Abnormal Days

What if life naturally feels a little shadowy, sad, and wrong-footed most of the time?

That seems obvious when I type it. But here I am (and I’ll bet you’re the same) often feeling like a failure because life doesn’t always feel bright and beautifully balanced.

What if I embraced dissatisfaction, doubt, loneliness, etc., as natural qualities of life, and not necessarily as results of my own shortcomings? What if I accepted the negatives as a normal, permanent dusk?

I might begin to see the occasional lights — fulfillment, belief, connections with others — not as inadequate rarities, but as wonderful anomalies. I might even view some of them as successes.

Good days would feel fantastic. The other days would simply feel normal (shadowy, sad, and wrong-footed) instead of feeling like good days I’d managed to fuck up.

Homemade Gluten-Free Pizza

I’m going to cook more often, which means I need to learn how.

I can handle some of the basics, like starting fire with a magnifying glass, and I’m good at following instructions, so I ought to develop quickly. You won’t be demanding to eat at our house, but if you visit and I’m cooking, you’ll probably be able to recognize the meal. “This is meat,” for example, “with a side of green plants.”

One obstacle to becoming a better cook is that I’m not a gourmand. I simply don’t care. Maybe this will change.

An important factor in this cooking endeavor is my wife’s celiac disease. For her, GF is not a fashionable lifestyle choice. Her villi curl up and die if she eats gluten. If I’m going to cook things, I need to focus on meals that don’t attack my wife’s villi.

Gluten-free pizza crust often had a weird texture and a weirder aftertaste. Imagine the fabled paste-eating kindergartener growing up to become a pizza chef who insists on using one special ingredient in all of his dough.

I looked up well-reviewed recipes online and found a promising option, which I made for the family tonight. It was good! We all liked the crust, including our dog Bones. That’s him in the photo above. The smell of pepperoni gave him a crazed blurry expression.

Here’s the homemade gluten-free pizza recipe if you’re interested.

The Ashy-Blood Night Mist

Some days, such as today, everything’s good and then something happens.

I have a fantastic egg & bacon sandwich, and then pizza, and then a little gin (but not too much). My wife and I watch a terrific movie I’ve been meaning to see for ages (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). We compile a 150+ song playlist for a 30+ person party we’re having next weekend. And the last five days were very productive, so my relaxation feels deserved.

And then it’s 10:30 P.M. and who the hell knows. Maybe a neuron misfires. Maybe my ghost starts haunting itself. But a peculiar ashy-blood night mist descends, and it’s as if some inexplicable sadness is waking me up instead of depressing me. It’s like being sentimentally buzzed without being alcoholically buzzed.

I’m creatively minded in this state. It’s a state I’ve known since, oh, I was a moody teenager or maybe even earlier, and it’s possibly the #1 reason I write fiction. It’s not a bad state to be in, but it’s not summery glad beachtime, either.

When the ashy-blood night mist descends upon me, I often respond…

  1. Defensively
  2. Wholeheartedly

…by making stuff up and writing it down. When I do this well, the stuff is emotionally true, even if it’s unrealistic on the surface. I go into a semi-dream state, in other words, where the night mist not only makes strange emotional sense, but allows me to see and feel things I can’t experience in happier, more quotidian hours.

The ashy-blood night mist doesn’t come only at night. Some days I actually need to summon it in order to write, which means my average day is oddly tinted and there’s probably something a little off about me.

The upside is that I’d be way worse off without writing, because the mist would probably have dissolved me like emotional acid long ago, and God only knows if I’d even exist as a functional human being right now.

Tired Now

I’m sick and achey, and after a strong week of writing, I trooped through a fine night of socializing, but now I’m tired and I’m going to finish playing this song and go to bed.

Have a good weekend, everybody. Stay healthy.