On a walk this afternoon I passed a UPS guy heading up a driveway with a hand truck loaded with 6 honey-baked hams. He flashed me what I perceived to be a coy smile. By the grace of brain chemicals or my nightly prayers to Dolly Parton it occurred to me in just the nick of time that there is no tone in which “Thatsa lotta ham!” won’t seem sexual. Pickle narrowly averted.
Today I texted a friend for help and went into a shame spiral during the few minutes it took for them to respond, flagellated myself for not finishing an essay draft, didn’t do enough laundry, didn’t even put a dent in a new project I prioritized to start today, flayed myself for not finishing the revisions on a short story, have put off doing yoga even though I know it will vastly improve both my day and my life, got irritated for no actual reason at all, second (third fourth fifth)-guessed my value as a partner (friend parent person), sulked about Christmas, went into a new and improved shame spiral about feeling sorry for myself when people are dying alone from COVID and people are dying from trying to save them.
Then I did more laundry, went for a walk, was inspired by a guy with hams, listened to the Amélie soundtrack, lit the Dolly Parton candle my kid gave me, remembered this picture of the stained-glass banana a friend gave me for my birthday, thought about how long it would take me to explain why this stained-glass banana is enormously significant to me and how I’m not sure I could, thought about the time Chafe and I were walking and I was puzzling out a prospective story and I said I don’t even know how you would go about making that work and then he said You would probably have to write it to find out, thought about how fiction is a resource, remembered that action absorbs anxiety, and got back to work.
Thatsa lotta ham!