I'm sick--just a cold, or maybe the flu. Everybody talks about the awfulness of the flu, but when I look up the symptoms of flu vs cold online, every cold / flu I've ever had seems to fall right on the line between two. Are muscle aches and fatigue really just the purview of the flu? Well, maybe it's the flu..
Whatever the diagnosis, I stayed home for two work days, and now I'm staying home through the long weekend. I have very little will to do...anything. You know how they say the "mind is a good servant, but a bad master"? It's a kinda buddhist thing to say, about how you have to restrain your mind and not just let it run rampant as it likes. This restraint requires a certain kind of determination that at various times in my life I have had, and at present do not have. My mind has no desire to do disciplined things like stay still for meditation, apply itself to writing or even pay pay attention to a conversation. If you call me, there's a good chance I won't pick up the phone, because holding a conversation, even with you, seems like too monumental an effort. My mind doesn't want to do anything on its own steam, it wants to have its hand held and to be entertained.
And in my current state, my mind wins:
I let it watch two seasons of Downton Abbey in two days until I was bleary-eyed and my brain was sodden and saturated with the stream of soapy input. (Everything in italics is a spoiler, avert your eyes.) She's pregnant with the new heir of Downton. She's slipped on a bar of
soap left by the wicked servant and miscarried! The heir of Downton is
lost at war. He's miraculously returned! He'll never walk again, or
bear children. Oh my god, he's walking! But he's about to marry the wrong woman. No, wait--she has Spanish Influenza...she's dead! The Season Two finale provides some beautiful closure with a proposal on a snowy night. It was a good and convenient place to stop for what I hope is a long while.
On the third day, I let my mind read seven scripts for the Good Wife.
Because it is not related to writing, it will sometime accept forty minutes of Illustrator CS5 instructional videos, so there's that.
And of course there is sleeping.