My cat is doing a very good job of channeling the grouch in all of us right now. I suppose one can get accustomed to anything: frustration, exhaustion, misery, claustrophobia, the like. For example: when I got back from New York over a month ago, I was at Peak Depression, a total nightmare to be around, not that anyone was, you know, around, since we were all on lockdown and I was quarantined, squirreled away in solitary confinement for two weeks. But my friends showed up magnificently, like Harry Potter’s friends who sent him cake and letters when the Dursleys locked him in without food, and to be honest, the misery was quite cushioned with love, at least for me. Slowly I have graduated from plain and perpetual wretchedness to my current state of fluctuation – ping-ponging between optimism and total incapacitation. Is it like this for everyone? I imagine it is, worse, better, who knows. The problem with despair is that it is myopic. The problem with me is I find this unacceptable. I cannot fathom a situation I cannot muscle my way out of with sheer pigheadedness, though of course when you come up against an invisible enemy there’s not much you can do. Instead I have thrown myself into pantomimes of productivity, doing exactly three sit ups then curling into a ball, reading voraciously to make up for my inability to write, cursing people who are quite happily writing and posting about it, cursing myself because I am not. Everything is so slow. My brain, my body, the world. Except for time, which goes, without regard for its occupants, spending months of our year frivolously. And my cat, for whom at least the world has caught up to speed, finally meeting her on her wavelength of irascibility.