The Horrific Joy of No One to Blame

In the car, nearing Vermont, someone asked me how I felt. Like I’ve been wandering in the desert, I thought. But am about to drink water.

Dramatic, I know, but this was no exaggeration. For months I’d felt besieged by my own Constant Life Activity, each day an over-stuffed schedule of hosting, greeting, emailing, planning, talking, working, commuting, responding, reacting. And little writing.

To relax, I’d listen to horrific news updates while brushing my teeth. I caught up on podcasts while biking to work, thanks to special sweatproof headphones. I couldn’t stand to go unstimulated for more than twenty seconds. I even put a speaker in my shower, stuck to the tile with a giant plastic suction.