publisher accepted a short story for publication I couldn’t be happy about it.

It was one of my favourite stories. It was also one of the sickest I’ve ever written — unsurprisingly based on a dream I had — and I didn’t see its chances of publication as particularly good after three rejections. And yet it did get accepted and it even got the chance to be made better because the editors had recommendations. And I couldn’t be as happy about it as I should have been.

It’s outrageous, really. I still remember how I cried — yes, I cried and I’m not ashamed of it — when my first short story got accepted for a horror anthology. It was only the second story I had ever submitted and I had written it precisely for this anthology, too, which added to the joy. Bull’s eye on the first try. Beginner’s luck but still. And three years later here I am shrugging and signing the contract  without a single palpitation.

A Profound Silver Lining

Chipper I may temporarily not be but I’ve retained some scraps of my tendency to look for silver linings. And, as we all know, look and you shall find.

Acceptance has left me largely cold but so has rejection. I think I got a couple of those in the past two weeks, from agents I’m querying for Second Skin, and I shrugged them off like inconsequentialities. Were I not worried sick about husbands and daughters, I would probably have been at least a little depressed but I just had no space for depression this time.

This got me thinking about what I had as problems prior to the start of the November from Hell. Everyone was too loud. Everyone was home. I wanted silence and solitude. These were my problems. Now, everyone is still too loud and they are still at home but I’m way too happy that they’re both better to get annoyed by decibels or space occupancy. That tale about the poor Jew with the big family who asked the rabbi for advice on how to make life better is so true, we should all remember it. It makes things a little bit less miserable.

Of course, the other silver lining is Big C. was the only one who exhibited any Covid symptoms so if the doctor is right and he had it, then we must have all had it and not even felt it. Yay. Not that we’re going to start socialising now but a few months of selfish peace on the pandemic front won’t go amiss.

Profound Video for Next Week

If you really want to do something, you will do it even if the circumstances are against you.

P.S. Cat’s been well, bucking the trend but that’s a trend I like to see bucked.

P.P.S. I feel I owe an apology to all the people who followed this blog after last week’s Profound Look. I’m not normally this whiny. I’ll compensate next week, I promise. And thanks!

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