I hope this letter finds you doing well, as I make this zealous attempt to write to you every day for a while. As you already know, I am faced with daily challanges: I awoke this morning hours before dawn to a messy apartment. When I was in one of my psychotherapy sessions with Dana, we discussed making a to-do list and attempting to give structure to my daily life. I have a dry erase board along with some markers, and I listed some tasks to accomplish in the coming days. I was able to check off everything on the list that didn’t require a phone call. I spent most of my time rearrainging cans of food in my kitchen cabinets and scrubbing the kitchen floor. There was a sense of accomplishment in my heart over this small victory, knowing that my kitchen was now clean and tidy. Then I proceeded to vacuuming the carpet in the living room, the hallway, and the bedroom. All of this didn’t take long, it was just difficult to get started, the tribulation being all in my mind. I told Dana that I wanted a higher standard of cleanliness in my apartment, and not to wait until the housework piled up to do it, and have it start bothering me.
After checking these tasks off my to-do list, I felt that my work was done for today. The sun had already risen when I took out my tablet and opened the Aljazeera app and started watching. I saw images of the war in Syria, Bashar al-Assad’s forces fighting with the rebels in the province of Idlib — the rebels refusing to lay down their weapons and to surrender — so Russian warplanes were striking residential areas, markets, and hospitals. The the news presenter — an enormously attractive woman with a lovely voice — showed me a video of a six story apartment building which had collapsed, with rescue workers pulling people out of the wreckage. The scene shifted suddenly from the war to social unrest on the far side of the world. In the city of Hong Kong, masses of people were shuffling and rioting under the streetlights of the city, as the police — wearing helmets and carrying batons — were firing tear gas and rubber bullets, with blue flashes of incandescence and wisps of smoke erupting among the agitation of the crowd. There were also unauthorized protests in Russia, with activists being beaten with sticks and dragged into buses to be carried off to jail — angry that the elections to the Duma were being rigged — and opposition leader Alexi Navalny was taken from jail to a hospital because the conditions in detention were so filthy that he caught an infection. Navalny’s YouTube channel was also shut down — the presenter being arrested in front of the cameras — for covering the protest marches where over a thousand people were apprehended. The scene shifted once again to farms in the green, bucolic pasture-lands of the United Kingdom, where researchers were attempting to reduce the methane gasses emitted by cows and sheep, whose carbon footprint is greater than all the cars, trucks, and airplanes in the world combined.
After the newscast, Laura called me and asked why I hadn’t rang her phone at 8:30 to wake her up so she could go to church. I replied that she made no such request to me yesterday. Laura asked me if I wanted to come over, so I turned off my tablet, put on my shoes, strapped on my backpack, and left home on my bicycle. We had planned to go to the grocery store today so I could buy soda for Laura, in exchange for some meat she got from the food bank. Laura’s spine has been hurting her — she says the pain is excruciating — so she got into one of the motorized carts for the handicapped, then we went down the grocery aisles together. When we arrived at the check-out line, I felt a feeling of dread, because I knew I was going to have to use my food stamp card — and everyone in town knows what one looks like — a multicolored red, white, and blue card depicting the American flag. A man who looked like a construction worker got in line behind us, trying to buy a loaf of bread, and he kept watching me, to see what type of card I was about to pull out of my wallet. As I was swiping my card to pay for Laura’s groceries, I was almost trembling with anticipation, in case this person dared to say anything disrespectful. It seemed like — for a few tiny seconds which seemed like mintunes — the whole store grew deathly silent as I sought to quell rising anger.
Laura and I left the grocery store without incident. We returned to her house and she made some smoothies with milk, bananas, and strawberries. Laura filled my backpack full of frozen meat and fish. I brought up the YouTube app on my iPhone and put on the music of Mozart, as Laura streached out on the bed along with Pumpkin the cat. She took her medicine and was about to fall asleep when I took my leave.
I arrived home, putting my food in the refrigerator, feeling strange sensations under my scalp and my mood was sinking. It was now my turn to take medicine. I swallowed it down with a glass of water, took my clothes off, and got under the covers of my bed with the fan on. It wasn’t sundown yet, but I felt incredibly tired, and I had a big day tomorrow, for I was going to ride my bike to Greenville again tomorrow to keep my psychotherapy appointment with Dana.
So now I must end my letter with love and best wishes. Take care.