A writer — I wish I could recall which one — once wrote about the feeling of having been in a pillow fight in which all the pillows were lightly dosed with poison gas. (EDIT: It was Stephen King.) I’m feeling like that. So much so that I didn’t realize it until just now, when I looked up at the ballgame, and two innings had gone by that I didn’t even register. I wasn’t doing anything to distract me; they were just gone.

I don’t read or watch a lot of news. I know that makes me the embodiment of evil to some people, but all I can say is, if you want to feel completely useless and helpless, try watching the news somewhere you can’t vote.

So I didn’t know what was going on when Alec turned up at my door about 12 hours after he’d left to go back to Glasgow. I wasn’t expecting to see him again for about a week. He stood there for a while, said, “I just needed to see you all in one healthy piece,” and squished me. Then he took a good look, said, “You have no idea, do you?” and went and turned on the TV.

I turned it back off after about 10 minutes. He was in Glasgow and I was in Inverness, so of course we’re both fine. It’s not rational. So what? Anything about this is? He wanted to see me being okay, and now I wanted to see him being okay — to be able to reach out and feel him there being solid and breathing and just fine, too.

I fumbled for this on Twitter, but ran out of characters, of course: Sometimes it feels like it’s all about being better than the world appears to be. Even when the world sets that bar pretty low. Maybe especially then. People usually mean something entirely different when they say “I’m better than that,” but I’ll say it anyway.

I’m better than that. I’m better than a world a thing like that happens in. That’s not a brag. It’s a responsibility: Be better.

(photo: stock)


2 thoughts on “Better

    1. Maybe I should have been more specific and said the local/national news. That’s the chief reason I don’t turn the TV on much these days. It’s where all the news about which my first thought is “…and I can’t even vote those jackwagons out of office” comes from. Something like this…whether I can vote or not only applies in that I wasn’t watching the news.

      Liked by 1 person

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