I've been listening to audiobooks during my work commute. It's at least an hour a day, which turns out to be enough time to get into them, and it's been really helpful at keeping me awake and helping me decompress.
Last night, I paused the iPod about 3/4 of the way through Douglas Adams' So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. This has always been my favorite of the Hitchhiker's books, because it's just so much happier than the others, and I was really glad to get to it.
I happened to get home just as Wonko the Sane was telling Arthur and Fenchurch to listen to the fishbowl. Walking the dog today, thinking about last night and the state of my country this morning, I couldn't help but think of the description shortly before of Wonko and his inside-out house, built to enclose the world in the asylum because it had clearly gone mad.
Y'all will have noticed that by nature, I'm not a terribly political person. I've lived in safe states all my life—Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York—and the one time I worked on a campaign (for my then-Congressional boss in Massachusetts), it was very unpleasant, not for the content, but just the general atmosphere. This year I was more active than I'd been since, by which I mean I donated money for the first time.
All I want to do now is crawl under the covers and not come out for about three and a half years—pending, yes, the number of provisional votes outstanding in Ohio, which I can't seem to find a hard number on, but it doesn't sound good. I think I do need to wallow for a while, but not forever. Next election cycle (will the House be in play in two years? Who knows what could happen?)—just because I'm not temperamentally suited to do more than give money, doesn't mean I shouldn't or can't at least consider it (which I didn't do this year until it was too late to be managed).
(Besides, I can't build an asylum for the world; it's too cold up here to live outside.)
Postscript, 10:50 a.m.
After writing that, I dropped Chad off at work for complicated reasons having to do with parking permits, and then came back to the house. The sun—still with the power to warm, here in early November—had come out, the wind had died down to pleasant breezes, and I had work to do outside. Now, the broken bag of cat litter from last winter has been shop-vac'ed out of my trunk, all the floors and rugs of my interior have been vacuumed, my windows and dashboard have been cleaned, my oil level has been checked, and the trash has been cleaned out of my car and Chad's.
I'm inside now. The front and back doors are open, to air out the house (that tomato sauce from last night involved onions and garlic, which lingered), and the fresh air is bracing. The dog is thrilled that I'm home. I'm about to shut the doors and take a nice long hot shower, and then pick up papersky and zorinth at the train. Their train appears to be running a little late, but I think we'll still be in plenty of time to pore over the treasures of Union's rare books library this afternoon. Then we'll have a congratulatory dinner on papersky's WFA win, and talk about books and cons, and see them off with a wave in the morning.
I seem unable today to think in other than literary references. Cleaning outside, in the sun and breeze and the pleasant feel of productivity, I felt like I was in the end of the Sandman arc Brief Lives: "It is going to be a beautiful day."
This isn't going to last, but I shall treasure it while it's here. I hope you are able to find a moment soon to do the same.