Hudson woke up with a 104 degree fever this morning. It doesn’t need a metaphor, it is what it is. Hot, unblemished baby skin.
But for me, every degree above 98 felt like a degree above boiling point. I was boiling water, splashing through the lid of a pot and landing with a sizzle-crash onto the stove.
99 degrees-Anguish that we went hiking over the (farce of a holiday) Fourth of July.
100 degrees-Anger at every single person that chose not to wear a mask on the trails.
101 degrees-Rage that America is thrusting teachers and students back into schools.
102 degrees-Irate that human life has less value than a maskless trip to Costco.
103 degrees-Disconsolate about an America that never was and never will be.
104 degrees-Beyond. Beyond words. Just tangled, muddy, messy emotions
Somewhere in my boiling, emotional soup was the absolute despair over America’s racism and my complicity in a system. Guilt that I put on an expensive shirt, and did my hair nice so that I could leverage my privilege at the doctors’ office and make sure Hudson got the best care possible. Anger at myself for not writing enough letters. For feeling fried. For taking a social media break. For not finishing blog posts. For not being able to turn down the heat or do anything but spiral over the edge of the pot and sizzle on the stove. I’m evaporating. And mostly I’m mad that I feel so damn sad, and that sadness is important, but also, unproductive.
We won’t know for a few days if Hudson has COVID, but that’s not really the point.
It’s just that in a year where we should all stirring— simmering—blending— we refuse. We’re stuck in our separate pots, and I could be wrong, but it seems like you’re all boiling too.
I don’t want to boil over alone.